Editor’s Note: Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Enjoy!
On Sunday, I traveled to Madison, WI for my school’s distance student “bootcamp” – a week-long orientation that serves as the first week of classes for distance education students in my program. I met (and lived in a dorm with!) my classmates, had face-to-face time with instructors, and got a crash course in using a slew of online tools like Jing (which Brenna mentioned a few weeks ago) and Zotero.
This past week has truly felt like an ending and a beginning for me. I am no longer looking for a program or drudging through the application and admission process. That period in my life is over. Now, I can officially say that I am a library school student. It’s the start of a whole new chapter.
At bootcamp, we talked a lot about trends affecting libraries. The ALA has compiled this list of trends. Some of these I had heard of or thought about, but many I hadn’t (like haptic technology and flipped learning). I’d love to hear about others’ real-world experiences with any of these trends!
As both an employee and a student in the University of Illinois system, I just want to draw some attention to the budget crisis that’s currently going on in Illinois. To sum it up, the budget was supposed to be settled by the end of June, but a stalemate between the Republican governor and the Democratic senate has caused an impasse. This means layoffs for state employees, though luckily none for university employees at this point. We hear a lot of warnings about budget crises in library school and this one’s starting to feel pretty real, guys.
On a brighter note (though this isn’t really a good thing), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was recently named the top party school in the country by the Princeton Review. I blame it on all the librarians 😉
I spent a lot of time thinking about the Atlantic article published this week featuring the Deschutes Public Library. The article showcases how the library turned their attention towards their community, going out to other community places to share the library’s resources. They even went as far to change the title of the librarians to “community librarians.” A lot of this jives with the theories we read about in the Community Engagement class I took this spring. While this article makes it appear that we as librarians suddenly turned outward, in all actually, this is something we have done for a while (and can be pretty good at).
I’ve been preparing for the start of my distance learning MLIS due to begin at the end of August. I found a couple of study skills books useful – “The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook” by Sarah Moore et al and “The Study Skills Handbook” by Stella Cottrell. The latter is published by Palgrave who also have a handy online Study Skills site.
Finally, to help get some background for the first module on Technologies of Digital Libraries I’ve been working through some HTML and CSS courses on Codecademy.
The 2015 Conference on Inclusion and Diversity in Library & Information Science is accepting presentation and paper abstracts until August 30. The conference will take place October 15-16 (a Thursday & Friday) at the University of Maryland iSchool in College Park, Md. Registration is free and there doesn’t appear to be a deadline, but of course registering early can only help the conference planners.
This is an especially exciting opportunity for library school students to get their work out there and explore the wild and crazy world of conference participation. I go to Maryland and know a lot of my classmates will be attending and/or submitting proposals; it would be fantastic to have a strong cohort of masters students join us from schools all over.
If you’re looking for food for thought in advance of attending or working on a proposal, two recent pieces from In the Library With the Lead Pipe are important starting points. Many of you probably caught Angela Galvan’s essay back in June — Soliciting Performance, Hiding Bias: Whiteness and Librarianship. Last week, a group of six librarians, educators, and researchers published Why Diversity Matters: A Roundtable Discussion on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Librarianship, a paper based on a panel from ACRL 2015. Hope one of the two will spark some new thinking for many of you.