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Leslie Burger visits the University at Buffalo November 12, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Library Related.
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Please excuse cross-posting:

Leslie Burger,  November 10, 2006: Ten Points for Librarians

I had the pleasure of attending an address by ALA President Leslie Burger yesterday at the University at Buffalo. The event was sponsored by the ALA student chapter and had been rescheduled due to the October Storm. Ms. Burger was soft-spoken, but direct, intelligent, and a passionate advocate for libraries and equally importantly, PATRONS. I took three pages of notes but will just give a few highlights here. I especially liked her story about keeping her library open late while election results came in as an example of how libraries build community. Sure we can all watch from home, but for certain things we want to be in the company of others. Even at ASIS&T during one of the large get togethers our new friend set up his laptop for us as “impromptu election info kiosk”. Ah librarians… but I digress.

Ms. Burger’s presidential initiative has been “Be a Transformative Librarian”. As a blogger, tagger, tech enthusiast and all around smiling social type, much of what she said was a no brainer for me. However, I was thrilled to hear an ALA President talk about how exciting emerging trends in technology and information science are, rather than knock them (see: “Revenge of the Blog People” by Michael Gorman, Library Journal, Feb. 15, 2005.). It was also nice to juxtapose these ideas with the good ole fashioned ones, like “playing well together” and being a “library cheerleader”. In my view the social connectivity of these technologies can and does bring up important issues to be explored, but, for example, responding to comments someone makes on your blog (because they took the time to visit you, read you, and post) is one modern day version of smiling at someone at the reference desk, or responding to a suggestion they placed in a comment box. This stuff is here to stay, and whether people are connecting socially via chat rooms, IM, blogs, flickr accounts, specific sites such as Facebook, Burger is right to ask what role libraries can have in embracing these technologies to welcome our “tech savvy” patrons.

I was equally thrilled to hear Burger advocate for administrators to support enthusiasm and passion, and forward-thinking young next-gen librarians. At least I think I heard that. I can think of a couple directors I wish I had seen there. (Not speaking about my current one here… 🙂 If there’s one thing I have learned working in Technical Services it’s don’t assume ANYTHING about people who work in technical services.) Below, my summary of Leslie Burger’s 10 Tips for Librarians. I had read these around the liblogosphere for awhile, but it was inspiring to hear her go through them all in person. Bravo!

10 Tips for Librarians:

  1. Be passionate! Be a cheerleader for libraries!
  2. Think “all community all the time”
  3. Walk on the wild side (take risks) – challenge the status quo, ask why? give someone in your organization the title of Chief Innovator (how do we apply?? Mark, you in?)
  4. “400,000 smiling faces”. Hire for attitude as well as skills
  5. Develop leadership at every level – it’s everybody’s job (not just Provost, Dean, Chair, but everybody!)
  6. Become an activist
  7. Embrace change – change is the one thing in life that’s constant
  8. Invest in the basics (2nd most important according to Ms. Burger) – need GREAT websites, catalogs that make sense – that look like how people want them to look! Need buildings that work!!!!! Patrons can go to Barnes and Noble and have coffee, why not the library? Need great collections, need funding that matters! can’t allow ourselves to be victimized by our vendors anymore
  9. Play well together – collaborateinvolve all key stake holders – this takes a lot of work
  10. “Keep everlastingly at it” (John Cotton Dana)

During the question session I asked what Ms. Burger planned on discussing in her following meeting with Provost Tripathi and Interim Dean Lucinda Finley. Would she be presenting her presidential initiative? She stated that her talking points would be more specific. 1. She would advocate for the library school at University at Buffalo to have a prominent place in the University. 2. She would clarify the ALA accreditation process as an opportunity for the program to strive for excellence, and not a punitive measure.

Kudos to the students who worked so hard to make this happen. One comment I heard from some folks afterward is that a few people left because they couldn’t hear Ms. Burger. Wonder if this room is equipped with a mic or if someone could have gone out to find one? Luckily, our colleague Jim Milles, of Check this Out, recorded the talk for his podcast series. Hopefully it came out well, and I will certainly post an update with the link when it goes online.

students, librarians and faculty at Leslie Burger talk

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ASIS&T 2006, Austin, TX November 4, 2006

Posted by jennimi in ASIS&T, Conference, Informatics.
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I’ll be posting over at jennimi about my trip to the annual ASIS&T conference, where June Abbas and I are presenting a poster about folksonomy and tagging. Flickr photos will be here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennx/tags/asist2006/) as I can upload them, and I’ll guest blogging on the conference blog, here, (http://asist2006.neasist.org/) when possible. Austin is a great town so far. This is my first trip to Texas and so far we’re really enjoying it.

ALA President Leslie Burger at UB November 10th! November 1, 2006

Posted by jennimi in library 2.0, Library Related, University at Buffalo.
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I’m posting on behalf of the University at Buffalo’s ALA student Chapter:

Please join UB American Library Association’s Student Chapter for a
lunchtime talk and discussion with ALA president Leslie Burger!

Title of talk: “Be a Transformative Librarian”

When: Friday, November 10th, 12 noon-1:30 pm

Where: 330 Student Union, North Campus, University at Buffalo

To download pdf maps of UB’s North Campus and to locate the Student Union please visit: http://www.buffalo.edu/buildings/building?id=student_union

Campus visitors, please see the University’s parking information here:

Cost of the talk: Free and open to all. Free lunch will be served.

More info: Contact UB ALA officers about the event, more information about
Leslie Burger’s presidential initiative: http://lb.princetonlibrary.org/index.html

Please pass this message on!

How will you transform libraries? Come and be inspired!!

Students’ spaces October 27, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Academic Librarianship, library 2.0, social software, Web 2.0.
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This afternoon I did something I do every once in awhile: I ate my lunch at the student union on the campus where I am a librarian. I sat at the strewn tables in the loud lunchroom eating the expensive and not so savory food that many students eat out of necessity. I thought about how much my sandwich would ultimately cost if I had bought it using student loan money. Quietly I observed the hectic goings on around me. In the short time I was there in students’ space I observed fraternity pledges “forced” to chant loudly a hearty bit about their greatness. I wondered if in ten years they’ll be just as excited about their greekness. Good thing for their sakes the revelry won’t be etched permanently in the ether that is the Internet. Unless of course it was recorded and put on Youtube. I thought, what a strange word to use for the Internet: “ether”. It falsely implies impermanence.

And between moments of awe at the fact that I was once that young, I noticed several arguments, outbursts, and bully moments. I heard a young woman demand that her friend give her one of her shirts to wear to class tonight, and another wiped her sparkly eye shadow off quickly as she was critiqued by a whole table of other girls. One young man demanded another’s homework from him. It’s not that I had special radio frequency recording equipment. These conversations occured all around me as openly and accessibly as a MySpace profile. Even more so, since I didn’t really search. I just sat down. I realize these were just a few of the happenings in the room. The loudest are the most noticeable…

And before I dared entertain the idea that this generation is any different than mine I remembered a loud and heated conversation I and another student had in a campus cafe in 1991. We disagreed about how to deal with Kosovo. I had a young brother, she didn’t. Thinking back, everyone in the building probably heard our “discussion”, but we didn’t care. Or, it’s perhaps not that we didn’t care, but that the question didn’t really concern us. The cafe was our space. The campus was our space. School wasn’t just about classes, it was about passion, ideas, ego development, and the safe space to be loud and even to make mistakes.

I accomplished some great things as a college student but I also made some mistakes. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different, or if it would be different, if there had been MySpace or Facebook or a blog in which to document all these things for posterity. Would I be declined an interview by someone who disagreed with my political stance in 1991, even if it may have tempered or changed over the years? Or would potential employers keep in mind that they were young once too, that they found there own spaces in which to grow, and that some adult somewhere may have heard everything – but resisted the urge to intervene?

Lots of discussion these days about how students forge their online personas, much of which admonishing folks to “watch it”. The IT folks at Cornell have posted a really good piece, called “Thoughts on Facebook” (http://www.cit.cornell.edu/policy/memos/facebook.html), that delves into these issues accessibly without talking down to the students. It’s a must-read for anyone working with students involved in web 2.0.

But as I sat in the student union today, realizing I participate in all manner of social software products (likely soon to drop MySpace as all the wonderful free music cannot, for me, trump the increasingly invasive corporateness of its new owner, Rupert Murdoch), agreeing with the push to teach students how to be careful, and cringing at some of the things I heard around me, I secretly applauded the students’ willingness to be themselves. To learn to be themselves. It’s their space. I’m not advocating a free for all, and I certainly want any student I have the honor of meeting to understand what it means to communicate on the web or in-person. And I want the campus library to be a comfortable place to learn these things and more. But we all need space to grow. In a student union or online. Everyone is a work-in-progress.


Library Student Journal debuts stellar first issue October 4, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Library Related, Library School, University at Buffalo.
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Happy to announce a wonderful first issue of the peer-reviewed online journal Library Student Journal, initiated and run by our colleagues over at the University at Buffalo’s School of Informatics. The hard work has paid off and the issue is replete with librar* goodness of the “free and open” kind.

Kudos to this international community of writers and editors for their wide range of topics (from the effects of CIPA on gay and lesbian youths, to a serious discussion of babies as libraries’ youngest patrons) and professional authorship, and a LOUD BRAVO to Benjamin Hockenberry for a beautiful site – aesthetic and user friendly, very navigable. I also like the accompanying community forum (http://pub5.bravenet.com/forum/350917981) which further brings together readers and writers for discussion.

Scholarly publishing MUST change to respond to changes in the field and to keep up with emerging technologies. This kind of publication is a leap forward. Read more about open access in Guinnee’s editorial here (http://informatics.buffalo.edu/org/lsj/articles/guinnee_2006_9_open.html). A wonderful example of the cutting edge work coming out of the School of Informatics. I’ll close with the editor’s own words,

We hope to be, in our own little way, an example of the future of scholarly publishing: open and free. I hope many future LIS professionals will take advantage of this opportunity to be published without fee in an Open Access peer-reviewed journal. And I hope you will take away a new vision of what scholarly publishing will be and what your role in it can be.

Oh, RSS feed to articles here. (http://informatics.buffalo.edu/org/lsj/lsjRSS.php). I use Bloglines as my aggregator.

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del.icio.us: Library Student Journal, University at Buffalo, scholarly publication, informatics, open access