Committee Work: Not So Scary After All

Here at Hack Library School we talk a lot about ways to further our LIS educations outside of the classroom, including pursuing part-time work, completing internships and practicums, joining student and professional organizations, and attending conferences. These kinds of experience are essential for shaping professional interests and developing skills. Throughout […]

Hack ALA: Accreditation Standards!

Hello! Topher here, happy to introduce guest poster Elizabeth Lieutenant! If you’re like us, you followed all the advice out there and enrolled in an ALA-accredited institution. But what does that really mean? This is your chance to find out! We were fortunate enough to attend a session at ALA […]

Alternative Careers for LIS Grads

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Alex Berman. Alternative careers for LIS graduates is something that’s not often discussed and, in classrooms, is often ignored. Yet you might be surprised to know that your LIS degree is good for more than just libraries and archives. In this post, […]

Phone Interview Strategies

I recently began the process of applying for jobs. When I found out I was invited for my first phone interview, I was given a lot of fantastic Facebook-solicited advice: shut your (distracting) pet out of the room, ask “Did that answer your question?” after answering a question, dress like […]

Hack Your First Professional Conference

I have never met a conference I did not like. In the last four years, I have attended twelve academic conferences ranging in size from under 150 to over 5,000 participants. I have presented papers, sat on panels, moderated debate, lead workshops, and worked logistics. In my experience, all conferences […]

ALA Midwinter Meetup!

Hello hackers! Coming to ALA? Join a few of the HLS writers for lunch on Sunday! Here are the details: What: The HLS Midwinter Meetup! When: Sunday, 26 January 2014, at 11:30am (until about 1pm). Where: Meet at the Networking Uncommons–we have ideas for lunch venues, and will head out […]

What You Should Know About HASTAC

By Brianna Marshall and Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet HASTAC, or the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, was founded in 2002 to serve as a community of “humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists and technologists working together to transform the future of learning for the 21st century.” It’s an incredible online portal […]

DH and Open Access

Image courtesy of the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte Open access refers to free and unrestricted online access to publishing, especially scholarly research. Examples range from articles, theses, and dissertations to conference presentations. In some cases, open access work is free of copyright or licensing restrictions, meaning researchers […]

DIY DH+LIS

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Dana Bublitz. So, you’re interested in digital humanities as a library science student, but your LIS program (and maybe your whole university) doesn’t even have the slightest idea what you mean when you talk about “DH”–or maybe they just give you a […]

Digital Humanities Week, 1/20-1/24

We’re excited to share that next week Hack Library School will feature an entire week of digital humanities-related content – we’re dubbing it “DH week.” Here’s what you have to look forward to: 1/20 – An introduction to DH for library-dwellers, Ashley Maynor 1/21 – From an undergrad digital humanist, […]

The (Other) Digital Divide

When people discuss the digital divide, they are usually talking about how race and class differences contribute to one’s ability to access and use computers and the Internet. But in my opinion, there is another digital divide among professionals, one that separates those who make their living creating technologies and […]

Hack Your Professional Organization

There is no better time than graduate school to join a professional organization. Many LIS organizations have special incentives in place to attract library school students. The offerings will vary between organizations, but this post should give you an idea of what to watch for.   TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS Professional […]

12 New Reasons Not to Do Your Homework

You’re already reading Hack Library School, and you’ve undoubtedly heard about the magic being done at INALJ. Therefore, it can be deduced that you are indeed a savvy library student. But don’t you ever feel the need to branch out? Don’t you ever want to diversify your list of go-to […]

Service Learning: Friend or Foe?

One of my courses this semester (Community Informatics) required a sizable amount of “service learning” (for those who don’t know, service learning is basically community service/volunteering activities that are incorporated into a course). When I mentioned the extensive, unpaid time commitment that the service learning represented to a friend of […]

How I Got My LIS Groove Back

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Alison Peters. I fully admit it: I was this close to dropping out. Don’t get me wrong; I’m very happy with the 100% online LIS program at San Jose State University, which allows me to work full time and develop a freelance […]

A Liberal Arts Major’s Guide to Coding

As programmer and tech journalist Ciara Byrne noted in her op-ed “No–You Don’t Need to Learn To Code”, learning to code is not always fun, easy, or even useful for every career path. Nonetheless, programming can develop several soft skills that translate across a broad range of professions. In addition […]

Seeking Digital Humanities Blog Posts!

Readers, we have exciting news! Hack Library School will be featuring a digital humanities-themed week of posts in early January 2014. We are soliciting content from readers who have ideas they’d like to share. We’re looking for posts on the following themes: A basic introduction to DH Alt-ac careers for […]

When Library School Hands You Lemons

My library school experience has, I’m sad to say, handed me a bunch of lemons. There are the professors who aren’t as inspiring as I would prefer (sorry), the journal articles that look like they weren’t proofread, the classes that are scheduled at times that are inconvenient for everyone. Including […]

Hackers Enjoy the Little Things

Why so serious? For aspiring librarians, attitude is all-important. Many of us eat up our days doing internships and day jobs, writing papers, presenting at conferences, and networking our hearts out on Twitter. This kind of workload makes us run the risk of stress, frustration, disillusionment—even burnout, especially if we […]

Hack Your Study Space

Although I’ve been working on an MLS for a little over two years, I’m still trying to improve my study space. While I plan to work IN a library when I graduate, my default study space is at home.  One thing I’ve learned in talking to my library school classmates […]

Wrapping Up #HLSDITL Round 2

A few weeks ago, we asked fellow HLS readers to join us in providing a small glimpse of what it’s like to be a library student. Round 2 of this year’s Library Student Day in the Life, better known as #HLSDITL, began on Monday, October 27th and went through Friday, […]

Are online LIS students doomed?

Hello fellow hackers! I’m excited to join the Hack Library School team. For my first post, I thought I’d tackle the subject of online MLIS programs, even though this has been discussed on Hack Library School in the past. You see, recently on Hiring Librarians some hiring managers have criticized […]

Do What Makes You Mad

In the library world, enthusiasm is not in short supply. I’d even go so far as to say that being excited about things is quickly becoming part of the new librarian stereotype, along with being 25, tattooed, pink-haired, and on a skateboard. Think about it—an abundance of library websites, blogs, […]

On Entering Library School with No Experience

Congratulations!  You’ve made it to library school.  Hopefully you are getting accustomed to the expectations and challenges of your program.  If you have registered for spring classes, you are likely busy planning out the rest of your requirements and looking towards getting that ever-valuable practical experience. Entering a new program […]

Magnificat

I started library school fairly confident that I had no interest in working in a library, and I wasn’t the only person in my cohort who felt that way. I chose a program that clearly stated a focus in library and information science, and spent my elective courses looking at […]

Web Apps 2.0

It is Monday morning, and I’m polishing this piece from a coffeeshop, about 900 miles from my university after working on it periodically from 3 cities on 2 continents. The file is being automatically updated to the cloud ever time I save, just in case my battery or computer dies […]

#HLSDITL, Round 2

We would like to invite all library students to participate in round two of Library Student Day in the Life from October 28 – November 1. Our first round in March 2013 was a smashing success with seventy students participating! We hope this project, which will revolve around a community of students […]

Library School Mergers

I recently received an email via my library school’s student listserv explaining that our university Provost has asked the library school and the College of Media to explore “integrating their two units.” It is very early in the exploratory process, and certainly not a sure thing yet, but it got me […]

Introducing Our Newest Writers!

We are super excited to share the newest Hack Library School writers. It was challenging to choose from a very talented pool of applicants, but ultimately these eleven stood out. Please join us in welcoming them! Aidy Silva-Ortiz Aidy began a love affair with libraries as a volunteer in her […]

When Do We Need a Translator?

When evaluating which courses to take, students often start with the list of undeniably library-specific courses: reference, cataloging, archives, etc. But as the profession continues to evolve it has become more and more interdisciplinary. Library students today take end up taking everything from web programming to marketing, from database design […]

Library Studies in the UK

Editor’s note:  This is a guest post by Natasha S. Chowdory. Hi! I’m Natasha. At the moment I’m working as an assistant librarian in a small technical library in the UK. I’ve been in the role for a little over a year and loved it so much that I decided […]

Dual Degree Programs

Have you ever considered pursuing another Master’s degree while going for your MLS? In my experience, having the option of completing a dual Master’s degree was one of the main draws to Indiana University. I was interested in pursuing an MLS and an MIS, or Master’s in Information Science, both […]

Hack Library School Ebook

We’ve been keeping a little secret. Over the summer, we began the process of compiling content for our very own Hack Library School ebook. We’ve recently finished and decided it’s time to share The HLS Guide to Library School with the world. The ebook is a whopping 328 pages of content: […]

Mentor-Making

In an effort to tap into my happy childhood memories of summer reading and perhaps to evade some adulthood stress, I’ve been re-reading Harry Potter. It’s been lovely comfort reading and a very welcome frame for some of my library-related thoughts. You see, I’ve been thinking a lot about mentorship. […]

EveryLibrary/HLS Intern Update #1

This post is part 1 of 2 from our EveryLibrary/Hack Library School intern Mallory Arents. Stay tuned for her second post in September! Okay, so here’s the thing: working with EveryLibrary is a little scary.  Scary not in the way of shark infested hurricanes or flesh-eating viruses, but rather because […]

Obstacles & How to Deal with Them

As I finish up my MLIS (August graduation!) and start my certificate program, I find myself wanting to share a little library school wisdom. So things might get a little feelings-heavy, but bear with me; also, this advice goes to both new and returning library students: Library school is a […]

When You Need a Little Inspiration

I have a confession: I don’t always love library school.  I know I want to be a librarian, and library school is helping me to achieve that, but the fact is, it isn’t always rainbows and smiles.  Sometimes you have to take classes you don’t enjoy, do assignments that don’t […]

Call For New Writers!

Greetings readers! Here at Hack Library School, we pride ourselves on providing engaging, thoughtful, and useful resources for Library and Information Science students.  The best part of this experience, in my opinion, is the community the writers have with each other and our readers.  Unfortunately, because we’re a blog by […]

Surviving the All-Day Interview

A sizable number of library students graduated in May or over the summer, and many of us were then faced with the prospect of finding that perfect job. Hack Library School has tackled other sides of this topic before, with Madeline’s post on the quick-turn after graduation, and Joanna’s post […]

MOOCing up Librarianship

During my final month of library school I decided to add one more item to my to do list: take the New Librarianship MOOC. The massive open online course (MOOC) was offered by Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies for graduate or continuing education credit, or just for fun. MOOCs […]

Summer Doing List

We all love our summer reading lists, full of fun beach reading and those other books we didn’t have time to read during the school year. But in addition to the extra reading, I thought it might be fun to think up a summer doing list with some library-related activities […]

Social Media and #LIS

In library and information science schools we are coming to terms with, well, terms. Lexicons, vocabularies, common jargon sets and search terms are the tools of our trade. So I ask: Have you noticed though how many verbs have been web-born? Or, in the spirit of web 2.0, social web-re-born? […]

Web Development 101 – The Basics

Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a guest post by Bryan J. Brown. Part 2 will be posted on July 30. If you’ve been paying attention to the librarian blog scene at all, you’re probably familiar with the infamous “Should librarians learn to code?” debate. Maybe “debate” isn’t the […]

Building Your eResume

Do you have an eResume yet? I think it goes without saying that every day we become more and more digitally driven. Personally, even though I know it is still done, I cannot imagine sending a hard copy of my resume or examples of my work anywhere. I have my […]

Staying Current on Library World News

In part, what it means to be a library professional is staying current with developments in the field of librarianship at large and not just focusing on your specific job duties at your institution. While you are in library school, this task is often easier because your classes encourage you […]

The Foreboding Finale: Master’s Capstone

In my program (UNC SILS), all master’s students are required to complete a capstone paper or project prior to graduation. Both options require students to approach a “problem” in information or library science in a “substantial and scholarly way.” No small feat, right? I bet a bunch of you out […]

[Hack ALA] Hack Library School Events!

ALA Annual is just a few days away, and as we’re all packing and prepping for Chicago, it’s time to start thinking about Hack Library School events! We’re pleased to be hosting two of them: Conversation Starter: Hacking Transferable Skills! This conversation starter will be held in room S102-d at […]

ALA Student to Staff Program

This weekend I’ll be travelling to Chicago and attending ALA Annual as part of the Student to Staff (S2S) program. S2S is an opportunity provided by ALA wherein individual student representatives from 40 of the ALA-accredited library schools are selected by their institutions and then sent to ALA Annual. S2S provides […]

Evaluating the MLIS Degree

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Matthew Gunby. Recently an editorial was published in Library Journal titled “Can We Talk About the MLS?” As a recent graduate from Syracuse University, I wanted to reflect upon my education in an honest manner. On one hand, I have had some […]

Hacking the Elevator Pitch

One of the things I most love about librarianship is the diversity of the field. People choosing library science come from any background you can think of, and once they have the degree their choices are manifold. As an amplifying degree, virtually anyone can find their options and skills expanded […]

Mapping Hack Library School

Dear Hack Library School Readers, We would like to visualize where HLS readers are in the world. To that end, we’ve created an open Google Map for collaborative pinning. Please add yourself to the map so that we can see where people live! You will need to be logged in […]

HLS and LibraryLab Meetup at ALA!

Are you going to ALA later this month? We’re teaming up with LibraryLab to host a meetup on Sunday, June 30th from 8:00-10:00 at the Green Door.  The meetup is a fun and informal way to hang out with us, network, and make some new friends while having a cocktail! […]

June Meetups in DC!

It’s that time again! Summer is here, and we know lots of Hack Library School fans are in the nation’s capitol for work, or internships, or school, or just for the heck of it. So we’ve got a series of meetups planned for everyone to get to know each other. […]

Praxis and the Perennial Conflict between Theory and Practice in Library Education

prax·is \ˈprak-səs\ n. 1. the actual work of a profession (as opposed to the practice of it in training situations) 2. in social work, the concept of reflexive, integrated theory and practice 3. in education, the processes of reflective experiential learning or, following Paulo Freire’s work, the combination of reflection and action in the world that […]

Keeping Track of Inspiration

The end of my first year of library school has been a welcome reminder to reflect: to remember that, not so long ago, MARC and FRBR were meaningless acronyms, I had never answered a reference question, and I didn’t even know what half of my course titles meant. I’ve been […]

Project Incubation in Library School

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Laura Damon-Moore. The Library as Incubator Project was founded in spring 2011 and launched officially online in fall 2011. The LaIP began as an independent study by two students, myself (Laura Damon-Moore) and Christina Endres, at UW-Madison’s School of Library & Information […]

Start reading job ads now

One piece of advice that multiple people gave me around the time I started library school is: it is never too early to start reading library job ads (especially if you’ve already started library school). Of course the library hiring process is not so lengthy that you need to start actually […]

Summer Learnin’: Attending Conferences

Here at Hack Library School, we are pretty firm believers in the value of attending conferences.  We’ve talked about why you should attend conferences, how to hack academic conferences, and presenting at conferences.  Now that the academic year has ended for many of us, conferences are a great way to […]

Of Practicality and Practicums

Ever since the first day I entered library school, in a distant era I refer to as “2011,” I knew I would top off my MLS with a practicum. Even when I found a student job in a library; even after I’d completed a couple of volunteer gigs and an […]

Learn to write (well)

Alternate Title: all I needed to know about acing grad school I learned in 6th grade. As we close out another semester of our varied Information Science degree pursuits, final projects, papers and presentations are probably top of mind – or wanting to be forgotten. As I was scrambling to […]

Collaboration and the Library World

I recently went to my first conference for librarians, the Minnesota Library Association’s annual ARLD Day, and I greatly enjoyed hearing from librarians and interacting with some of my library school peers in that environment. In the keynote presentation, Jenica Rogers provided a wonderful reminder that librarians should stop accepting […]