Info Pros Meet-up in San Francisco @ The Library Bar 4/21/12

Aside

Anniversary Meet-up: You’re Invited!

The Information Professionals Social Club is turning one, and would love to share our anniversary with all of you over drinks and tasty tidbits at The Library Bar, located in the Hotel Rex down in the Civic Center of San Francisco on the 21st at 5 pm. The Library Bar hosts a library themed menu, featuring American-European fusion cuisine, and specializing in old school cocktails like Sidecars, Manhattans, and Old Fashioned. Join the IPSC for a grownup library experience without the grownup responsibilities of work or school. . . for a few hours anyhow.

Please RSVP to either Cynthia Varady or Stephanie Roach or visit our Facebook event page and RSVP there. Feel free to leave us a message in the comment section!

Eat, Drink and Be Nerdy,

Information Professionals Social Club

The Library Bar
562 Sutter Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102
T 415-433-4434 | F 415-433-3695
Google Maps: http://tinyurl.com/85unw5j

IPSC’s mission is to promote networking between information professionals of all walks, this includes seasoned professionals, new graduates, and students. Our informal meet-ups are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends.

Advertisements

How I Got My New Library Job – Part 2: Organizational Success

New Year, New Job

My new job at John F. Kennedy University Libraries is going well. I genuinely love it. I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my primary job duty of cataloging (50% of my job), and am little by little, getting introduced to everything else. I find opportunities to learn and think all the time. It is quite satisfying. I mean, how lucky am I?

But Does Luck Have Anything to do With it?

It doesn’t hurt. But, honestly? Between the external and internal factors that affect hiring in libraries and archives (the economy, administrative priorities, etc.), luck is not to be relied on. More important, is self-awareness, organizational efficiency and focus.

Initially, my job search was unfocused. However, after I assessed my strengths and weaknesses, needs and future goals, I was better able to target my search to positions that were a better match for me. Because they were a good match for me, I was also a better match for the organizations hiring for these positions. This gave me a better shot at landing an interview. An added bonus, was the time saved by targeting my search more narrowly. Once I began getting short term jobs through a temp agency, time was in short supply, and I needed to get organized in order to increase my efficiency. My approach was methodical, and involved the use of organizational tools, my mobile device, and cloud computing.

Finding Organizational Success

To get organized, I started by prioritizing my job search activities, and making sure they were accessible to me where I was, whether at home or on the go. Because I was now working while searching for a job, this meant I was very busy, and at times, needed to use my commute (via light rail and bus) and breaks as productive parts of my day. I found myself needing to use my mobile phone, as well as computers at home, and on occasion, at work.

Bear in mind that to me, the job search is a process much broader than just looking for job postings and sending out applications. I include thorough research about each hiring organization as well as social networking online and in person, keeping abreast of current LIS issues, staying informed about related areas of interest, and other professional development activities.

Finding Focus: Reducing Distractions and a Consistent Daily Routine

In managing all of this, I organized my personal space and my digital space, and kept both as clutter free as possible, to decrease potential distractions. I also developed a consistent daily routine (as much as possible while working temp jobs) which helped me to fit in all the various activities I wanted to get to. For example, I used my daily commute for social media use and reading LIS and technology themed articles and blog posts.

These activities for me were closely related, as I like to discover and share information on Twitter. But this can be a big distraction for me, if I don’t deliberately limit how much of it I do. When I used social media in the morning, I could use the rest of the day to focus on my job and job search.

Each day, I also needed to recharge. As much as possible, I would use my lunches for just that, lunch. This gave me a chance to clear my mind and relax. Even enjoy, and get outside. Sometimes, I’d lunch with a colleague, and sometimes alone. Either way, lunch was often refreshing and reinvigorating, which allowed me to stay focused and motivated. However, there were times when a deadline was looming and I would use this time to work on an application packet, instead. In those instances, it was really important that both my physical and digital spaces were easy to use.

Efficiency through Organization

Physical Space. This may seem very basic, but I made an effort to keep my physical space neat and tidy to reduce distractions while I worked. I also kept my desk well stocked with the supplies I needed (printer paper and ink, for example) so I wouldn’t run out when they were needed most. I kept a binder with print-outs of the information for the jobs I had already applied for (filed by application date), a folder for those I was planning to apply for (filed by priority/deadline), and folders as necessary for information about jobs I was in the process of applying for.

Digital Space. Cloud computing tools such as Google Apps and Diigo proved very useful to me as I navigated the use of my phone and multiple computers during my day to day job search. With Diigo, I was able to manage bookmarks from wherever I might be. I regularly used Gmail, Docs, and Calendar as part of my daily regimen, but also used Reader to manage my RSS feeds. My best use of the cloud was an Excel spreadsheet, which I uploaded to Google Docs so I could access it on the go. It included three tabs: 1) an application status sheet, with a prioritized, detailed listing of each job I planned to apply for; 2) a job search resource list; and 3) a volunteer position information and status sheet. The application status sheet included fields for position information (job title, location, keywords, links, full time or part time, etc.) and application status (references, dates, deadlines, notes, etc.).

Another useful document I created for each job I applied for was a fact sheet, which served as a tool to organize my research about each position and hiring organization. I then used it as a checklist when writing my cover letter and resume or c.v. for each application packet. This proved useful as an easy reference, so I could address each point in the job description and requirements. Additionally, because there is no guarantee that the person doing the initial application review and screening is an information professional or specialist in one’s field, I believe it is important to match the language of the institution from the website, mission and vision, and job description as best as possible. I mirrored this language in each fact sheet, so I could accurately reflect this language as part of my application packet.

Conclusion

Finding tools that work for you is important. I recommend job seekers take some time to discover the best tools for their routine. Organization, efficiency and focus all work together to make the job search process more successful.

Documents

Ask Your Senator to Support the SKILLS Act

The Time to Support the SKILLS Act is Now

I received the following letter today from American Library Association president Molly Raphael. The SKILLS Act is the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act which is part of the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. I urge you to show your support for school libraries, school librarians, and ultimately, our future–the students who learn information literacy and love of learning in school libraries, by contacting your senators and representatives.

Letter From Molly Raphael, ALA President

Dear Colleague,

As you may know, I recently formed a special task force to combat the threat to school library programs. More on information on it can be found here: http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pr.cfm?id=8155. Across the country, students are attending schools without effective school library programs. Without access to school libraries, students are missing out on college and career readiness programs, digital literacy instruction, and personalized support from state certified school librarians. It is impossible to disregard the impact that cuts to school library instruction programs will have on future generations.

The fact is that what happens to school library programs affects libraries of all types. As such, I’ve called on librarians of all types to participate in this task force. And now, I’m calling on you to get involved. The time has come for an “all hands on deck” approach to this crisis in the making.

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll be hearing more about ways you can get involved to help school library programs. In the meantime, I urge you to contact your Congressional representatives for two very important reasons:

First, urge both your senators and representatives to send their education staff to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Congressional Briefing, “Education Reform and the SKILLs Act: An Analysis of Twenty-First Century School Libraries and Their Impact on Career and College Preparedness” on Monday, October 17th, from 10am-11am ET in Room 121 of the Cannon House Office Building Washington D.C.

The briefing will cover how the SKILLs Act supports and sustains 21st century school libraries. For more about the AASL Briefing: http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pr.cfm?id=8244

Secondly, while you’re contacting your senator, ask him or her to co-sponsor S.1328, the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act that ensures that every school is served by a state-certified school librarian and the school library program has access to the resources students need to become lifelong learners. The SKILLS ACT bill will amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 regarding school libraries, and for other purposes.

Currently, there are only five co-sponsors of the SKILLS Act in the Senate. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee will be writing federal education legislation on October 18, so the time to act is now.

If you do not know how to contact your legislator, you can visit ALA resources to get involved:

1. Go the ALA Legislative Action Center by clicking here:

http://capwiz.com/ala/callalert/index.tt?alertid=54125686&PROCESS=Call+Now

2. Read over the talking points and type in your zip code to find the phone number for your senator’s office (you will see additional talking points). You can also be connected to your senator’s office by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121

3. Call both senators and ask them to co-sponsor the SKILLS Act using the provided talking points and your own stories about why school libraries are so important.

4. Fill out the feedback card or email twegner@ala.org to describe what you heard.

These small steps you take right now are crucial to maintaining a voice for school library programs. But this is only the beginning. In the months to come, we will have important work to do: working together, I hope that we can avert this potential crisis, and in turn, raise the visibility of libraries of all types to even greater heights. I look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Molly Raphael
2011-2012 ALA President

Updates as of 10/29/2011 – Videos & Briefing Summary; ESEA Reauthorization

Continue reading

The Job Search and The Temp Job

So, as a recent graduate from the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, I can officially append MLIS to my name. But, as three months have passed since my graduation and I still (like so many other recent grads) haven’t yet landed the perfect gig in my field of choice, I have decided to explore the world of temporary employment. I get a paycheck, and can look for the perfect gig (I truly believe it exists) on my own time. Which, as it turns out, is more difficult to find when you are working full-time–but I’m adjusting to this as I work away, at my new job.

The title of my current temp position–administrative assistant–doesn’t sound as though it is related to library and information science, but in fact, I am happy to say that much of my work rather resembles my manuscript processing internship at Bancroft Library last fall. Well, it is of course, different, because, for one thing, I am working with documents generated as part of a corporate environment. So I’m dealing with archival documents, rather than manuscripts. From an archival perspective, you could say I’m on the records management side of things, as many of the documents I handle are still active as part of the document life cycle. Nevertheless, they are being archived and stored at Iron Mountain, and I am helping to manage the transition of these documents from the creation and active use stage of their life cycle to the inactive and ultimate disposition, either disposal or storage.

In launching my library and information science career during a difficult economy and job market, I know how important it is to stay relevant. Finding the time to do it while temping can be a challenge. But I can think, read, and write LIS. I plan to keep bringing it. As I navigate this process, I hope to bring stories of my adventures and tips for making the most of it.

So, stay tuned…

LIS Lady’s Statement on Federal Copyright Protection of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings [PDF]

The U.S. Copyright Office, under direction from Congress is conducting a study on the “desirability and means of bringing sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, under Federal jurisdiction,” particularly as it relates to the ability of cultural heritage institutions to preserve and provide access to this class of recordings. For those of you not in the know, this class of recordings is not currently protected by Federal law, and instead is covered by a bevy of conflicting and confusing State statutory, criminal, and common laws. Unfortunately, this means that nearly no pre-1972 sound recordings are in the public domain in the United States.  This is problematic for libraries and archives charged with caring for and ensuring continued preservation of and access to these recordings.

This topic is near and dear to me, as it relates directly to my summer internship at the Graduate Theological Union’s Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, where I assessed intellectual property concerns and developed metadata requirements for the digitization of a pre-1972 sound recording collection. Further, I developed a research proposal on the topic for my Research Methods course. I appreciated the opportunity to submit my comments to the U.S. Copyright Office.

The extended deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Copyright Office was today, and replies to the comments will be open until March 2, 2011. Attached is my statement to the U.S. Copyright Office.

LIS Lady’s Statement – [PDF]

Continue reading

League of Librarians Trading Cards and QR Codes

League of Librarians: Nora Dimmock, Film Studies Librarian

League of Librarians Trading Card.

Kudos to River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester for their creative use of Quick Response Codes paired with interesting graphics to dress up their business cards.

Contact information and a Quick Response or “QR” Code was provided on the reverse, making the trading card an essential and creative business card as well. Raised Connection’s “Connection Card” is one example of this trend, and the following YouTube video shows how it works.

Remember, QR Codes can connect someone to more than contact information. Images, web pages, blogs and other content online that can be viewed on a smart phone or on a computer can be embedded in the QR Code.

Other ways that academic libraries are using QR Codes can be found in Library Journal’s online article ALA Midwinter 2011: Straight from the Stacks to the Smartphone. Other specific examples include University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library and UC Berkeley Libraries.

What do you need to create and read a QR Code?

QR Code generators can be found online, examples include Kaywa (which also has a reader) and Jaxo. Further recommendations for QR Code generators and readers can be found in the 2D Code articles, QR Code Generators and QR Code Readers. I use ScanLife on my Blackberry Storm, and it works great. I’m sure many other readers are great as well, and undoubtedly, whatever your smart phone happens to be, there’s an app for that. Here are instructions on downloading mobile QR reader software to your phone if it doesn’t come pre-installed.

Happy scanning!

Star Wars and The Reference Interview’s Open Ended Question

Star Wars Episode II (and a quarter) Attack of the Reference Question

Master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s reference interview at the Jedi Temple Library is a failure, however, a visit with Jedi master Yoda finally gets the information he needs, when better reference technique is employed. Yoda–apparently not only a mentor, but also an independent information professional–restates the information, the problem,  and then asks an open ended question:

“Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing, how embarrassing.” – Yoda

Thanks to JennyWildcat and of course, LucasFilm and George Lucas.

YouTube video edited by Chrissy Johnson, Emporia State University, SLIM Utah 6 Cohort. Continue reading

Digital Preservation & Cultural Heritage

So, I’m still reeling from the completion of my e-Portfolio (the culminating experience for my master’s degree) late Monday (yay me!). So my post will be brief.

For my 2009 SJSU School of Library and Information Science LIBR 240: Information Technology and Tools Course, I put together the following website on one of my favorite topics, digital preservation & cultural heritage:

http://lislady.com/lislife/dpch/index.shtml

Please check it out!

Here is an excerpt from the home page:

This site explores the new and evolving methods of digital preservation along with potential strategies for ensuring value–no less than our cultural heritage–is attributed to digital resources in the public sphere from individual, organizational, national and international levels. Changes in technology have led to broader cultural change including an information environment that is constantly in flux. This cultural transformation reflects changes in technology and within online environments. However, in order to best preserve information content and context, the transitive nature of information created, used, and stored digitally must be recognized and made part of the larger cultural awareness, so that our emerging digital, cultural, heritage can be preserved, and ultimately made accessible to current and future user communities.

It is all a little dark web of me, as I haven’t yet finished my website that it is a part of, and it is a little rough around the edges, but I thought it would be nice to share anyways.

Thanks and have an awesome week!

Dwight C. Steele Papers: Manuscript Processing Lessons Learned

My internship at U.C. Berkeley’s Bancroft Library is coming along. The manuscript collection I am processing, the Dwight C. Steele Papers, is coming along, and I am feeling good about my work. I will finish labeling the folders and cartons and work on the finding aid next time I am in. Then it will be time to move on to the next collection.

Before I do, though, I realize I’ve learned so much through the processing of this first collection. The biggest difficulty I have had is in sticking to the institutional priority of “MPLP” or “More Product, Less Process” which reflects an approach to processing proposed by Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner (2005) published in The American Archivist.  While Bancroft is using a modified Greene and Meissner approach, meaning there is flexibility in processing, with much more detailed work allowed on a case by case basis, my natural inclination is to be very detailed in my work, which typically takes too much time, considering the backlog of materials that needs to be processed. So, as I’ve gone through the collection survey and processing process, I’ve been forced to seek strategies to speed things along. Some of the time, this happens after the fact, so that on my next collection, I won’t make the same types of mistakes.

Yesterday, while at the job site, I had to do some backtracking, as I was horrified to discover my collection had grown over the course of my processing due to extensive refoldering (the new folders were taking up more space than they were originally, as I wasn’t filling each folder as much as I should have been). This turned out to be unjustified by the time I had the collection arranged. As I’d been working, I painstakingly made chronological folders for each year for some series, as I planned to add to each folder and fill it as I processed. Unfortunately, the majority of these folders were not filled, some of which only had one or two documents inside.

This turned out to be a waste of space and resources. So, in order to avoid adding another box or carton to the collection, I began to consolidate some of these folders and was able to fit the collection into the original space allotment. I may do a bit more of this before I create the finding aid and add the container list. The fewer individual folders I have, the easier this will be to do, and the more time I will save. Of course, backtracking takes time, too. But the lesson is learned, and will save me time both in creation of the finding aid and in the processing of future collections. In just a couple of work days, I will be started on the next collection and able to apply all that I’ve learned along the way. I believe I will be much more successful in adhering to MPLP.

Further, I am excited that Mr. Steele’s collection will finally be accessible to researchers and the public. What a payoff. I get to see the collection move from a disorganized state, through to a neatly foldered and organized collection that will be of use to patrons of the Bancroft Library.

 

Midterm Election 2010: Have You Voted Yet?

Just a friendly reminder to get out the vote today.

Your vote matters.

How will your candidates support libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions?

Beyond current access to information resources including books, music, videos, images, etc., information organizations support learning and information literacy as well as our enduring legacy.

If you haven’t already, get out and vote!