Best Names for Non-Internet Librarian…10.31.08

31 10 2008

This is from a post [] on choosing a “retronym” for non-internet librarians

“…A retronym is the revision of a word or phrase necessitated due to technological advances… 

Information Today’s President and CEO Tom Hogan announced the winner of the contest this year as he presented the list of finalists in reverse David Letterman style.

10. Shelf pointer librarian
9. Analog librarian
8. Legacy librarian
7. Librarian unplugged
6. 3×5 librarian
5. Internot librarian
4. Retrobrarian
3. (Insert the name of your supervisor here) librarian
2. Wallenda librarian (flying high without the net)
1. Librarian 1.0 – the winning entry!”


Google Search Results to Include Scanned Documents…10.31.08

31 10 2008

TechCrunch [] reported today:

Google has announced that it will now begin including scanned documents in its search results – a feat that requires an immense amount of processing power and advanced image recognition technology. Unlike standard text documents, scanned files don’t contain any text data that Google’s spiders can index. Instead, Google has employed Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, converting photos of words into digital text files.

In the past Google would attempt to index these image files as well as possible, but could typically search only file titles and nearby metadata – not the contents of the documents. From now on Google searches will include the text within these scanned images in normal search results. When you encounter a scanned document you’ll be able to view it in its original form as a PDF, or as a converted text file (click “View As HTML”).

Such technology has existed for quite a while, but accuracy has always been an issue – and the fact that Google is doing it on such massive scale makes it a very impressive accomplishment. It also opens the doors to much more thorough searching, especially for content that is often found in printed documents (like academic papers)…”

Rex Libris–“The Kick-Ass Librarain”–Suspends Publication…10.30.08

30 10 2008

I just learned today that Rex Libris, the popular library and librarian themed comic written by James Turner, has published its last issue.  You can read the official press release and/or visit the offical website of Rex Libris here:

If I was going to “dress-up” for Halloween, I’d go as our hero Rex Libris.


Solo Special Librarian Job Assessment and Review…10.30.08

30 10 2008

After reading the “Knowledge Management in Real Time” post by The Embedded Librarian [] I guess I’m not crazy and not the only one struggling against a job that is not clearly defined enough for the average, obsessive/compulsive organizational mania of a library/information professional slugging it out in the special library trenches as a solo librarian. Four initial differences with me are that I am older, less bold, less likely to pull up my librarian job stakes for any perceived “greener pastures”, and getting more than a few minutes with management at one time on something other than an emergency job-related issue seems unlikely in the foreseeable future.  Anyway, here is an excerpt from Eileen Boswell’s post–more comments at a more convenient time:

“Flying solo? No documentation from your predecessor? Wondering if this job is for you? I know how you feel and I know what you can do about it. As a very structured thinker in a very unstructured job, I have a choice to make: do I love this place enough to continue when it is such an agitating challenge to my intolerance for ambiguity? (If I’m honest with myself, how much ambiguity do I really want to tolerate?) Do I want to commit to this place and these people long enough to make a semblance of order out of seeming chaos? Wouldn’t my organizational skills be put to better user if I were a cog in a wheel somewhere managing metadata or creating MARC records all day? These were the questions I started asking myself after six months flying solo, as my MLS neared completion, and as job after structured job flew by on every list-serve I belong to. I took this job to get ‘experience’ in information management while I work toward my MLS. And if experience is really what you get when you don’t get what you want, then I’m getting it.

I have worked for five organizations since graduating from college and there never seems to be enough structure for me. This is what drew me to library and information science: STRUCTURE! ORGANIZATION! STANDARDS! The thought of taking a course called Organization of Informationmade my mouth water. Shortly after I began my MLS, I left a job working on No Child Left Behind. To my surprise, I had several offers (evidently there was a dearth of library students with other master’s degrees in the marketplace). I turned down a highly structured and predictable copyright job to come here because I had such a strong instinct that I would love the people here–and not love the other guys–and I was absolutely right. (In fact the ‘other guys’ were even going to pay my tuition, but somehow weren’t going to allow me to have a schedule flexible enough to take classes.) I *knew* this job would be unstructured and that I would not have a master librarian to learn from…”

Innovation in Libraries…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Here are some tips for Innovation in Libaries from Jason Hyatt :

How To Get Approval to Attend SLA Conference…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Kristin Foldvik wrote a good post [] on arguments to management to allow SLA conference attendance:

“Here are a few of the great reasons that you can use to convince him/her that attending the SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is a smart investment:

  1. Costing less than other industry conferences, and offering more than 250 sessions, panels and keynotes, SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is by far the best value for your money.
  2. SLA is the premier organization for information professionals. As the conference of the year, its your best chance to learn about best practices, network to find solutions to information service challenges, and get hands-on technology training.
  3. SLA’s conference speakers are the top industry experts. Pick the brains of the information professional communitys foremost experts. Get answers to your specific questions and exclusive insight into the technologies you use every day.
  4. Education helps professionals work smarter with today’s smaller budgets, fewer resources and looming deadlines. Attending the 2009 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is the most cost-effective way to get the professional development you need.
  5. Investing in employees education is the best way to reward top employees, keep morale high, drive innovation and show that the company is committed to the growth of its valuable team members.
  6. The INFO-EXPO is *the* place to meet with vendors, learn about new technologies, and comparison shop for information products and services.

Some things attendees from the 2008 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO said when asked if they would refer a business associate:

  • A great experience with many learning and networking opportunities.
  • Attending SLA is valuable in identifying trends in the info industry, networking with other professionals, continuing education opportunities, discovering new vendors, hearing top notch speakers…
  • Continuing education classes are excellent, conference programming session are very good. Its a great opportunity to look at/evaluate products, meet vendors and ask questions, network with colleagues…
  • Essential for professional development in a rapidly changing field.
  • Excellent conference programming and pre-conference workshops; great keynote speakers; many opportunities for networking; great array of exhibitors; many amenities such as the wireless lounge [and] computer access….. Excellent value for money.
  • Excellent for keeping current with trends
  • Good variety of topics covered, as well as in-depth coverage of future technological trends, hands-on workshops, focused pre-con classes, strong exhibitor hall….”

“The Future of Library Education and the 2.0 Organization” Presentation…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Meredith Farkas of Information Wants to Be Free posted her very interesting presentation [] from Iceland titled “The Future of Library Education and the 2.0 Organization“:

“…During the panel discussion, talk quickly turned to the importance of practical experience in the LIS curriculum; how library schools that don’t require students to take a practicum are doing a serious disservice to their students. Librarians don’t get a lot of training in this profession; managers expect to hire people who have a clear understanding of how libraries work and how to do the various pieces of their job. If your only knowledge of libraries is academic, you will have a steep learning curve (if you get the job at all in a market where experienced librarians are competing for entry-level positions). Also, what you learn in library school is so much more relevant and meaningful if you already had some experience in a library setting. Some of the LIS students bravely (since two of the panelists were Icelandic LIS faculty) stood up and discussed how useless they felt much of their library school curriculum was and how much they wanted more practical experience to be a part of the required curriculum. You go girls! One of the faculty members seemed to agree that more practical experience should be integrated into the curriculum, while the other seemed mostly to want to defend the current curriculum. It was interesting to see her negative reaction to the notion that the curriculum was out-of-touch with the current realities of the profession, especially since the conference was all about how we have to change to meet the changing needs of patrons and change the education system to train librarians who can do that.

While that tension between academia and those in practice was clearly in evidence at this conference, I think it goes far beyond Iceland. When more than 50% of people who’ve graduated in the past 5 years (and answered my survey) stated that their LIS curriculum did not prepare them for their professional work, I think we have a real disconnect between what is taught and what is needed. I love that San Jose State University’s LIS program has formed advisory boards on various topics that consist of people outside of academia. I’m on a technology advisory board which suggests topics that they should consider teaching in future semesters. That way, they are aware of what skills the profession needs right now and they don’t develop tunnel vision. I’d imagine that there’s a danger of faculty only proposing topics that are within their research interest or that they’d like to teach, leading to a curriculum that may not be designed well to meet the current and future needs of the profession. Getting advice from people who are connected to emerging technologies and to what is happening in the profession makes great sense and I’m surprised that more schools aren’t doing this. A PhD doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Just as academic research should inform practice, practice should inform academia…”

You can see the slides from her talk here: Librarian 2.0 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: lis_educationlibraryschool)

Slide 1: Librarian 2.0 The future of library education and the 2.0 organization Meredith Farkas Norwich University

Slide 2: What is the purpose of LIS education?

Slide 3: “The mission of the LIS Program is to educate individuals for careers as librarians and information specialists and to undertake instruction, research and service programs that meet current and emerging library, information and technology needs.” -University of Hawaii, Manoa

Slide 4: So, how are we doing?

Slide 5: Do you feel your LIS curriculum prepared you for your work in libraries? Yes No 60 45 30 15 0 This question was asked of librarians who graduated from 1998-2008

Slide 6: “One of the big indicators on library education was that I felt I had to take an MPA to get the required skills to do work in a public library.”

Slide 7: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 8: “I think there should have been more emphasis on library instruction and teaching … The majority of my day-to-day library work is related to instruction and I’m basically going on my instinct.”

Slide 9: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 10: “Customer service. Everyone comes into the field being smart, excited at the thought of uncovering information, loving books, etc. But too few professionals come in wanting to help people. I think MLS students need the ability to see the library through their patrons’ eyes rather than through a librarian’s eyes.”

Slide 11: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 12: “I think the more serious threat to our profession is the poor job we’ve been doing in the last decade or so about getting our message out.”

Slide 13: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 14: Being a Librarian in a 2.0 World

Slide 15: So what is library 2.0?

Slide 16: Web 1.0: Democratized Access to Information

Slide 17: Web 2.0: Democratized Participation

Slide 18: Revolutionary or evolutionary?

Slide 19: What is different now?

Slide 20: Technology has enabled us to do so much more

Slide 21: but we’re no longer the only game in town.

Slide 22: Library 2.0 is a state of mind •Working to meet changing user needs •Trusting our users (radical trust) •Getting rid of the culture of perfect •Aware of emerging technologies and opportunities •Looking outside of the library world for applications, opportunities, inspiration

Slide 23: Skills of Librarians 2.0

Slide 24: Understand their users

Slide 25: Keep Up

Slide 26: Aren’t afraid of taking risks

Slide 27: Are Agile

Slide 28: Question Everything

Slide 29: Able to look at new technologies and services with a critical eye

Slide 30: Don’t give up easily

Slide 31: Market Ideas and Communicate Effectively

Slide 32: Build their Networks

Slide 33: Create Partnerships

Slide 34: If this is what librarians need to be successful, shouldn’t they be taught in library school?

Slide 35: What skills and competencies are most important for librarians to have today? Technology Skills Customer Service Skills Openness to Change/Flexibility Commitment to Continuous Learning Curiosity/Creativity/Innovative Management Skills Teaching Skills Search Skills Marketing Skills 0 12.5 25.0 37.5 50.0

Slide 36: “It’s not so much specific skills as a way of looking at things, a lack of fearfulness about trying different tools… For me, it’s just as important, if not more, to have the librarian mindset as to have the individual skills.”

Slide 37: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills • Customer service • Technology skills skills/people skills • Management skills • Openness to change/ flexibility • Teaching skills • Commitment to • Search skills continuous learning • Marketing skills • Curiosity, creativity, innovative spirit

Slide 38: How do you teach the “soft skills?” • Integrate them into already existing classes. • Make it clear that these are critical skills for success in the profession. • Methods for teaching soft skills • hands-on activities • role-playing • case study analysis

Slide 39: You can’t cover everything in a 36 – 43 credit-hour program.

Slide 40: “I answered yes because the internship required by my program is what was most useful by far. So it was not really the academic part of the program that prepared me but that practical part.”

Slide 41: “We will never attract innovators to the profession if we don’t offer them the sort of work environment where they can satisfy their need for experimentation and creativity.”

Slide 42: Thanks! AIM: librarianmer Slides available at

Slide 43: Photo Credits • Digitage Web 2.0 by ocean.flynn • Library 2.0 Meme Map 178568449/ by Gerard Bierens • Gold Coast Marathon 018 tk_five_0/680775822/ by Michael Dawes • Dewey or don’t we? 1500054745/ By scampion • Self Portrait with Glass 45097561@N00/439046462/ By Jacob Whitaker • RISK #2 by Bjornar • Don’t Give Up by K0P • IMG_2016.JPG by stevenjude • sunny day by jessamyn