And yet, we know in our bones that secular humanism is one of the greatest sources of strength we possess as a nation, and that we must protect the humanities if we are to retain that strength in the century ahead.
I do not exactly hail from the center of the humanities. I’m an economist, with a specialization in health and economic development. When you ask economists to weigh in on an issue, the chances are good that we will ultimately get around to a basic question: “Is it worth it?” Support for the humanities is more than worth it. It is essential. Read more…
For all the concern expressed about the imminent demise of the college library, there may never have been a time when librarians seemed more vital, forward-thinking—even edgy—than they do now.
It’s a dated reference, but today’s information professionals often remind me more of Ian Malcolm, the “chaos theorist” played by Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park (1993), than of the eyeglass-chain-wearing librarians of yore, if they ever existed in significant numbers. (I have seen only one, Mrs. Evelyn, from my elementary school in the early 70s.)
It’s not that many of today’s librarians routinely dress in sunglasses and black leather (though some do). It’s that, more than any other class of professionals in higher education, librarians possess a comprehensive understanding of the scholarly ecosystem. They know what’s going on across the disciplines, among professors and administrators as well as students. No less important, they are often the most informed people when it comes to technological change—its limits as well as its advantages. Read more…
I’m planning to go to my first conference this fall and I’d like to print business cards for the occasion. Many employers provide business cards for their employees, but if you are a library student like me or you do not currently have a library job, it’s a good idea to design and print your own. You definitely want your business cards to stick out without distracting potential employers and contacts from your important information. There are some amazing and creative ideas out there for library and information science business cards. I really like tailoring your card’s design to your specific LIS branch. Here are my favorites!
Stamp. Have a stamp made with your information and perhaps a fun image for the reverse side and hand stamp your cards. You can order custom stamps on Etsy or go to your local print shop. You can buy cardstock and have the business cards professionally cut or buy pre-made cards. The simple presentation is elegant and the stamp gives the card a homemade feel that’s very appropriate for our profession! (Image courtesy of Joseph Hopkins. Stamp from Bel Jean Copy & Print Center in Athens, GA)
Alice Guy-Blaché was a woman of firsts. She did so many awesome things for movies and as you’ll see, just about no one has heard of her. That’s a travesty. The fact that this woman who made history was completely forgotten made me emotional for a full 8 minutes, much to the consternation of everyone around me.
On a recent visit to the new Hunt Library at the Centennial Campus of the North Carolina State University, I observed an unusual sight – for most libraries that is. A group of individuals, they might have been prospective students and their parents or perhaps just a group participating in some summer workshop, was highly immersed in a rather unique library experience. They were learning about and watching a demonstration of the Library’s robotic Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), and rather enjoying how the Bookbot’s robot arm moved crates of books to and fro. The visitors were clearly immersed in this particular library experience. With a glass wall through which it could all be observed, the building’s designers clearly intended for this spectacle to catch the attention of all those entering the library. While it delivered a unique experience, did it motivate anyone in the crowd to search the catalog or move on to the stacks to find a book of their own? Or did they simply move on to the next destination point the way one might if touring the White House or Hoover Dam?
The question of the extent to which we should be re-thinking and re-designing the library experience as both immersive and interactive was the subject of an essay questioning similar work in the world of art museums. The author, Judith H. Dobrzynski, asks if it shouldn’t be enough to just view the artwork by yourself or with other people and obtain enjoyment or satisfaction from being exposed to great art. Why does it have to be embellished by some sort of artificially attached experience? She writes:
For decades, museums have offered social experiences — the fact that you can talk while you’re in the galleries has always given them an edge over the performing arts — and that is good. Now is the balance shifting too far to the experience? Are they losing what makes them unique? Should museums really follow the path of those “experience” businesses…In this kind of world, the thrill of standing before art — except perhaps for works by boldface-name artists like van Gogh, Vermeer, Monet and Picasso — seems not quite exciting enough for most people. What’s a museum to do? Read more….
The other day the Loon read a short article about applying to library jobs that scoffed at applicants who try to trade on the supposed prestige of their library school. Those library schools, they’re all the same; it doesn’t matter which one you went to, because no one you’re talking to will care.
When I present to college students about launching an effective job search, one of my slides is an iceberg graphic. Under the surface of the water, in the largest portion of the iceberg, the words “hidden job market” appear.
I tell the audience “some career experts say that 80% of jobs that get filled don’t get posted.”
What I don’t say is: not this career expert.
Although I don’t believe the conventional wisdom about the extent of the hidden job market, I want students to think that most jobs aren’t posted, so they don’t get complacent and put their main focus on job boards. I want them to be out there networking. Read more…