Unpacking the Conference: Planning, Execution, and Afterthoughts

22/06/2011 § 4 Comments

This post is a shared effort between HLS editor Julia Skinner and Katie DeVries Hassman, Sam Bouwers, and Gwen Persons, who were part of the conference planning team for Unpacking the “Library”: Exploring Works in Progress Across the Field of LIS. Other planners included Melody Dworak, Christine Mastalio, and Julie Zimmerman, who looked over parts of the post for us! To see more about the programs from that day, go to Julia’s post here.

Conference attendees

The audience waits for a conference session to start.

Part I: The Planning

Julia: Planning a conference is a lot of work. It’s fun and rewarding work, but if you’re going to hold a conference make sure to give yourself as much time for planning as you can! The idea for our conference came when we wanted to find another way to educate our fellow students and encourage them to grow professionally. Having a goal and a framework in place when we started planning was important, because it made our lives much easier when people asked ‘why are you hosting a conference?’ or ‘what do you hope people will get out of this?’ « Read the rest of this entry »

So how do I pay for all this?

04/02/2011 § 3 Comments

From Flickr user walknboston

One thing students and potential students in nearly every field stress out about is how to pay for their education, and LIS is no different. I’ve compiled a list of places to look for support. I’m sure there are some I’m leaving out, so if you know of an extra resource, please share!

Departmental scholarships/fellowships/assistantships: Your department probably has some funding lying around that students compete for yearly, and I definitely recommend giving this a look when you apply. I looked at our scholarships *after* I started, only to realize that the ones I wanted were for 1st-semester students. Ideally, you can apply for scholarships and assistantships and the like when you apply to the school, if not, write the program assistant to find out what steps you need to take to be considered! Another bonus to assistantships and fellowships, in addition to some nice funding, is great experience! You get to work closely with a faculty member and learn more about their work, gain some new skills, and hopefully get a nice recommendation out of the deal as well.

Read on for more funding tips…

« Read the rest of this entry »

How Hireable Are You?

25/01/2011 § 6 Comments

This is a re-post from my blog on a resource for evaluating your job readiness.  I made a few edits, and I’ve added a “general” spreadsheet for any type of IS work (or any job, really).  When thinking about classes, internships, and volunteering to develop your skill set, I’ve found having a concrete way of tracking your development against what information institutions are looking for is really helpful.

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An academic librarian visited one of my classes last quarter, and she talked about the hiring process in the California State University system.  The CSU uses points and rankings in hiring their librarians, which many public libraries do as well.

This got me thinking about what I would look like on paper in a point system, so I whipped up these spreadsheets.  The first is geared towards public youth librarians; the second is only the categories, to fill in with whatever skills you notice in your own profession’s job postings.

The left hand side is a list of job skills/qualifications, broken down by required/desired.  If I had a skill in “desired” but it came up as a “required” in another job posting, I moved it to “required” to be as prepared as possible.  Across the top is a variety of categories, including whether I have this skill or not, and if so, how; what courses and experiences have been relevant; what I would rank myself in accordance to other 2010/2011 grads and public librarians that have been working for up to three years (Librarian I), and ways to further develop that skill.  On my personal spreadsheet, I included a list of links to library job posting sites in the regions I’m most interested in, as well as a list of the youth/children’s librarian positions I drew the job skills from, where they’re located, and the pay/benefits of each, to track geographic differences in job skills.  I find it useful to have one access point for my job resources when checking in to the job market.

I’ve been filling mine in and altering it as I add more experiences, and using it to evaluate weak spots to think about in terms of what classes to take, and making the most of internships and assignments.  Feel free to take these spreadsheets and use them however you’d like!  I’ve also included a link to competencies as defined by professional associations to consider when planning career development.


Job Skill Evaluation: Public Youth Librarians

Job Skill Evaluation: Information Professions


From ALA: A roster of professional competencies by specialization (this includes archivists, information technologists, LIS educators, etc…)

Resources for New LIS Students

19/01/2011 § Leave a comment

This post originally appeared on my blog here. The post is from August of 2010, and is a list of blogs that I’ve found to be really helpful and that I direct my fellow students to. Know of any resources I didn’t include? Add them to the comments!

After going to meet the new cohort at orientation on Friday, I’ve been thinking a lot about good resources for new students. I thought up a couple that I e-mailed to a friend who is in LISSO (Library and Information Science Student Organization, our department’s student group), then it occurred to me that other students might find them useful too!

The Infornado
This is a blog by someone who’s new to the field, and has a lot of great information. Last night in an e-mail chat I learned that he’s coordinated a project where he invites LIS students to share what they’ve learned so far in their programs (about the field and more generally). I read some this morning and really enjoyed it–so many times I found myself saying ‘yes! I’ve had that experience!’ I also gained some really valuable perspective about what other students are getting out of library school, along with some new ideas for avenues to pursue in my own experience (Micah’s other posts are worth a read too!)

Lauren in Libraryland
Lauren is currently a student in Alabama, and her blog is a fun and accessible way to learn more about her experiences in school and her thoughts on the field. I’ve always found her posts to be both thought-provoking and enjoyable to read, and its a great way to get another perspective on LIS education.

SAU Curriculum Library
This blog is written by Courtney Walters, an alumnus from our program who graduated in 2009. I love it because she provides a lot of useful information for educators about current trends and techniques, especially for those seeking to incorporate paperless teaching into their curricula. For LIS students, this blog is a great way to see how someone new in the field is using blogging professionally, and to get inspired for your own professional blog.

The Wikiman: LISNPN
This blog is a great resource, and this post in particular is one that would be great for new students. It discusses the LIS New Professional Network, which was created for those who’ve joined the field in the last 10ish years. This is a great place for students to network and to hear first-hand about the transition from work to school from others who’ve recently been there.

Stephen’s Lighthouse
This is a blog that has a pretty wide readership, and Stephen updates it very frequently. This is one of my go-to sources for learning about emerging trends in the field. It’s written in a way that’s accessible to those with or without experience with the different technologies/areas of library service/etc that he might talk about in a given day, but he’s great at staying on top of what’s new and letting his readers know!

Ever Heard of a Librarian Who Doesn’t Read? – OR – What I’ve Learned in Library School So Far.

18/01/2011 § Leave a comment

{This is one of the first posts I wrote about my experiences in Library School, and it spawned a great series of guest posts over at my blog. This was kind of the impetus that began the hacklibschool seedling in my mind. Enjoy!}

I know. This is like the worst confession of all time. In 2010 I read one book (Michael Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay FYI). Its not that I’m anti-books, I just have other interests. And it was those other interests that led me into Library and Information Studies. I will say I am gaining a different appreciation for books through this degree, but not enough to make me as voracious a book reader as many of my colleagues. I can already hear fellow library school students, and future employers fuming “So, why do a degree based on a professional love of books if you don’t care about books?” Simply because, as I have learned, Library School is much, much more than training in booksmithery.

I would like to borrow a format many of us are familiar with to lay out my reasoning here. This is my “Top 10 Things I learned in Library School (so far)” list. Please hold all comments until the end, and give me the benefit of the doubt before writing me off as a fool. In no particular order after the jump —

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