#HLSconvo/ALA12 wrap-up

Well! ALA Annual has come and gone, and with it, so has HackLibSchool’s Conversation Starter, and our 2012 Hack ALA series! I think I can speak for all of us who attended in saying that the conference was teeming with information, networking, drama, and pure fun!

The Convo!

The conversation! Photo credit: Steve Teeri (@telephase).

Our conversation starter was just as good as we all hoped it might be! We used a modified fishbowl model, and tackled four key questions:

  • What would you tell people just starting library school, knowing what you know now?
  • From a student’s perspective, what advice would you give a library veteran, or a potential boss?
  • Should every student be required to take at least one online class? Why?
  • What is the best class you have taken?

The answers ran the gamut, and came from library students, librarians, administrators, and more–and they’re not over yet! Please, sound off in the comments and let us know what you think! You can also tweet us with the #HLSconvo hashtag. Keep talking!

But wait, there’s more!

For me, the best part of the day was a round-robin finish, sharing “best hacks.” Here’s the list we came up with:

  • Be Fearless:
    Librarianship shouldn’t be easy. If you’re doing it right, there will be people telling you to shut up and sit down. Learn who you should ignore.
  • Absorb Everything:
    Especially things that are “outside” of the discipline. Anything could be a potential source of information.
  • Take Charge:
    Make it happen! If you see a problem, fix it! If you see an opportunity, take it.
  • Don’t Get Tunnel Vision:
    In library school, we have the chance to test out every side of the field; don’t miss out!
  • We’re On the Same Team:
    Librarians have different values and specialties, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have to work together.
  • Be Aware of your Transferrable Skills:
    librarians have loads of them. Don’t ever shy away from a problem because you haven’t seen it before–chances are good that you know something that will help, just the same.
  • Be Eager:
    Enthusiasm is a good thing. So is initiative. Combined? You’ll go places.
  • Be Awesome, Be Yourself, and Be Reachable:
    Do cool things publicly, and enter into a dialogue about them with your colleagues.
  • Network!
    Like the above, but also…information is meant to be shared. Share it!

Special thanks to all of the folks who suggested these hacks! What other advice do you have? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you next summer in Chicago!

Teresa, Kevin, Annie, and Topher in Anaheim at ALA12!

Teresa, Kevin, Annie, and Topher in Anaheim at ALA12!

Categories: Hack ALA

3 replies

  1. Transferable skills ftw.

    I’d like to challenge “be fearless”, though. I used to agree with it wholeheartedly but now? So many of the good things in my career have come from being scared and doing it anyway.

    It’s OK to be scared. It’s OK to be blind terrified. It’s not OK not to be brave. And the only time you can be brave is when you’re scared…


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