InfoCamp PDX 2012

InfoCamp PDX 2012 went off without a hitch and I found it quite enjoyable. The areas outside of library science that librarians can wander into are indeed interesting! Jason Sack gave the keynote on User Experience Design and was followed by others including sessions on taxonomy, media literacy, “wow” experiences in UX and many more. I’m already looking forward to next year!

Making a plan: Life and Library School

There has been a stunning lack of originality at the SCALA blog lately, so here is my two cents.

My theory on making plans goes something like this; fate laugh’s at plans, have a good idea where you want to go see what happens. I’ve seen it in myself many times; during undergrad I knew I was going to be a music history professor. After that I knew I was going to work in information technology. What am I doing now? Combining some of the things I love with the best people I’ve ever met.

Applying for library school was a very organic process for me. I knew I wanted some direction and a position that was as exciting as it was interesting. Something that would not be boring or esoteric like information technology. I looked for answers from the internet, mentors and others with no luck. I tired changing my life by rejecting the many of the answers society has given us in pursuit of happiness.  My wife mentioned library science one day. The idea sat for a time. We where six months out from moving to where ever her graduate school would be and we already had a lot on our minds. The topic came back up after a few light searches on the internet; this would be right up my alley. Something I could do that covered many of my base skills, benefited the world around me and could quite possibly lead to my happiness. And one was in Eugene’s backyard.

Somewhere, Carol Kuthlthau is smiling.

So far so good. I feel highly dedicated to completing this degree already and confident it will be useful for my life (DOC). With this in mind I have a few ideas to further my education and yours. My thoughts say that if we can make it though the first semester, we can finish this degree. Why not finish this degree with a head start? For fear of planning here are a few ideas on what you can do now.

Setup your online accounts for professionalism and remove embarrassing materials.

Learn how to interview here and here.

I’d like to setup a blog and study one aspect of information science in detail and use it as spring board to publishing. What are your thoughts?

Getting Involved

First off, a warm welcome to the new SCALA board, a solid team of OR-11 and 12 students ready to serve the SLIM-OR students. There was an amazing turn out of new faces to the elections, most likely curious to learn the raison d’etre of the organization, but definitely showing an interest in getting involved with the student chapter.

As my time as a SCALA board member comes to a close and my career as an information specialist begins, I cannot help but reflect on the importance of getting involved with professional associations as a graduate student. I was drawn to SCALA as a means to meet other students. I quickly learned that it was much more; an opportunity to network with librarians in the community, to explore the different types of libraries, and to provide learning opportunities for my peers. I enjoyed being part of SCALA, both as the event coordinator and president, as I gained new skills in communication, collaboration and leadership.

As a graduate student, I explored other local organizations. I went to the events hosted by the Portland Area Archivists and the Oregon Chapter of Special Library Association. Because of my involvement in these groups, I was able to make connections with the professionals in the field. Ultimately, I was hired for internships and jobs by the people I meet at these meetings. Getting involved was important for me, as it demonstrated my passion for the profession and allowed me to network with my future colleagues.

SCALA represents just one of many opportunities for SLIM-OR students to get involved. There are a myriad of professional library and archives associations in the Pacific Northwest that welcome student members (often at a discounted rate). In addition, there are conferences and other events that invite student volunteers. I recommend that students take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the profession, meet people working in their field, and possibly build new skills. Below is a list of some of the organizations and events that are located in the Pacific Northwest.

Library Associations


Oregon Library Association

Oregon Chapter of the Special Library Association

Washington Library Association

Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Special Library Association

Downtown Librarians (a Portland group, emails sent via Libs-OR listserv)

Archives and Records Management Groups

Portland Area Archivists (operating through Google Groups)

Seattle Area Archivists

Northwest Archivists

Oregon Chapter of ARMA


Northwest Conferences and Events


InfoCamp Seattle

Northwest Archivists/Oregon Heritage Conference


Archives Crawl

Code4Lib Northwest

Interlibrary Lush (Facebook page)

Wordstock

Plus, there are many more local events and national conferences that happen in the Pacific Northwest area. Join listservs and local association chapters like Libs-OR to receive general announcements about these events.

Feel free to contact me with questions about getting involved with local associations: mjkeyser@gmail.

Signing off as SCALA President and wishing an amazing year to the new board!

Jennifer Keyser

A Beginner’s Guide to Library School

This past weekend the OR-12 cohort had orientation. As OR-10 moves from library school and fully into the world of information professionals, it’s time to let the new kids take over, but not without some parting gifts. Those gifts: lots of links and information to help you out as your journey begins!

Congratulations! You’re in library school. And if you’re with Emporia’s School of Library and Information Management (SLIM), you are very lucky indeed.  It can be very overwhelming after orientation. There’s a lot of information (appropriate as Information Overload Day is in August) and two years can seem like a long time. First things first: it’s okay to be overwhelmed. There’s a lot coming at you all at once. Recognize it for what it is and then start to parse things out. Once you get into a rhythm, it becomes much easier.

Now some tips and tricks.

DO:

  • Get a Twitter account. Right now. And follow us @SCALAoregon. There’s a ton of information out there and Twitter is an amazing way to get a lot of information in small and easy to digest pieces. Are you stuck looking for a topic for a paper on reference? Tweet to your followers and get some feedback. Find out about events and goings-ons in your neck of the woods or follow live tweets from conferences and events you couldn’t get to.
  • Start a blog (like Turner). Or at least start following a lot of blogs. Share your ideas with the world, get involved in the comments, and connect with your community. I follow the Public Library Association (PLA), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) blogs because I am interested in public youth librarianship. Where are your interests? Find the association relevant to that and start following their blog. Other great blogs to follow include:
  • Be like Jim Carrey in the middle of this movie. Say yes to every opportunity even it seems like you maybe don’t know how to do it (thanks to Rachel Bridgewater for this advice). Go to that conference. Speak up in class. Present that paper. You can do so much more than you know and even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, there are learning opportunities at every turn. This is how you start to network.
  • Listen to your adviser (especially if it’s Perri). She knows the system, knows how to help you, and can get you to the end. In fact, she is what will get you to the end and you’ll feel a sense of pride on graduation day when she calls your name.
  • Get a library job or a volunteer position. Like yesterday. Volunteering is a fantastic way to find out what you want to do with your degree or maybe what you don’t want to do. Libraries love volunteers and they love library students. Multnomah County’s Volunteer Services has a number of options for those who want to work in libraries. Go ahead and ask around.
  • Sign up for list-servs. Your school one, a job list, one for your state. If you’re in Oregon, Libs-Or is invaluable. You may want to filter them into a different folder so it doesn’t overwhelm your in-box, but this is a great way to get information about conferences, articles, what’s going on with your school and state.
  • Back up your work. Save it on your computer, then again on a jump drive or external drive (or both). Load it up into Google Docs (which changes the formatting, but the content is still there) or Dropbox (which doesn’t change formatting). As an aside, these last two are great ways to collaborate with your classmates on projects.
  • Read Turner’s advice for new students.
  • Join your student organization. Want to do more than attend events? Lead them! Gain leadership skills! Make friends! Learn how to fund raise and do it some more! (PS: Elections for the new SCALA Oregon board are on Saturday. More information will be posted soon).
  • Join a national organization. As a student you get a great deal with combo ALA/OLA memberships.

Don’t

  • Bemoan group work. You’re going to have a group project nearly every semester and likely one per class. Librarianship is about collaboration and what you do in library school is great practice. It teaches you how to work together, how to lead, and how to present. You will get very comfortable with your classmates and they are the easiest audience you will every present in front of. Cherish this time.
  • Freak out if you can’t do any or all of this in the first semester. Give yourself time to figure out how to organize your life. You’ll get there.
  • Forget your friends and how to have fun, but “I have a project due” is a great way to get out of anything. They’ll understand.

Good luck to OR-11 as they move into their final year and to OR-12 as they plunk away at the first months of library school life. You’re now a member of an amazing community. Welcome!

Rebecca Chernay is a member of the recently graduate ESU’s OR-10 cohort and specializes in children’s and youth librarianship. She is the current Web Presence & Social Networking Coordinator for SCALA, but is excited to hand the post off this Saturday.

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