Few professions are as steeped in tradition and esoteric knowledge as librarianship. We have our own dialect packed with specialized jargon that only others in our vocation would understand. To decipher all of this we even have our own dictionary! And although we do our best to avoid most of these terms in casual conversation, there are times that we just can’t help but use them, and they unequivocally identify us as librarians. What terms and phrase have earned you confused looks?
1: Items that are disposable or “short-lived” and usually collected by libraries for their graphic qualities or cultural significance such as menus, tickets, bookmarks, pamphlets, etc.
2: All that paper you’ve been meaning to clean out of your desk!
2) Primary Sources
1: No one knows for sure.
2: One of the most frustrating phrases ever heard by an undergraduate, this refers to a publication (or even an unpublished work such as a diary) which gives a first-hand account of an event or subject including newspaper clippings, interviews, transcripts, etc.
1: A book. Specifically one that is meant to be read sequentially, from cover to cover as opposed to a reference work such as a dictionary or encyclopedia.
2: Non-librarians may think you’re referring to getting your initials sewn on to an article of clothing at the mall.
LinkedIn used to be just another place to post your resume, but over the past couple of years it has evolved to be so much more. Most recently, LinkedIn rolled out enhanced functionality to its ‘Contacts’ section, adding the ability to keep track of conversations and interactions with your network, make notes about interactions with contacts, set reminders to contact them in the future, tag them with customizable keywords and more. This is the type of sophisticated functionality found in today’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) programs! College students, recent graduates, and anyone on the job market today should definitely be using these new features to cultivate business relationships. Networking is key to finding a great job, and LinkedIn can definitely help in that regard. Here are ten ways that this recent enhancement can help aid today’s job hunters.
1) Keep Detailed Notes about Contacts
LinkedIn’s new “Relationship” tab within each Contact’s Profile allows you to make note of how you met the person as well as add other notes about that contact. This information is visible only to you and can be invaluable for keeping track of conversations you’ve had, making note if you promised to get someone your References, noting a person’s interests or hobbies to ask about in the future, making note of who introduced you or who else knows them, etc.
2) Set Reminders to Contact Connections
Also within the new “Relationship” tab, there’s an easy way to set up reminders within each person’s profile to get in touch with them as some point in the future. This would be a great way for job hunters to make sure that they touch base with recruiters periodically, stay on top of networking connections at a company or organization where they’d like to work, or get back to connections who asked for more information on their background, etc.
3) Tag Contacts
You can also tag contacts with keywords such as classmate, colleague, friend, favorite, etc. as well as create your own custom tags. I use these to tag colleagues in different associations such as LLAGNY or SLA-NY, etc. as well as in different fields of librarianship such as law, public, academic, etc. You can then easily click on a tag to see all those that you’ve categorized in that way. Job hunters can tag contacts with keywords such as recruiters, references, mentors, colleagues, etc.
I’ve been to many conferences and events and I’ve seen a wide-range of presentation styles and formats, but the one that I’ve found to be most engaging is the PechaKucha. The PechaKucha 20X20 style is a Japanese presentation style in which each speaker prepares a PowerPoint presentation consisting of 20 images (or slides), each of which is shown for 20 seconds. The slides advance automatically and so the speaker must talk to each slide as it changes. They are highly visual and very fast-paced presentations – each lasting only 6 minutes and 40 seconds total!
This year I’ve volunteered to organize two such panels and while I’ve attended many of these events I really had no idea what was involved in planning one until now. I’ve found that they take quite a bit of forethought and planning, so I thought I’d share my research and experience with organizing twoof these panel events.
PechaKucha Panel Planning
Choose a Theme: You’ll want to choose a theme which will tie all of your presenters’ talks together. The theme that I chose was Law Librarianship in the Digital Age and I filled the panel with speakers who contributed a chapter to that book. Each will be speaking on their respective topics that they wrote about.
Recruit Speakers: A PechaKucha panel or event can have any number of presenters. The two that I’ve been organizing contain 8 and 10. You’ll want to make it clear to prospective participants that preparing a PechaKucha presentation can be quite time consuming, and let them know the “rules” or guidelines involved ahead of time.
Find a Moderator: In order to keep a PechaKucha on track, you’ll want to have someone moderate who isn’t speaking. They can load up all the presentations, introduce the panel at the beginning of the session and explain the Pecha Kucha style to the audience, and introduce the speakers..
December was a busy month for the library field! There were articles and blog posts covering everything from digital preservation to ugly Christmas sweaters, from new apps such as Snapchat to video games, and new initiatives such as the Norwegian book digitization project to the British Library’s 1 million public domain images.
I have an article in the latest issue of ILTA’s Peer-to-Peer Magazine titled 10 Free Technologies for Law Libraries! In it I discuss many of the free and open source technologies I’ve implemented in my library. Although the article was written with law libraries in mind, I think that most libraries and librarians would find these applications useful. Please check it out if you have the interest, it begins on page 59. Here’s just a snippet:
10 Free Technologies for Law Libraries
Law libraries continually face the challenge of making the most of their ever-shrinking budgets, while also progressively increasing efficiency and improving services. One way to keep that balance is to leverage free applications to improve internal operations, market library services and encourage staff collaboration. I’m a huge proponent of free and open-source technologies and have implemented many of them within my library at The New York Law Institute (NYLI). We’re making use of gratis applications for electronic resources management (ERM), a private intranet, library statistics tracking, email management and more! The use of cloud computing and application services really took off in 2013 — and when they’re free, can you afford to overlook them?
1. ZOHO CREATOR FOR A STATISTICS DATABASE
Zoho Creator is an online application that allows users to drag and drop database fields easily onto a blank form in order to build their own custom database applications, without any technical knowledge. Zoho offers an array of elements that can be added to databases, such as text and number fields, radio buttons, drop-down lists, checkboxes, multiple select fields, dates and notes.
At NYLI, we’re using a Zoho database that took about 15 minutes to create in order to track all of our library’s statistics, including librarian time spent on reference questions, patron electronic resource use, book loans, e-book loans, webinar attendance and document delivery. Zoho allows us to create robust reports from our data — in either table or chart format — which we are able to provide to our members on-demand. The free plan enables you to build up to three databases and two reports and to keep 1,000 records. Beyond that, if you want to store historical records (rather than exporting them), their plans are reasonable, starting at $25 per month. creator.zoho.com.
There are currently over 300 living resident library cats throughout the world today, 200+ of which reside in the US according to the Library Cat Map. Library cats have been welcomed as rodent-killers since the early 19th century in Europe and even dating back to ancient times in Egypt in the libraries of temples. Here are 6 famous library cats, as well as resources to find out about many more!
Dewey Readmore Books
Resident Library: Iowa’s Spencer Public Library
Years: March 1988 – 2006
Official Position: Library Mascot
Dewey is likely the most famous and widely recognized library cat in the world. After being left in the book return bin, this orange, long-haired feline was embraced by the library staff and community at large. He even inspired a book! He spent 19 years promoting reading and endearing himself to library patrons before passing away in 2006.
Resident Library: Novorossiysk Library, Russia
Years: Oct 2012 – Present
Official Position: Assistant Librarian
Kuzya was a stray cat that showed up on the doorstep of the Novorossiysk Library in the Fall of 2012. The library staff and patrons alike were taken with him and he was soon adopted. But in order to be kept in such a public space in Russia, Kuzya had to acquire a cat passport and other documentation. Once the paperwork was done, he earned his first title of “pet” and began his tenure as library greeter and napper. Due to his success increasing library patronage, he was soon promoted to “assistant librarian”, resulting in a substantial raise in salary to 30 packs of cat food a month, bonuses of cat treats, and a bonus bow tie.
Resident Library: Valley Center Public Library, Kansas
Years: 2010 – Present
Official Position: Mascot and Blogger
A former stray, Pages was adopted by the library staff and soon found her way into the hearts of patrons. She serves as the library greeter as well as blogs at Posts from the Paw.
Emma (aka Queen Emma, Her Royal Highness, and The Boss)
Resident Library: Lyme Public Library, Connecticut
Years: 2003 – Present
Official Position: Mascot, Resident Diva, and Twitterer
This Main Coon was adopted from the local animal shelter in 2003 after which library patrons dubbed her Emma, although she is often referred to as the Queen. She has a reserved stool that no one dares sit on and posts regularly on her own Twitter feed.
Baker and Taylor
Resident Library: Nevada Douglas County Public Library
Years: March 1983 – mid ’90′s
Official Position: Working Library Cats via grant from Baker & Taylor
This pair of Scottish Folds joined the staff of the Nevada Douglas County Public Library in the early ’80′s, continuing the tradition of working library cats established in 19th century England.
Library Cat Job Description
If you are thinking of recruiting for a library cat position, here’s a typical job description, based on Dewey’s:
Reducing stress for all humans who pay attention to him.
Sitting by the front door every morning at 9:00 am to greet the public as they enter the library.
Sampling all boxes that enter the library for security problems and comfort level.
Attending all meetings in the Round Room as official library ambassador.
Providing comic relief for staff and visitors whenever possible.
Climbing in book bags and briefcases while patrons are studying or trying to retrieve needed papers underneath him.
Generating free national and worldwide publicity for Library. (This entails sitting still for photographs, smiling for the camera, and generally being cute.)
Working toward status as world’s most finicky cat by refusing all but the most expensive, delectable foods — and even turning up his nose at those most of the time.
It’s a brand new year, and 2014 is shaping up to have a surplus of professional development opportunities for librarians. If you’re eager to grow and develop your skill set, here are 40+ excellent free learning opportunities to get you started!
Monday, Jan 6
8:00 – 9:00 pm (Eastern) Leading From The Library! (Teacher Librarian Virtual Cafe)
Tips and tricks for stepping out of the stacks and into the limelight as instructional, pedagogical and technological library leaders! with Library Girl, Jennifer LaGarde and Jennifer Northrup, The Candid Librarian.
Join Brett Lear and Cynthia Leigh Welch for an informative discussion on holding an adult summer reading program in your library. In this webinar, you will learn:
how successful adult events can prove to be an essential element of your overall summer reading program
how to generate ideas and identify performers that tie into the 2014 adult summer reading theme
the importance of doing the right things before and after each event
Tuesday, Jan 7
3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern) When a Story is More than Paper: Transmedia and Young Adult Literature (Infopeople)
Transmedia is a more than just a hot buzzword in the publishing world. It’s also a way of reaching technologically-savvy users and reluctant readers. In this webinar you’ll learn more about the phenomenon, how publishers create transmedia, how users access it, what the barriers to access are, what’s happening in libraries currently, and how you can use transmedia to connect with users, particularly teens.
Wednesday, Jan 8
12:00 – 1:00 pm (Eastern) Simply Managing (American Management Association)
Join Henry Mintzberg as he explores the characteristics, contents, and varieties of managers, as well as the conundrums they face and how they become effective. You’ll hear about what led him to develop a new model of management, one firmly grounded in his conclusion that management is not a profession or a science. As he writes, “It is a practice, learned primarily through experience and rooted in context.”
Wednesday, Jan 8
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Tech Trends to Watch 2014 (Florida Library)
Join the Novare Library Services’ team as they take a look back at 2013 and discuss the biggest successes, trends and even share some technologies that you may have missed while providing a glimpse into what to look forward to in the upcoming year. What will be the top technology trends of 2014 – join us to find out!