I’m especially thankful for one very particular aspect of this Thanksgiving: not having to cook a blessed thing. I went with a cousin to Plimoth Plantation for Thanksgiving dinner, where, in addition to a traditional feast, “Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters [were] on hand to greet [us] and [we would] learn about the 1621 feast that continues to inspire our modern celebration of Thanksgiving.” Having lived in the Boston area for nearly 20 years (yipes!) I figures this was a good time to go there.
Here’s an issue about which I’ve been hearing from colleagues quite a lot lately—that of libraries undertaking and carrying out assessment methods and then ignoring or “trumping” the findings by doing what they wanted to do in the first place, but putting a “check mark” next to assessment in their mental (or literal) to do lists, indicating, “yep, did that!” My thought in such cases is: well, no, you didn’t do that!
Despite the increase in remote services libraries offer, I think “the library as place” is gaining in importance in the real world of library life. It may be that I think that because I am lucky enough to work in a magnificent library that recently underwent a top-notch renovation, making it an even more beautiful, comfortable, and useful place to do research. But I don’t think that’s the only reason, because much of what I’m reading in the library literature describes how libraries now being built or renovated are changing their spaces to suit actual user needs, as well as the needs of the library to do its work. And in my opinion that’s a good thing.
Last spring I did a research consultation with a student who was preparing to work on her senior thesis. She was smart, focused, motivated, and self-directed, and in addition to discussing the research process and research resources, we talked about what it is like to work in libraries. The young lady got back in touch [...]
When I was a new librarian I was continually looking for opportunities to add to my experience and to my résumé. I was on high alert to find chances to practice my craft, present, and publish, as well as to try out new technologies and develop new services.What I wonder now is, are you seeking out new opportunities and “seizing” them? Or do you have different priorities for your life/work balance?
I spent the last week dealing with a family crisis, and the week consisted of a series of anxious moments punctuating periods of nothing to do but wait. And think. Since I was among family for the week and away from work, naturally I thought about work a lot when I wasn’t addressing family concerns. And in the process of thinking about work, I thought about the choices I’ve made in my life, not least of which was my choice of the work I would do.
It’s that time of year again: school is starting in a few days. I’m booking orientations and classes for my areas of liaison, so I’m looking forward to meeting a whole lot of new, bright-eyed students and having the privilege of introducing them to the riches of our library system. I’ve tried many different methods for teaching library resources to students over three decades of library teaching, but there’s one method in particular that seems to evoke a strongly positive response from both the students and the faculty for whose course I’m teaching the library class. What is it? Getting them into the library stacks.
Finding a Public Voice: Barbara Fister as a Case Study is at long last available from ALA Editions! The volume, edited by Danielle Theiss and Diane Kovacs, is a collection of essays by academic librarians that pays tribute to the thoughtful and fearless Barbara Fister. I made a humble contribution to the book in the form of a haiku and longer poem (so called) simply because I was asked and because I had to be part of any book that recognized Barbara Fister’s many contributions to our profession. Barbara—thank you for being you, and for sharing you with the rest of us via your writing.
A loonng time ago (almost 11 years) my colleague Ed Tallent and I wrote a Backtalk for LJ entitled, “Beware Blogging Blunders” (it was so long ago that we had to define blogging for our audience). In it, we talked about how whatever you put online will follow you around, personally and professionally, for, well, forever. How very naïve that sounds today, when folks are laying bare their souls (and much else) on social media sites, and it seems that many individuals want you to be aware of their every move and bodily function. At the time we wrote that piece, we posited that three degrees of separation were in operation in the library world; now, as you know, it’s more like none to one, since so often we get to know someone virtually long before we meet them in person (if we ever do), and that network can extend to librarians everywhere.