ALA Student to Staff Program

24/06/2013 § 1 Comment

This weekend I’ll be travelling to Chicago and attending ALA Annual as part of the Student to Staff (S2S) program. S2S is an opportunity provided by ALA wherein individual student representatives from 40 of the ALA-accredited library schools are selected by their institutions and then sent to ALA Annual. S2S provides conference registration, hotel accommodations, and per diem for food and in exchange the student representatives work 4 hours a day (for a total of 16 hours over the conference) assisting an ALA sub-group. It’s a really great opportunity for students to go to ALA pretty cheaply, network within a library group, and participate in the largest library conference of the year!

You have to first apply at your school, through your student ALA chapter; then applications are forwarded to the ALA offices and the first 40 suitable candidates are chosen as participants. Here is a list of the 40 participants going this summer: S2S 2013.

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This is my first-ever library conference! Hopefully it won’t be too overwhelming… (Image source: ALA)

Here’s a brief look at parts of my schedule, to give you a taste of what ALA S2S entails:

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Informational Interviews for LIS Students

14/01/2013 § 4 Comments

Last week I found myself suddenly teary-eyed during a meeting with a librarian. No, I wasn’t sad or upset. The librarian’s obvious love for his work had just inspired and moved me so much that I couldn’t keep my eyes from filling.

I’m only a little bit embarrassed to admit that this wasn’t the first time I got a little misty about librarianship. There are few things I find more inspiring than talking to people who love what they do, and that goes for librarians especially. Accordingly, incorporating informational interviews into my supply of professional development tools was one the best things I did during my first semester in library school (shout out to Zack Frazier and his tips for the first semester). Talking to librarians about their career paths and current positions has given me opportunities to learn about specific library settings, the skills involved in certain positions, and the challenges and joys of librarianship as a profession. I have also expanded my professional network, gained confidence in my interviewing skills, and boosted my enthusiasm for the future.

via flickrCC

via flickrCC

The web has lots of resources about informational interviewing. This tutorial from Quintcareers.com and this article from About.com offer guidelines for preparation, active listening, and follow up. Instead of rehashing all of the information found on these and many other sites, I’d like to offer my thoughts on two aspects of informational interviewing that I see as most challenging: working up the courage to ask for an informational interview and figuring out how informational interviews can play a part in job hunting. « Read the rest of this entry »

Library School Resolutions

09/01/2013 § 6 Comments

Happy New Year, hackers!  I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing holiday break, and that you’re all refreshed and ready for a new semester.  With classes starting next week for me, I thought I would take some time to come up with a few resolutions to guide me through this next year of library school.  So without further ado, here they are:

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media

12/11/2012 § 16 Comments

I’d like to start my tenure here at Hack Library School with a dose of brutal honesty: I’m not a huge fan of people.

Ok, to be fair, it’s not that I don’t LIKE people.  It’s just that, as an introvert, I find them exhausting, and the prospect of seemingly endless conversations with strangers gives me serious anxiety.

As a grad student who would, one day, like to find a full-time, paying job, I realize the importance of networking.  I know that going to conferences and seeking out new connections in the library field is an excellent way to learn new things and perhaps even procure gainful employment.  I also know that I rarely have the desire to walk up to strangers, awkwardly introduce myself, and attempt to make library-related small talk.  So what’s a library student to do?

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Emerging Leaders and Professional Involvement

24/07/2012 § 4 Comments

Sign Up

“G536 Zoom in, Sign up” by Brad Smith via Flickr under CC license

Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Post by Anita R. Dryden

This past year I had the pleasure of participating in the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders program, which is designed to help new librarians get involved in ALA. Throughout the course of the program you attend leadership training, meet many of the current leaders in ALA, and are assigned to a small group to complete a project for a Division or Round Table. The EL program was a wonderful experience – I loved getting to know a group of really engaged, passionate young professionals while working on an exciting and beneficial project that helped me learn more about how the beast that is ALA works.

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