60+ Articles Every Librarian Should Read- New and Improved

During my time in graduate school, I curated a list of articles to help both newly initiated and seasoned librarians. The list was generated from discussions with classmates, colleagues, professors, and my own interests at the time. I recently went back and read some of the articles on the original list and, while still relevant, a lot of the information contained in the articles needed a refresh.

This list was developed using similar techniques (talking with colleagues, friends, and even individuals outside of the library profession) and I also drew on current events for inspiration.

I am no longer “in the profession” but I still consider myself a librarian-at-large who is passionate about making the profession more than just story-time’s and read-a-likes. The library profession is definitely in need of an update, at least in terms of marketing, and librarians are now more important than ever. In an age of “fake news,” decreased privacy, and increased screen-time, a librarians job has shifted to that of information navigator and curator.

As always, I welcome additions to this list and love collaborating with those both in and out of the library!

Bibliometrics

Digital Literacy

Diversity and Cultural Competence

Fake News and Digital Navigation

Healthcare and Medical Education

  • Clifton, S., Jo, P., Longo, J. M., & Malone, T. (2017). Cultivating a community of practice: the evolution of a health information specialists program for public librarians. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 105(3), 254–261. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.83
  • Epstein, B. A. (2017). Health sciences libraries in the United States: new directions. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 34(4), 307–311. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12199
  • Spencer, A. J., & Eldredge, J. D. (2018). Roles for librarians in systematic reviews: a scoping review. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(1), 46–56. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.82
  • Townsend, W. A., Anderson, P. F., Ginier, E. C., MacEachern, M. P., Saylor, K. M., Shipman, B. L., & Smith, J. E. (2017). A competency framework for librarians involved in systematic reviews. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 105(3), 268–275. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2017.189

Information Literacy/Instruction

Leadership

MLIS/MLS Education

  • Conklin, J. L. (2017). Developing librarian competencies for the digital age, edited by Jeffrey G. Coghill and Roger G. Russell. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 36(3), 307–308. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2017.1332278
  • Kovar-Gough, I. (2017). Taking chances: a new librarian and curriculum redesign. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 36(2), 129–137. https://doi.org/10.1080/02763869.2017.1293973
  • Shahbazi, R., & Hedayati, A. (2016). Identifying digital librarian competencies according to the analysis of newly emerging IT-based LIS jobs in 2013. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(5), 542–550. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2016.06.014
  • Worthington, B. (2017). Towards a better understanding of opportunities for performance training within the MLS curriculum: issues for enhancing education of children’s librarians. Journal of Education for Library & Information Science, 58(4), 202–218. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1159391

Political Landscape

Public Libraries

  • Giesler, M. A. (2017). A place to call home?: A qualitative exploration of public librarians’ response to homelessness. Journal of Access Services, 14(4), 188–214. https://doi.org/10.1080/15367967.2017.1395704
  • Ireland, S. (2017). Information literacy and instruction: for your information: using information literacy in public libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 57(1), 12–16. https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.57.1.6436

School Libraries

Staff and Personal Development

Technical

TEDx Talks

The Future of Libraries

Misc

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#literaryaf2k17

Let’s get a jump on things. It’s about to get into the holiday season and I’m sure you’re starting to think about gifts for all those special someones in your life. Per the usual, we need to flood the stack of presents with literary themed gifts, because books are back baby!

The (Pin) Collector

That Darn (Enter Generation Younger Than You)

The Goodreads Obsessive

The Social Media Scholar

The Proofreader

The Youngin

Mr./Mrs. Highbrow

The Reluctant Adolescent

The Skimmer

Literal Librarian

The Traveller

The Holiday Hostess

Quick Picks/I Need a Gift Now!

LIS Job Searching for the Newly (And Not So Newly) Initiated

So you have your MLS/MLIS and you’re ready to look for that perfect job. With stars in your eyes and a skip in your step, you’re off to find where you belong. The only problem is, where do you look?

Recently, INALJ (I Need a Library Job) announced that it would be downsizing, stepping off social media, and really checking out of the information science/library game. For many this may have seemed like it was coming out of left-field, but the site itself had undergone massive changes and lost a large chunk of its volunteer base. On top of that, the creator of the site had moved on to “bigger and better things.” So while the…rebranding? of INALJ definitely left a hole in the library job search market, it wasn’t the only space devoted to helping new (and seasoned) librarians find the illustrious library job.

There are several places you can turn to in order to find information about library positions: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, State websites, local and regional government websites, and the direct website of libraries you are interested in.

Twitter is a great resource, especially if you’re trying to stealthily search for jobs while your soul is slowly being devoured at your current job. Some of the top Twitter accounts to follow (mostly US only):

There are also several hashtags and non-job search accounts you can follow on Twitter, that make it easy to stay up-to-date on LIS job postings, Twitter chats, and LIS resources:

If you’re looking at staying in a certain area, you should follow the Twitter accounts of libraries in your area of interest. By connecting with the libraries you are interested in directly, you can see the types of activities they are currently involved in, and you have the possibility of being notified about a position before it hits the job search sites.

When searching for jobs on job search sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, you should keep the following keywords in mind, and be open to working outside the MLS/MLIS box (taken directly from INALJ.com)

I linked a few of the keywords to specific job descriptions, so you can better see what you may be applying for before you hit the submit button.

 

For many, the job search may be a long one, especially if you lack the library experience that is often a qualification for a library position. And while I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I will offer advice to LIS job seekers.

  1. Do not be disheartened by the lack of response from a library you have dreamed of working at for years, or from the special collection library that seems too good to be true. It’s never out of reach, you just may need to work on becoming their dream candidate.
  2. Ask for feedback from recruiters when you aren’t offered a position. Not every job will give you the feedback you request, but it never hurts to ask.
  3. Look over cover letters of LIS professionals who were hired.
  4. Continue to evolve professionally. This means taking courses, getting certifications, participating in scholarly activity, and putting yourself out there.
  5. Make sure that you stay active within the community.
  6. Beef up your CV/resume with volunteer activities and organizations.

Best of luck!

A Very Literary Holiday Season

Every year I try to scour the Internet, independent shops, and even some big box stores, in order to find gifts for my book loving family and friends. This year has been no different, so I wanted to include some book-tastic ideas for those just starting their holiday gift hunting.

The Booknerd

The Busy Bee 

The Book Critic

The Wee Worm

The Librarian

The Novelist

The Grammarian

The Reluctant Reader

The Acquaintance 

 

55 Articles Every Librarian Should Read (Updated)

Check out the newest curated list of articles: 60+ Articles Every Librarian Should Read

All links verified and updated as of 3/12/2016.

 

Working Outside the MLS Box

Many of my library school classmates have been unable to find employment within a library. They have their MLS, they graduated with honors and 4.0 GPA’s, and many have library experience. When I started graduate school, there was the promise of an aging librarian exodus. We were told by professional organizations, graduate school professors, and fellow librarians that by graduation we should all find employment within libraries, especially since between 25-28% of “current working [ALA] membership base will have retired.”

ALA table

“You’re going to help fill the bursting librarian retirement bubble!” we were told, and darn it if we didn’t believe that! Then life happened, the increase in retirement age happened, and we began to slowly realize that the library jobs were just not there. Many academic libraries began cutting back on staff, school libraries began hiring part-time employees who barely had their GED’s to replace “card-carrying” librarians, and public libraries saw budgets slashed repeatedly. It was around this time that I began to notice that many of the librarians I had known were jumping ship to non-library jobs. Many of the academic librarians still remained within an academic environment, but they began to look at positions outside of the library-realm in order to remain employed.

I had never really considered anything outside of librarianship. I knew that health sciences librarianship was what I wanted, but I was finding it increasingly difficult to motivate myself in my position. In what I would consider a life-altering decision, I decided to leave the library and took a position in the School of Medicine instead. While my new position has been great, the decision to leave was not something I took lightly. I know that for many of my classmates, leaving the library after getting your MLS would be considered sacrilegious, but it is those people who really need to expand their professional horizons.

Many MLSers have begun to take positions in other organizations. While this doesn’t mean they have to give up on their dreams of becoming full-fledged librarians, it does mean that they may have to take a break from librarianing for awhile. These hiatuses can end up being far more positive than they originally thought, especially if they are able to find a position in an up-and-coming company peddling innovative ideas. On the INALJ site, the entire left sidebar is filled with “keywords for job searching.” Position titles like: User Experience Designer, Project Analyst, Digital Asset Manager, Content Strategist, and MakerSpace Facilitator may not jump out at MLS grads as positions they are qualified for, but they absolutely could be!

Let’s take the first position, User Experience Designer, for example. When looking at the “desirable skills” for a UXD, one might see:

  • research techniques
  • ethnography and discovery
  • user modeling
  • information architecture and information design
  • project/time management
  • stakeholder management
  • visual communication
  • public speaking and presenting
  • interpersonal skills (collaboration, team-building)
  • database principles, tools and technologies
  • understanding of software and hardware development processes
  • proficiency in PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite
  • knowledge of file formats
  • knowledge of existing and new technologies and constraints
  • understanding of basic computer programming principles, tools, and technologies
  • usability skills

Now, I only pulled some of the more general qualifications, but looking at this, one could very well assume that they were looking for someone with a library science background. While several of the other core skills listed: ethnography and discovery; user modeling; product design; interaction design; and interface design are not necessarily skills taught in library school, they are skills that can be acquired. Those who took graphic design, psychology, sociology, fine art, or communications as undergraduates would already have a solid foundation on which to build a solid career as a User Experience Designer. In fact, journalism undergrads may have knowledge of page layout and composition, and even Visio. All of the skills learned in library school, plus any additional skills retained from undergraduate courses would be ideal for UXD work.

Let’s try another one shall we? How about Content Strategist! Some qualifications are:

  • Understanding how to create a search optimization plan for content
  • Create taxonomies/nomenclature lists and definitions
  • Perform gap analyses
  • Help with CMS selection
  • Experience with content management systems and databases
  • Fluency in Microsoft Windows-based desktop applications
  • Write web content
  • Develop, maintain, and enforce editorial style guidelines
  • Assess, catalog, and organize web site content
  • Search engine optimization research
  • Content aggregation and data sourcing
  • Editorial skills
  • Understanding of general information architecture
  • Copy writing, proofreading, editing and fact checking
  • Tagging and classifying
  • Accessibility optimization
  • Social media savvy
  • Outreach and promotions oriented

Wow! That sounds like a job a tech savvy librarian could totally do, and do really well! If I didn’t know any better, I would think that this was a position within a library. A career as a content strategist was never discussed in library school, neither was user experience designer or project analyst. However, the degree I received in library school does prepare me for careers in those fields. It can seem rather blasphemous to say that someone with an MLS shouldn’t work in a library, but with the limited number of library positions available it can be beneficial for a library school graduate to work in a related field under a position within a library system comes along.

I was lucky enough to start out in libraries, but have since moved on to medical education where I use the skills I learned in graduate school almost daily. I have applied, been interviewed, and been offered several library positions, but none of them have been the perfect fit. I have found that the current state of libraries (especially academic) is a little scary, and I would rather stay in a stable position that I really enjoy than leave for an unknown.

Most people go to graduate school for library and information science because they want to work in libraries, but I think this can be incredibly short-sighted and often misguided. Having an open-mind to other careers that utilize similar skill sets would provide MLS grads with a plethora of opportunities and would, perhaps, help to revamp MLS courses. In the future I hope that LIS schools show students that there is a world of career possibilities, and that the library isn’t their only option.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sister Hood Award

Thanks http://conciergelibrarian14.com/ who nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.  I have enjoyed her blog immensely and you should definitely check it out! In fact, you should follow, subscribe and regularly read her blog!

[Taken from http://conciergelibrarian14.com/ Nomination Post]

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Say “Thank You” to the person who nominated you & link their blog to your post.
  2. Answer the 10 questions given to you.
  3. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers (only nominating 2) and let them know they have been nominated.
  4. Include the Award Badge in your post.

10 Questions for my Nominees

1. If you could do it over again, would you select the same profession?

If I could do it all over again, I would probably finish out medical school. I would still work in the university library as a student worker, but I would pursue my MD.

2. What is your ideal vacation spot?

A big city, with lots to do! I love New York City, Chicago, Seattle etc…

3. What was your favourite subject in high school?

Science! In particular I liked the biological sciences and chemistry.

4. Mascara or eyebrow pencil?

Mascara. I don’t even own an eye brow pencil…

5. How long does it take for you to get ready for the day?

Depends on what I’m doing. If I’m getting ready for work, it normally takes me about 45 min- 1 hr. If I’m just running errands, I can be ready in about 20-30 min.

6. Where are you from?

The Midwest

7. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lip gloss, preferably one that tastes good.

8. Who is your favourite singer?

Elliott Smith

9. Netflix or Hulu?

Normally I would say Netflix, but I have really been on a Hulu kick lately….

10. How many hours do you spend per week blogging?

Not as many as I should. I definitely have a lot of draft posts started though!

I am nominating:

https://dorkchopsworld.wordpress.com/

https://phantoness.wordpress.com/

Questions for my Nominees:

1. What is your favorite book? Have you read it more than once?

2. Do you have a favorite word? What is it?

3. Is there a place that you eat often? Do you always order the same thing?

4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

5. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen?

6. What/who can always cheer you up?

7. If you could create a job title for yourself, what would it be?

8. What website do you visit every day?

9. What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix/Hulu?

10. What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?