October 25, 2013

Meet me in Monterey!

Stop by and say hi Monday night during Internet Librarian! And, if you're interested, swing by Track C203 to hear me talk with Deb Hunt and David Diamond about Info Pro Skills for the Future!

Meet Your Favorite Information Today Inc Authors

This October, Information Today, Inc.'s most popular authors will be at Internet Librarian 2013. For attendees, it's the place to meet the industry's top authors and purchase signed copies of their books at a special 40% discount.

The following authors will be signing at the Information Today, Inc., on Monday, October 28 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM during the Grand Opening Reception: 

Ruth Kneale, author of You Don't Look Like a Librarian: Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age

Susanne Markgren and Tiffany Eatman Allen, authors of Career Q&A: A Librarian's Real-Life, Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career

Donald T. Hawkins, editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage

David Lee King, author of Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections

Marcy Phelps, author of Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information

October 23, 2013

LISA VII Call for Papers

Library and Information Services in Astronomy - LISA VII: Open Science - at the Frontiers of Librarianship

hosted by the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), Naples, Italy, June 17-20, 2014

In a rapidly changing scientific information environment, astronomy has been a forerunner. Astronomy libraries have adapted and responded with innovative services to meet the demands of this environment; Big Data, Open Science, are among the many challenges and opportunities that astronomy librarians face as they look ahead to the future.

Come join us!

The LISA VII Scientific Organizing Committee cordially invites you to submit contributed talks and poster presentations at http://eventi.oacn.inaf.it/lisa7/.

The conference Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Chris Lintott, University of Oxford, famous for making astronomy more accessible through projects like Zooniverse, and his advocacy for Open Access initiatives.

Submission deadline will be 30 November, 2013.

Please note that the SOC cannot guarantee that all submitted papers will be accepted and that it reserves the right to request that a proposed oral presentation be presented as a poster paper or vice versa. Notifications regarding accepted papers will be made no later than 15 January, 2014.

If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact:

Eva and Andras
Co-chairs, LISA VII SOC

Eva Isaksson
Helsinki University Library, Finland

Andras Holl
Konkoly Observatory, Hungary
Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

October 22, 2013

The New Librarianship

This is a call for book chapters for The New Librarianship, a book that will focus on new roles and responsibilities for librarians in the digital environment, as well as new skill sets, new partnerships, and other exciting endeavors.  The book will be published by Scarecrow Press.

Topical areas suggested include:
  • information stewardship
  • research evaluation metrics
  • new skills and new roles
  • open access
  • scholarly publishing
  • the library as publisher
  • involvement, engagement, connection with patrons/customers
  • training
  • embedded librarianship
  • research data management and services
  • grant writing
  • virtual reference, instruction, etc.
  • e-science
  • innovative uses of technology
  • library mobile apps
  • information visualization
  • ILMS redefined
  • data literacy, media literacy, multi-literacy
  • institutional repositories
  • sustainable and effective assessment
  • exciting and innovative partnerships outside of and within the library
  • user-generated content
  • data curation
  • innovative uses of metadata standards and interoperability
  • new models for library services
  • mega-collaborations (shared print, shared services, etc.)
  • marketing/outreach services
  • "green" libraries
  • creating/reinventing new spaces in libraries
  • web-scale discovery tools
  • folksonomies
These are only a few of the topics that will be explored in this book.  The editor is looking for case studies, thoughtful and insightful opinions, and innovative new services and models for moving libraries forward. 

To submit book chapter proposals, please submit an abstract of approximately 100 words and a title for the chapter to Dr. Brad Eden at brad.eden@valpo.eduDeadline for proposals is November 25, 2013.  Deadline for accepted chapters to be submitted to the editor would be May 1, 2014. 

RILA Tattooed Librarians Calendar

Another state library association joins the Tattooed Librarians Calendar club!  The "Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State" calendar sales will benefit the Rhode Island Library Association; "the twelve librarians and library workers featured in this calendar represent just a few of the many working professionals who are proud of their career, their ink, and the stories they tell."

Welcome aboard, Rhode Island!

October 9, 2013

Librarian Shaming

It's a thing.

"The purpose is to give library folks a place to get things off their chest anonymously, and enjoy some commiseration from their peers."

I'm guiltily amused...

The Secret Lives of Librarians

Keltie Jones of the Truro Daily News learns that there's more to her town librarians than she realized, and wants to know why they aren't being consulted about the redesign of the library.  "While most of us see librarians sitting and talking to people or moving quietly about the facility, they are, in fact, quite an active group. [...]  Modern librarians understand that the buildings that house libraries need to be open, accessible, modular, and versatile. They are the experts, and they should be engaged in the conversation around choosing the new location for the library."

Well done, Ms. Jones, well done! 

Lego Librarian

Finally, a Lego figure to call our own! And Mr. Library Dude takes it and runs with it in his post "Image, Public Perception, and Lego Librarians."

"In May, Lego released its "Lego Librarian" as part of its popular minifigures series. I watched with some trepidation. More trite stereotypes? But then I thought: wait, this means librarians have officially hit the big time--we've been immortalized in Lego form!"

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the variety of librarians Mr. Hardenbrook was able to create with Lego minifig pieces...and I may or may not have recognized myself in the mix!

Wear What You Want

"An interesting discussion happened today on Twitter about clothing and librarianship...."  As always, Sarah Houghton-Jan (the Librarian in Black) cuts right to the point, and I wholeheartedly agree with her. In a post expanding on that Twitter discussion, "Wear What You Want: Dressing to Lead in Libraries," she says "Above all, stay true to who you are." Yes!

Who decided that librarians weren't supposed to dress to please themselves? (Caveat: within reason, in public.)

So, ALA happened...

...and of course, an article had to be written about hipster librarians and the stereotypes.  "No doubt: To make your way through the throngs of librarians at the conference — especially if you're not a librarian (the Chicago-based association restricts attendance to librarians, library-related professionals and journalists) — is to witness a real-time debate about what a librarian, and a library, should look like in 2013." 

It's an interesting comparison of the hip versus the dowdy, physical books versus robots, shawls and polka-dot dresses. My fave quote, from Ahmed Johnson: "There are still a lot of people who expect a tiny elderly woman. But it's all changing."

Vintage Awesomeness!

Just because.  "25 Vintage Photos of Librarians Being Awesome."

"Librarians, in case you hadn’t heard, are essential members of society — likely to expand minds wherever they go — and, as such, are fully worthy of hero worship (whether they’re among the coolest librarians alive or just pretty cool). That’s at least part of the impetus behind My Daguerreotype Librarian, ”[a] tumblr dedicated to literally or figuratively hunky and babely librarians from the past.” Inspired by the website, here’s a little extra literary goodness: 25 awesome vintage photos of librarians from ages past."

On the Brink....? Not!

12 Jobs on the Brink: Will They Evolve or Go Extinct?
Find Out If Your Job is on the Endangered Occupations List

"Librarian: Shelved or renewed? Glamour girl Google and her friends Bing, Yahoo and Cha Cha dethroned the trusty silencer of the stacks, our public librarian." Read more for their surprising - and welcome - verdict! (Slide 2 is the one of interest.)

Free For All!

"FREE FOR ALL is a multi-platform documentary project exploring the history, spirit and challenges of the free public library. With public libraries around the nation facing drastic budget cuts and even closures, FREE FOR ALL investigates why Americans are using their libraries more now than ever before and assesses the high stakes for democracy if public libraries become extinct."

That's a way to get folks into the library....

"Free pole dancing classes at library 'great success' with readers."


(sadly I cannot embed the video from the site)

This Scottish library had many other enticements to offer during "Love Your Library Day" but this one has got to be the best IMO. It's worth a watch if for no other reason than to watch a policewoman give it a try.

Libraries...of the FUTURE!

Libraries of the Future Visualization |Libraries of the Future (Visualization)

Aside from the unfortunate portrayal of the future librarian as the classic stereotype *sigh*, this is a nifty infographic of Pew Internet data from LibraryScienceList.

Go, public libraries!

April 10, 2013

A look back at NLS6

I can hardly believe it's been two months already since I adventured to Australia to participate in the Sixth New Librarians' Symposium. It seems like just last week I was discovering how beautiful Brisbane is, how immensely cheerful the NLS6 chairs Kate Davis and Vanessa Warren are (and incredibly graceful under pressure!), and what a fantastic endeavor this symposium was.

My family and I arrived several days early (come on, I can't go to Australia alone!) and overcame our jet lag on the sunny shores of the Gold Coast. Upon heading into the city proper, we were bedazzled by just how pretty it is - even a week after a cyclone came through (!!) - and astonished at the hills. I think my legs have only just stopped aching! We explored the botanical gardens, bridges, and South Bank, and ended up at QUT to pick up my registration pack. Even then, the first day of the chaos, Kate and Vanessa impressed the hell outta me. (Note, I didn't attend any of the workshops on this first day.)

The second day - that is, Sunday, February 10th, exactly two months ago today - was a really big one for me, as I was presenting the closing keynote session that day. To say I was nervous might be a small understatement. Watching Ingrid Parent (IFLA President) give the opening keynote, and Marcus Foth give the afternoon one (informatics r fun!), didn't lessen my jitters any - they're impressive speakers who shared some impressive ideas.

During the morning sessions, I attended the audacious "Being Seen and Heard: A workshop across two conferences" that Molly Tebo and Kathryn Greenhill were doing - interviewing people at the symposium for questions, then carrying it onward to the ALIA Information Online conference the week after for answers. They're going to pull it all together into a reference for new librarians. Very cool!  I also sat in on a session titled "The Embedded Librarian: is this your future?" by Jennifer Osborn - it was interesting in an academic sense for me, as I'm living that life already, but good to see that the concept is getting out there and discussed. I then bounced between a few sessions, on embracing change, having confidence, maintaining balance, and social media.

In the afternoon, I missed out on what sounded like some great sessions on the twitterstreams, due to last-minute tweaking and pecking and fiddling with my presentation. I'm very pleased to say it went well - the room was packed, the energy was great, and the twitterstream was full of wonderful things. My goal was to tell the group something they didn't already know, and I'm pretty sure I nailed it! I'm delighted that I also got one of the symposium sketchnotes, by the amazing Kim Williams:

Happy sighs!

Day 3, the second full day of the conference, I was able to relax and enjoy both the keynotes and the sessions. Sue Gardner gave a great opening keynote about librarians, Wikipedia contributors, and changing information - big info shared in a very engaging way.  Sessions on dynamic librarianship and "the rise of the hipster librarian" were fun. Ryan Donahue of the Met talked about information systems and information management behind the scenes at one of the world's largest museums; he made me want to jump specialties for a while there! Holger Aman and Michael Carney gave a really illustrative comparison session - they're both young male librarians who literally work across the street from each other, in very traditional institutions - Holger works at the Law Courts Library, and Michael works at the State Library of NSW. It was fascinating!

After lunch, futurist Stuart Candy talked about the future of libraries - and why it's so damn hard to predict it. Talk about making big ideas accessible - he did a great job, talking about the Long Now, how many outcomes there are in the cone of possibility, and how sometimes a prediction really is just a WAG*. There was a panel session in the afternoon that I got a real kick out of: "Librarians we love" were asked by the moderator to bring one item that has real significance to them, and tell the audience about it. What a great way to learn something about others in the profession, especially leaders! So often newcomers aren't sure if they can just go say hi to someone "more established" - this panel broke right through that hesitation. It was great!

The closing keynote for the symposium was by the always-amazing Jenica Rogers, who I finally got to meet face-to-face. (Squee!) She talked about the need for more wild thinking - not self-defeating ideas, but big audacious grand ones. We need heroes in libraryland - she's one of them, given the ACS thing (which she did talk about). We need change. We need more activism! She had a rousing call to action to all the new librarians in attendance; time will tell how that plays out. (I have high hopes!)

Overall, I was very impressed with the symposium - especially considering it was put together by an all-volunteer group spread out over the entirety of the (truly gigantic) country. No tech snafus, no scheduling hiccups, food and drink appeared when it was supposed to, and every person wearing a Staff t-shirt was welcoming, open and helpful. It really was a model to me of what a small conference can be like. Congratulations again to Kate and Vanessa and their team for a great experience, and thanks to the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Government for their support in bringing me to NLS6.

*Wild-Ass Guess.

March 12, 2013

In a guest post for the Canadian Freedom to Read Week, Raincoast Books asked author and technologist Cory Doctorow to weigh in on libraries and technology
"That is to say that society has never needed its librarians, and its libraries, more. The major life-skill of the information age is information literacy, and no one's better at that than librarians. It's what they train for. It's what they live for."
He's got some really great suggestions and ideas; I really like the one for transforming outdated PCs via in-library classes, then giving them to those who need them.

And, IMHO, he's right at the bottom line: Society has never needed us more. Thank you, Mr. Doctorow.

March 8, 2013

2013 Annual Conference in San Diego - How and Why to Make It Happen

A message from Jill Strand, chair of the 2013 Annual Conference Advisory Council; reposted from the SLA Blog.

By now you should have received your 2013 Annual Conference Preview in the mail.  Hopefully you are as excited as I am about getting together with your SLA colleagues to "connect, collaborate and strategize" in beautiful San Diego, California, this June!

The 2013 Annual Conference Advisory Council has worked incredibly hard to ensure that this conference meets your expectations like no other. Here are just a few of the reasons you should make every effort to attend:
  • All SLA units have outdone themselves to present a fabulous collection of sessions that offer something for everyone. Sessions range from featuring well-known speakers to interactive speed-dating sessions to dynamic panels on hot topics of interest. Attendees are sure to find ideas they can take back to the office and immediately put into action.
  • We already have a long list of SLA's vendor partners committed to showcasing the latest and greatest tools and technologies in the INFO-EXPO.
  • The San Diego Chapter is also going above and beyond to welcome you to their fair city with tips on fun things to do, places to eat, ways to get around and more.
We know that times are still tough for a lot of our members.  Employers are cutting back on staffing, funds for professional development, and especially travel.  Sometimes it seems like the cost of everything from airfare and hotel to food and conference registration is going up.  Believe me, the SLA HQ staff, Board and Conference Council know this hard truth all too well.  That's part of the reason why we've been working to make sure the conference offers you as much value for your money as possible.  We realize that members may have other financial obligations that simply take precedence over attending the annual conference.  But I encourage you to consider the following:
  • The Value of Making an Investment in Yourself and Your Career - Just because your employer has pulled back on investing in your professional development, that doesn’t mean you should too.   Just like your home or a child's education, your career is a worthy investment. It's what keeps you competitive and ensures your job security and future advancement. Perhaps your employer would be willing to give you time off to attend and cover the registration or hotel costs.
  • Ways to Be Creative - Many chapters and divisions offer stipends you can apply for to cover the bulk of conference expenses. In addition, thanks to the generosity of SLA's vendor partners, you certainly won't starve with many delicious lunch and snack breaks offered in the INFO-EXPO and the multitude of receptions to choose from during the evenings.
  • Sharing the Fun - Maybe you swore off roommates after that bad experience in college but we've all grown up a bit, and the pros can outweigh the cons. In addition to saving money, it can be fun to have someone to hit receptions with or share a recap of how the day went.
  • The Bigger Picture - Did you know that the annual conference makes up more than 60% of SLA’s revenues? The conference is what keeps our membership dues relatively low in comparison to those of other associations. Think of all the things we get for our membership: lower rates for webinars, continuing education, and access to networking, the Career Center and the online Innovation Lab, as well as discounts on many other products and services. While we may not be able to participate every year, each of us is making a contribution to the association when we attend the annual conference.
I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego!

Jill can be reached at jillstrand@gmail.com.

February 2, 2013

NLS6, Here I Come!

Today, I depart for summery Brisbane, Australia, to deliver a keynote presentation at the Sixth New Librarians Symposium. I'm quite excited about my talk, and the symposium overall - it's a great idea, and has some really interesting-sounding sessions I'm looking forward to attending.  Thank you, ALIA and NLS6!