Anytime someone asks me if they should go to library school, I want to give them an unconditional “Yes!” Since I’ve graduated, spent almost two years working as a full-time librarian, and started to pay back my student loans, I haven’t given one unqualified “Yes!” to anyone. I’d like to say something about why that is. * * * From 6:00 to 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights, I work at the information desk with one other employee, often a part-time library clerk. Recently, we were doing a little arts and crafts project to pass the time, and she asked me […]
One year ago I made the jump from a career full of youth services to a life as a director of a small public library. It was a jump that I knew I wanted to make for awhile and when I had the opportunity to work at the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, PA I jumped right at it. YOUR COMMUNITY IS UNIQUE. UNDERSTAND THEM. We can’t rely on an article in a library related publication to spell out exactly what we need to do in our library. Every community is different, and with that you have to adapt to […]
Recent Tame the Web guest-poster Anna-Carin U’Ren was the lucky recipient of a REFORMA travel grant to attend the ALA annual conference in Orlando. Read about her adventures and the connections she was able to make at the conference in her community profile on the SJSU School of Information site. Way to go, Anna!
When I tell people about my studies in the LIS field, I often hear a few similar responses: “Oh, do they still need librarians with Google and ebooks around?” (Short answer: “Yes, of course!” Longer answer: “Library and information science is about more than searching Google and checking out books!” Longest answer: Well, perhaps you should just email me.) “What can you do with that?” (Answer: “What can’t I do with that?”) “Let me guess: you want to be a librarian because you like books, right?” To be honest, that last question really needs a longer answer, so here we go. […]
One of the big themes running through my life as a student this semester is connecting, mainly through connecting to others in the profession through the Internet. When I recently read the quote from the New Yorker about “some of our closest friends and most significant professional connections are people we’ve only ever met on the Internet,” my heart jumped and my ears opened to listen a little closer–in other words it really resonated with me. As an English speaking, budding librarian living in Hungary, my ‘in-person’ professional network, at least with other librarians, equals zero, which means that all of […]
Note from Michael. I was honored to serve on this project’s advisory board. I wrote about it in “Office Hours” here: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/10/opinion/michael-stephens/the-livelong-day-office-hours/ Most of today’s college students who think they only need to land a good job once they graduate are blindsided by all they don’t know about life skills and surviving in the workplace once they’re out of college, according to a new national research report released today. “Clearly, a wide gap exists between the life skills grads have and the ones they still need to learn, ” said Alison J. Head, a principal research scientist at the University […]
The job posting has been taken down but this listing has promoted much discussion in my classes, and I’ll be mentioning it in talks. Saving it here for posterity. http://www.trentonlib.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=92&TPID=9534 Innovation Catalyst Librarian (Librarian 1) Trenton Free Public Library, Trenton NJ Salary: $50,765 starting Status: Full-time and benefitted, 35 hours per week including evenings and weekends. Application Review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Description The Trenton Free Public Library is in search of a passionate, creative, type-A professional who will be instrumental in helping lead our organization into significant and meaningful Change!! Our Library is […]
My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/06/opinion/michael-stephens/stacking-the-deck-office-hours/ Have you read about the “Full-Stack Employee?” In a think piece published in Medium, author Chris Messina—the creator of the hashtag, no less—offers this definition: “the full-stack employee has a powerful combination of skills that make them incredibly valuable. They are adept at navigating the rapidly evolving and shifting technological landscape. They make intuitive decisions amidst information-abundance, where sparse facts mingle loosely with data-drenched opinions.” It’s a tech-heavy take, but bear with me, as Messina broadens the definition: “Full-stack employees have an insatiable appetite for new ideas, best practices, and ways […]
My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/07/opinion/michael-stephens/color-me-curious-office-hours/ No amount of training or professional development can move us forward if an individual is uninterested in learning or growing. I’d argue for two vital traits that will serve librarians well throughout their careers. Longtime librarians, midcareer folks, new hires, and students, I’m talking to you! The traits are simple yet pack a powerful punch: curiosity and creativity. Click the link to read the whole piece.
Adaptive experts and deep learners are the employees most in demand in the tech industry. John P. Mello Jr., whose article, “For Tech Careers it’s Not About What You Studied, it’s About What You Learned”, discusses Project Information Literacy’s (PIL ) survey regarding early adult research habits, and how they, “resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age”, which was conducted in partnership with the University of Washington’s iSchool. You can access the full article here on Monster.com. Below is Project Information Literacy infographic about the survey results: I would encourage you to take the time […]