24/04/2013 § 7 Comments
I recently received an ALA Store catalog in the mail and was happily flipping through the pages, considering whether or not I should order my own supply of Love My Library buttons, when I stumbled across this t-shirt:
It has pictures of endangered animals (a giant panda, a mountain gorilla, a black rhino) and then the library symbol, the point being that libraries are endangered. I’m sorry to say it but something about this t-shirt does not sit well with me. It rings a little alarmist and reminds me of the Huffington Post “Libraries in Crisis” page which Turner Masland covered in an excellent Hack Library School post called HuffPo: Helping or Hurting?.
18/02/2013 § 7 Comments
When I was applying to library school I asked some of my college librarians if anything had surprised them about their library work. More than one said their jobs involved more teaching than they anticipated, and I realized that if I was going into academic librarianship I should prepare for instruction to be a part of my job. While the idea of actually standing up in front of a classroom was pretty frightening to me, I saw the user education side of libraries as incredibly important and exciting. Somehow I imagined that when the time came for me to stand in front of a classroom, I would be totally accomplished and knowledgeable, and therefore confident.
When I began a student assistant position in reference and instruction this semester, the time to brave the classroom arrived without my previously anticipated sense of preparation and confidence. I was excited and terrified. A part of me believed that I could be quite good, while the other part waited for the fraud police to stop me before I could present my novice self to a class of undergraduates.
17/07/2012 § 2 Comments
In this installment of Hack Library’s School’s Emerging Career Series, Caro Pinto explores the role of librarian as project manager. Caro Pinto is the Social Science & Emerging Technologies Librarian at Hampshire College where she oversees collection development, outreach, and instruction for the School of Critical Social Inquiry, works on Digital Humanities projects at Hampshire and in the Five Colleges, and explores the technology landscape to find sustainable solutions for higher education. You can find Caro on Twitter and on her blog.
Librarians are helpful advocates in the research process. We aid our users in the location, retrieval, and evaluation of sources. However, as libraries implement more effective discovery layers and users come away with tens of thousands of results in mere seconds, our role has necessarily begun to shift from information retriever to information evaluator, arbiter, and now manager. We collaborate more closely with our users in the research process, helping to prepare data into management plans as part of grant requirements for the NSF and the NEH. Increasingly, we are librarians, but we are also project managers.
07/07/2012 § 19 Comments
Editor Note: This is a guest post by Jarrett Drake.
“The Incunabula. I’d like to see them,” said a patron in a muffled tone. “Can you repeat that?” I responded unassumingly. “The Incunabula, the Incunabula!” she exclaimed, her voice rising with each repetition. After a brief hesitation of speech that left my mouth quite unable to repeat her enunciations, the patron interjects, “You’re not familiar with the Incunabula? Are you a librarian?”
And that’s where I’ll stop. For the record, I’m not a librarian (yet). But if there’s one takeaway from my attendance at the 2012 Spectrum Leadership Institute and the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, it’s that the future of libraries—and indeed, librarianship—is a changing face. As emerging professionals, we library and information students mustn’t simply notice that change, but champion it.