Final Reflections

I have worked in a library for a number of years now, so my perceptions of the LIS profession were already pretty developed when I decided to pursue my MLIS. However, over the course of this semester, many new facets of LIS were demonstrated to me through the various activities and assignments we took part in.

The ALA Code of Ethics is something that I was already very familiar with when this class began. A copy of the code hangs in our break room at work, and it is often the random piece of paper that catches my attention during quiet moments. However, having the opportunity to truly study it and apply it to situations that actually occur in libraries was rewarding and enlightening. It’s great to read over a code of ethics and think, “Yes, of course these should be followed”, but it’s quite another to put them into practice in your daily work. Having the opportunity to discuss the ethical situations with my classmates made me a better-prepared employee as a whole. I now approach the decisions I make with less second-guessing and more confidence.

In my Assumptions and Assertions, I stated that:

LIS 6010 will provide me with a well-rounded look at the LIS professions that I won’t necessarily get by working in a public library. As a result, I will be able to use aspects of many information science professions to become better at what I do.

True, we really only just scratched the surface of the LIS profession in 6010, but I found that the most eye-opening parts of this semester occurred during the Think Tank exercises. For example, my library takes part in prison outreach. We have a small library at the prison that provides reading material to inmates. I hadn’t given this next to no thought until I stumbled upon the Library Journal article “Prison and Public Libraries” by Lilienthal and realized public libraries can make huge impacts on their communities through programs in prisons that focus on real-world skills. Now I can’t help but wonder what else my library could be doing to help the inmates we serve. The act of searching for articles to post and reading through the articles my classmates selected was the best way for me to expose myself to new areas of LIS.

When reviewing librarians’ blogs and professional associations I noticed a truly wonderful trend: librarians helping other librarians. A large portion of (what I would consider to be) the best perks of joining ALA and PLA were the networking and mentoring opportunities offered to members. ALA’s Emerging Leaders and Mentor Connect are in place to create an environment for the fostering of the advancement of young and new members of the LIS community. Similarly, Sarah Houghton and Andy Woodworth’s blogs are filled with encouraging statements and personal anecdotes that are meant to help the reader avoid and learn from the authors’ mistakes and experiences. Throughout the journal entries, assignments, and discussion boards we completed in 6010, I was frequently faced with librarians who were doing everything they could to help and encourage other librarians at all staged in their careers. In short, we are a profession of individuals who have each other’s backs, because we know that success for the library institution as a whole is dependent upon each other.

I know that this is just the start of the many great things I will come to learn over the course of pursuing my MLIS and look forward to the many new discoveries to come. Cheers to a great first semester!

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Blogging about Professional Blogs: Agnostic, Maybe and Librarian in Black

Over the past several months I have been reading two librarian blogs: Librarian in Black by Sarah Houghton and Agnostic, Maybe by Andy Woodworth.  I chose these two blogs for very similar reasons.  The first was that both contained a large amount of tech-related information.  As I am sure you are sick of hearing at this point, this is what I see myself focusing on throughout my career.  I could relate to and appreciate the information and insights provided by both Houghton and Woodworth as we come from similar mindsets.  Second, I found these two bloggers appealing because of their irreverent and sometimes outrageous opinions and senses of humor.  Houghton and Woodworth do not ever hesitate to speak their minds.  In delving into their archives I found particularly outspoken pieces on subjects such as Overdrive and HarperCollins (The Publisher of Tolkien Has Taken a Business Lesson from Sauron) and Freegal (Just Say No to Freegal) that made me realize how passionate these two authors are about the work they do.   Third, neither Woodworth nor Houghton is afraid to bring their personal lives into their blogs.  Many posts contained updates on their lives (Honeymoon, Cancer: I Will Kill It Dead) that allow the reader to get to know them on a personal level.  By opening up about their lives, a barrier is removed between the author and reader, allowing for a greater trust in the judgments and pronouncements of the author. Lastly, and most importantly, both of these bloggers are truly passionate about the work they do, and their writing shows it.  From the way they fervently work to share the insights they have gained with the greater LIS community, to the large number of swear words they use to get their point across, their passion cannot be denied.  Reading their blogs was not just an assignment, but an engaging and cathartic experience.  The following are some of the highlights from the last several months:

20/20 on Libraries in 2020 by Andy Woodworth

“Where do you see libraries in 2020?” This was the question asked of Andy during a job interview he recently attended.  In his post, he goes on to explain that he answered the question (and did a “damn good” job doing so) but that the answer to the question was really not the point (Woodworth, 2013, para 1).  In reliving the question over and over in his mind, he realized just how ridiculous it is to try and predict where technology will be in 2020.  He points out that 7 years ago, we had no “Tumbr, Google Street View, Instagram, Dropbox, iPhones, or Kindles” and that it would be presumptuous of anyone, even those people in the tech field, to make predictions as to what sort of advancements we can expect in 2020 (Woodworth, 2013, para. 4). 

For a blogger who is (arguably) at the forefront of tech advancements in the LIS field to admit this was an eye-opener for me. (Not that I was ever foolish enough to think that I knew what the next big thing in tech was going to be!)  When I think about the advancements in technology that libraries are making now, and how much more quickly they are coming into being than in the past, it kind of boggles my mind.  It seems like only a few months ago that 3D printers were first making the news, and now my library system is looking into purchasing one.  This is quite the turnaround in comparison to most other tech advancements that have occurred in my 10 years of library work.  His point also rings true on a larger level as well.  Looking past just tech advancements, how do any of us know where libraries in general will be in 2020?  It’s a crazy thing to think about, but the world we live in is far more fast-paced than that of even 20 years ago. 

So You Want to be a Director by Sarah Houghton

Houghton does an amazing thing in this post.  She lays bare her own faults as a means to help others better themselves.  By examining her first year and a half as director of the San Rafael Public Library, Sarah presents her readers with a list of facts about being a director that many others could potentially face.  Some of my favorites include:

1. Fear is Normal

I was terrified as an Acting Director… But I tried it anyway. I reached out to a small network of library administrators whose opinions I trusted, seeking advice as a newbie and help with specific issues when necessary. Everyone was super helpful, especially in letting me know that each of them had gone through a period of fear as well.  Being new at something is usually scary, especially when you have naysayers attacking you from all sides before you’ve even begun the job.  The trick, as with any fear, is to acknowledge the feeling, make a plan to move forward, and act on it.  Everything else takes care of itself. (Houghton, 2013, para. 6)

THANK GOD. When I started my first management position in a library I had a serious case of Impostor Syndrome rattling around my brain.  I second guessed every decision that I made and felt constantly on the verge of being found out.  Surely, any moment someone would realize what a crazy mistake they made in appointing me manager!  Houghton speaks to these feelings as not only being normal, but the very thing that drove her to do a good job.  To read that such a successful and respected member of the LIS community felt the same way I did/do forced me to realize that fear is normal, expected, and when wielded properly, a great tool to get great work done.

3. There is No Magic Pill

“I had hoped that I would find one magical thing I could do for the public to make them happy. Likewise, I wanted that one magical thing to win all the staff over. There is no magic pill. A thousand things have to be done to appeal to the thousand different priorities and interests of our diverse populations, including staff.”  (Houghton, 2013, para. 8)

In other words, nothing magically gets better on its own.  Everyone will not magically like you all the time.  Change comes with hard work and trust comes with time.  Priorities are always going to be diverse and multilayered.  Learn to roll with it.

10. Do It Your Way

Something I was massively worried about when becoming a Director was having to conform… I made a conscious decision not to do so from the get-go and in my final interview with our City Manager told her point blank that I would continue being me and doing things my way, and that my “being me” would probably get me into trouble at some point in the future, but that I couldn’t pretend for 10 hours a day to be someone else.  She still hired me…So I do my thing the way I do it … Because when I’m talking about why libraries matter, I automatically smile. I love libraries and it shows.  I dress the way I dress, listen to electronica full blast at my desk, dole out espresso shots to tired employees, and send out irreverent and sometimes funny items in our missives to City Council and our Board of Trustees.  Basically, I’m just me.  I don’t have to put on a mask.  I can be me and still do this job well.  And so can you. (Houghton, 2013, para. 15)

Just because you take on a management position doesn’t mean that you have to magically transform yourself into the epitome of conformity.  You were hired to this job because of who you are.  If they had wanted a conformist, they would have hired one.  You were hired because of what you presented yourself to be.  Your uniqueness is just as important to the job you do as your past work experience. 

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants by Andy Woodworth

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants examines an article from Tech Crunch in which the downfall of libraries is predicted.  Again.  This post was amazing for many reasons.  The first of which is that Woodworth points out that the tired the-library-is-doomed-and-will-never-survive rhetoric that seems to never abate has been around for far longer than most of us realize, and somehow, we all still manage to exist.  He specifically points to an article from 1983 in the journal The Electronic Library that spoke of the extinction of libraries, as well as one from the New York Times in 2002 that talked about the internet as our downfall (Woodworth 2013, para. 2-3).  The lesson in this is pretty simple, while the “death of libraries” has been predicted for quite some time; there is no evidence to support the hypothesis. 

Second, Andy correctly states that libraries and librarians are made of “tougher stuff” and as a profession we would be foolish to fall for this nonsense (Woodworth, 2013, para. 4).  His show of faith in the work that he does, his colleagues, and the library institution as a whole is important because he is a prominent voice in the library world, and sometimes it’s good to hear such enthusiasm and faith coming from someone in the public eye.  As librarians, we all know that we will fight to maintain our importance and relevance and because of that, our downfall is far from imminent.  Andy is simply reminding us to keep up the good fight and not be discouraged by some talking head with a deadline to make.

Third, Andy uses his point to then bring awareness to the real battles that libraries are currently facing; copyright, net neutrality, and intellectual property (Woodworth, 2013, para. 5).  He takes a tired subject that does little other than bring the reader down, and refocuses attention back to where it should be.  This, in short, is what a library blog should be: focused, fact-based, researched, and an exhilarating read. 

 

Houghton, S. (2013, June 12). So You Want to be a Director. Librarian in Black Blog Sarah Houghton RSS. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/2013/07/so-you-want-to-be-a-director.html

Woodworth, A. (2013, October 18). Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Agnostic Maybe. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/standing-on-the-shoulders-of-giants/

Woodworth, A. (2013, October 7). 20/20 on Libraries in 2020. Agnostic Maybe. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from http://agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/2020-on-libraries-in-2020/

Assumptions and Assertions: Revisited

Assumption: LIS 6010 will provide me with a well-rounded look at the LIS professions that I won’t necessarily get by working in a public library.  As a result, I will be able to use aspects of many information science professions to become better at what I do.

I have been working in the public library setting for almost 10 years.  I know my job backwards and forwards, but as far as information science goes, public libraries are all I know.  I look forward to broadening my horizons in this course and exploring new areas of LIS.  This is important to me because…

While LIS 6010 did provide me a look at LIS professions outside of public libraries, I feel as if I have only just scratched the surface.  It is going to take me far longer than just one semester to get a grasp on the many different types of libraries and positions that exist in the LIS profession. Assignments such as the professional journal and association comparisons, job analysis, and Think Tanks have done quite a bit to open my eyes to new facets of LIS.   I do still believe that having abroad spectrum of knowledge will help me to better serve the patrons in my community.  Being able to apply ideas that may not typically be associated with libraries to the work I do will help me to problem solve and come up with creative ideas and solutions.   

Assertion: Librarians should always be open to, and looking for, new ways to improve the way libraries are run.

There is a long and fantastic tradition of libraries in this country, and I truly believe that each librarian to sit behind a desk and direct someone to the information they need is aware and proud of that fact.  Toledo-Lucas County Public Library was established in 1838.  This year, we celebrate our 175th anniversary, and sometimes when introducing new ideas to my co-workers, it feels like it’s still 1838.  It has been my experience that sometimes librarians can be resistant to change.

With the invention of the Internet and the introduction of digital media, librarians can no longer afford to think that way.  As a profession, we must be open to new ideas and new opportunities to assert ourselves. By doing that our importance to society will not be forgotten, it will be expanded.  Providing new ways to obtain information proves that a library is aware of the cultural and technological changes that are occurring in the world, and that it is willing and able to adapt to them.

I absolutely still believe this.  However, what I have come to learn over the course of the semester is that many of my contemporaries believe the same and are working towards a common goal.  With the invention of libraries like the all-digital library in Texas, we are living through a significant shift in our professional world.  A lot of work must be put into overcoming profession-wide issues such as the digital divide, which is arguably at its largest in the field of public libraries, where I intend to spend my career (Krebeck, 2010).  However, I have been fortunate over the course of this semester to have been presented with many articles and bits of information that lead me to believe that this issue is being address and the majority of public librarians understand its importance.

Belief: Being a librarian is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. 

Every day I go into work and I get to help people.  Sometimes that looks like a storytime, sometimes a book recommendation, and sometimes it is assisting with a form of technology.  The list goes on.  The library offers a judgment-free place to ask for assistance, and it is extremely rewarding to be able to offer it.

Furthermore, you will be hard pressed to find a librarian anywhere who doesn’t have an extreme love of the written word.  That love creates a work environment that promotes the sharing of ideas, philosophies, and more.  Book recommendations seem to bounce off the walls, landing on any ears willing to hear them.  Program ideas are shared so often that there are never enough days in the year to provide them all.  We are a profession of people so eager to share what we know that there is not enough time in the day to do so.  This means that I am constantly challenged in my career to better myself, as well as the environment I work in.

Again, I absolutely still believe this to be true.  If anything, the way that my classmates have eagerly shared their thoughts, ideas, experiences and more over the course of the semester has proven this to be true.  You need look no further that the Think Tanks and Student Lounge discussion boards to see this in action.  We are fortunate to be working in a field that promotes and encourages the sharing of knowledge, as opposed to one that conceals it in the hopes of gaining an edge on the competition.  In the end, the truth is that in the LIS world, if one library wins, we all win. 

Kinney, B. (2010). The Internet, Public Libraries, and the Digital Divide. Public Library Quarterly, 29(2), 104. doi:10.1080/01616841003779718

Professional Journals Reviewed: Children and Libraries and Library Journal

Children and Libraries

Intended Audiences: Children’s Librarians, School Librarians, Educators

What does it publish?

ALSC news

President’s Message and Editor’s Notes

  • Cummins, J. (2013). The Gold Rush. Children and Libraries, 11(1), 3-5.
  • Verbeten, S. (2013). My Caledcott Moment in Belize. Children and Libraries, 11(1), 2.

Controversies and issues in children’s books:

  • Campbell, C. (2013). Caledcott 2.0?: Caledcott Titles in the Digital Age. Children and Libraries, 11(1), 50-51.
  • Hood, Y. (2013). An Inconvenient Truth: The Underground Railroad and Quilts in Children’s Picture Books. Children and Libraries, 11(2), 29-34.

 Author Interviews

  • Reilly-Sanders, E. (2013). The Producer of “Fun”: A Chat with the Whimsical Sandra Boynton. Children and Libraries, 11(2), 54-56.

 Awards and acceptance speeches:

  • Glass, N. (2013). Getting “The Call”: Caldecott Winners Remember that Moment. Children and Libraries, 11(1), 29-34.
  • Klassen, J. (2013). Caldecott Medal: The Read My Book!. Children and Libraries, 11(2), 10-12.
  • Verbeten, S. (2013). Small Details, Huge Impact: A Chat with Three-Time Caldecott Winner David

 Advice on Writing:

  • Bange, S., & Banta, G. (2013). Draw and Write What You Know: Robert McCloskey’s Ohio. Children and Libraries, 11(2), 44-46.

 Collection development, event planning, literacy challenges:

  • Moreillon, J. (2013). Building Bridges for Global Understanding: Cultural Literature Collection Development and Programming. Children and Libraries, 11(2), 35-38.
  • Stoltz, D. (2013). Every Child Ready to Read: Engaging Parents, Reenergizing Librarians . Children and Libraries, 11(2), 25-26.

Peer-reviewed? Why or why not important?

Yes, Children and Libraries is peer-reviewed.  I consider this to be important for this publication because the subject matter of many of the articles presented deals with issues in children’s literature, early literacy, and digital challenges.  Each of these articles contain information that needs to be accurate and properly articulated so the librarians and educators who read them can put them into action.  For example, the article “Every Child Ready to Read: Engaging Parents, Reenergizing Librarians” by Dorothy Stoltz presents information of the Every Child Ready to Read program, including the benefits of creative play in literacy development (2013, p. 25-26).  If a librarian or teacher were to put this into practice during their storytime or in their classroom, accurate information would be of the utmost importance.

Characteristics of particular interest in light of my own professional goals:

There was a great article on the struggle to provide digital versions of Caldecott Award winners to library patrons (Campbell, 2013, p. 50-51).  Considering my ultimate goal of becoming a Digital Services Coordinator, this type of article is exactly the type of information I need to begin thinking about providing comprehensive digital services to a library and the challenges I might face in the process.

Library Journal

Intended Audiences – All LIS professionals, including public, academic, and special, and school librarians

What does it publish?

Collection development trends and news:

  • Burgess, E., & Heilbrun, M. (2013). The Great War at 100. Library Journal, 138(18), 52-55.
  • Hoffert, B. (2013). Spring Fever Firsts. Library Journal, 138(5), 72-75.

 Job Trends in the Profession:

  • Casado, M., & Wallace, A. (2013). How to Survive and Thrive in your First Library Job. Library Journal, 138(18), 49-50.
  • Maatta, S. (2013). The Emerging Databrarian. Library Journal, 138(17), 26-33.

 

Technology News:

  • (2013). FCC urged to accelerate E-Rate goals. Library Journal, 138(17), 22.
  • (2013). Palo Alto Shares Data. Library Journal, 138(5), 22.

 Editorials and Commentaries

  • Berry, J. (2013). A Rebel Spring. Library Journal, 138(5), 9.
  • Kelley, M. (2013). Sounds of Copyright Reform. Library Journal, 138(5), 8.
  • Miller, R. (2013). Willing To Fail. Library Journal, 138(18), 8.

LIS  News

Annual appraisals of the LIS profession

  • Lance, K., & Lyons, R. (2013). America’s Star Libraries. Library Journal, 138(18), 30-41.
  • (2013). Movers and Shakers 2013. Library Journal, 138(5), 25-67.

 Book and Media Reviews

Publishing News

Obituaries

Peer-reviewed? Why or why not important?

No, Library Journal is not peer reviewed in the traditional sense.  LJ asks for submissions from members of the profession to make up a lot of their journal.  Proposals on articles can be sent to them where an editor will either approve or pass on the story.  Submission guidelines can be found on their website.

Characteristics of particular interest in light of my own professional goals:

Again, the tech side of the library profession is of particular interest to me.  LJ impressed me with their comprehensive coverage of the digital realm of LIS.  From articles covering the current state of publisher lawsuits and mergers to successful technology acquisitions by other libraries, LJ covers a lot of ground and places appropriate emphasis on how important these topics are to current LIS professionals. 

Important similarities between the two?

The range of topics covered in the two journals was very similar.  Both did a great job of touching on many different topics and not merely existing to review books or interview authors (though those were also included). 

Important differences between the two?

While it may seem obvious, I think that it is worth noting that the most important difference between the two is the intended audiences of each publication.  Children and Libraries is a publication that focuses on the intersection of youth and libraries.  While they do discuss larger topics such as technology and advocacy, they only do so if the topic directly relates to children.  Library Journal is not so discriminatory.  They cover many different topics that affect many different arenas within the LIS profession.  While one is not better than the other, I did have to dig pretty far into LJ to find an article that related to children and libraries, which seems like an oversight on their part considering how large a chunk of the profession is devoted to children.  This, however, could be because of the existence of their sister publication School Library Journal.

The editorials in each of the Library Journals that I read presented a unique opinion on a major issue in the LIS world that crosses the boundaries of specific specializations.  For example, one editorial examines the copyright reform that needs to occur to preserve sound recordings from prior to 1972.  These recordings are under a different set of laws than post-1972 recordings and as a result cannot be re-recorded in new formats for their preservation (Kelley, 2013, p. 8).  Another speaks to the increase of tech-based jobs in the LIS world and what that means for the future of the profession (Miller, 2013, p.8).

In contrast, the Children and Libraries Editor’s Notes are far more focused on the specific work of children’s librarians and children’s literature, covering issues such as controversial Caldecott choices (Cummins, 2013, p. 3-5) and anecdotes about trips to schools in need of donated books (Verbeten, 2013, p.2). 

Both of these publications offer insightful and well-articulated articles that LIS professionals would find useful in their work.  There were only two small concerns that I had with the publications.  The first is that Library Journal, though quite comprehensive in the subjects their articles cover, should be including more on the children’s aspect of LIS.  Two major divisions of the library world, school and public libraries, could benefit from increased attention by this publication, particularly in light of the Common Core Standards that are being instituted in most states that are directly affecting the work of school and public librarians.  The second concern I have is in the lack of tech-related information in Children and Libraries.  There was one article (mentioned above) that dealt with the issues of providing Caldecott winner books in digital form, but nothing else.  The digital divide is not a topic that only affects adults and as such should be given appropriate weight in the scholarly resources that children’s librarians look to for input. 

Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

I have sat myself down with the intention of writing this post more times than I can count.  Each time I try to nail down some sort of amazing theme that would pull together all that I have learned thus far this semester. The writer’s block that then sets at that point prevents me from any such inspiration, so I am taking a new approach – let’s keep this simple.

1. Technology is a good thing!

I see a lot of talk in this class about whether or not expanding technology in libraries is a good thing or the thing that will be the undoing of the LIS world as we know it (!!!!!!).  There is a fear that with the onset of technology as a staple of what a library offers, librarians will be pushed aside in favor of IT professionals.  I couldn’t disagree more.  Technology is what will keep libraries relevant and looking to the future.  This does not mean that books will disappear, but that libraries will be able to provide more vehicles for people to access books, information, and the training they need to be prepared to enter the workforce.  I have spoken about this many times in my blog posts and discussion board answers, and if I had to pick a theme of my writing, this would be it.  I just hope that the current and future librarians out there can accept technology as both another way to reach out to their patrons and another avenue for librarians to prove their importance to a community, and make an effort to learn and adapt to what that means instead of fearing and fighting it. If the current state of LIS jobs is any indication, we are on a good path. According to a recent study, the top new job titles and responsibilities for 2013 included positions such as Emerging Technologies Specialist, Social Media Manager, User Experience Designer, Digital Content Manager and Digital Archives (Maatta, 2013).

 2. Forced reflection is helpful.

The most helpful aspect of writing these blog posts is that they force me to really think about what my ultimate career goals are, and where I currently stand in the path to get there.  So far in my career, I have mostly just gone with the flow, taking on different responsibilities and opportunities as they come without any real direction.  Being forced to actually look at the current state of the LIS profession and what positions are out there, what my career could actually look like instead of just some fuzzy vision in my mind, is constructive.

3. Managing and leading are two very different things.

Not that I didn’t necessarily know this before, but the chapter and readings on management in libraries was a good reminder that management is only as limiting as you make it.  I see myself as a manager still in a learning/transitional phase.  A lot of my week consists of situations that I have not experienced as a manager yet, and so I find myself reacting to them and getting bogged down with the tasks and processes that that all managers must deal with.  However, that is slowly changing.  I want to get to a good place where I am not focused purely on the rules and regulations of my workplace, and instead make opportunities for myself to be innovative and creative. I have been utilizing the website Manager Tools, specifically the podcasts, to help me better understand how to handle many of the situations that arise when you manage a large and diverse group of people. Their information on the importance of one-on-one meetings and giving feedback to employees is incredibly helpful (Manager Tools, 2005).

Maatta, S. L. (2013). The Emerging Databrarian. Library Journal, 138(17), 26.

Manager Tools Podcasts – Every Manager Effective. (n.d.). Manager Tools. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from http://www.manager-tools.com/podcast/manager-tools

Job Analysis Part 2

In my last post I discussed my “dream jobs” and what skills I will need to gain to be qualified to take them on.  I established 4 main areas that I want to expand my knowledge of.  Each of these areas will help to prepare me to pursue a position as a Digital Services Manager or library director.   They are:

  • Technology
  • Management Experience
  • Community, Advocacy, and Politics
  • Business

Below I have laid out the specific steps I plan to take to prepare myself for my possible future careers.

1. Technology: Take additional classes in web design and technology trends in libraries. This is important to both of the positions that I selected because a large part of library services are based in new and upcoming technologies. In the last year, my system has adopted 3 new digital services for delivering print and media to our patrons.  I expect that this kind of service will only grow, and understanding the difference between a company or service worth providing vs. one that is not, is critical.  Understanding web design and how to create an effective webpage goes hand in hand with this as well.  The ability to understand the mechanics of web design, right down to how to write the code, is a skill I wish to possess.  I am a firm believer that a manager should understand the ins and outs of each part of what he or she oversees so as to better manage the people and environments they work in. 

What skills I currently possess: Graphic design principles and process-Adobe CS 6, in depth knowledge of Windows and iOS, OverDrive, Hoopla, Freegal, Zinio, and many other databases, basics of web design

What skills I need to improve:  Web Design and website maintenance, social media for library purposes, a better/more in depth understanding of trends in library technology

How I will accomplish this: San Jose State University Digital Services and Emerging Technologies Post-Graduate Certificate

This certificate offers classes that focus on the technological aspects of library service and include Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools and Information Technology Tools and Applications (http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/programs/post-masters-certificate/courses/digital-services-and-emerging-technologies).

University of Toledo Web Design Workplace Certificate

This certificate focuses on many different web design approaches including DreamWeaver Web Page Development, Flash Web Animation, Internet Design and Publishing, Blogging and Social Networking (http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/programs/certificates/web_design.html).

2. Management Experience: Expand upon my management experience within my current library system by obtaining a position as a branch or department manager.  This would allow me the opportunity to develop my own team and better develop my management style.  While I am currently in a good place to learn from the branch manager that I assist, I do not have full control of the operations of the branch and as such, miss out on a large part of what truly managing a branch means.

What skills I currently possess: Assistant Manager of the Sanger Branch Library – scheduling, evaluations, training, hiring, reference, managing workflow, planning and implementing programs, weeding, floating, Encore Decision Center

What skills I need to gain: Building operations, relative use, grant writing  

How I will accomplish this: I will maintain active participation in many different forums, both within and outside of TLCPL, so as to increase my exposure to different types of management and experiences. I am actively working to improve my management skills through the use of various webinars, Manager Tools, participation in committees, and various TLCPL trainings.  I have been/am a part of numerous committees within my library system, both short and long term, all of which provide me with glimpses into various aspects of library work.  I recently joined our Financial Literacy Committee. This committee in particular is important because we are not only planning and implementing programs across our library system, but applying for grants and funding from outside sources.  Grant writing is a new area for me and I am only beginning to grasp the work that goes into it.  However, there is no better way for me to learn than by working with the grant writing experts of my system.   I am also part of another committee whose sole purpose is to facilitate better communication across the non-public service departments in my library system (i.e. Marketing, IT, etc.).  Facilitating effective communication across a library system is crucial to what makes a good manager/director because it allows for a more content, less frustrated workforce.  Again, I am only beginning to understand the intricacies of working across a large system such as TLCPL, but being a part of these committees is helping me to understand how to effectively manage people.

Additionally, Connect @PLA allows LIS professionals to connect, learn, brainstorm, and problem solve together through message boards (http://www.ala.org/pla/connect). By taking advantage of the opportunity to ask for assistance outside of my library system, I can learn from the experience of others. 

3. Community, Advocacy, and Politics- Attend local and national conferences, get involved in library advocacy, and create opportunities to network.  From what I have witnessed within my own library system, a lot of what makes our director so effective is his ability to be politically-savvy and socially conscious.  When local issues arise, our director is often the first to speak with the media to make the library’s voice heard and understood. He is cognoscente of library trends across the profession and is always challenging his managers and staff to think outside the box and pay attention to what is happening in the LIS world.   

What skills I currently possess: I am an active volunteer in my community, although not necessarily with library-related activities.  I am also a member of the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Young Adult Library Services Association, Association for Library Service to Children, and Ohio Library Council and have attended conferences in the past.

What skills I need to gain: Increased exposure within the library world through publication, library-specific advocacy work

How I will accomplish this: I hope to join an area board of trustees to increase my community presence. I would also like to start writing for PLA’s online blog (http://publiclibrariesonline.org/contribute/), and eventually submit articles to PLA and other journals (http://www.ala.org/pla/publications/publiclibraries/writeforpl). By continuing to attend LIS conferences such as ALA’s yearly conference and Midwinter Meeting, as well as the Ohio Library Council’s various conferences and meetings, I will give myself a chance to network within the larger LIS community, hopefully forging connections that will help to further my understanding of the different ways in which libraries can be run. 

 ALA also has many different ways to get involved with library advocacy including their Legislative Action Center, Advocacy University, and various online advocacy courses (http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/issues/advocacy).

 4. Business: Earn a certificate in business.

What skills I currently possess: I have 10 years of experience in a library system, and an additional 2 in a retail setting.  I have been in management for 2 years across my different jobs.  While I possess on-the-job experience, I lack formal training.

What skills I need to gain: knowledge of investing, business principles, human resources,

How I will accomplish this: Business Management Workplace Certificate from the University of Toledo

This course includes classes on business principles, workplace management, and human resources development.  It would give me an excellent base of knowledge to build from (http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/programs/certificates/business_management.html).

No matter which direction I choose to move in my career in, there is still a lot of formal and in-formal training I hope to obtain. If I follow the programs laid-out here, I will be confident and informed enough to take on either position.

 

References

Advocacy. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/ onlinelearning/issues/advocacy

Become a Contributor. (n.d.). Public Libraries Online Become a Contributor Comments. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/contribute/

Connect @ PLA (Public Library Association). (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/connect

Digital Services and Emerging Technologies | San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. (n.d.). shawn. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/programs/post-masters-certificate/courses/digital-services-and-emerging-technologies

The University of Toledo. (n.d.). – Web Design Workplace Certificate. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/programs/certificates/ web_design.html 

The University of Toledo. (n.d.). – Business Management Workplace Certificate. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/programs/ certificates/business_management.html

Write for Public Libraries. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/publications/publiclibraries/ writeforpl

 

 

Job Analysis Pt. 1

Digital Services Manager

Arlington Heights Memorial Library,
Arlington Heights, Illinois

Salary: $61,000 to $76,000

Status: Full-time

Posted: 09/20/13

Deadline: 10/21/13

Because our customers love it.

That’s why we created the Studio with space, equipment and software to get creative with video, music, graphic design and more.

That’s why each month we offer 50 to 80 computer and technology classes, from basic computer skills to exploring digital magazines to using social media to grow a business.

That’s why we’re always open 24/7 at www.ahml.info.

That’s why our Digital Services Manager will be a creative leader and innovator, who will build on our success to bring together the Arlington Heights community to explore, learn and play with technology.

Candidates must have at least 7 years professional experience, including designing and delivering customer services.  Tech experience will include knowledge of most current equipment, software and tools for home, school and small businesses.  Demonstrated knowledge of web design and development for maximum customer experience.  Record of developing talented staff and teams and a high profile in library and professional communities.  As a key member of the leadership team, must contribute to strategic direction of the library and design of next generation of services.  Master of Library Science from ALA-accredited program or equivalent experience required (Jobs @ AHML, 2013, para 1-6).

I spoke to this a few postings ago, but Digital Services Manager/Coordinator is my dream job.  I believe that public libraries should be embracing and expanding into new areas of technology and constantly re-evaluating what they offer in terms of digital services.  Libraries are temples of learning and the technological realm should not be forgotten.  Adopting comprehensive digital services will be what allows libraries to remain relevant in the future.

 What particularly interests me about this posting is how forward-thinking this library is, as well as how enthusiastic they are about the digital services they offer.  It is not enough for them to just offer computers for internet access, they also have a studio where videos can be edited, graphic designs created, and music composed.  Their justification for these offerings?  “Because our customers love it.”  What better reason is there than that?  If a public library is for the public, give them what they want.

 As far as experience I would need to gain and knowledge I would need to acquire goes, there are a few steps I will need to take.

  1. Take additional classes in web design.  My undergraduate minor was in Graphic Design, but my knowledge of web design is limited.  Creating and maintaining a LIS related blog would be an excellent way to raise my profile within the community as well as hone my web design skills.
  2. Expand upon my management experience within my current library system.  I would like to run my own branch library.  This would allow me the opportunity to develop my own team and better develop my management style.
  3. Take advantage of conferences, get involved in library advocacy, and make opportunities to network.  Half the battle in the library world seems to be making a name for yourself.  By becoming a member of local and national associations, as well as speaking out for library causes, I will be able to better promote myself as a trusted member of the LIS community.

 

 

Library Director

San Luis Obispo County Library,
San Luis Obispo, California

Salary: $105,684 to $128,460

Status: Full-time

Posted: 09/10/13

Deadline: 09/19/13

 

San Luis Obispo County is seeking a proven executive who will be a progressive, energetic, responsive, politically astute and confident leader who is flexible, a good problem solver, and customer service oriented. This individual must be a team player that possesses the creative vision to advance Library services. Interpersonal skills and the ability to easily relate and adjust to a variety of situations and personalities, and to communicate with staff at all levels of the organization is a must. The Library Director reports directly to the County Administrative Officer (Employment, 2013, para 1).

I selected the posting of Library Director because if my main goal working in a public library is to exact change that will keep libraries relevant for the future, this position would allow me to do just that.   If there is one factor of my career that has been consistent throughout each position I have held, it is the fact that I have not pictured myself in the position before I got there.  By that I mean, I never would have predicted that my first librarian position would be a teaching one, but it was, and I loved it.  I never would have seen myself as a children’s librarian until I was one, and hey, I loved that too.  I did see myself eventually moving into management, but I never thought it would happen one year after accepting my first librarian job.  While I view Digital Services Manager as my ideal position, I have learned not to limit myself to just my expectations. 

For this position, I would need to follow the same steps that I would take for the DSM position, as well as a few more. 

  1. Take additional coursework in business, possibly earning a certificate of some sort.  Business is not my area of expertise.  Expanding my knowledge in that area is a must.
  2. Become more politically involved. From what I have witnessed within my own library system, a lot of what makes our director so fantastic is his ability to be politically savvy and socially conscious.

    Employment. (n.d.). San Luis Obispo County Library. Retrieved September 19, 2013, from http://www.slolibrary.org/jobops.htm

    Jobs @ AHML | Arlington Heights Memorial Library. (n.d.). Jobs @ AHML | Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Retrieved September 19, 2013, from http://www.ahml.info/get_involved/jobs
     

Professional Associations

The American Library Association

The American Library Association is both the largest and the oldest library association in the world.  On October 6, 1876, 90 men and 13 women -all librarians- signed up to become charter members.  Their mission at that time was “to enable librarians to do their present work more easily and at less expense.”  Since that time, the ALA has becoming the defining organization for American LIS professions, setting both the ethical and educational standards for the country.

Currently, ALA has identified 8 Key Action Areas that direct each of its initiatives within the LIS community.  They are:

 

Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession

Education and Lifelong Learning

Intellectual Freedom

Organizational Excellence

Diversity

Equitable Access to Information and Library Services

Literacy

Transforming Libraries

 

These Action Areas are designed with an ultimate goal in mind for the future:

“In this future, ALA builds a world where libraries, both physical and virtual, are central to lifelong discovery and learning and where everyone is a library user.”

According to the ALA Mission: “The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship.” The stated mission is, “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” (About ALA, 2013)

The resources and opportunities that are available to ALA members are extensive.  To start, there are opportunities for continuing education.  ALA has many web courses that are offered at free or discounted rates to its members.  These courses are great because they allow ALA members to keep up with the current trends and issues within LIS.  For example, there are upcoming web courses on both the new healthcare laws and common core state standards, two current issues that LIS professionals need to be knowledgeable on.  Mixed in with these are basic courses on storytelling and acquisitions that new librarians can take advantage of as well (ALA Online Learning, 2013).

ALA has a number of member groups, the most impressive of which is its Mentor Connect program.  Mentor Connect allows members to sign up to be a mentor or receive mentoring from other members of the ALA community (Mentoring FAQ, 2013).  Members can also sign up to serve on the various ALA committees and the American Libraries Direct electronic newsletter.

ALA has many different activities that members can partake in.  ALA sponsors various advocacy events, such as Library Snapshot Day, and is active in legislative activities as well (Advocacy, 2013).  Students can take advantage of the more than $300,000 dollars that ALA offers in scholarships annually (ALA Scholarship Program, 2013).  New librarians can join the ALA Emerging Leaders Program, which offers them the opportunity to join problem-solving work groups and network (ALA Emerging Leaders Program, 2013).  Also, ALA has an annual conference and midwinter meeting each year.

There are different levels of dues to sign up for ALA.  Students can join for $34 a year for a total of 5 years.  Regular members can join for $66 their first year, $100 their second, and $133 all subsequent years.  ALA also offers a non-salaried/unemployed member rate of $47 dollars per year for professionals who make less than $30,000 a year or are transitioning in their career (Membership, 2013).

I took a look at the June and September/October issues of ALA’s Publication “American Libraries”.  Each issue covered a wide array of subjects, including social issues (Is Your Library Plus-Size Friendly?, Apps and Autism), library design (Melding Minds to Make a Library), budgets and funding (How Low Can Our Book Budgets Go?), as well as many other features that are representative of the current LIS culture.  I found the articles easy to read and informative.

ALA has many different divisions that cover all aspects of LIS professions.  The beauty of joining ALA is that you have access to both the information and standards that all LIS professions use and abide by, as well as the information specific to one’s specialization.  For example, the second professional organization that I would join is ALA’s Public Library Association.

 

The Public Library Association

The Public Library Association is a member-driven division of the ALA with a focus on public libraries.  PLA was established in 1944 after a petition signed by over 1,200 members was presented to the ALA Council.  The original mission statement of PLA stated their goal was “to advance public library interests and to cooperate in the promotion of library service in general.”

 

PLA’s current mission statement reads:

 The Public Library Association enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services. This mission positions PLA to:

-Focus its efforts on serving the needs of its members

-Address issues which affect public libraries

-Commit to quality public library services that benefit the general public

 

 Their Core Organizational Values state that PLA is dedicated to:

-Visionary Leadership.

-Member Focus.

-Integrity and Transparency.

-Openness, Inclusiveness, and Collaboration (PLA Mission and Goals, 2013).

-Excellence and Innovation.

 

One of the most impressive aspects of the PLA is the number of resources and opportunities that are available to its members.  For example, want to take a stab at writing or begin making a name for yourself within the library community? PLA is where you should be.  PLA has a constant open call for contributors and ask for a commitment of 400 word articles, twice a month, and the occasional book review.  All authors are volunteers (Get Involved with PLA, 2013).  PLA also offers a variety of resources to continue your education in their Online Learning section.  Live and archived webinars, workbooks, and online courses are just a few of the offerings available to PLA members (PLA Online Learning, 2013).  Within the Professional Tools area, you will find help on library-related topics ranging from ethics to e-readers (Professional Tools, 2013).  In addition, members have access to PLA’s e-news and exclusive email lists, as well the many opportunities to participate and network at the various conferences and meets (Public Library Association, 2013).

The Public Libraries Magazine is the PLA’s publication.  Published six times a year, is the only ALA journal that is devoted to only public libraries.  Just as with ALA’s publication, I found PLM’s articles both informative and timely.  PLA seems to know what information is important to the community and is eager to divulge what knowledge they can. 

PLA is very active on Facebook.  Their main Facebook page is a great mix of reader’s advisory, library-related news stories, and helpful information and tips.  They also hosts free hour-long Facebook forums that range in topic from author’s talks to IT consultants to practical help with everyday library issues (Facebook: Public Library Association, 2013).

Joining is easy and is open to both students and professionals.  Regular membership is $65 and student memberships are $25, although you must be a member of ALA to join PLA (Join PLA, 2013). 

Both personally and professionally I identify most strongly with PLA’s goals.  They are:

Advocacy and Awareness: PLA is an essential partner in public library advocacy.

Leadership and Transformation: PLA is the leading source for learning opportunities to advance transformation of public libraries.

Literate Nation: PLA will be a leader and valued partner of public libraries’ initiatives to create a literate nation.

Organizational Excellence: PLA is positioned to sustain and grow its resources to advance the work of the association.

Each of these goals represents an idea or standard that I strongly believe in.  Funding, transformation, digitization, technology, and illiteracy are things that every public librarian deals with on a daily basis.  The fact that there is an organization made up of my peers, working together as a community, whose goals touch on each of the main concerns that public libraries face is inspiring. 

I would happily join both of these organizations, and plan to come next year.  Both ALA and PLA seem dedicated to creating a community of librarians that are knowledgeable and active in their fields. 

References

ALA Emerging Leaders Program. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/leadership/emergingleaders

ALA Online Learning. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/

ALA Scholarship Program. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/scholarships

About ALA. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/aboutala/

Advocacy. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/onlinelearning/issues/advocacy

Get Involved with PLA. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/getinvolved

Join PLA. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/membership

Membership. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/membership/

Mentoring FAQ. (n.d.). Latest From All Groups. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://connect.ala.org/mentorconnect-help

PLA Mission and Goals. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/about/mission

PLA Online Learning. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/onlinelearning

Professional Tools. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/pla/tools

Public Library Association. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from http://www.ala.org/news/taxonomy/term/583

Public Library Association (PLA) | Facebook. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved September 28, 2013, from https://www.facebook.com/pla.org

LIS Goals and Beyond

Over the course of my time at Toledo Public Library, I have decided on a career path, changed my mind, and changed course countless times.  Before graduation, I had my career path perfectly mapped. I was going to be an Adult Services Librarian in the Humanities Department at the Main Library where all my knowledge of the arts and music would be put to great use.  This was of course, pre-2008 financial collapse, when the idea of not finding a job after graduation was laughable.  Of course I would find work! Of course I would get the exact position I was looking for! Of course this would all happen within a month of graduation! 

Silly.  Me.

This was, obviously, not how things went down.  In one comically horrible swoop, it was announced that Ohio’s public library fund would be slashed in half, and that perfect first position (that I already had my resume submitted for) was slashed along with it.  What is the moral of the story? Nothing works out exactly as you planned it to.  This simple lesson has dictated my career path ever since.

So I moved on.  I was fortunate enough to not lose my part-time job in circulation at TLCPL, and I took a second job at Barnes and Noble.  Within a few months, the Nook was announced.  Suddenly I found myself in a position where I was somehow the most tech-savvy employee around, and as such, was in charge of all Nook offerings from classes to sales.  A few months after that, I was given the position of Children’s Department Lead. I became engrossed in picture books and lexile levels as well as the basics of management.   Before graduation I never would have pictured myself working with technology or children, let alone managing a department, yet I found to my great surprise, that I not only was good at these things, but I liked them as well.

Which brings me to my newest career goal…

I believe that the library is a temple of learning for all ages.  In today’s technological world, access to computers and the internet are absolutely crucial to success on every level.  You cannot apply for most jobs today by turning in a paper application or resume. You have to submit an online application.  To do so, you must have an email account.  To get an email account, you must know what an internet browser is.  To access an internet browser, you have to know how to operate a mouse.  I’m sure you see where I am going with this…

I cannot count how many people enter my library every week and have never owned a computer, let alone learned how to use one.  Because of this, their children have never had easy access to a computer either.  For these children, their only exposure comes in small bursts at school that are not quite long enough to give them the knowledge of technology they need.  These inexperienced users have come to realize that this is a problem.  Not just a small problem, but a completely debilitating problem that affects their lives daily.  And where do they come to fix this problem? The library: because the library is a judgment-free place, where a friendly face will show patience and understanding and help them to get to where they need to be.  That is why my ultimate career goal is to be a Virtual Services Coordinator within a public library system.

I want to use the knowledge learned from LIS 6010 and my other classes to gain perspective and experience in not just public libraries, but all sorts of information agencies.  I want to be able to look at how a public library offers its virtual services compared with other information agencies and understand whether or not it is as good as it can be. In a world where many people simply cannot afford to connect their home to the internet, someone needs to be making sure they can get what they need elsewhere. 

Similarly, I want to make sure that libraries are proactive in their response to new technological offerings rather than reactive.  3D printers, a place to compose music, recording spaces — build it, and people will use it.  If anything can be learned from the eBook explosion that has happened in recent years, it is that there is a place for technology within a library, as long as librarians are brave enough to accept it. 

In my opinion, virtual services are how libraries will not only remain relevant in the future, but quite possibly surpass their current level of importance. 

Assumptions, Assertions, and Beliefs

 

Books-05-2000

Hello fellow LIS 6010 students, and welcome to my blog. 

I know we have already been introduced, but here are a few facts about me anyways:

  • My name is Allison Fiscus.  I live in Maumee, Ohio with my wonderful husband Jon, and our dog Albus.
  • I graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in Fine Art (Printmaking) and Art History.  I am an art lover in the extreme and have a particularly large appreciation of the Italian Renaissance and Pop Art periods.
  • I love to read, particularly history and sci-fi/fantasy books.  I am also a compulsive book recommender.  Want a suggestion of what to read next? Just ask! I’ll happily give you a title (or 30).
  • I am a fairly musical person, and in my limited extra time I help to instruct my alma mater’s marching band.
  • I work for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library as the Assistant Manager of the Sanger Branch.  I started in 2004 as a page at my neighborhood library, and have since worked my way up through the ranks as a circulation clerk, Adult Services Librarian, and Children’s Librarian.  My past work experience also includes a stint at Barnes and Noble as a Digital and Children’s Department Lead.  I have known for a very long time that I was meant to be a librarian, and love every minute of what I do.

Which brings me to…

Assumption: LIS 6010 will provide me with a well-rounded look at the LIS professions that I won’t necessarily get by working in a public library.  As a result, I will be able to use aspects of many information science professions to become better at what I do.

I have been working in the public library setting for almost 10 years.  I know my job backwards and forwards, but as far as information science goes, public libraries are all I know.  I look forward to broadening my horizons in this course and exploring new areas of LIS.  This is important to me because…

Assertion: Librarians should always be open to, and looking for, new ways to improve the way libraries are run.

There is a long and fantastic tradition of libraries in this country, and I truly believe that each librarian to sit behind a desk and direct someone to the information they need is aware and proud of that fact.  Toledo-Lucas County Public Library was established in 1838.  This year, we celebrate our 175th anniversary, and sometimes when introducing new ideas to my co-workers, it feels like it’s still 1838.  It has been my experience that sometimes librarians can be resistant to change.

With the invention of the Internet and the introduction of digital media, librarians can no longer afford to think that way.  As a profession, we must be open to new ideas and new opportunities to assert ourselves. By doing that our importance to society will not be forgotten, it will be expanded.  Providing new ways to obtain information proves that a library is aware of the cultural and technological changes that are occurring in the world, and that it is willing and able to adapt to them.

Belief: Being a librarian is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. 

Everyday I go into work and I get to help people.  Sometimes that looks like a storytime, sometimes a book recommendation, and sometimes it is assisting with a form of technology.  The list goes on.  The library offers a judgment-free place to ask for assistance, and it is extremely rewarding to be able to offer it.

Furthermore, you will be hard pressed to find a librarian anywhere who doesn’t have an extreme love of the written word.  That love creates a work environment that promotes the sharing of ideas, philosophies, and more.  Book recommendations seem to bounce off the walls, landing on any ears willing to hear them.  Program ideas are shared so often that there are never enough days in the year to provide them all.  We are a profession of people so eager to share what we know that there is not enough time in the day to do so.  This means that I am constantly challenged in my career to better myself, as well as the environment I work in.

I am looking forward to a great semester with you all.  I am sure that I will have a chance to learn from each of you.

Best,

Allison