Dean’s Colloquium Series: Kathy Burnett

Our own Kathy Burnett gave a great talk on the future of Florida’s iSchool today. Here is the story that contains all my tweets for you to look at. Kathy’s presentation was the last in our series on the future of iSchools, but we’ll have other colloquia throughout the semester and the year that I’ll be tweeting under the same hashtag (#fsuslis13).

One thing that this series has driven home for me is the incredible leadership we have in our field, and how fortunate I feel to be a part of a field where I get to engage with people who have such wonderful ideas and who consistently inspire me. I loved the presentations and the different thoughts and visions for the future people shared. The focus on collaboration and entrepreneurship across the talks, and the focus on an international focus and on innovation, also struck a chord with me. What did you get out of the presentations?

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Dean’s Colloquium Series: Caroline Haythornthwaite

Yesterday was the first in a series of colloquia dealing with iSchools in the 21st century. I tweeted the talk under #fsuslis13, and ended up (as always) learning a lot and having some great conversations about the field. Yesterday’s speaker was Caroline Haythornthwaite, whose work I’ve admired for a while and who was really great to meet and talk with in person. She brought up some ideas I really liked, about fast information and slow information, and about the cyclical nature of the data-information-knowledge lifecycle (rather than thinking of it as linear). As she said during lunch with the doc students today, it’s important to look at the areas between those iterations and to think about how they inform each other.

I’ve compiled my tweets (available here), and would love to hear from readers about what you think of her ideas. Anything I missed? Anything that sparks your interest or that you agree (or disagree) with as a researcher or practitioner? We have a few more speakers in the coming weeks, so make sure to follow along at #fsuslis13 as attendees tweet the highlights, and join in the conversation!

Book Review: Critical Library Instruction

Maria Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Alana Kumbier. Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods, 2009, Library Juice Press: Duluth, MN.

Visit the publisher’s website here: http://libraryjuicepress.com/

I got a review copy of this book a while back (thank you, Rory Litwin!) and have been reading this book in spurts for the last month. It doesn’t normally take me that long to read a book, but I found myself spending so much time highlighting and making notes in the book that it took me several hours to read each chapter (also, graduation and such has made life busy.) I requested a copy hoping to review it from the perspective of someone who is about to begin instructing students, and during the time I read the book I was impressed by how much I could translate the findings from the book into the classroom, and how much positive feedback I heard about the book when I mentioned that I was reviewing it.

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Publishing in LIS: Marrying Theory and Practice

Today B Sides Journal hosted a lunchtime presentation by Dr. Jim Elmborg about publishing for LIS students. Jim is incredibly insightful and deeply passionate about the success of his students, which meant that we walked away with some great perspective on publication in our field. I wanted to share my notes from the talk so other students and professionals can benefit from his ideas! The talk was incredible, and I am going to focus on a few of the big take-aways that will help me as I continue to publish and encourage LIS students to do the same.

1. Examine your motives: *Why* is it that you want to publish? Are you just doing it because you’re required to or want a line on your resume, or are you doing it because you love to investigate problems and share ideas? It’s important to check your motives to make sure that it’s something you genuinely want to do (as Jim said, you don’t want to be in a place where you’re required to publish but don’t have a desire to.) Once you’ve decided you want to write this research, start looking at ways to build up your writing habits. Jim draws from fiction writing tools that I plan to draw on as I continue writing. First, never quit writing for the day without knowing what your next paragraph will be. When you start writing next, it will be much easier because you already have a clear direction and know what you need to do next. Also, look at the iceberg metaphor (what you’re writing is only a part of the knowledge that you have that’s informing your perspective.) The more you write, the more you’ll feel frustrated (or at least I do) by not having a chance to put in every piece of information you know. For most things you write, no one will want to read a 5-10 page lit review, a detailed description of every theory that you’re drawing from, or an agonizingly long and tedious breakdown of your library’s usage statistics. These things have their place (enter, footnotes) but you are going to have a lot more going on than will fit nicely in the paper. If you find that your paper represents your exhaustive knowledge of the topic, it’s time to go back and look at it further.
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LIS education, Advocacy, and the Future of Librarianship

A lot of discussion has been circulating about the future of librarianship in response to comments made by Jeffrey Trzeciak (of McMaster University) indicating that he wouldn’t hire any more librarians, preferring instead to give certain positions to people in IT or with PhDs. I agree that in many instances you might want to consider candidates from a variety of backgrounds, but to discount librarians (especially coming from the University Librarian himself!) is an indication of how deeply our field is misunderstood. I first read about it through Jenica Rogers’ post, which I think provides a great intro to the subject and some awesome perspective on why we need advocacy as professionals (not just as a profession or as institutions.) My fellow Hack Library School editors, along with Courtney Walters and a few others, began discussing the topic via Twitter (I was at work, so didn’t get to jump in until after the fact!) If you’re interested in seeing the discussion, look for #savelibrarians. In addition, some blog posts have started going up to discuss our future as professionals–a great post in particular is Courtney Walter’s discussion of our identity crisis as librarians/info pros.

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I’ve Chosen a PhD Program!

Hello readers!

As some of you already know, I’ve chosen a PhD program to attend this fall. I made the decision a while back, but I’ve been trying to hold my tongue until I heard from everyone (now I have, although I think one school still has me on their waiting list.) I am very excited to announce that I’ll be attending Florida State University’s  School of Library and Information Studies! I had some other great offers to work with some awesome faculty, and it was a very tough decision! I’m looking forward to continue sharing my research and my experiences as a student in this new stage, and I hope you will all join me and continue reading. As for the moment, I’m finishing up my MLS and my Center for the Book certificate at SLIS–I just got my poster printed for our upcoming poster presentation, and I’m finalizing some work on my UICB project too. Only about a month left!

>Rehashing #unpackLIS

>Friday was “Unpacking the ‘Library’: Exploring Works in Progress Across the Field of LIS.” This conference was significant for me not only because I had a blast as an audience member, but because it was the first conference I have helped to plan and run. Our goal with the conference was to use it as an extension of B Sides Journal‘s dual mission of professional development and education, and it was a resounding success! I’m planning on writing another post on the process of planning a student-run conference, but for this one I wanted to focus on sharing some of the takeaways from all of the awesome presentations!

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