Posted in ALA, resources

ALA Student Membership

Need to join ALA and OLA? If you’re a student and involved with SCALA, you should really join ALA, especially while you can get a student discount.

Go here for the joint membership form!

Posted in events, presentations, resources

OK, I Went to Library School: Now What?

SCALA would like to thank Allie Flanary for braving the farmer’s market and making it out to PSU on Saturday to give an informal talk. Those that attended were treated to some great down-to-earth insights into the process of establishing a fledgling library career.

Because we convened outside, Allie was unable to make use of the slides she created. So for those who were unable attend, or if you want a refresher, here’s her presentation:

Posted in blogging about LIS, resources

Ten Practical Tips for New Library Students

(Many thanks to Monique Lloyd for contributing the following article. The SLIM-OR SCALA Blog welcomes submissions relevant to library and information science. If you would like to submit an article, please attach it to an e-mail and send it to: VintageRedhead22[at]gmail[dot]com. We look forward to your contributions! –Laureen Burger, Web Manager)

by Monique Lloyd (OR-7)

If you really want something, and really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities and never give up, you will find a way. ~ Jane Goodall

Here is a list of ten tips I’d like to have had when I began library school.I hope you find some of them useful.Please feel free to add others by using the comment function.

1. Be generous and gracious.

I never lost anything by giving things away. ~ Anonymous

  • If you come across an article on a topic one of your classmates is interested in, email the citation.Do the same with information about scholarships, opportunities for publication or positions in professional organizations, informative blogs, wikis, or book reviews.
  • If you discover a classmate has landed a great job, been given a promotion, awarded a scholarship, or had a paper published, send a congratulatory email.
  • Send handwritten thank you notes from the heart to those who have, in big or small ways, inspired you, encouraged you, and advised you.

2. Network.

The way of the world is meeting people through other people. ~Robert Kerrigan

  • Get business cards printed now with your basic contact information. Keep a half-dozen behind your nametag when you go to a conference and you won’t have to fumble around to find them.
  • Go to as many conferences as you have time and money to attend. Wear something distinctive like a pin, scarf, or tie every day you are there; it will help people remember you.
  • Volunteer.Join roundtables and sections and be an active member.
  • Be bold. Stand up and ask a question or make a comment at a session.
  • Be brave. Go up to someone you admire, offer a brief introduction, compliment or comment on their speech, article, or book, and ask to exchange business cards.

3. Do what works for you.

Know thyself. ~ Socrates

  • Some thrive on stress and others need order and calm.Some like to carefully chunk out small pieces of time to do their assignments while others like to do the research early and then give themselves plenty of time to think before sitting down to write.Some like to work on multiple projects at the same time while others like to concentrate on each individually.Figure out what works for you and then do it.
  • Examine your writing, presentation, and technological skills critically. Highlight your strong areas while working on your weak ones.

4. Life intervenes.

The essence of wise living is anticipating the unanticipated and expecting the unexpected.~Kevin A. Woolsey

  • No matter how well we plan, life happens; someone we love dies, we lose our jobs, we become ill or injured. Sometimes life throws something at us and all we can do is catch it, deal with it, and move on.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Be flexible and adaptable, remain aware of what might go wrong, and try to have backup plans in place.

5. Don’t tell. Show.

What you will do matters.All you need is to do it.~ Judy Grahn

  • Actions count.Go above and beyond what is required or expected.
  • Translate what you know how to do to actual projects.

6. Be professional.

Always dress for your next job.~ Karen Diller

  • The library world is a small one and your reputation is important.Future employers will very likely Google your name to see what they can find out about you. Be careful what you reveal on social networking sites.
  • Be aware of and conform to professional ethical standards. Do your work skillfully and well. Always represent your employer, your fellow workers, and yourself with dignity and respect.

7. Find a mentor.

Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight. ~ Anonymous

  • Take advantage of one of the mentoring programs offered by various professional organizations.
  • A mentor can advise and guide you by doing such things as reviewing resumes and cover letters, and providing advice on interviewing, salary expectations, and how to balance work and home.
  • When you are in a position to do so, give back by becoming a mentor to someone else.

8. Take care of yourself.

When your mother asks “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.~ Erma Bombeck

  • Remember all those things your mother told you about eating healthy foods on a regular schedule, exercising, washing your hands often, and getting enough rest?  Well, she was right.  And don’t forget
    to get a flu shot.
  • Don’t neglect your emotional and spiritual health.

9. Set aside time to think and reflect.

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. ~ Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)

  • Thinking and reflecting provides an opportunity to integrate new ideas, commonalties, differences, and interrelations.It can include analyzing assumptions, becoming aware of contextual assumptions by realizing our assumptions are created socially and personally in a specific cultural context, imagining alternative ways of thinking, and questioning universal truth claims using reflective skepticism.
  • Consider keeping a weekly personal journal to capture and further examine your reflections.

10. Be aware of available resources and use them.

There are plenty of opportunities out there.You can’t sit back and wait.~ Ellen Metcalf

  • Begin examining resumes of those who have positions similar to one you hope to obtain and note what skills and experiences they have.Look also at job descriptions for positions you hope to apply for when you have earned your degree and note what skills, experience, and attributesemployers are seeking.Make a list and start working towards them.
  • Pay close attention to the techniques used by presenters you enjoy and strive to emulate them. The most compelling presenters have clearly defined goals, demonstrate mastery of content, proceed seamlessly from point to point, recognize various learning styles, and are original and creative. The very best presenters use humor, tell stories to illustrate points, and are passionate about their topic.
Posted in resources, volunteer opportunities

Volunteer report

Recently, Erica Findley shared some ideas on how to get library experience when you have never worked in a library. I, too was worried about how I would get a library job without any library background.

I am here to tell you that volunteering is a great way to get seasoned in the library world! Since the beginning of this year I have been helping the Jackson Middle School library in SW Portland transition to a new cataloging system. My job is to find and import bibliographic records for books that don’t have one.

So how has working at the Jackson library helped me to be a better prospective librarian?

-Actually doing cataloging hands-one made my cataloging class (LI814, Organizing Information) a lot more immediate and understandable

-You get to make valuable professional contacts

-It’s a great way to help people! Jackson’s library does not have the funding to pay someone to do the
detailed work that I do

-It can broaden your professional portfolio

There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities out there! It’s really worth it to find one that
fits you.

By Gordon Turner,  SLIM-OR SCALA Vice-President

Posted in resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

The Future of Web 2.0

The third and last installment of this series by Michael Baird (OR-7).

Web 2.0 has been around for longer than most of us think. It has been labeled and made popular over the fast few years, but it’s nothing new. Blogs and online journals and ezines have been around for quite awhile. I think the basic guts of Web 2.0 are content that is shared and social. This happened back in the days of BBS (bulletin board service) via good ol’ dial-up modem at whopping 2400 baud.

I see the huge surge of web 2.0 technologies (see The Complete Web 2.0 Directory ) dying out and consolidating. Everyone and their mother have a widget or social networking site. It’s just too much. A lot of these are going to quickly die out when the advertising that funds them is withdrawn. I see a lot of mergers or go-betweens for the larger companies. As an example: MySpace and Facebook. Why can’t they play nice together? It’d be so handy to do all of the same things in one place and not have 80 different and overlapping friend sets online. Standards are being developed to facilitate this very thing.

Services will need to become more transparent and intuitive. What does this mean? I want my Facebook and MySpace photos to be derived from my Flickr account. Why should I have to maintain 3 sets of the same photos?

Keeping up

Subscribe to these blogs, skim through them and read what interests you. Do it every day.

Infodoodads (I contribute to this blog)

Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology



43 folders (not necessarily very web 2.0, but it will improve your life, I guarantee it)

Posted in resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

My Favorite Web 2.0 Tools

This week Michael Baird (OR-7), talks about a few of his favorite web 2.0 tools. Please feel free to post your favorites in the comments!


Use Flickr to store and share digital photographs. I have a few thousand on my personal Flickr account. Whenever I’m watching a movie or TV I’ll log in and tag/title photos. Some people knit, I tag. Organize your photos into sets, collections. Join groups with folks that have similar interests, have discussions about those interests. Set privacy settings on your photos so your friends can see your crazy party pictures but your mom can only see those that are public or tagged for family.


This is an online productivity suite. For those of you who may have delved into Google Docs & Spreadsheets you won’t be straying too far from home but instead get a massive remodel. Zoho includes a word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, conferencing, a notetaker, database creation, and a few more fun things I can’t remember at the moment. The notetaker is pure gold. It’s like Microsoft OneNote, but web-based. Feature packed with more options than Google and just as collaborative. I’ve used this for my last several presentations.


This might be a little basic for some of you, but I think it’s just important enough to cover anyway. A lot of sites out there have the little orange buttons to subscribe to their RSS feed. If you like the site and want to keep up with it, but not navigate to it every day to check if something new has happened, you’ll want to subscribe to their feed. Bloglines is what we call a feed aggregator. It keeps track of your RSS feeds and shows you which ones have new content available for viewing. There are a ton of these aggregators out there, some are programs you install on your computer, others are web-based like Bloglines. Instead of navigating to 60 different websites each day, I just open up Bloglines and take 20 minutes to get updated in all of the things I care about. It’s that easy.

Posted in conferences, resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

Part 1: Web 2.0 Tools/ Web 2.0 for Libraries and Librarians

This is the first part of a three-part series on Web 2.0 tools written by Michael Baird, (OR-7), Evening Reference Coordinator at the Oregon State University Valley Library. Michael is one of five librarians who post on Infododads, a blog which “reviews and discusses existing and new tools, services, and technology for finding information on the internet.” He will be the lead presenter discussing “Information Discovery for Librarians – Keeping Up with Web 2.0” at the Online Northwest 2008 Conference on February 22nd.

Two great introductions to Web 2.0 are a youtube entitled The Machine is Us/ing Us and this article by Tim O’Reilly entitled “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software”.

Subject Research Guides / Website Guides –

Use the linkroll feature for lists of links maintained in subject research guides or website guides. You don’t have to edit the webpage to change/edit/add links, just edit that group of links in your account. Look in the Other Suggested Resources section in the the Chelmsford Public Library for an example.

For a (relatively) small investment, Libguides is an amazing service that offers branded custom “widgets” that may be used as subject guides or portals for users. These widgets can pull in all sorts of information: RSS feeds, embedded video or podcasts, tag clouds and a lot more. Some even have live chat widgets (Meebo, Chatango, etc.) embedded. Here’s an example from Boston College University Library.

The Catalog –

What if you could rate items in the catalog? Comment on them? Leave recommendations for other users? Not possible? Sure it is. Check out this link for “A thread of grace” by Mary Doria Russell at Hennepin County Library. Note that the book has comments as well as tabs for summary, reviews, and excerpt.

Hennepin is also a great example of another web 2.0 technology in library catalogs. Is there a search you repeat on a regular basis? Do you have a favorite author? Add an RSS feed for your search and be notified when new items for that search are added to the catalog. Here is the RSS code for a keyword search on Miles Davis. Just copy and paste it into your feed aggregator (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.).

Announcements –

Instead of updating text on your library homepage for each new event, service, or news update, use a blog. Again, this really opens the arena for any user to have the skills to create and publish the content. Aside from the initial setup, web skills are not necessary. Here is an example from Western Oregon University Library using a blog to feed news items to their home page. This library has two blogs feeding to their homepage: one for featured databases and one for announcements. The way these display is completely customizable so they “fit” the look and feel of the existing page and blend in.

Next week Michael writes about his favorite Web 2.0 tools.