“Going Old School” Part 1: Taking a Cataloging and Classification Course

01/04/2014 § 10 Comments

Cataloging Post

B/W Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

We all hear it nowadays. The LIS profession is becoming more and more tech-centric, therefore, curricula and resources have become more devoted to the evolving digital information age. Courses are being offered in networking administration, web design, and digital libraries and even mobile application development. Library students are conquering digital technology and harnessing some amazing skills, like learning to code. They’re also having to consider whether to jump wholeheartedly on the digital band wagon or be left behind in the prehistoric age of card catalogs and dusty book jackets.

But wait! Hold steady for just a moment before taking the dive. Think twice before completely avoiding library courses that have been fundamental to the library profession.

In Part 1 of the series, “Going Old School”, we invite you to take a moment and weigh the benefits of signing up for one of two well-known library courses: Cataloging and Classification*. Part 2 of this series will discuss the considerations of signing up for an Indexing and Abstracting class (available later this month).

For some of us these courses are still mandatory, for others, they are electives in the LIS curriculum. If it’s not a requirement and you’re debating whether or not to invest the time and money to take this course, consider the following before overlooking that Cataloging and Classification class being offered next semester…

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Language of Compassion: Multilingualism in the Library

17/02/2014 § 6 Comments

HeartbyhandPhoto credit: Wikimedia Commons

The month of February is most recognized as the time we celebrate our love. It’s a time when we speak the “language” of love as a means to show our devotion to that special someone. But what happens when the language we speak to express ourselves is not the same language expressed by others? How do we communicate to one another simple tasks that feel impossible when language becomes a barrier? What can we do as library professionals, to make expressing ourselves, not necessarily in the language of love, but of compassion for those whom English is their second language?

Quite simply, a lot. Let me share with you, my story…

English is my second language. When I was six-years-old my parents divorced and my mother decided to move our family – myself and my two younger sisters – to Florida from Puerto Rico. She believed that learning English would ensure our success as adults and decided that our new home would provide us with more linguistic opportunities than  in our home town of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. I had begun my elementary schooling there, but would continue the remainder of my schooling in Central Florida. When I was a first grade student, I had a hard time comprehending English. I pronounced words such as “chair” and “chicken” with a “sh” sound, rather than a “ch” sound. And I could not understand why it matter that the way I spoke was incorrect to others. I struggled a lot and did poorly in my school work. I would eventually be sent to a school for foreign language speakers, and after three days of horrific experiences (I didn’t know where my class was or how to get lunch, I was yelled at by a peer and a teacher when I couldn’t understand instruction, and I was physically pulled and tugged at when I failed to understand directions).

After many nights of crying and pleading with my mom, I was “dis-enrolled” from that school and the next best option was to return to my elementary school and take ESOL classes. It proved to be very successful and my teacher was extremely patient with me and my peers. By the latter half of elementary school, I struggled less and my grades significantly improved. It was a tough part of my early childhood, but I learned first-hand what it was like to speak a language not commonly expressed by others while trying to integrate into a new environment. I also learned what it was like to be bullied, talked down to, thought less of, and isolated from others.

So can you imagine, for a moment, when someone who does not speak or understand spoken English very well, be it due to primarily speaking a foreign language or an impairment such as being deaf, what they must feel when they need to communicate with you?

Now can you imagine what it must be like if you could understand them, their feelings, as well as, their language?

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When Library School Hands You Lemons

22/11/2013 § 17 Comments

My library school experience has, I’m sad to say, handed me a bunch of lemons. There are the professors who aren’t as inspiring as I would prefer (sorry), the journal articles that look like they weren’t proofread, the classes that are scheduled at times that are inconvenient for everyone. Including the instructor.

And then there’s the fact that one of the classes I need for my specialization is offered only in the spring, and this spring it is offered at a time when I cannot take it for religious reasons (probably NSFW), which is the biggest lemon of all.

Meanwhile, I’m paying a not-insignificant amount for my education, so let’s talk about how to turn these lemons into lemonade. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program: What’s Not in a Ranking?

02/04/2013 § 32 Comments

With the recent publication of U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the “Best Library and Information Studies” programs, we at Hack Library School thought it might be a good time to revisit our Hack Your Program series.  While the U.S. News and World Report rankings are certainly prestigious, we found their methodology a little lacking in usefulness for those who are considering applying to LIS programs.  Incoming students, if we’re honest, aren’t all that interested in what programs think of each other.  They’d like to know what programs do well, and what they don’t do so well.  And that’s where we come in.

Our aim with this post is to start a conversation. Each of us is going to provide (in 140 characters or less, naturally) one thing that we feel our program does well, and one where we think it comes up a bit short. These are just our opinions, based on our experiences, so your mileage may vary.  Then we want to hear from you! If you’ve got questions, or want to add your experience, feel free to fire away in the comments.

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Information and I

05/12/2012 § 14 Comments

“Can I still write for Hack Library School if I am not technically pursuing a degree in LIS anymore?”

I recently posed this question to our crack team of HLS editors. I am not quitting pursuing a Masters… just not an MLIS. An addition in degree offerings in the College of Communication and Information Studies at FSU allowed us to opt to transfer into a new Masters of Information Technology program instead of Masters of Library and Information Studies.

The MLIS versus the MSIT question is a quandary that I didn’t expect to face, yet it is demonstrative of the shift and broadening occurring in the Information Profession. There is so much crossover and combinations under Information. HLS reflects that as well. We have had a plethora of digital-, IT- and IS-based articles of late. One that particularly struck me was Nicole’s piece on CS/MLIS Interaction. Would I truly be of those computer-ish people? Are we — and the degrees we potentially earn — really that different?

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