I’m so happy I could be twins. We now have an honest-to-goodness Library User Experience (UX) Specialist: Amy Deschenes, who came to us from Simmons College, where she was the Systems and Web Applications Librarian. Amy has only been here for a couple of months, but the buzz has already gotten around about how much she can help us gain a user’s point of view; she did some work with undergraduate and graduate students right away upon getting to campus. I’d heard a lot of good things about her, and this summer our library is transitioning to LibGuides 2.0, which means it’s time for an overhaul of my LibGuides…so I wrote and asked if I could meet with her for pointers.
Next month I’ll have been a librarian for 37—count ‘em!—37 years, and I’ve been musing lately about how very much I’ve learned about libraries, organizations, and people in that time. That musing led me to focus on some of the questions I still ask myself after having worked in libraries for 38 years (there was that year working part-time reference while earning my MLS…).
I don’t feel comfortable without a book nearby (a print book, that is). And the older I get, the more books I read at the same time; I’m usually in the midst of two or three. This is no boast, because I’ve religiously avoided reading serious literature ever since the course that required me to read Nausea and The Death of Ivan Illyich in the same week. Now I read mostly mysteries, which I could argue are, in fact, serious literature, but I don’t because then I wouldn’t want to read them anymore. I get a lot of paperbacks from Amazon, especially since I recently discovered how cheaply I can get used paperbacks there (I also get lots of used paperbacks from the Harvard Bookstore in the interest of supporting brick and mortar bookstores). Then one of my favorite mystery writers released a novella only in a Kindle version available through Amazon. I broke down, downloaded the Kindle app to my laptop, bought the novella, and read it online.
A little while ago an announcement came out through the library list that my colleague, Paul Worster, has been appointed Multimodal Learning Librarian here at Harvard. Having worked with (and learned from) Paul in his previous incarnation as Multimedia Librarian, I had some idea of what he used to do, but I was really intrigued by this new job, wondering just what it entails. So I thought I’d ask him about the position and share the interview with LJ’s readers since the job sounds cutting edge (and fascinating!), and maybe could be a good career development path for both newer and seasoned librarians.
If there’s one word I’d choose as the single most repeated term in libraries over the course of my career (thus far) it would be “change.” And that word has usually had a good connotation for me, since I’ve always figured that if you’re going to change something, you’re going to change it for the better. But now… I’m not so sure.
A recent mailing from my library school alma mater (SUNY Albany) brought with it the realization that I’ve been a librarian for quite a long time (36 years and 6 months, to be precise, but who’s counting…), and yet, I feel about my work now very much as I did in my first job as a part-time reference librarian at Union College.
In recent days, after running more focus groups, doing more user interviews, and working with lots of researchers, I’ve become even more aware of how much we librarians need to get the word out to our users about our wares. So I started thinking about library marketing. As soon as I thought about it, however, […]
I recently got back from the 2014 Charleston Conference (CC), and once again, Katina Strauch and Co. hit a bases-loaded home run with it. I’m incredibly rejuvenated, reinvigorated, and inspired—and based on what I hear from friends and colleagues, that’s the effect this conference has on lots of folks. Just what is it about the […]