>For LIS students and new professionals, I have glorious news! You might remember me talking about Hack Library School in various posts. Basically it started out as a shared space for everyone to talk about their experiences in LIS programs and give advice to others. Now, it has evolved even further into a collaborative blog! I’m excited that Micah Vandegrift (who came up with the project and has worked really hard to make it awesome) asked if I wanted to be a part of the next stage. The answer, of course, was yes! So, I’ll be blogging here, and I’ll be blogging at the HLS site too! We have some great ideas for topics to discuss and for series of posts (check out Micah’s Two Minute Insights). I’m very excited about today’s post, where each of us talked a little about our experiences in different conference settings. It’s a great read, especially for students getting ready to go to conferences! Is there a topic you want us to cover? Questions you have? Post them here or on the HLS blog!
>Keeping the Creativity Alive
>I’ve mentioned before how much I love LIS as a field where folks are creative, active, and engaged with others. I have been so fortunate to connect with people around the country (and some around the world) who challenge and inspire me! One of the first things I tell prospective or new LIS students is what a great potential there is for trying out new ideas in a non-judgmental environment, and most importantly, having a lot of fun while thinking up new ways to look at the field or to make it better. Looking for inspiration? I’ve compiled a short list of folks who have been very inspirational to me and who have challenged me to try new things.
>The Kindle for LIS Students
>A few months ago, I decided it was time to buy a 3G Kindle after hearing a few classmates rave about how useful it was for reading-heavy courses (and also because I wanted to load it up with fun books too!) I’ve been really impressed with it thus far, and have found it to be a big help for storing and accessing professional reading material. A number of folks have expressed frustration over Kindle’s lack of page numbers, but I like this author’s review because it acknowledges that these are shortcomings of e-readers in general. I’m a little bummed that I can’t easily use my Kindle to store articles for my research that I need to cite page numbers for (that would make me very happy), but I can still use it to read the articles and reference the ‘location’ later to get a general sense for where in the article the information is (it’s a little extra work, but a lot easier than hauling a ton of papers and books with me everywhere I go). The good news is that the lack of page numbers is causing discussion amongst academics, so hopefully new versions of style manuals will address this.
The Kindle, apart from being lightweight and user-friendly, has a few features that I think are especially useful to LIS students. In the ‘experimental’ settings users can find a browser, and with free 3G coverage for the latest generation, I can access what I need even when I’m outside of the range of wifi. I definitely recommend using Kinstant (a Kindle-friendly start page with links to social media, email, and news, with the option to add your own favorites). Even though it isn’t going to provide the same surfing experience you get with a color screen (the screen does take a little longer to load, and is black and white), the browser on the Kindle is actually quite good, especially if you’re only using it for short spurts.
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>My World War I Research is Finished!
>Tomorrow everyone on this side of the pond will be tucking in to large plates of food in celebration of Thanksgiving. That holiday came a day early for me when I (finally!) finished writing my paper on World War I-era Iowa libraries. The project evolved a lot from when I started about a year ago, and I ended up with a paper that is about 190 pages long (including tables, bibliography, etc.) I learned a lot about my writing style and about how I work best, and I think a few of those things might be good to jot down here for my fellow students (in LIS programs or otherwise) who are undertaking large writing projects:
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>Some Exciting History-Themed Resources
>While the purpose of this blog is primarily to focus on librarianship, the joys of being an LIS student, and my own research, I feel like there is so much of an overlap between my own work and other fields that sometimes I want to be a little more interdisciplinary! Lately, I’ve been shown a lot of really exciting online resources that might technically fall under ‘history resources,’ but that creative minds could apply to an LIS classroom (and of course, to history classes as well.) So, for both students and instructors, I present a brief list to you:
>Guest Post at The Infornado!
I thought you all might be interested to know about my guest post on Micah Vandegrift’s blog, The Infornado. He’s been doing a great series where LIS students contribute their thoughts on the topic ‘what I learned in library school.’ These posts are such a wonderful resource for new students (or not-so-new ones too!) as they help provide a variety of perspectives from a group of writers with diverse backgrounds, and give great information on how others have found their niche in their programs. Micah’s other posts are great too–he has some wonderful insights on current trends in LIS, and also created this post, which is a wonderful comparison of all the different blogging platforms that are big right now (I learned a lot from it!)
>Last night a group of SLIS students went to see Copyright Criminals, which was absolutely amazing, followed by a Q&A with Kembrew McLeod, an event that was part of the Iowa City Public Library’s Intellectual Freedom Festival. I am so excited about this film that I wanted to write a bit here. First of all, I highly recommend that folks should look at the website and watch the film. It’s very well done, and it calls into question our current copyright laws by looking at the history of sampling in music.
>LIS Classroom Resources on Censorship
>In honor of ALA’s Qu’ran reading in protest of the book burning that’s scheduled for September 11, I thought I would post a couple things to spark discussion about censorship in the U.S.
The ALA announcement for the reading can be found here. It gives you an insight into why the ALA decided upon the reading, and why ALA members think it’s important.
>Free Resources for Students and Researchers
>There are a ton of great free resources out there both for students and for researchers, and I wanted to share some that I’ve found before the semester kicks into high gear. I know I’ve mentioned some of these resources before, but I’ve come across so many more that it’s good to keep the list updated. If you know of anything that I missed, please include it–I’d love to make as complete a list as possible!
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>Resources for new LIS Students
>After going to meet the new cohort at orientation on Friday, I’ve been thinking a lot about good resources for new students. I thought up a couple that I e-mailed to a friend who is in LISSO (Library and Information Science Student Organization, our department’s student group), then it occurred to me that other students might find them useful too!