Boo Hoo, I’m Sick

April 30, 2007

I suppose that I should be happy that I didn’t get sick until last night after I was officially done with school. However, I have a nasty sore throat that kept me home today – and, I’m not happy at all. ARGH!!

Another Semester Comes To An End

April 29, 2007

It is official – I am done with this semester! Overall, I’m not sure how to categorize this semester. It almost did me in several times. Of course, most of my biggest challenges were school related, but not course related. Actually, this was the first time that I took two classes that I actually liked (with professors that I respected) in one semester. Both were excellent classes in which I learned a great deal. Sure, they both required a great deal of work, and the work might have made me incredibly cranky and intractable at several points during this semester (feel free to ask my husband, if you don’t believe me). However, I now have a great sense of accomplishment that I made it through – and am fairly happy with the quality of work that I was able to produce. So, I am BEYOND happy to be done – to have about a month break from school – to be able to relax for a bit.

So, that was the good part of my mind set. As for the other, this semester gave me some serious ambivalence about SCSU’s MLS program. Online programs are tough, I think – both to participate in and to administer. It seems to be much easier for all people involved in them to give a half-hearted effort. I got involved in trying to get some clear vision of the problems that students feel exist – and this whole thing has weighed heavily upon me. I definitely need to get back to it because it certainly is much too important to just let slide. I find it ironic that in the semester that I had two of the best classes of my program, I came away feeling worse about the program than I have at any point thus far.

Regardless of this fact, I will press on. I am 3/4 of the way through the program. That is enough to help me overcome my feelings of ambivalence. I will make it through, I will make it through, I will make it though.

Need Some Inspiration?

April 25, 2007

I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a child that actually wanted to be a librarian. I know that there must be some out there who do, but I doubt that being a librarian is one of the most appealing occupations to children. That is why I find this blog post so very heartwarming. In it, a mom writes about her 7 year old son, TJ, who wants to be a librarian. There is a picture included in the post that TJ drew of a librarian – complete with a big smile. TJ and his mom made me smile today and reminded me that I am proud of what I do. TJ is lucky to have a mom who wants to help him accomplish his goals. Best of luck TJ!

Balanced Libraries – Some Thoughts

April 25, 2007

I just finished reading Walt Crawford’s Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change(ok, that was a long time ago at this point). Overall, I really enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of a balanced approach to anything – so I was predisposed to agree with the message of the book. As I mentioned in a previous post, this book is an easy read. I didn’t sit down to read it from start to finish, but I made it more than halfway through the book in a couple of hours last night – between making dinner, doing laundry, etc. It took me barely an hour and a half to finish the rest the next day (spread out over lunch and after work). To me, readability is key – especially since I tend to abandon things that I find overly cumbersome.

So, here are some of my thoughts about and reactions to this book:

  • I would recommend this book to any of my colleagues. Whether one likes the term or not, the concept of Library 2.0 is important as are the discussions that have taken place around it. Reading Balanced Libraries is a great way to learn more about Library 2.0 – in a very non-threatening way that won’t cause people to become overwhelmed by the winds of change that seem to always be surrounding us.
  • I would also recommend this book to people who are feeling a bit baffled by all of the recent hype demanding CHANGE. Conferences, journal articles, presentations, blogs and other venues are all pushing the tenets of Library 2.0, social software, information commons and radical change. I have a good grasp of these concepts, and I often feel overwhelmed about what it all means in practice. I’ve questioned myself and the state of my library several times because of all of this hype. I came away from the book feeling validated in a not-so-insignificant way. I’m doing what I should be doing. I’m keeping myself informed about the things that I need to know about. My library is doing ok – actually better than ok. We are balancing new technologies and tools with patrons needs – all with an eye on fiscal expenditures. IM, Flickr and assorted other tools just don’t make sense for us. They would only be distractions that could possibly detract from other services.
  • I definitely think it would be great for all library students to read also. There is some great information about how to balance change and continuity in libraries – which to me, is a critical message.

So, nothing earth-shattering here (referring to my post, not the book) – but really, I think the book is well worth reading. It is a great way to start needed conversations.

Interesting Idea

April 25, 2007

Ever heard of Speed Geeking? It is an annual career event at Simmons College held by the student chapter of ASIS&T. It is described as:

In speed geeking, small groups of students meet with one professional librarian (aka geek) at a time to gain insight into what it’s like to be a working librarian. You can ask questions about their job, patrons, professional development or get tips on library school. Whatever you’re curious about.

Given that I am fortunate enough not to be a grad student who is looking for a job or wondering about what type of librarian I want to be, I don’t often pay attention to these types of items. However, this is a really cool idea. I’m impressed. I have no idea if SCSU has these types of things. Distance students have a tendency to be really out of the loop on ILS campus events. I can say that if they do have these types of things, they aren’t publicized off-campus.

Andrea Mercado from Library Techtonics pointed me to this item.  Andrea thinks that Speed Geeking could be implemented at regional conferences. I think she may be on to something. It sounds like a great way to get people talking and asking questions.

One question: does professional librarian equal geek?

It Wasn’t As Bad As I Thought

April 24, 2007

I got a grade back on my term paper for ILS560-College & University Libraries early this afternoon – and all is well. I definitely wasn’t overly thrilled with the paper. I chose to look at the impact of distance education on the academic library. I was fairly excited when I chose the topic a couple of months ago. However, as time passed, as life interfered and as I got caught up in all sorts of other projects, I really wasn’t able to put the time and effort into the paper that I normally would have. Usually, I have way too much to write – and end up spending a good deal of time cutting lots of material to shrink the overall page length. This time, I struggled to stretch the length so that the conclusion would make it on the 10th page – of an assignment that was to be between 10 and 12 pages. On Saturday morning, I had a better thought about the focus of the paper and almost started the whole thing over. I stopped myself since I had most of the paper that I turned in completed at that point. I figured that I just had to let it go. I’m glad that I did – and I’m happy with the grade. I believe my professor commented that it was brief, the topic wasn’t deeply covered, but was well written. I can live with that assessment.

It Is A Beautiful Day!

April 24, 2007

My Office Door
Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.
My secret door to the outside world from my office (I got a door to a balcony rather than a window – I can’t complain about it too much). It is one of those unseasonably warm days that causes severe spring fever. It is a good think it is time for me to go home! I think the weather will be back to normal tomorrow, so I thought I would take a moment to enjoy the present.