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Showing posts from October, 2009

Librarian Interview #2

While at the NYLA conference, I was able to interview the director of Livonia Public Library, Frank Sykes, for my reference class. My assignment was to learn how reference services work at his library, including modes of delivery, assessment and levels of service provided. We also discussed his recommendations on how to stay current with reference trends and other general observations he has.
Similar to getting to Carnegie Hall, Frank’s recommendation to become good at reference is “practice, practice, practice.” Just like any other program or application, you have to become familiar with it. Databases have different interfaces and various ways to search for a desired result. Reference is also a field where the professional has to stay on top of their game. Research, webinars, and list-servs are all ways to be informed of new databases and research methods.
Frank’s goal is to provide more specific, local information to his patrons in the next few years. He feels that small publ…

Half way through the semester

It is the midway point in my first semester of graduate school. I have been incredibly lucky, learning quite a few things that will help me with my career as a genealogical reference librarian in the future. The first is that the American Library Association has a division which focuses on reference services and in the division is a part for history/genealogy librarians. I will be joining this ASAP to network and learn more. They are also giving a full-day workshop in Boston in January on genealogical librarianship that I plan on taking. Second is that librarians are tremendously nice. I interviewed the head of the local history/genealogy department and she gave me a lot of tips, which I look forward to implementing:-) Most of all, I have been constantly citing everything for papers and have assignments where we have to write down every site or item we search, even if it comes back negative. This is a habit I really need to get better at for my genealogy research, so I am hopi…

NYLA Conference 2009

I attended my second library conference, the annual conference for the New York Libraries Association, over the weekend in Niagara Falls. I was able to volunteer, go to workshops and meet interesting librarians, students and vendors. I think that what I realized the most was that I still have so much to learn. Items such as insurance for the library, companies that move a libraries contents to another space and architects dedicated to libraries are all items we have not heard about in class.I went to two workshops on Friday which made very interesting points for me to use in the future. The first was on ePortfolios and give me tips on where I can take blog in the future. The second was on public library certification in New York state and the new requirements that will be in place beginning 1 January 2010. Mainly, librarians will need to do 60 hours of continuing education/professional development every 5 years to keep their certification active. In my opinion this is a very r…

Web 2.0/Library 2.0 Group Presentation

For my Information Resources: Users & Services class, our group presentation was on the context of user services. We decided to focus on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, as that appears to be one of the proficiencies libraries will be looking for when we graduate. Rather than create a powerpoint presentation, we made a Wiki.Our presentation was given using Web 2.0 tools such as Skype, Wiki’s,YouTube and GoodReads. The amount of Web 2.0 tools is ever increasing, making even our presentation, based on an article from 2009, close to being outdated. One reason I say this is that Wiki’s are slowly being replaced by LibGuides, which were not mentioned in the article, and that I found out by attending the Librarian’s Toolbox conference.Research for this project proved interesting when I took the Second Life module and signed up for my avatar. The genealogy portion of Info Island was something I had heard about, but never seen before. Although I will never be an active Second Life user, the…

The Librarian's Toolbox Conference

I attended my first library conference September 25, 2009. Hosted by the Upstate New York chapter of the Special Libraries Association, The Librarian’s Toolbox: Enhance Your Connectivity, Productivity, and Presence, gave me a great introduction to the conferences presented by the profession.The day began with speed networking, which is akin to speed dating in that you get 5 minutes with another attendee in order to newtork. I met many fascinating librarians and the CEO of the SLA. Presentations followed on community outreach, LibGuides and other Library 2.0 features, what the SLA is currently doing to help members, and free web tools libraries can use such as Wordpress. My favorite new 2.0 tool is Prezi. Called the zooming presentation software, Prezi leaves powerpoint in the dust when it comes to presentations. I cannot wait for an opportunity to use it for class.The conference gave a fantastic first impression to a new library student about the future of the profession, particula…

Librarian Interview #1

Networking is an important part of a career path. In my introduction to library and information science class, we were given our first opportunity to practice this skill by interviewing a library manager, administrator or department head in order to learn more about the profession.I was fortunate to interview the director of the local history/genealogy department of the Onondaga County Public Library. Our discussion focused on her job, the change in libraries due to digitization and the things I can focus on while receiving my degree.Our discussion on digitization brought up many fascinating aspects to librarianship in the computer age. What used to be a long search for an obituary, covering a microfilm search of the death date and four days after, is now a quick online search of digitalized newspapers. The difficulty in deciding what fee to charge patrons has been created due to this new search. Instead of a 25 cent copy, a librarian can easily attach an image to an email. I fo…

New blog

If you have been missing my posts (and how could you not be?), please check out my new ePortfolio blogAmanda's Athenæum, where I will be posting my journey through starting graduate school to becoming a genealogy and local history librarian.