Perceptions of a Very Small Public

22/10/2012 § 15 Comments

I am a librarian who serves a population of 24. Perhaps the count is 32 if one includes faculty and staff of Florida State University International Programs Study Center in Florence, Italy. The library, as the previous Student Supervising Librarian noted last year, is almost as antiquated as the 15th century building that holds it. Nothing gives me more pleasure than unlocking wood medallioned doors with skeleton keys and opening thick shutters to let the sun shine onto parquet floors and the shelves of a 7,000 volume collection.

Library Doors

After Topher’s excellent post on librarian perception I have been thinking more and more of the perception of the library here. The history, with all of it’s frescoed charm, is not enough to protect the library from running into a 21st century identity crisis. I think it is a problem that many libraries, even the most modern of structures and collections, that serve populations thousands of times our size, are also facing:

What is our point and purpose in this digital age?

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You’re Invited to #libchat

15/03/2011 § 19 Comments

This guest post comes to us from Natalie Binder. It was originally posted on her blog, The Binder Blog. Natalie is a master’s degree student at Florida State University’s School of Information and Communication (FSU-SLIS), with concentrations in technology and special collections. She currently works at a public library as a cataloger and IT specialist.

Joining a Twitter chat is a great way to actively engage with what’s happening right now in the field, and gain some valuable information and connections. We encourage anyone who can to join us for the inaugural #libchat this week!

If you’re a librarian or bookseller, library paraprofessional or student, you’ve probably experienced the rush of energy & productivity that accompanies a trip to a conference or trade show.  Networking! Blog posts! New projects!  How do you find and maintain that energy at home? You join a Twitter chat, of course! Starting Wednesday, March 16, from 8-9:30 EST, and continuing every Wednesday, #libchat will host a meeting of the minds on books, libraries and technology. Think of it as a library conference at your desk.

How #libchat works

Libchat is modeled on other great Twitter chats like #journchat and #pr20chat.  If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before, here’s how it works:

Before and during the chat, tweet questions (without the hashtag) to me @nataliebinder. I’ll tweet them on the #libchat hashtag, something like this:

nataliebinder: Q1  Does your library lend ebooks?  Why or why not? #libchat

To participate, just reply with the question number, your response, and the tag “#libchat.”  For example:

you:  Q1. We love ebooks! #libchat

Services like TwitterfallTweetGrid, or TweetChat can make it easier to follow a chat.  Try some different models to see what works best for you.

Who should come to #libchat

Librarians, library and information students, booksellers, vendors, book critics and everyone who loves libraries and books. Twitter chats are a great way to meet new people and score some new followers & friends. 

Potential #libchat topics

  • Digital rights management.
  • Libraries and the digital divide.
  • Advocacy and budget negotiations.
  • Library school.
  • Employment and the MLIS job market.

These are just some of the issues we could explore in our first #libchat.  If there’s anything you want to ask your friends and colleagues, comment on this blog post or tweet them to @nataliebinder, and I will add them to the list of #libchat questions. At the end of the session, you can also tweet your library-related resources, products and blog posts on the hashtags #libchat and #libpitch. Hope to see you there!

The Road to ALA ’11: Our Experiences Thus Far

26/01/2011 § 9 Comments

Typical conference experience - Photo from ALA on Flickr - click for Original

In preparation for ALA 2011 in New Orleans, we wanted to share some experiences we’ve had at previous conferences.  The whole professional development factor is an important one to be involved in early in one’s career, and we all believe that should start in school. To that end, we have compiled some short thoughts below, with links to previous posts discussing our adventures at conferences. Our range of experiences from a national conference, to regional, to sub-fields give a great overview for what one might expect. This will be an on-going post series leading up to ALA Annual, so if you’ve blogged, or plan on blogging, about a conference, let us know. We want to hear your story.

Have you attended a conference yet? What is most exciting or scary about them?

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