28/02/2012 § 29 Comments
Librarianship is a profession that’s all about helping people, which means we need to be able to work with them. Even if you don’t work with patrons, you’ll still have to work with coworkers that run the gamut. Cat lovers(ahem), gamers, tattooed drinkers, the sweet old lady who doesn’t know what email is(patron or coworker), you might run across them all. You can’t escape people in this profession! Whether you were drawn to this profession because you love books, or because you wanted to put off student loans, having people skills is a must. We’re expected to have some technology skills and maybe even more advanced programming skills. That’s all great! However, there are a lot of things library school can’t teach you. People skills being one of them. No one can teach you how to be in the world, that’s something that we all develop as we move forward in life. Employers are looking for folks who have these skills.
06/02/2012 § 8 Comments
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
The literature fan in me can’t help but begin with William Carlos Williams’s well-known poem from his collection Spring and All (1923), if only with the flimsiest excuse of lifting the phrase “so much depends” for this post (and for the chickens—blog posts can always do with chickens).
As a second semester MLIS student, I have only been immersed in the LIS world’s discussions about half a year, but in that time, I have noticed that digital, computer-based technology is clearly at the forefront of concerns faced by librarians and libraries today. These conversations revolve around the costs and benefits of incorporating new technologies, with concepts like technostress and financial burdens on the one hand and concepts like efficiency, engaging with digital natives, and transforming information access on the other. In general, responses seem to gravitate towards the idea that so much depends on a variety of factors, including your institution’s finances, your community members’ level of comfort with new technologies, your members’ access to technologies inside and outside of the library, and what other industries are doing with those technologies.
So much depends. . . I would love to hear from all of you in the comments about the kinds of discussions that you have in your schools about library technology and about how the curriculum in your programs deals with training students for an increasingly technological library.
This post, however, is about engaging technology and librarianship without getting mired in the technophobia-technophilia dyad, and in particular, it is about the importance of exploring non-digital technologies—rather than just computer-based ones—as ways of building future libraries and reinvigorating the mission of librarianship. I’m pulling my thoughts for this post from a course paper I wrote last semester in which I argued for thinking of dogs as a kind of library technology, recalling that technologies are in a broader sense merely systematic knowledge of processes for the accomplishment of goals. The focus of that paper was the recent emergence of literacy programs for young children in schools and public libraries that employ dogs as reading companions.
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18/07/2011 § 1 Comment
Library Day in the Life, a project coordinated by Bobbi Newman (of Librarian by Day), is gearing up for Round 7!
Who: Librarians and informational professionals of all stripes
What: Share a day (or week) of their work
When: July 25th through July 31
Where: Blogs, photos, videos, Twitter
Why: Well, why not? This is an excellent opportunity to take a peek into the realities of librarianship. If you’re a library student unsure about a specialty, this is a great tool to explore some of the fields you are thinking about. Already know what you want to specialize in? See what a typical day in your profession will look like. Even better, this can connect you to someone who works in your field and is open to sharing and communicating about their experience. Taking a peek at the responsibilities of people outside of your specialization is also a great way to have a broader perspective on the information ecosystem (and contribute to Big Tent Librarianship/Library School!). For a library student’s take on Library Day in the Life, check out this post from editor Lauren Dodd.
How to participate: As one of my patrons likes to say, easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy! If you want to add your voice, just head on over here, and follow the directions to sign up and add your blog, Tumblr, or Twitter account to the roster. While you’re there, check out the archives of past Library Day in the Life events, and start exploring early. Follow along the day of by searching the tag librarydayinthelife, or on Twitter using #libday7. You can also see what’s going on here and here.
I’m excited by the range of librarians already signed up, and I’m going to be following closely an outreach librarian, which is one of the new public library careers I’m most interested in, and two public library directors. Now that I’ve got my foot in the library door, it’s time to plan for my long-term goal!
14/06/2011 § 15 Comments
*note – I’ve deliberately decided to use the word ‘text’ herein because I truly believe this project must be absorbed and interacted with across its dual formats, printed book and web/digital presence. Hows that for meta? Cultural Studies, represent!! Lacon, Barthes, dying authors, and all that jazz.
Let me be clear from the start – I have not (yet) read this text. It came across my radar back in early March, and I have been following developments surrounding the book, including the iPad app and companion website which are awesome, and thought it would be a useful and relevant read for library school students and librarians, thus my decision to write it up here now.
Doing research for this post, and thanks to a hot tip from Nicole, I discovered that Emma Montgomery, an LIS student at Syracuse, will be hosting a Twitter reading group to get through the Atlas in 6 weeks. I plan to join this reading group, and I hope those of you interested will also. It starts June 20th, and details can be found here. So, on to my unreview. « Read the rest of this entry »