library science

anonymous asked:

hi this may be an unusual ask but, in less than a month i am likely going to be promoted into a different department. i'll be working in a library branch as a book shelver or something similar. i wanted to know if you i guess, have any tips for working in a library? sorry if this is vague im just curious, i saw that youre a reference librarian so i thought youd have some??

I sort of like how vague it is?

20 Random Tips for Library Survival:

  • It really does matter where the books go. If it’s not where it’s supposed to be on shelf, in rough sort, or on display, it doesn’t exist.
  • Be very wary of the “no fines for library employees” rule. 98% of us can’t handle that kind of responsibility.
  • Do whatever the director says. Drop everything for them.
  • Ditto for board members.
  • Patrons will assume that because you work in a library you know everything about it. It is your job to pass these questions off to the correct authority.
  • Understand how to use the catalog. Someone has to.
  • Never promise anything.
  • Children are always right.
  • Befriend your tech support.
  • Befriend whichever librarian is in charge of ordering materials for your favorite collection. They’ll order almost anything you want (so long as it’s new and moderately priced).
  • If you stare blankly and smile at a patron long enough, they’ll stop telling you their racist theory about the economy.
  • It’s really hard to push 50lb book carts in high heels when you only weigh 108lbs.
  • Fill displays whenever you can.
  • Beware the phrase “we’ve always done it this way.”
  • Wear gloves when working with children’s books or cookbooks.
  • Always feed the reference librarian.
  • Reader’s advisory is everyone’s job. Be prepared to talk about books, movies, or music that you love.
  • Never judge anyone on their tastes. Every book has its reader and every reader their book. It’s not up to you to decide what’s good and what’s bad.
  • Speak softly around technical services workers. They spook easily.
  • Keep a parka in your locker. You’ll need it.
Possible Reasons You Have Not Seen These Paintings
redflawedglass replied to your photo: “Stephen Slaughter Portrait of Two Society Women England (c. 1740s) …”:

Sometimes it means the painting is in private hands, or (heaven forbid) no longer exists. :(

That’s true. Sometimes it’s because it’s not on display due to photosensitivity, or a host of other reasons.

And sometimes it’s the result of the devaluation of paintings of Black models, and a masterpiece sits moldering in a basement for 200 years.

And sometimes it’s the result of paintings of Black people not being “British enough”, and being sold out of collections to whoever will take them.

And sometimes it’s because no one can find it because it’s mislabeled, in the wrong section, or because no one seems to know where to put it.

Or because it’s organized toward only specific topics, and the photography of the work in question reflects the bias towards white skin tones.

^ note that none of those tags would lead people toward it who weren’t already writing about or researching race and racism.

The Bridgeman Art Library took the new photo a while after criticism was posted about the image they had available.

Librarians, curators, researchers, bloggers, writers-we all have opportunities every day to create massive change in our respective universes. We’re all making a difference. And that is why I always take the opportunity to challenge rather than just assuming there’s a good reason for these lacks. Most of my benefits of the doubt have already been exhausted, and if you don’t challenge, nothing changes.

pina-fiesta  asked:

I've considered a master's in Library Science for a while now, among other things, but I wanted advice on it from someone who actually works in a library. Do you like your job? When I mentioned it before to my family, they all said "Everyone just uses libraries for computer work now, so you'd just be helping old and poor people use the internet." Is it really just that all the time, or do you do other things?

I love my job. Deciding to go to grad school and getting my MLIS completely changed my life for the better.

The thing about people only using the library for internet is a massive myth. Yes, lots of people use our internet because they cannot afford it at home or don’t use computers enough to buy one & have a regular internet connection, but that’s not all there is to libraries. Additionally, most large or mid-sized libraries aren’t going to have degreed librarians working the computer lab.

A short list of some of the things I do as an adult services librarian:

  • Reference questions. Ask me anything. There’s literally a sign hanging above the desk that says that. I cover everything from helping college kids find sources on obscure artists to stock market quotes to driving directions to newspaper articles to getting you the pope’s mailing address.
  • Reader’s Advisory. Not sure what to read next? Can’t remember the name of a book? Need to know the next book in a series? I’m your girl.
  • Managing holds & equipment requests. I’ll put you on the wait list for the next James Patterson the second you hear about it. I’ll also get you booked in our study room or get you one of our roku devices so you can have free netflix for a week.
  • Technology training. Bring in your device and I’ll teach you how to get free ebooks, digital magazines, and downloadable audiobooks, and access our huge collection of streaming movies and music.
  • Buying books. I love this part of my job. The library gives me money and I buy books to fill our shelves. Of course there’s a lot of research that goes into picking the books people will actually read and what we need to fill holes, but still, I get to buy books. Other librarians get to buy ebooks, music, movies, etc.
  • Programs. At least at my library, we always have something going on. This includes a lot of things: cooking classes, new technology training, resume workshops, genealogy, learning a language, hearing a concert, watching a movie, book clubs, etc. Librarians are the ones who organize these so you can have something to do for free that is both enjoyable and educational.

That’s a short list of what I do and that’s just me. Other librarians do things like story time, early literacy classes, parenting classes, technology classes, databases, design libraries, cataloging, outreach, and so much more. Libraries are here for you at any point in your life and for just about anything you need. We are so much more than books and internet.

Fave things about my current professor:

Says “all genders” instead of “both genders”

Encourages all learning styles, particularly kinesthetic learning (ie, doodling during lecture, standing instead of sitting, quiet activities like knitting in class)

Insists on referring to our assistant professor by her doctoral title, because he finds using only her first name to be condescending.

Was involved in building one of the first digital libraries and spoke publicly about the necessity of integrating the Internet into corporations BACK WHEN MOST PEOPLE HADN’T EVEN HEARD THE WORD “INTERNET” BEFORE

Went off on a tangent about the complexity of commercial drone legislation

Is just a really cool, forward-thinking man and clearly loves his profession

anonymous asked:

Any tips on interviewing for (public) librarian positions in particular? I'll have my MLIS in a few months and I've had an internship and some volunteer work, but no paid library experience so I've never actually interviewed with one before.

Well, everything from my interview guide (link), but as for advice specific to libraries, here are some things I’ve picked up from my own interviewing experience:

  • Customer service is huge. It’s everything, really.
  • Know library trends and be able to speak about them.
  • Research the library before you interview. Look over their strategic plan and their budget (you took a management class, right?) and figure out how you can fit into that and what changes you would make if you had the chance.
  • Read the board minutes. They’re available to the public and will let you know what’s going on at that library and what’s coming down the pipeline.
  • Research the community, too! What are their unique needs? Are there at-risk teens? Is the average age over 50? What are the demographics and how does the library relate to its people?
  • Make a list of all the databases with which you are familiar. Put it in your interview folder. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later. I won’t make that mistake twice.
  • You might be asked to prepare a book talk or a story time. Go ahead and work on this now, rather than try to pull it together at the last minute. 
  • They will ask you what you’re reading or what you’ve read lately. Be honest, but also know how to talk about a book rather than just “it was good” or “I like the characters.”
  • Your reason for wanting to work in a library should be something more than “I like books.” If that’s why you went into library science, you’re going to quickly discover you’re in the wrong field. We all love books, but the job is so much more than that.
  • Social media experience, as well as knowledge of ebooks, ereaders, blogs, and coding are big pluses. 

Note that I have only interviewed for adult reference librarian positions, not children’s, circ, admin, tech, or digital librarian positions. Thankfully, you can go to for more information.

Diving Deep into the Fresh Air Archives...

Hey tumblr,

We are Alex and Niki, the two metadata specialists working on the Fresh Air Archives. WHYY was recently awarded a grant from the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to create a searchable database for 37 years’ worth of Fresh Air episodes. The goal is to make this collection available for scholarly research and the public at-large.

According to Susan Burton’s recent New York Times Magazine feature on Terry Gross, the Fresh Air host has conducted 13,000 interviews during the run of the show. Our task is to review and create appropriate metadata (data about data) for every interview, review, obituary, and commentary piece in the 8,000 episodes of WHYY’s digital archives. Our work will eventually allow users in WorldCat (a catalog of catalogs) to find specific content based on search terms like subject, guest name, critic, or book title.

Some trends we’ve observed so far include reviews of mystery novels, interviews with comedians, in-depth analysis of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, conversations with neurologists, and tons of jazz reviews. Want to know the first time Terry talked to a transgender activist, or which film directors she spoke to in 2009? We’ll make that possible.

In the coming months, we’ll give you updates on the project, highlight noteworthy interviews from years past, and discuss popular topics featured on the show, so stay tuned! 

child-of-the-sky-people  asked:

Hey so I saw that you were a librarian (or work in that area?) and I was just wondering how you got to where you are today :)

I am, indeed, a librarian. I’m an Adult Services (Reference) Librarian in a public library, to be specific.

Things I did to get where I am…

  • Bachelors degree in English (with a minor in communication)
  • Masters degree in Library & Information Science
  • Volunteered at the local library & participated in the Youth Advisory Committee while in high school
  • Worked in customer service jobs (including bookstores) for about 10 years before working in a library
  • Worked as a reader’s advisory associate at a public library
  • Was offered a librarian position at the same library when I received my degree and a coworker moved to another department
  • Sticking my fingers into every pot I could reach. Metaphorically speaking, of course. But, seriously, I step up all the time and join committees, volunteer for projects, and take initiative to bring new or different options to make sure we’re offering the best service possible.
History goes Online with The Digital Collections of The National WWII Museum

Many interpretative institutions today increasingly make use of narratives, storytelling, and the personal experiences of historical and everyday figures to educate their visitors. At The National WWII Museum, we use first-hand accounts to further our mission to tell the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.  Since it was founded, The National WWII Museum has been dedicated to collecting and sharing the stories of the citizen soldiers and Home Front workers who served and sacrificed for our country during WWII. The digitization project, supported by key funders and Institute of Museum and Library Science (IMLS) have helped the Museum achieve this goal by supporting innovative and unique ideas for access, description and navigation of our video oral history and photograph collections. The site currently offers access to 150 oral histories and over 5,000 photographs. Both types of collections can be searched, viewed, saved in a personal collection or licensed for use on the website.

Check out the Museum’s collections online at We hope you will take the time to view some images and listen to the stories of those we chose to honor in this important project.

A Note From The Fresh Air Archives Team

If you’ve ever found yourself asking a coworker what the “official” term for the sex industry is, you might be creating metadata. The answer is “sex-oriented businesses,” by the way, and the 2010 Terry Gross interview with memoirist and former dominatrix Melissa Febos was the question’s inspiration. Using authoritative terms for topics, places and personal names will help ensure that future users of the archive can distinguish segments about free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman (official heading “Coleman, Ornette”) from those about his son (official heading “Coleman, Ornette Denado”).

So, where do we find the official headings? The Fresh Air Archives team relies on OCLC’s FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) schema and the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), based on the Library of Congress Subject headings. Take a look. Their records are far-reaching and often hyper-specific. A few terms we’ve used recently include “Infants switched at birth,” “sexual behavior in animals” and “Cooking (Onions).”

The Fresh Air Archives has also been working with Drexel University to have culturally-significant people–like journalists, actors and film directors–added to the Library of Congress authorities. That includes Fresh Air executive producer Danny Miller. Frequent guest host Dave Davies – not to be confused with The Kinks’ lead guitarist of the same name, who now has his own Library of Congress heading, too.

- Niki & Alex, Fresh Air Archives Team