Friday, March 28, 2008

US News and World Report's Best Graduate Schools

The 2009 rankings have been released, but the library and information studies schools have not been updated. The last time US News ranked LIS programs was in 2006.

What we librarians have been doing for years...

A short article at Wired. [Via Library Link of the Day.]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Books meet Web 2.0

Barbara has discussed LibraryThing here, among other places. Today NPR explores social-networking sites for readers, like LibraryThing and similar sites.

(Alec, hope you don't mind but I decided to upload a photo of Sonya, who works with the LibraryThing for Libraries program, who I met at the Public Library Association conference - with the famous rhino. Actually, there were two rhinos, so they're moving up in the world. --Barbara)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Upgrading to Geek 2008

There is a great article in the January issue of Computers in Libraries titled Upgrading to Geek 2008. The author describes how some formal education in computer science really helped him in his library work. For example, he explains how coursework in discrete math, finite automata, and database design, theory, and implementation made him better at what he does. He contends that the best way to learn this material "is to take some classes," such as at the college or university you might work for or at the local community college. If you can't take some classes on the side, he strongly recommends picking up a book and learning the Python or Ruby programming languages.

As a librarian and as someone who completed a minor in computer science, I can't agree more with his advice. Basic coursework in computer science helped me develop better abstract thinking and gave me some knowledge of different computer programming languages, as well as the confidence to play around with code with which I am not immediately familiar. As a result, I have been able to make tech contribution in every library at which I have worked.

So, if you are still in college and thinking of pursuing a library career, consider completing a minor in computer science. It makes a wonderful complement.

The end of the print encyclopedia?

The online encyclopedia is a great example of an e-book done well. Read more about the possible end of the print encyclopedia at the NY Times.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shake, Shake, Shake!

If you want to get a peek at how much fun librarianship can be - and how librarians can be innovative, check out Library Journal's current crop of "movers and shakers."

One of my favorites on the list is not a librarian by training, but Tim Spalding is one of those bibliophile hackers who is doing very cool stuff with cataloging. And now some of it can be integrated into library catalogs, too.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Why I am a Librarian - more responses

I loved the Other Librarian's response to the "why I am a librarian" meme - starting from infancy and proceeding through the career. Six months into the first professional job, she finds these are what convinces her it was the right choice:
  • teen patrons saying hello out of a library context
  • helped someone through a serious health information inquiry
  • got a procrastinating student through a project due next weekend
  • found a weird object to classify and got it fixed nice and easy-like
  • saw a navigation issue with the website and found a logical way to fix it
Another great contribution to the meme is from Iris, the Pegasus Librarian. (Her blog is an excellent one to read if you're interested in academic librarianship.)

Slightly more prosaic is the twitter-style response that Julian provides - in only 140 characters.