Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best Reference 2009

Just dropping in to post this link on the Best Reference Sites of 2009.

Best Reference of 2009

Ethics in the Information Age: An Ongoing Topic

My ComputerImage by aLii_ via Flickr

Hello again and I know it's been a long time since my last post but I was on break here at the library but now I am back and ready to go.

While I was off, I caught wind of something that got me thinking about Ethics and Information. We now live in a world where information is at our fingertips, ready and accessible in a flash. Works well for someone like me in the Information Science business (yes, my degree even says 'Information Science' on it) as we can find the answers, or at least where to find the answers, to all sorts of questions that our patrons are looking for.

The problem that routinely arises is that the quick and ease of the spread of information can also lead the rapid spread of disinformation. What got me thinking of this was Glenn Beck 1990 and if you don't know what that is, Google it.

What are the ethical boundaries in this new information age? Who sets those boundaries? Who teaches our young about ethics and what is and isn't ethical in the rapid world of informational transmission that we now find ourselves?

TV, radio, the interwebs, we have it all at our disposal. Do we use it the right way or do we let it lead us down a dark road (and who determines 'the right way' anyway). I don't have the answer just yet but I'm working on it. But hey, what did you expect, I am just a rookie librarian.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book/Movie Reviews

9.16.09 - Day 258Image by katieharbath via Flickr

One of the things that I planned for the blog is the occasional book/movie review. Now, I've been busy the last two weeks with this inter-filing/shifting thing so not only haven't I written any new posts, but I also haven't gone to the movies either. Now as many of you know, September is one of the black hole months for movie releases, the other is January. I say this because those are the two months, right after big movie seasons, the summer and holiday seasons, where movie studios dump their garbage flicks. The end result is there aren't too many movies worth seeing during those months. Once the good movies start being released again, be sure that I will post some movie reviews.

The other type of review that I'll post are book reviews. I'll start off with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown that was just released this past Tuesday. For those that don't know, this is the third book featuring the character of Dr. Robert Langdon of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code fame. Yeah I know it's pulp literature, food for the masses, blahblahblah and all that jazz but I enjoyed the first two books for what they were so we'll see where this takes us.

A little word though on how I read books. I tend to read rather slowly and being a huge film fan, I play scenes out in my mind, as I am reading, cinematically (if that is a real word) full of cheesy pauses in dialogue and the like. So truth be told, who knows when I'll get the book done. Plus I read like four books at a time and pick what book to read depending on my mood. Right now I have, along with The Lost Symbol, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Thunder & Ashes by R.A. Zecht on my plate though I think I'll finish off Blink then focus on The Lost Symbol since I've teased the review enough.

Oh, and maybe a movie review in the meantime.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inter-filing Reference

Libraries almost invariably contain long aisle...Image via Wikipedia

Hello there and how ya be? Hope you had a good holiday weekend and that's the reason for lack of posting for the last week.

What I'd like to opine about today is inter-filing reference with the circulating collection. We've been mulling this about for some time and have asked around and read a bunch of articles about it. As a matter of fact, Library Journal had an article about it not too long ago.

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6669020.html?industryid=47123

Since that article pretty much sums it all up, I just wanted to touch on (and vent) about my experiences while inter-filing.

Be ready for dust!
Ok, this probably shouldn't be the first thing on the list but it is for me as I am in the middle of shifting now and the dust is unbearable. Just a heads up for you all out there. Fine. I got it out of my system.

Weeding
One of the great things about inter-filing is the weeding you get to do. Now, you can weed before, like we did, or you can weed as you go, as I have heard other people do. We weeded ahead of time so we can get an idea of shelf space and what we had and what we would need. Which leads me to my next point.....

Space
Another great thing about inter-filing is it lets you take a long term look at what you want your library to be/look like. Since you are inter-filing and shifting, you can make some decisions on how much space you want on each shelf, do you want to leave shelves empty to add material as the years go on or if you want to change the look/feel of the collection from an aesthetic point of view.

So those are my major thoughts on inter-filing as I am in the process of doing the deed. When this is all done, I envision the major perk of inter-filing will be the collection being all in one place as opposed to looking in two places to find materials for the students. We addressed the idea that the students will try to borrow non-circulating reference books by adding red labels to the reference books and putting stickers on them that say 'For in Library use only', though I am sure you thought of something like that already.

So, wish me luck. It's back to the dusty shelves for me....cough....cough.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Academic Library Job Hunting

Business MeetingsImage by thinkpanama via Flickr

Been ruminating on this topic for a while as I am on the search committee for new librarian hires. Interesting thing here is that I actually like being on the committee and that is not a suck up line in case my superiors find this blog sometime in the near future. Originally I was picked to be on the committee then I volunteered and now, I think, it's just assumed that I would volunteer. No matter to me, like I said before, I dig it.

Now, first things first, I work in an academic library so our interviews have an instructional component to them. So let's go over some do's and don'ts shall we?

1. This really goes for any job interview but, be on time. You'd be surprised at how many people, all with at least one Masters degree too, show up late. Late getting to the interview is a quick way to make sure you don't get the job. If there are extenuating circumstances like a car accident or something, at least call.

2. Another general one but, be prepared. Don't show up and wing it. Do some research about the institution and the position you are applying for and if your answers seem canned, so be it, it at least shows preparation (and not H).

3. Make eye contact, especially when doing a demo lesson. We had this one applicant who knew his stuff but he never looked at anyone. It was rather distracting as it was as if he was making a point not to make eye contact. The end result was that his presentation was not engaging and it would be easy to see how college students would take away little from his presentation.

4. Know what it expected of you. If you are asked to do a demo, ask if they want it on a particular topic or in a particular format. If you are interviewing at a place that uses a certain piece of software or technology, ask them if they do so you can prepare something that is right up their ally. For instance, if school likes to use PowerPoint, then prepare something in PowerPoint. The only way you will find out is to ask. Don't put yourself in a position where you seem a bit underwhelming on your demo because you use something that they don't use or fins outdated.

5. Last one as I will limit this to only five, be engaging. I suppose this can go for any interview but especially one in which you deal with people on a regular basis and one where you have a teaching component to it. Show your personality, win us over, smile and be yourself. I've seen way to many people who come in and are like robots, too afraid to do something or say something that would knock them out of contention for the job and come off like stiffs. Remember, if you are interviewing for a reference job (and I'll get to this later) then you are essentially interviewing for a customer service job. Show that you can be that customer service guru and sell us on you as you would sell a student on a particular source.

Now, disclaimer time. This really applies for people looking for a reference/instruction position. For instance, if you are a cataloger and interview for that type of academic job then you can skip the last three.

Well that's just my 2 cents on the matter but what do I know, I'm just a rookie librarian.
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