Tag Archives: librarianship

#ILAConf2012 Conference starts tomorrow!

I am looking forward to attending my first Illinois Library Association Conference!

Library 2.011 Conference starts next week!

Hello Everyone,

I will be presenting at the Library 2.011 conference, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at 10:00am (CT). My presentation is titled Virtual Reference and Instruction: What is it really like?,  and I will discuss how I interact with students via phone, chat, and email. Also, how I reach out to faculty in a completely virtual environment, where I have never met a single faculty member. I work in a fast paced environment, and would love to share it with you.

The conference is FREE, and will include presentations from all over the world.

Library 2.011 Schedule for Central Standard Time: http://www.library20.com/page/library-2-011-schedule-gmt-5

I hope to see you there!



Virtual Reference and Instruction: What is it really like?

I just posted my proposal for the Library 2.0 conference. I would like to discuss what it is like to be an online librarian. A lot of people talk about providing online reference at the reference desk, but our methods are completely different, and very dynamic. You to have a certain personality to provide reference services in the first place. Then, to be in a fast paced environment where reference is coming at you from every direction is a different story!

My favorite part of Day Two at the ALA Virtual Conference 2011

I really enjoyed Amy Deschenes’, a Library Technology Specialist at Simmons College Library, presentation titled Creating a Mobile Presence in the Library. The content was great, and her presenting style was engaging. She discussed creating a mobile website versus an app.

Some great advice she gave was:

  • You might want to create a Redirect if your website has a lot of metadata or large images because it will load slowly.

She discussed Frameworks &Tools you can use to create your mobile website or apps. To create a mobile website you might want to check out: iWebKit or winksite. For creating an app you might want to look at: appsamuck, android developers network, or PhoneGap. Once your site is up you can use iPhoney, iPhone simulator, and W3C  mobileOK checker to do testing.

Build vs. Buy

If you do not have the time you might want to consider boopsie for libraries or Library Anywhere.

All of the above information was new to me, and I thank Amy for such an informative presentation.

Day One: ALA Virtual Conference 2011

I attended Day One of the ALA Virtual Conference 2011. I have to eat quickly before a couple of meetings, but I wanted to share my notes from the presentations so far.

Virtual Conference Exclusive Keynote—Privacy in an Era of Social Media

Keynote speaker: dana boyd

  • Digital flaneurs-contributing by being present in the social networking framework
  • Young people make themselves very vulnerable by their use of social networking.
  • Privacy as a network act
  • Librarians should be advocates for young people, and helping them managing and navigating what privacy is. Teaching young people media literacy.
    • Google +, is 18+
    • Gmail is also 18+
    • Young people lied about their age to get Gmail accounts then go to sign up for Google+ and lost their email accounts.
    • Google+ limits privacy, people want to keep people out
    • Google created a complex way to segment it.
    • 13+ is violated as well. Parents allow their children to join these social networks. They help them get around these
    • Danah boyd contact info: @zephoria, danah@danah.org,http://www.danah.org

Download This!: How One Library Embraced Its Downloadable Future

Presented by Sandy Bolek, Website Coordinator and Holbrook Sample, Virtual Information Center Manager from at Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

  • Downloading from library up 33.4%
  • 177% ebook sales were up
  • E-book 3%-5% of total book sales

Library’s Challenges

  • Downloadable collection was small
  • Not Amazon easy
  • Staff had little experience using downloadable material
  • Long wait lists for e-books
  • Patrons could not figure out what devices they could use with the e-books

Chicago Public Library #6 in the list of most downloadable collections. Rock on Chicago!

With increased marketing more e-books were downloaded!

Competing with Search Engines II: Strategic Partnerships: Libraries and Journalists

  • New Information Equation-nobody’s in charge, everyone can find information
  • New Tools: digital media, smart phones
  • Collaboration=results, wider visibility, increased participation, broader perspectives, community interaction, information literacy
  • Rutgers has School of Communication and Information

Civic Engagement Blog: http://discuss.ala.org/civicengagement/

Beyond Books: http://journalismthatmatters.org/biblionews/


Via chat window:

I mentioned I get so many emails through RSS feeds, and this website tutorial was suggested:

A mini-course on infotention from Howard Rheingold, Journalist and tech guru




Natalie Binder: #libchat normally happens every Wednesday 8-9:30 p.m. EST

Via Chat:

Getting Started with Google Plus, http://www.chrisbrogan.com/startgoogleplus/

Seriously Social Leveraging Social Media


Presenter, Kolene Allen, Web Branch Manager, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library

  • Why do libraries need to be use social media?
  • If you are not using social media you are not in the library.Your patrons are tweeting and letting their friends know about your library.


Presenter, David Lee King

  • How often will you post?
  • Who on staff will post on your library’s Facebook page?
  • Make sure more than more person has the username and password. If they leave they will take this info with them.
  • Use the Like button
  • Check out Facebook analytics
  • Most Important!-Tell your patrons you have a Facebook page, and ask them to friend you
  • Ask them to tell their friends about you to grow that user group

Shared via chat window:

Springfield City Library Teens via @Meg Aust-Anastasi, Springfield, MA http://www.facebook.com/SpringfieldCityLibraryTeens

Question and Answer Session

  • Kolene Allen, Twitter followers seem to be more outspoken, and you can respond to those
  • @davidleeking, Facebook can increase library use, because they are interacting with the library online.


Pecha Kucha: Teens and Technology, YALSA-ALA11 #yalsapk

Presented by Karen Keys, Outreach Librarian, Queens Library

  • Pecha Kucha are 20 slides x 20 seconds, and you speak as the slides go. Slides move forward automatically.
  • It started in Japan, and was used by architects and designers who wanted to give brief presentations of ideas.
  • Pecha Kucha is Japanese for chit chat, sometimes called lightning chats.
  • Hopefully more entertaining than bullet points!

Presented by Wendy Stephens, Buckhorn High School, Madison County Schools

  • Parents watching and tracking teens
  • Teens hit with a lot info, and library is a system of information which can be a relief to students

Diversity Counts

My Response to ALA Annual 2011: Panel Calls on ALA To Do More To Promote Diversity: Diversity is a huge issue, and we may always need to address it. My personal experience with librarianship has been positive. My race or cultural differences have never stopped my colleagues from embracing me. It has never prevented my supervisors from mentoring, and supporting my library career. I went from an even less diverse field into librarianship. We have a lot of work to do, but we are much farther than other professions. Yes, give scholarships, but when I sat in the classroom last year I was often the only minority student. We need to recruit minorities. I think the issue is teaching minority youth that librarianship is an option. It is not just sitting at the reference desk at your local public library. We work in the corporate sector, federal government, colleges, and universities just to name a few. Some of us are entrepreneurs providing a variety of services. We speak to each other, librarian to librarian, but we need to reach farther. Talk to the minority youth around you and let them know how cool it is to be a librarian.

Librarian=Authority figure

Last week, a student came to me looking for an article in the New York Times. He needed to use the microfilm. I told him to look at the index and identify the reels he needed. Then, when he found the reels he should come back to me, and I will show him how to load the microfilm reader. Maybe 20 minutes or so went by, and I went to check on the student. He was gone!

Yesterday, he returned to the library. I asked him a series of questions. He said yes to everything I asked him. He was ready to use the reels. He picked the reel, and I helped him load the microfilm reader. I was having some technical problems so I enlisted some help from my kind colleagues. Turns out he never looked at the index, and used Wikipedia. I asked him if he used the index, and he said he did not know he needed to use it. It was amazing. A few people told me I was an “authority figure” and he did not want to tell me he needed help. This left me baffled. You come to a librarian for help. Why not tell me you did not do something or you do not understand? I work very hard at being approachable. He came back a few hours later looking for something else. I learned a little bit about him, and asked my questions differently. Image from: http://www.microfiche-microfilm-scanning.co.uk/microfiche-reader.html

iPad is not taking library jobs

Last Monday, I heard on the radio Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’ presentation on the house floor of how the iPad was eliminating paper related jobs. When he said, “…librarians and all the jobs associated with paper…Well, in not too distant future such jobs will not exist.” (“Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Says Apple’s iPad Kills American Jobs,” http://tinyurl.com/44uukrv) I said, “What!” People really have no idea what librarians do, and the skills associated with librarianship. A lot of us provide services completely online. We use databases, e-books, and other electronic resources to do research and reference. We change along with technology. If books were no longer available in print we would focus on making them available electronically. Something many librarians are already working on. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. probably just remembers the librarians that helped him when he was a college student.

Several of the skills we have can be applied to other industries and businesses. Librarians work in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The stereotypical librarian sitting at the reference and standing in the stacks re-shelving books does not apply to all of us. I love the diversity in librarianship, and the creative ways so many librarians use their skills. How do we let lawmakers and those outside the library world know what we do? This is a question we will continue to answer. Image from: http://librarianlistsandletters.blogspot.com/

Pink Cupcakes and Two jobs

I am going to make pink cupcakes for the book sale tomorrow. The chocolate cupcakes were a hit. Pink is more spring-like, and the shining sun has inspired me. If I am really motivated I might make a dozen blue cupcakes. Now, I just have to figure out if I am going to dye the cake, frosting, or both.

Today I visited my new job. I was planning to go to River Forest, and went the wrong ending up in Northbrook. You can tell I am from the city. Everything looked the same. I am glad I carry a road map in my car. It was cool. I got to drive around on a surprisingly warm and sunny day in Chicago. I saw Glenview Public Library for the first time. It was really nice.

I am planning to finish out my contract with my part-time job, and start working the full-time job soon. So, I will be working two jobs for a while. I know I am not the only librarian working two jobs. I wonder what percentages of librarians are working two jobs. I will have to look into it. Image from: shrinkingvioletpromotions.blogspot.com

For-profit schools creating opportunities for new librarians

I have applied for 65-70 jobs at academic, public, and special libraries.  I have applied to work at for-profit schools, too. Half of my job interviews have been with for-profit schools like Kaplan University.

It took me some time to warm up to the idea of applying to for-profit schools. They get so much bad press, and you never hear the success stories. I recently watched Frontline’s College, Inc., which does not depict a rosy picture. I personally do not know anyone who has attended a for-profit school. So, I am really relying on what I hear about these schools, and what turns up in my research. I read several comments and postings on blogs from students at for-profit colleges discussing their experiences. I decided the students were having the same experiences as students at public and private universities.

Tuition increases, struggling to pay for school, taking out$100,000 in student loans, struggling to find a job in their chosen field after graduation, and changes in curriculum and requirements in their field. I think higher education is too expensive all around whether you go to a for-profit, private, or public institution. Honestly, when I was a college student some of the people I went to school with were not prepared. They chose to go to a private institution, and did not know how to write a basic essay. Enrolling more students, and making more money is a goal for almost every institution of higher learning.

I think some student grievances with for-profit schools might be valid. For example, getting stuck with loans they did not want, or nursing students suing over lack of accreditation. There was a similar case at Virginia Western Community College. I saw a television special where nursing graduates from a for-profit school never stepped foot in a hospital. Of course, I do not know what was on their mind not questioning why they never went to a hospital as part as part of their training.

Despite all the bad press there are librarians out there that need jobs. You get to a point where you stop being choosy, and need to pay your bills. If you are really willing you can have an impact on students. This goes for all institutions of higher learning. I believe helping students find authoritative information, providing them with the skills to do ethical research, and teaching them to do research on their own is the most important part of my job. Image from: lakelandlocal.com