Monthly Archives: April 2011

10 posts

Sharing & Saving the Day – A TTW Guest Post by Carrie Straka

Last week, a patron came to me needing help with her resume. She’s looking for a job, and she’s desperate. She didn’t want just books on how to write a resume, she wanted someone to sit down with her and help her write it. I’m not good at writing resumes, so I didn’t offer my services and hinder her job search. I recommended another local public library because I’d heard that they had a resume service and I thought they might be able to help her. I was wrong. She came back to me and told me that the librarians […]

Office Hours: Comment on “Stuck in the Past”

This is intriguing – comment by “B” at : Some of my former co-workers (who were also hiring managers) nixed applicants that responded “Because I love books” to the question “Why do you want to work in a library?” While such a black and white approach to hiring makes me a bit squeamish, I do strongly encourage job applicants to be a bit more creative in their response. Apparently “Because I like books” is such a common response (among the entry-level crowd, at least), that giving a different (thoughtful and honest) answer is a quick way to nail the […]

Upcoming Presentations: Spring & Summer 2011

Just a few more talks before I have most of the summer off to work on some research projects and prepare for classes at SJSU SLIS: May 2, 2011: Library Unconference Day, Keynote Lightning Talk. May 2-4, 2011: New Jersey Library Association, President’s Program/Keynote & Tech Trends TTW Goes to Canada: May 12, 2011: Keynote,  Association des bibliothécaires du Québec Library Association, Montreal, Québec. May 17, 2011: “Heretical Thoughts about LIS Education,” The Future of the Academic Library Symposium, Burlington, Ontario. (Registration is full, waitlisting is possible.) June 9, 2011: Finger Lakes Library System Technology Workshop, Ithaca, New York. June 17, 2011: […]

Office Hours Extra: “Get as many technology skills as you can…”

Thanks to Rich Allen, Technical Services Librarian at Winthrop Public Library in Massachusetts , for sending this link. The Boston Globe recently ran a story called “Checking Out the Future.” It highlights the Simmons program but also explores the increase in technology use and required skills for new grads. These lines echo some of the things I’ve written about in “Office Hours:” (emphasis mine) Library science used to be the realm of career changers. Bookish types, having put in some years in the work world, would enroll in a graduate program with dreams of one day making a living surrounded by the […]

Office Hours Extra: Save the Day!

I believe in the power of stories. I think everything we do in our libraries contributes to the story we tell – signage, customer service, the atmosphere of the building and how we interact with our users – both in person and online. At this moment in time, a library’s story is written everyday by what users find or don’t find inside, how the staff meets those users needs and what is said about the facility in line at the grocery store and online at Yelp or Google reviews. I’ve travelled a lot in the last few years, mostly for […]

Don’t Miss LISEvents

Be sure to check out From the About page: About LISEvents LISEvents is a community-based site intended to aggregate listings of library-related events of all types, sizes, and locations. The site also helps speakers find gigs and event planners find speakers. The idea for the site has been kicking around in one form or another for quite a few years. Peter Murray did some work on a beta version around 2005. Community-Driven The LISEvents project leverages the entire library community. Anyone can post an event, and we encourage speakers and vendors to sign up for an accounts and build their […]

Office Hours: Stuck in the Past

My new column is up at Library Journal: “I like books.” This is one answer to the introductory question I ask when meeting a class for the first time: “What brings you to librarianship?” The answers vary just as LIS students do, whether they’re recent college graduates or those returning to school for a second career in libraries. The “books” answer begs the question, “Do you mean the content or the container?” Students starting graduate school who want to work in libraries with stacks filled with books may be aiming for the wrong ­profession. Archives and rare books collections will […]


This post from Ben Lainhart inspires me to do everything I can to make online LIS learning and engaging: (emphasis mine) One of the worst things about being an online MLIS student is the lack of meaningful interaction with professors and students. Let’s face it, Blackboard is still stuck back in 2001. Ideas do not organically flow there. How can they when you have to make two insipid posts per week – 1 original, 1 response please! I am nearing the end of my program and though I am sure I have had more than a few classes with several […]

Fun at the Library

A few of my coworkers (Ruth, Erika, and Matt) had some fun this April Fool’s Day.  Check out the entire run of images here. You know, there’s something to be said to working with people who come up with fun ideas.  Furthermore, there is many things to be said about working under leadership that allows/encourages this sort of fun creativity. Patrons/members/customers can sense when people like what they are doing, it makes a difference. TTW Contributor: Mick Jacobsen