“It is not a passive role that the librarian plays, content to be a passer-out of books, a checker-up of overdues, or just a looker-on in the classroom. She makes an active and positive contribution to the instructional program of the College. She recognizes as one of her most important obligations the training of students themselves to use the library efficiently. She is essentially a teacher as she helps a student define her problem, weigh various approaches to its solution, and finally select and locate helpful materials for study. The librarian is teaching effectively when she helps a reader identify and point up her interests and select materials to satisfy, deepen, and expand such interests. What is more, she has the important opportunity for teaching at the particular time the student is most actively feeling the need for help -- a real psychological advantage.”—B. Lamar Johnson & Eloise Lindstrom, Editors | The Librarian and the Teacher in General Education, 1948.
“Further, the library must be willing to allow dedicated time for what happens after exploration. The “serve ‘em and send ‘em along” model is no longer serving a patronage whose information needs include planning, building and executing projects that utilize the strengths of librarianship (information organization and broad contextualization). Reframing the library as a productive place, a creative place engaged in producing and creating something – whether that be digital scholarly works or something else entirely – will open the door to allow the library into the life of the user.”—Micah Vandegrift and Stewart Varner, “Evolving in Common: Creating Mutually Supportive Relationships Between Libraries and the Digital Humanities.”
I’m continuing my compulsive list-making and moving on to academic libraries and librarians on Tumblr. For those of you new to the strong tumblrarian community, check out LJ’s Digital Shift on their favorite library tumblrs and tumblr 101, and thelifeguardlibrarian’s list of library tumblrs.
University/College Libraries/Archives/Special Collections on Tumblr
- Business and Tourism Blog (Sunderland University Library Services)
- Columbia College Library
- Crossett-copia (Crossett Library, Bennington College)
- Found in the University Archives! (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Grand Rapids Community College Library
- Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas at Austin)
- Hendrix College Archives
- Mandeville Special Collections Library (UC San Diego)
- Montana State University Library
- Paul Robeson Library (Rutgers)
- Peabody Library’s Wunderkind (Johns Hopkins)
- Pickler Memorial Library Exhibits (Truman State University)
- Pollak Library’s Tumblr (California State University, Fullerton)
- Point Park University Library
- Roosevelt University Library
- SLC Music Library Tumblr (Sarah Lawrence College William Schuman Music Library)
- The Special Collections at Goucher College
- Temple University Libraries
- UCLA Powell Library
- University of Sunderland Library Culture
- University of Sunderland Off Campus Library Services
- Urban Archives (Temple University Libraries)
- USC Libraries
Non-University Research Libraries:
- Chicago Public Library
- The Hurd Library
- MoMA Library
- National Archives
- New York Public Library
- Nova Scotia Archives
Academic Librarians on Tumblr:
As always, leave a comment if I missed anyone. There are a couple academic librarians who I didn’t include because they weren’t “strictly business” tumblrarians. (PSA: Please don’t put personal information up online. Pictures of your children shouldn’t be available to the public.)
“All of this will help you for the next time you bring in an exhibit. And believe me, you will. Once your patrons have seen something new in the library space, they will come to expect it. I’ve even had students inquire when the next one was coming because they enjoyed interacting with the space in new and different ways. And you know what? You will too. ”—Exhibiting Awesome Outreach, by Dawn Stahura, Wellesley College Library, a new post for Show Me The Awesome: 30 Days of Self-Promotion!
Generalist or Subject Specialist?
Thinking of strengthening your MLS by getting a subject degree or wondering if one is needed to work in an academic library? Check out this study that provides details of Reference Librarian training:
Smith, D. A. & Oliva, V. T. (2010). Becoming a renaissance reference librarian in academe: Attitudes toward generalist and subject specific reference and related profession development. Reference Services Review 38 (1), p. 125-151.
Teaching and Academic Librarianship
Several of the people who I knew in library school gravitated toward academic librarianship were former academics themselves; ex-doctoral students, graduates in a particular field, some even former faculty. For a subset of librarianship that often prefers a subject masters’ alongside the MLS, they had a leg up having that extra degree or additional experience. They wanted to stay in academe, just not as discipline faculty. They had made their minds up before they even applied for their MLS program. They were familiar with the environment and they knew, at least a little, of what they were getting into.
Other students go a different route, more roundabout. They start off with one focus and then shift to another: school librarians who become public librarians, archivists who become catalogers, law librarians who become special librarians of another flavor. It happens. Things change; tastes change, interests change, and these folks find a new direction for themselves. Maybe that public library path that seemed like such a good idea at 25 doesn’t hold the same attraction at 35.
If you are considering academic librarianship, but don’t have a subject masters or previous experience in an academic environment, there are a few questions you may wish to ask yourself before embarking on this new career path. I will cover one today and more in the coming weeks. The first question you may wish to ask yourself is, “Do I like to teach?”
Call for Voices!
I’m giving an informal presentation on assessment within information literacy sessions (for a job interview). I want to do something a bit different than the typical powerpoint/prezi gig.
I would like to start off my presentation with video clips of information literacy/academic librarians discussing the different ways they incorporate assessment into their instruction sessions. I think it would be cool to create a short montage of ideas and pedagogical evaluation styles.
UPDATE: Recording shouldn’t be longer than two minutes. Please focus on your best practices in assessing student learning within an information literacy session. How do you implement this assessment? Do you conduct any self-evaluation? Peer evaluation? Are there assessment methods that you have tried that just don’t work? Why?
I would LOVE your help. I know it’s uncomfortable to record yourself, but I am willing to travel within the Southern California Area to record folks.
If that’s not doable, I’m OK with the written word. Message me for more details!
Libraries : The Bad, The Good, and The Great
“The Bad, The Good, and The Great” Keynote Academic Librarians 2012, Syracuse, NY.
Abstract: Bad libraries build collections; good libraries build services (after all a collection is only one type of service); great libraries build communities. In a time of great change and challenges to the very model of higher education, libraries must move beyond a focus on collections to a focus on communities. As new models of instruction (flipped classrooms, inquiry based instruction, etc.) and research emerge (interdisciplinary, large scale, collaborative, data driven), libraries find themselves well positioned – but only if they see their strongest assets as the librarians, not the materials librarians have organized. This talk will look to a new librarianship that moves past artifacts to knowledge and sets a new path.