library school

The Power of Story

Stories are everywhere: on our shelves, on our screens, and in our conversations. They compose the shows we stream and the ads we tolerate, the news we read and the news we share. As Jonathan Safran Foer wrote, “We live in a world made up more of story than stuff.” […]

Recruiting New LIS Students

I was excited to read recently that ALA is sponsoring a series of informational workshops with the hopes of recruiting a wider pool of students interested in library & information science. The workshops, which are an IMLS-funded partnership between the ALA Office for Diversity & Spectrum Scholarship Program and LIS graduate programs in […]

Memorable LIS Class Assignments

Over the course of our library school careers, we complete dozens of assignments, from reading articles for class discussion to completing research papers and group projects. Many assignments blend together as our library school experience prepares us to begin a variety of careers in library and information science. Some assignments […]

Why Not to Take Traditional Library Courses

Looking at the coursework titles from my four semesters at GSLIS it would be hard to guess what specific LIS profession I am most passionate about. I am graduating this May (*reminder to breathe*) with a Community Informatics certificate and have taken courses in project management, community engagement, web design […]

Library Buildings

This semester I’m taking a class on library buildings. “Library buildings? Is that a class?” you ask? Indeed it is! Taught by Fred Schlipf, an LIS professor, library buildings consultant, and former public library director, the course is an introduction to the physical spaces that LIS institutions occupy. One of the […]

Hack Your Scholarship Essay

If there’s one thing library students are familiar with, it’s writing. Research papers, discussion posts, slide presentations, blogs—you name it, and we’ve written it. But wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for writing papers? Fortunately for you, you can! Scholarships are a great way to secure funding for tuition, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Copyright 101

The class I want to see in every MLS/MLIS program is Copyright 101. Want to be a Reference Librarian? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be an archivist and build digital collections? Copyright will impact your job. Want to be a School Library Media Specialist? Copyright will impact your job. […]

3 Unexpected Library School Lessons

Some of my favorite questions to ask librarians during informational interviews revolve around surprise: What has most surprised you about your current role or about your career path? Is there anything you wish you had known sooner? I’ve found their answers to be particularly useful as I try to figure […]

Questionable Promotion/Advocacy

I recently received an ALA Store catalog in the mail and was happily flipping through the pages, considering whether or not I should order my own supply of Love My Library buttons, when I stumbled across this t-shirt: It has pictures of endangered animals (a giant panda, a mountain gorilla, a […]

Getting Through the End-of-Semester Slump

The end of another academic year is upon us.  Here at Syracuse, we have a little more than two weeks left in the semester, and, as usual, that means that things are coming together in a perfect storm of final projects, presentations, and other end-of-semester tasks.  I’ve been running around […]

How to Survive and Prevent a Bad Internship

There’s a good chance that you’ve had a bad internship or job experience. Maybe it was mundane tasks, unfriendly co-workers, or damaged expectations that did you in. Many MLS/MLIS programs require, or at least strongly recommend, an internship or practicum before graduation. Internships are great ways to taste-test a type […]

How I Learned to Love Printer Jams

Do you ever daydream about your future professional life? Do you imagine yourself as a high-powered librarian, answering thoughtful reference questions or maybe cataloging rare and beautiful documents? Initiating programs that bridge the digital divide or solve access and licensing issues? I know I do. But here’s the thing: although […]

Presenting Your Best Self

Library school is full of presentations. Whether it’s a short, informal talk or a long, detailed speech, I’ve had to give some kind of presentation for almost every library school class I’ve taken. Partly just a given in academia, frequent presentations will also be a reality for many of us in our […]

Online Classes: A Non-Love Story

So here’s the deal, HLS friends: despite the fact that I am a documented introvert, I like to do my learning in an actual classroom.  I know that many library school programs are online, and that this format is convenient for people who don’t want to leave good jobs, or […]

Library School Resolutions

Happy New Year, hackers!  I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing holiday break, and that you’re all refreshed and ready for a new semester.  With classes starting next week for me, I thought I would take some time to come up with a few resolutions to guide me through […]

Librarian By Name, Geek By Nature

My cohort, we talk. After our weekend intensive classes, we often go out roaming in search of a likely bar, and when we find one, we sit, we drink, and we talk. And since we’ve generally just spent 12 hours in class together, we usually end up talking about library […]

HackLibSchool Conversation Starter

I am pleased to say that HackLibSchool will be holding two events at this years ALA Annual conference. Awhile back, I wrote about trying to bring HLS and the issues we care about to the conference level. Well, I’m happy to say that our Conversation Starter was accepted! To be […]

HLS Summer Reading Recommendations

Who is ready for summer? Several of us are finishing up our schoolwork, dealing with stress, and ready for a quick breather. Here are a few summer reading recommendations from your dear HackLibSchool editors. We’ve broken the list down into Leisure and LIS reading. Please add your own recommendations in […]

Vote for HackLibSchool!

Guess what everyone? We are pleased to announce that we have our first Conversation Starter Proposal for ALA Annual this year! Conversation Starters are 45 minute, discussions focused on emerging topics and trends. Ours will be a facilitated conversation focused on issues surrounding the library school experience. We hope it […]

{Series} Declassified: Digital Humanities

This is the third post of our Declassified Series, in which we focus on exploring the similarities and differences between courses on the same topic that are offered at different schools. Previous posts include Reference and Information Architecture. Below, Brianna and Barbarajean discuss their experiences in Digital Humanities classes.

The Skills You Don’t Learn In School

Librarianship is a profession that’s all about helping people, which means we need to be able to work with them. Even if you don’t work with patrons, you’ll still have to work with coworkers that run the gamut. Cat lovers(ahem), gamers, tattooed drinkers, the sweet old lady who doesn’t know […]

Art Librarianship

Many of us start out library school with a particular area of focus in mind. Mine was art libraries, and while I have explored other areas of librarianship, this one is still of interest to me. There are many ways to be an art librarian, so when people would ask, […]

Quality Control

It seems almost every year we in the library science field torture ourselves about the glut of graduates emerging from our programs and the shortage of jobs that exist within the profession. One thing I continually hear from people is that library schools should make admissions harder. The argument is […]

Choosing a Specialization

Usually within the first few weeks of library school, you are asked what type of library you want to work in. If you’re like me, you might have had some vague idea of what you wanted to do before you started school. I had wanted to be an art librarian, […]