Hi guys! So, we’re merging the scriptlibrarians blogs! In the true spirit of librarians, we’re pooling our resources.
I spent four years doing interlibrary loan work, with some work in circulation, archives, and reference, at an academic library. I’ve since moved on, sadly, but by the time I left I was the longest-held employee, and had trained everyone in my department except my boss. I had actually been there longer than my boss had!
I’ll be signing my posts -The Librarian, so you guys can know who’s who!
It took Ron Weasley around three volumes to evolve from screaming that Lupin shouldn’t touch him to thanking Lupin for bandaging his wound. You’re not tied to repeating the prejudice from your childhood.
When a librarian comforts an undergraduate who is being exposed to new ideas
You mentioned that people don't really get what a librarian does most of the time. What DO different types of librarians do? I might be a writer considering becoming a librarian as a career, but there's not a lot of info online about it, so?
Lets start off with the different type of Libraries.
There are four major types:
Academiclibraries serve colleges and universites.
Publiclibraries serve cities and towns of all types.
Schoollibraries serve students from Kindergarten to grade 12.
Speciallibraries are in specialized environments, such as hospitals, corporations, museums, the military, private business, and the government.
With in these are a wide variety of Librarian Jobs.
A Librarian is just not the person who helps you check out books. There are a variety of positions, that do all types of thing for the library. I’ve pulled together a list of types of Librarians and information about their positions.
(Note: This information is mostly US based, I’m not familiar with European Libraries or their system)
Pages are usually responsible for putting returned books and other items in their proper places on the shelves. They are also responsible for keeping items in the right order. Some handle requests for retrieving materials that are in secured areas, and others may be responsible for checking items back in. Page jobs are usually part-time.
Great first time job for someone who is getting their degree or wanting to see if they want to work in a library.
Library Assistants or Technicians generally perform clerical duties, and are often mistaken for librarians as they are the first face people see, since most libraries’ checkout desks are near the entrance. Library assistants often check materials out and in, collect fines and fees, answer general phone questions, issue library cards, process new library materials, and assist with items on reserve.
Normally the job just out of Library School!
Librarians help people with homework and research questions, decide what items to purchase and to discard, offer programs and training, help people use the internet, build websites, and more. Specialized librarians may run computer systems, work with seniors and non-English speaking populations, become specialists in a specific subject area, or maintain the records for the online catalog.
These are the guys you normally see. The ones that will help you with whatever you need. It doesn’t matter if it’s a University Library, Public Library, Law Library, Research Library or a Specialized Library.
Library Managers such as department heads, branch managers, and assistant/deputy/associate directors, and are typically middle managers responsible for the operation of departments or other functional areas such as “all library branches.” As managers they may be responsible for work schedules, employee evaluations, training, and managing budgets. Branch managers, in particular, can have additional director-like responsibilities, such as overseeing the condition of the facility or involvement in local neighborhood groups and projects.
Career goals! As you move up the rank from Technician, to Librarian, to Manager you take on more responsibility with in the Library.
Library Directors have the main leadership role in the library. Typical duties include preparing and overseeing the budget, developing employment and service policies, strategic planning, public and governmental relations, reporting to the governing board or official, ensuring compliance with laws, fundraising, hiring, motivating and firing staff, and more. Directors’ duties and compensation can vary greatly depending on the size of the library.
This is it! The big job! The one where you run the library. All those skills you’ve trained for are now starting to come together. For most people this is someone who’s been a in the field for 20 + years.
There are also other professionals that work with in a Library. They may include public relations, accounting and human resources, network administration, facilities management, transportation services and security. These people do not always have a Library Science Degree but just as important to running the library.
As I’m an Archivist not a Librarian I’m adding some links to more information that I hope will be useful.
Librarians - the real ones not the TV Show .. wikipedia article gives a quick rundown of information.
ALA- American Library Association - I recommend this site as it’s very helpful to anyone looking to become a Librarian.
Research Tips - Things to Remember When Doing Library Research
“Grand Study Hall, New York Public Library”, by Alex Proimos, CC By-NC 2.0
1. When you’re searching an online catalog or a database, be aware of the subject terms listed on entries you think may be relevant to your question/topic. In most systems, these are links that will help you either broaden or narrow your search.
2. When you go to the shelf to find that perfect thing and it ends up being not-so-perfect, look around - in both the Dewey and Library of Congress systems, similar items are shelved together. Just because the item corresponding to the call number you wrote down on a small scrap of paper with a golf pencil didn’t pan out, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a diamond lurking in one of the books near it. For many SCA topics, you can find a chapter or section of a book on a larger topic that is relevant to your specific research need.
3. Don’t forget databases! These tools are wonderful treasure troves of information that cost your library a pretty penny - and cost you NOTHING. Search them! The History Reference Center and MasterFILE Premier (both by EBSCO) are decent resources. If your library gives you access to JSTOR or ArtStor, consider yourself very lucky - these resources are amazing (especially ArtStor - you can see if your institution [or one near you that will give you privileges] has access by looking here. If there is a university near you listed, don’t hesitate to go visit - you may not be able to access remotely, but you should be able to get on using a computer at the library. Seriously. ArtStor is awesome. I miss having access to it.).
4. Despite what Cecil tells you, librarians aren’t that dangerous. We like helping people. Make use of your librarian! For some SCA stuff, you may have to be patient - your friendly neighborhood reference librarian is probably used to helping a few undergrads but mostly high school and younger researchers find stuff. Be very specific, and don’t worry about scaring them. They aren’t like the fabric store people who ask “what are you making?” just to make small talk - the more you tell them, the better help they can give.
5. Use Worldcat - it will show you everything that OCLC (basically this massive library records conglomerate thing) has records for - and they have records for pretty much everything. You can create a free account and make lists. You can see a list of resources I’ve made on period fools/jesters here: [x] It’s a great way to keep all your resources in one spot (esp. when it comes time to write your bibliography).
6. Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask librarians. Ask me. Ask the hiveminds of Facebook and Tumblr. Even if someone doesn’t know the answer or can’t point you to a resource, nine times out of ten they can point you to someone who can. That’s one thing that the SCA does really, really well. We connect people who are interested about X with other people who are also interested about X.
7. When I take notes, I write down exact quotes, followed by a brief citation (usually in Google Drive or Evernote). This is based on a practice instilled in me by Mrs. Thistle, my 10th grade English teacher, and strengthed by Mrs. Utley, my 12th grade English teacher. Only they had us use notecards. Anyway, even if it isn’t the exact format of the citation you’ll use when you write up your documentation (whether you do APA, MLA, or footnotes), it will help you in terms of remembering where you got that information. By doing an exact quote in your notes, it will also help you paraphrase when you actually write and avoid accidentally plagiarizing.
I could probably write more, but I’ll stop for now.
I spoke about overcoming writing excuses the other day, but what should you do to keep up your writing productivity once you’ve started? If you’re trying to reach writing goals and remain consistent, focusing on what makes your more productive should help.
Here are 5 tips to increase your writing productivity:
Find your writing space
Having your own space to write often increases your productivity. I know you won’t always have your own space, but you should be able to identify where you’re most productive. Some people like to write in a crowded place, like a coffee shop, and some people like to write in an academic setting, like a library. If there’s room in your home or apartment, try to carve out a space that’s ONLY for writing. You know when you sit there you should only be focused on writing. Try to surround that space with things that inspire you or are related to writing.
Keep a notebook
Nothing helps increase writing productivity like brainstorming. Taking a few moments to jot down ideas or explore where your novel is going will help you stay productive. That’s why I always keep a small notebook with me in case I feel inspired by something. This helps because if you run out of ideas when you’re writing, you can always refer to your notebook, which will help prevent you from getting stuck.
Set a weekly goal
Daily word goals can be difficult for some people to stick with. We don’t always have time and we end up feeling frustrated when we don’t meet certain goals. I like to set a weekly goal, so it gives me the flexibility I need to stay motivated. For example, focus on finishing a chapter or working on a scene you want to finish. You can also set a goal to write for a certain amount of time. This also allows you to go beyond your goals for the week and be extra productive.
Plan it out
If you plan your novel before you begin and then actively adjust your outline when something changes, you’ll see a significant increase in productivity. Knowing what you’re going to work on next will allow you to write faster than you thought possible. I know it isn’t a race, but this will keep you from second guessing what you already wrote about and will help you stay on track. If you often get stuck while writing, considering more planning.
Write when you can
Productivity doesn’t come from forcing yourself to write for an hour or two, it comes from taking small writing breaks when you get the chance. Sometimes I write during my lunch break, sometimes I write about ten minutes before I go to bed, and sometimes I write a couple sentences in the morning. The point is, all these writing sprints add up, and they’re significant. Being able to schedule your writing time is nice, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Write when it’s best for you and don’t worry about not being able to dedicate a large chunk of time to it!
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”