Monday, December 21, 2009

How I found librarianship

This post is part of the Library Routes Project.

I was never one much for reading books and stuff when I was a kid. My mom and sister were into science fiction. I tried reading some of their sci-fi books (Andre Norton, Lord of the Rings, etc.), but I found the stories to be contrived. When I had to do book reports for school, I found historical and sports-based books more to my liking.

In college, I had to get a job for my work-study so I figured the main library would be a good place to work. In my freshman year, I worked at the circulation desk for $3.50/hour processing and checking out books and reserve materials. I worked there about 8-10 hours/week. (In the next year, I got a raise to $3.55/hour!) I ended up working at the main library for four years during my undergraduate education. We also had a science library with a science librarian, but I never asked her how she came to work in the science library. I wish I would have.

For some strange reason, I remember seeing a flyer (late 1980's) about a library-based workshop at Mankato State University. At the time -- I thought to myself -- "Where the heck is Mankato State University?" and "Huh, I guess people who work as professionals in libraries go to seminars like this."

Anyway, I forgot all about that. I finished my undergraduate degree in 1989 with a BS in Physics. I got a job in optical manufacturing, moved out to the east coast to live with my girlfriend/now-wife, found a job in sales and then got married. I was not all that happy in my clerkish sales position. I searched my soul for a professional position, and I remembered that I liked working in libraries. I also liked programming and computers, and I thought maybe I could use my interests in a library position. In 1992/93, the Internet was starting to get some press, and I thought it would be a good time to jump onto the Internet bandwagon.

In 1993, I started course work at the University of Maryland, College Park. At first, I was thinking I would be a systems librarian. However, I remember reading an article about special librarianship in the sciences, and that just seemed perfect for me. (If only I could remember the article title or source.) I seem to remember that Liz Bryson from CFHT and Ellen Bouton from NRAO were quoted. Thus, I changed my focus from systems to public services pretty quickly. I graduated in 1995 and the rest is history.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What is the future of the book? LRS wants to know your opinion

This survey just came out from the Library Research Service.

Recently, news outlets and blogs have been busy deriding and celebrating the recent ascension of e-readers. The growing popularity of this new format has come with murmurs about the death of paper books and some even surmise that as technology advances libraries will cease to exist!

Taking notice of the chatter, Library Research Service has decided to survey librarians on the matter. This new 60-Second Survey asks your opinions on e-readers and how you think they will transform reading.

  • Will e-readers be the demise of the paper book?
  • What will libraries circulate?
  • What is the future of the book?
Please let them know...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping up with the discussion of #slaname

The vote is finally in -- 61% are in favor of keeping the name SLA. Now, there is lots of discussion concerning the process, the name, HQ, etc. Some of it is at: