Opportunity: Collaboration with Colleagues – Drexel iSchool blog

17/05/2011 § Leave a comment

Lindsay Cummings – @lindsaysc shared this with us last week. Add it to your to-read list. There really is nothing better than collaboration with your colleagues – and this is a great example of it. -Heidi

I wanted to let you and the rest of the HLS team know about a blog run by Drexel iSchool’s Student Chapter of ALA (SCALA).  As a previous officer, I started this blog and the new officers have taken off running with new ideas for it.  We have started a new guest blogging series that will features posts from new librarians and current students on a range of topics about starting out in the library field.  Here’s our first guest blogger post by Kiyomi Deards.

Drexel SCALA’s on Twitter, too – @DrexelSCALA And if you’d like a (still) growing list of other ALA Student organization twitter accounts – here’s a list I started making. Let me know if your school isn’t up there yet! If you have the opportunity to collaborate with others, it’s worth the effort!

LIS Education, Advocacy, and the Future of Librarianship

15/04/2011 § 13 Comments

Note: I posted this a bit ago on my blog, but since it has a lot to do with how we approach LIS education as students and new professionals, I wanted to post it here too!

A lot of discussion has been circulating about the future of librarianship in response to comments made by Jeffrey Trzeciak (of McMaster University) indicating that he wouldn’t hire any more librarians, preferring instead to give certain positions to people in IT or with PhDs. I agree that in many instances you might want to consider candidates from a variety of backgrounds, but to discount librarians (especially coming from the University Librarian himself!) is an indication of how deeply our field is misunderstood. I first read about it through Jenica Rogers’ post, which I think provides a great intro to the subject and some awesome perspective on why we need advocacy as professionals (not just as a profession or as institutions.) My fellow Hack Library School editors, along with Courtney Walters and a few others, began discussing the topic via Twitter (I was at work, so didn’t get to jump in until after the fact!) If you’re interested in seeing the discussion, look for #savelibrarians. In addition, some blog posts have started going up to discuss our future as professionals–a great post in particular is Courtney Walter’s discussion of our identity crisis as librarians/info pros.

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[Series] LIS Blogs to Follow

06/04/2011 § 13 Comments

Editor’s note: This is not your ‘typical’ LIS Blogs to Follow post – this is a list of non-LIS blogs to keep your eye on from Ben Lainhart and the HackLibSchool editing team. -Heidi

Ben Lainhart is graduating this June from Drexel with his MLIS with a concentration in digital libraries. His main areas of interest are in social media and digital libraries in developing countries (more here). He writes here and is on Twitter and Facebook.

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[Series] LIS Blogs to Follow

13/02/2011 § 4 Comments

Here’s our first list of Recommended Reads. We’ve got a combination of Library-related blogs and current LIS student bloggers. If you have another lib-blog you can’t live without or if you’re keeping a blog about school, let us know! This’ll be updated frequently, so check LIS Blogs to Follow! « Read the rest of this entry »

Diversity in LIS Education

10/02/2011 § 4 Comments

This is a post I originally posted on my blog after being inspired by Micah’s post on diversity in LIS. I agree with Micah that the best way to start promoting diversity is to start talking, and I’ve already had some really great comments in response to this post. I’d love to hear what you have to say too!

A couple things have happened lately that have caused me to spend some serious time contemplating diversity issues in LIS. The first was a post made on a professional listserv I follow. One individual shared a letter she had written to Iowa legislators about a number of issues, including library funding. She mentioned that the letter included other issues, but that she shared it on the list for those who were struggling to find words when talking to elected officials about libraries. For those of you who aren’t from Iowa, you may or may not know that a lot of people here are very divided at the moment over the issue of gay marriage, and the fact that this woman’s letter included mention of her support for gay marriage was upsetting to some other list members.
One member’s response was basically, “if she wants to go against what THE BIBLE says, that’s her right, but keep libraries out of it.” I tend to stay away from angry listserv discussions (people get riled up about everything from tuna fish to book boards on the lists I follow, and most of the time I just sigh and delete the thread), but this instance was one where I felt compelled to respond and say that the list included non-Christian individuals, and that not only did that response make them uncomfortable, it took time and attention away from the library issues the list was created to discuss. I did not mention my stance on gay marriage in the hopes that I could diffuse things rather than add my own anger to the discussion (but, for the record, I’m an ardent supporter!) I also wanted to avoid belittling the author’s views, because she has most likely formed them with as much care as I have formed my own.
This angry response, and a number of others on both sides, gave me a chance to reflect on what was happening. Are these discussions we should be having on professional listservs? I think the answer can be yes, but the trick is how we approach it. As librarians and info pros, we are in charge of providing information to people and (I hope) focusing more heavily on what their needs are than what about them we don’t like. I suspect most of us do this very well, and so the list might be a place we can talk about how to provide services to diverse groups or, maybe, even to discuss our own views or how we react when confronted with a patron we find challenging. My request is that we refrain from the anger and divisiveness I saw in some of those responses and focus instead on the issues and on discussion rather than on tearing each other down. About a week later, Micah Vandegrift published this awesome diversity post on the Hack Library School blog, and it made me think that maybe now would be a good time to share some of the thoughts I’ve had on diversity since I’ve been in LIS.
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