The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

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New ACRL Report Highlights Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

Academic libraries | Higher education | Information literacy

What to do with your MLIS degree: Landing a job with an MLIS degree | LibGig

Career Advice | Library School | Employment

The library is dead, long live the librarian.

Libraries are not dead, of course. Or, to paraphrase another popular expression, “The reports of the library’s death have been greatly exaggerated”.

Yet the confusion and even fear I am seeing in current and recent MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) graduates has motivated me to weigh in with some reassurances and ideas on jobs to pursue with an MLIS degree.

Rest assured, your MLIS training and skills are valuable

The amount of new digital content being created every day is beyond human comprehension. Book publishing stats are mind-boggling; with e-books and self-publishing, it seems like everyone is an author these days. Digitization has blurred the lines between data and content. Technology does a lot, but now more than ever, there’s a need for human guidance and intervention.

The letters “MLIS” may not directly connect you to job opportunities and that credential on its own may not mean much to some employers. Your job search won’t always be easy, and it will require thinking outside the box and self-promotion. But jobs are out there, and the training and capabilities your MLIS degree has given you are valuable and needed. Go forward with confidence in your ability to find the right opportunity. Read more…

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How values guide our understanding of trends and transition

Center for the Future of Libraries | Library Trends | Core Library Values

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For many futurists and trend spotters, “futuring” is fundamentally about the study of change.

“We can learn a great deal about what may happen in the future by looking systematically at what is actually happening now,” wrote Edward Cornish, one of the founders of the World Future Society.

We study change so we can prepare for the many futures that might happen. We start seeing what’s coming next. We study so that we won’t be surprised. And we study so that we’ll be better prepared to start creating the future.

That’s good news for library and information professionals. We are expert in finding, organizing, processing, and prioritizing information. From wherever we are in our organizations, we all have opportunities to observe changes in our communities and consider the implications over the long term.

But observation is simply not enough. One of the biggest lessons my colleagues and I have learned while developing the Center for the Future of Libraries is that studying change is useless without considering values. We need to look at trends and changes with consideration of our own professional values (confidentiality and privacy, diversity, equitable access, intellectual freedom and expression, preservation) and the values that we seek to provide to our communities (a civic commons, democracy, discovery, education and literacy, public discourse).  And so, looking at changes, we need to ask ourselves what they might mean for intellectual freedom, for education, for equitable access, or for any of the other values that drive our work. Read more….

‘Not Sitting Quietly Anymore’: How Librarians Are Fighting Trump

Librarians | Activism | Social justice

Feb 20 2017 5:23 PM
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Photo by B. Harvey via Stocksy

Though some people may think the job involves more shushing than rallying, many librarians consider “making America read again” to be a radical political proposition.

When Audrey Lorberfeld woke up in her Brooklyn apartment on Saturday, January 28, she was, like much of the country, angry. In the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump had already signed executive orders reinstating an expanded global gag rule, calling for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, reopening the possibility of the Dakota Access pipeline, and, on Friday, January 27, barring any travelers into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Within hours of the order’s signing, two Iraqis who’d flown into JFK—53-year-old Hameed Khalid Darweesh, arriving from Iraq, and 33-year-old Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, arriving from Sweden—were detained. Overnight, while lawyers representing the two refugees worked to file a suit for their release, news of their detention spread, and by 11 AM on Saturday, organizations like the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) had put out a call for protesters outside JFK’s Terminal 4.

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Preserving U.S. Government Websites and Data as the Obama Term Ends

Archives | Internet |Government websites

Jefferson December 15, 2016

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Long before the 2016 Presidential election cycle librarians have understood this often-overlooked fact: vast amounts of government data and digital information are at risk of vanishing when a presidential term ends and administrations change.  For example, 83% of .gov pdf’s disappeared between 2008 and 2012.

That is why the Internet Archive, along with partners from the Library of Congress, University of North Texas, George Washington University, Stanford University, California Digital Library, and other public and private libraries, are hard at work on the End of Term Web Archive, a wide-ranging effort to preserve the entirety of the federal government web presence, especially the .gov and .mil domains, along with federal websites on other domains and official government social media accounts.

While not the only project the Internet Archive is doing to preserve government websites, ftp sites, and databases at this time, the End of Term Web Archive is a far reaching one.

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Fake news is real | February 14, 2017

Fake news | Information literacy

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Fake news. You’ve heard about it, consumed it, probably even believed it — at least on occasion. And if, like 92 percent of American adults, you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve quite possibly helped pass it along.* But what is it? Why does it exist? How do we combat it and why can’t it just go away? USC Times invited to lunch two faculty members — David Lankes, director of the School of Library and Information Science, and Ernest Wiggins, associate professor in the School of Journalism — and alumnus Taylor Smith, a journalism and law school grad who serves as the attorney for the South Carolina Press Association. We asked our esteemed panel to discuss this most vexing of 21st century media problems — the rampant spread of fake news, clickbait profiteering and outright propaganda.

So let’s start at the beginning. What is “fake news”?

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