Cali the Librarian

Oct 28

xtoxictears:

I’m sitting in work with actual tears forming in my eyes while I’m trying to laugh silently, oh help

If you’re having a bad Monday, here’s a laugh for you. :-D

xtoxictears:

I’m sitting in work with actual tears forming in my eyes while I’m trying to laugh silently, oh help

If you’re having a bad Monday, here’s a laugh for you. :-D

(Source: cineraria, via itakeupspace)

Oct 24

Open access: six myths to put to rest -

Oct 22

[video]

To all those “librarians” who hate their patrons…

thecommonlibrarian:

theinnkeeperlibrarian:

glassink:

heidireadsya:

thereadingmouse:

librarian-shaming:

To all those “librarians” who hate their patrons, hide from them, and lie to them to get them out of their hair…


I would gladly take your job off of your hands. I’ve been trying to for over a year now. Would you like my resume?

Sincerely,

A recently minted and horribly underemployed MLIS graduate who just wants to be a librarian already, damnit. (And to better serve your poor patron base)

At the same time, working in a library is like working anywhere. Not every day is rainbows and unicorns, and sometimes that person you just don’t get along with is a patron instead of a coworker. The point of librarian shaming is that the librarian is anonymous, so this gives them a chance to vent.

I love love love my library job, and I’m a million times happier than when I was a secretary, but I get frustrated at things occasionally too. We’re all human.

But is “Librarian Shaming” the appropriate place for that venting? That particular Tumblr is getting some attention from outside the library community, and I think it’s dangerous that this could be the public face of libraries. Librarians and libraries already have to work very hard to justify their importance. If people see all of the venting and negativity, they may not want to support us.

I think it’s important that our patrons see us as people. Any patron can tell you horror stories about other patrons - they already know the people we mean when we say we hate patrons. I don’t hate patrons, personally, but I definitely feel like anyone who works with the public and has for at least a few years will understand the sentiment, even if they don’t share it. Trying to frame it as “well, if you don’t love everything about working in a public library you don’t deserve to be there!” is incredibly naive. Librarian shaming is a forum for librarians to talk to each other and share their secrets, and the response it has gotten means that a lot of librarians really identify with the things that are submitted. Are we just supposed to do that behind closed doors? We’re not allowed to complain, ever?

But the material point is this: it is a public forum. Anyone can see what we’re saying and doing. I don’t know about where you work, but if I publicly said similarly-toned things about where I worked, and my employers found out, there’d be hell to pay. And if I were lucky, I wouldn’t get fired.

There are issues in the profession that should be aired: safety in the library, issues facing the profession from censorship brought on by patrons, doing outreach to get folks in the library… all of these things have to do with patrons, but it’s not hating on them or “shaming” them. Even if they’re the minority.

Of course there is no profession that is absolutely perfect all the time. There will be problems, there will be patrons we don’t like. But you don’t talk about that in a public place, where people who want to look for problems in the library in order to argue against their higher taxes or tuition (“Why should our taxes go up to pay librarians? They don’t even LIKE patrons!”). 

I can see the appeal of having a place to vent. I really can. But we are already battling against so many prejudices, many unfounded. What a platform like this is doing is further prejudicing the prejudiced and creating more ill will towards our profession. I could see how a confessions blog could help to show our human side, but I would much rather see it as “Librarian Confessions” or “Librarian Secrets” with space for a balance of positive, negative or relatively neutral submissions.

I feel like our outspoken Tumblarians must be in the minority. In relation to Librarian Shaming: I’ve seen plenty of concerned posts from the librarian and future-librarian blogs I follow, with relatively few posts defending or supporting it. However, when sslibrarianship and I set up a positive blog to counteract the negativity, we got lots of followers and only four submissions in two weeks. It could be that the people submitting shaming secrets are not part of the Tumblarian community, or that they are using the blog as a place to show a side they feel they cannot on their main blogs. Fine. This is their prerogative. Some of the submissions are amusing. But the negative posts, the ones which show librarians as people-hating, lazy complainers, while possibly cleansing for the submitters, are damaging for many others in our community. Since the blog was launched, I have received links to its posts from various non-Tumblr acquaintances - via email, facebook message and facebook posts on my wall. It has been brought up on nights out, with people criticising the profession with sweeping statements, using the blog as a source.

On balance, I can see how it’s a helpful outlet for some people. I understand that librarianship is a challenging profession with lots of room for difficulty. I see regular posts every day from people I follow, with tales of long hours, difficulties with patrons, budgetary restrictions and general frustration. But these people also post about their fabulous displays, or their career-affirming interactions with patrons, or their excitement about some aspect of their job. They’re not harming the profession when they complain. They are showing that librarians are human. Anonymous, complaint-heavy blogs are not doing this. They would be appropriate in a librarian-only forum, or even if they Librarian Shaming blog posted (and actively solicited) positive confessions too. Even if they just picked one day of the week for positive secrets.

Sorry, this ended up rather long. I feel quite strongly about this. We have (on average) about one paid library job advertised per week in this country (Ireland). Libraries are being criticised for building improvements and investments in technology. Non-qualified library staff are being sought in order to reduce salaries. Most of last year’s MLIS class is unemployed or in unpaid internships. I’m worried I’ll have to emigrate to find any kind of library job. So when people complain about how much they hate their patrons, I seethe.

This string of comments nicely summarizes my ambivalence toward Librarian Shaming. Also, there is already an anonymous way to complain about library problems: http://library-mofo.livejournal.com/

This forum has the added benefit that people contributing can choose to limit their post’s visibility so only members of that community can see it (which helps address the problem of the public seeing what librarians are complaining about).

Oct 12

Making your publications open access -

This guide is intended to be a practical tool to help busy researchers, and the librarians who support them, make the transition to OA. The focus herein is on freely available online resources that will assist in making research publications OA; the closely associated, and rapidly growing, area of research data is beyond the scope of this column.

Posting this here mostly for my future reference. :-)

Oct 10

Reason I Hate Voyager #1938485

Libraries need supplies like scissors and post-it notes and all of that, yes. Absolutely.

What I question is the fact that ordering these things and recording the orders in the Acquisitions module resulted in catalog records for these things.

That’s right, I have records VISIBLE IN THE CATALOG for scissors and post-its and white-out and tape and all sorts of office supplies that were ordered during a three- or four-year period.

And these records have been in the catalog since *2006*, in some cases.

What is this, I don’t even… *headdesks repeatedly*

Oct 09

librarian-shaming:

"I never asked a librarian for help when I was in college.”
Caption: “Do as I say, not as I didn’t do.”

Same here, heh. :) But I used the library itself quite extensively, both for assignments and for personal reading. I just figured it out for myself rather than ask for help. (And then I found out in grad school that the stuff I was doing was the stuff the librarians probably would’ve helped me do anyway…)

librarian-shaming:

"I never asked a librarian for help when I was in college.”

Caption: “Do as I say, not as I didn’t do.”

Same here, heh. :) But I used the library itself quite extensively, both for assignments and for personal reading. I just figured it out for myself rather than ask for help. (And then I found out in grad school that the stuff I was doing was the stuff the librarians probably would’ve helped me do anyway…)

Oct 08

Complimentary Access to Three Oxford University Press Online Databases For Next Two Weeks | LJ INFOdocket -

…Oxford University Press announced that they’re now offering complimentary access to three reference databases for the next two weeks. Will the shutdown be over by that time? Stay tuned.

For those who might have lost access to these resources due to the shutdown now you continue to use them.

If you usually don’t have access to these tools, here’s a great opportunity to give these resources a good look. …

SAGE News: SAGE Global Free Trial -

SAGE is proud to offer free access to our powerful and award-winning online research tools and resources. Register* today and experience these must-have tools today—available for FREE through October 31, 2013.

(Source: infodocket.com)

Oct 05

[video]

Oct 03

A few library instruction numbers

My library instruction numbers from August 29 to today (October 3):

As of this exact moment, I don’t have any more instruction scheduled for this semester. For comparison, last semester (my first semester doing instruction work, for the record) I did 11 total classes with 227 students, so this fall felt like a lot. :-)

But, perhaps foolishly, I’m planning to send an email to the faculty today or tomorrow to let them know it’s not too late to work with the library this semester… so these may not be my final numbers. Yikes/yay.

And now I’m curious how many sessions/students other libraries instruct in a semester… is talking to approximately a third of the student body a good number or do others routinely reach more than that?

Update: I did send that email, and had a request for another session within an hour of it going out. So I spent a grand total of about 24 hours without any instruction on the horizon. Ah, well, I’m here to serve. :-)

Getting ERIC full-text during the shutdown

As my director discovered this morning, you might still be able to pull up full text from ERIC by using the ED number (the accession number) in this URL:

http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EDxxxxxx.pdf
 

I haven’t done rigorous testing on this, but I thought I’d pass it along in case anyone else has need of it. :)

Sep 27

Welcome to the WAC Clearinghouse -

The WAC Clearinghouse was originally planned as a companion site for the larger Writing@CSU Web site (writing.colostate.edu). Initially envisioned as a set of resources to support the writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) program at Colorado State University, the growing capabilities of the Web made it clear that the planned site could also address the needs of teachers of writing at other institutions.

I came across this site earlier this week, and it’s got some great stuff for those in the education field, especially if you’re interested in writing and/or literacy.

They’ve got a bunch of books, all of them open access (and thus the PDFs are right there on the website), and they host some journals and link to a bunch of other resources, too. Some of the info will be good for our education students, while some would be of more benefit to our faculty, so it’s a win either way. :-)

Sep 11

Library: Full-Time Reference & Outreach Librarian - Trinity Christian College - Palos Heights, IL -

calimae:

Come work with me! :-)

I will be part of the hiring decision-making process, so there are some questions that I don’t think I can/should answer, but I’d be happy to describe how the process went for me when I applied last year.

Reposting this from earlier because we’re still accepting applications.

However, the timing of the hire will depend on enrollment (just as mine did last year). We haven’t been told what our fall enrollment is yet, but given that classes start at the end of the month, my best guess (and hope!) is that we’ll be looking at a January start date for this position. That’s an unofficial guesstimate, not a promise, so don’t anybody hold me to that. ;-)

It sounds like we will be moving forward with this soon! We’re starting to talk about doing phone interviews and everything (no dates set yet, pending my director meeting with her superior tomorrow), so if you’re interested, get your materials to us as soon as you can. :-)

Aug 19

laura-in-libraryland:

This is the look of a librarian who has one week left to complete all of their summer projects and fall prep because the students are returning to campus next week…
That would be my look, ladies and gentlemen, but I am sure many academic and school librarians feel similarly, am I right?

Yep, pretty much. I’m at the point where I’m deciding which things will have to wait until later in the semester (or January, oh dear).

laura-in-libraryland:

This is the look of a librarian who has one week left to complete all of their summer projects and fall prep because the students are returning to campus next week…


That would be my look, ladies and gentlemen, but I am sure many academic and school librarians feel similarly, am I right?

Yep, pretty much. I’m at the point where I’m deciding which things will have to wait until later in the semester (or January, oh dear).