How to search for the answer rather than parrot the first page of results, how to transfer skills about concepts rather than how to follow explicit instructions for one version of one branded tool, what’s formatted in a resume versus a cover letter, and how not to sign your life away in EULA terms.  Sounds like digital natives need those ideas.
—  When a librarian pushes back against the idea that college students don’t need to learn about information technology because they’re “digital natives”

As an academic librarian, I sometimes struggle with whether my work matters. I’ll admit that I have a good salary, excellent benefits, flexibility in my work hours, and co-workers I really enjoy. I have a pretty decent work/life balance and I support my family. I teach my classes and I work on my writing and I further my career, on the road to tenure and with some validating recognition here and there. I am happy. But being happy in a comfortable career can also make me feel complacent and guilty, and I sometimes find myself thinking “30 years from now, am I going to look back and think I actually did something worthwhile?”

I, like many, am disheartened at the completely messed up state of our country and what kind of future it has; but through much contemplation I’ve realized that one way to look at it is that it is giving me the opportunity to someday answer that question with a Yes. Our electorate is under educated and poorly informed. Fake news is a problem, yes, but so is biased news and clickbait and social media as the new authority. In a world where even the most educated, fact-based argument can be met with “Well that’s your opinion” or “You can’t prove that” presented as if that is just as valid as what you said… what can you do??

Here’s what I can do: I can teach every student who comes through my class how to properly evaluate and validate an information source. I can make them consider who has authority in a given situation and who does not. I can work with them to practice finding sources that present the other side or that back up the argument they’re reading. I can teach them to be skeptical and to be thoughtful and to research like the future depends on it - because it does.

I might only get 20 of them a semester, but that’s 20 voting age adults who will hopefully be better informed than they were when they came into my class. And that’s what I can do. And that matters.

I’m going to librarian the hell out of this thing.

Being an author is the most desired job in Britain

(Photo via Cyle)

Interestingly, Britain has become more and more bookish in terms of its dream career, that’s according to the latest poll of a market research company YouGov.

The poll had over 14,000 respondents and a staggering percentage of over 60% aspired to become authors.

The poll gives us an impression that bookish pursuits are at the top of of the British dream. With this foundation, we won’t be shocked that the results also pointed to being a librarian and an academic are the next dreamed of.

“The only other jobs preferred by a majority are equally as bookish: librarian (54%) and academic (51%).” - YouGov

More than wanting to be in celebrity status, becoming actors or musicians, the results showed that bookish careers are more appealing, savoring more on the “quiet, intellectual life.”

“Instead of actors and musicians, it seems that an aura of prestige still surrounds the quiet, intellectual life enjoyed by authors, librarians and academics." - YouGov


Halloween mega post pt. 1! You guys are super creative and adorbs! Me and my lazy witch-hat-headband salute you!

1. Halloween Costume. Competitive Intelligence Librarian, Law Library, New York. I needle-felted the planets (and Pluto!) for the crown. Everything else, I already owned! First place in the office costume contest!
2. Young Adult Librarian, Public Library, Georgia
3. VPL Special Collections - Halloween. Public library, Canada
4. Library Services Specialist, 6th-12th grade library, California. Steampunk!Captain Marvel.
5. Emily Davenport, Librarian, Carter High School, Strawberry Plains, TN USA
6. I am the YA Library Associate in the Southeast Anchor Library of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the public city library serving the citizens of Baltimore, Maryland. I’m here channeling Billie Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day!
7. Sally, Snow White, a back cat and the Grim Reaper. We are all part of the Publishing and Depository Services team with Public Works, Government of Canada. Sally is our Systems Librarian and the rest of us are Cataloguing and Acquisitions.
8. EVE celebrates Halloween at the Freeport Public Library with tiny WALL-E at my belt, plant in boot, and glowing green plant badge.
9. Dressed as Belle for my archivist job at an academic library in MA aujourd’hui. #bibliophile
10. Library Director, public library, Tennessee, USA. My goth tendencies made a Minnie Mouse costume very easy to throw together.

With a scarf #whatthelibrarianwore “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

My name is Caroline and I…am a librarian! (Just imagine me declaiming that somewhat drunkenly, a la Evie in The Mummy). I’m an academic librarian in England, supporting the Law and Criminology faculty.

I am quite frequently mistaken for a student, even by some of my faculty members - and I quite often get the ‘you don’t look like a librarian’ from my students. I take both as a compliment!

I love the library.  When I was a freshman, I cried every day for the first few weeks.  Then I had to have one of those research appointments for English 111.  When I started to describe what I’d found and how I wanted to write it, everything else began to build and spill over.   I ended up crying on the librarian’s shoulder for half an hour.   Do you know what she did?  She didn’t make fun of me.   She didn’t scold me for wasting her time.   She looked up stuff – STUFF I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT – about how college is hard.   Other stories, from other college students, from other states and countries, where all of our feelings were the same… we missed home, it was hard to leave.   A librarian and I cried over Starbucks. Because I’m supposed to be the sensible one, the one that’s so “together.”   But she didn’t judge me.   Sure, I got my paper written.   But I also had a person who listened to me, in a way that I was afraid to keep holding it together for my RA, my adviser, and my new roommates. For every semester between freshmen and senior years, I came back and studied, used the library, and said a kind word with that librarian.   Your survey question is about how important library services are to me.  I’d say pretty goddamn important.   And I tell all my little sisters [in sorority] that the library’s the best, because they care.
—  When a librarian is able to share a survey free-text answer from an appreciative undergraduate
Learn about your librarians.  Getting help from the library is more than just using a building for study space or group work.  You can save money and time by understanding the library.  Trust us, you will be less stressed just by talking to someone who knows how to do what you need to do.
—  When a librarian is thrilled that the top study tips guide, written by seniors for freshmen, includes this little gem
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.”