Hi everyone! Sorry that I have been 100% completely MIA these past few months. Having entered into my final term of Library School (Ahh!!) I’ve been overwhelmed with papers and presentations and have pushed anything without an immediate due date aside. However, as the term is coming to an end and with only a few assignments left, I hope to pick back up with this blog (because really, who doesn’t like blogging these days?). I hope to keep you all updated with what I’m doing, and any interesting events that take place amongst the library community where ever I end up after grad school! Keep posted 🙂
Alright, everyone in my class has been asked to either link or not link a social media presence to their professional blogs, and then explain their rationale for doing (or not doing) it.
In the past little while, I’ve stumbled across a number of blog posts (here and there) which talk about how you represent yourself in social media can seriously effect the chances of you being (or not being) hired. Reading these blog posts have made me become a very cautious person in regards to what I post online, especially now that I intend on having a very professional career.
Personally, I’ve decided to not link a social media presence to my blog. Its not that I have any deep, dark secrets that I’m trying to hide, or anything that could potentially be embarrassing, such as a poorly angled photo resulting in a double chin, or some controversial status update that I just had to make mention of. No. The reason as to why I didn’t link to a social media presence (specifically a personal account) is because this is my professional blog. I prefer to only include information that pertains to professionalism and library “stuff”, you know? I don’t care to add my Facebook or Instagram account because I prefer keeping my life outside of my professional career as private. I have photos of family members, close friends (and if you know me well enough, you’ll know that I post pictures of my food before consumption way more than anyone should), and I don’t feel it necessary to share these personal photos of my friends and family with complete strangers from the Internet.
HOWEVER – there are definitely circumstances with certain types of social media accounts that is totally acceptable to make your presence public, and share-able on a professional blog. Some examples of these (in my opinion, you can add and do what you want) are Goodreads (I’m a librarian in training, of course I have a Goodreads account, and of course you can check out what I’m reading!), LinkedIn (if I had one, I’d add it in – maybe that’ll be something I do when I have 5 minutes of free time between terms), and definitely Twitter, especially if it addresses issues which specifically pertain to what you’re blogging about.
While I am fully aware that anything that you do put on the internet can (and will) stay there forever, I just prefer to not give the people of the Internet something else to stumble upon during their casual web-surfing/creeping (or at least not without working hard for it!). Luckily for me, I share my name with about 300 other people in Canada and the United States alone (probably more since I last checked) so you’ll probably never be able to find my personal Facebook page, unless you know friends of mine. And in that case, I welcome you to send me a friend request, because you actually creeped hard enough to locate my elusiveness. And for that, I salute you, and your excellent web-searching skills.
As an assignment for my Management class, we were asked to watch this video, “The Librarian,” a Vocational guidance video that was filmed in 1947, and write a response about it. I actually really enjoyed it. I do have a love for old films, and the fact that it related to Librarianship was automatically a win-win for me.
If you do get the chance to watch the video (and I really suggest that you do, especially if you have any interest in librarianship, or just libraries in general) I’m sure you’ll notice that the times have changed, and so has the role of the librarian. The video starts out stating that if you, as the viewer, have a love for books and a love for people, you should definitely consider a career librarianship. I feel that today, although a love for books, and at least a “like” for people is something that you should have when considering librarianship, you should also take into consideration that much more is required from you. I feel that an interest in research, a desire for organization, and the ability to lead others are, as well as a number of other interests should definitely be something to keep in mind. Librarianship is a complex career track. Even the process of taking the Graduate program can be incredibly challenging at times, and you need to be aware of that. It’s interesting that this short video makes it seem that anyone can be a librarian, as long as he or she loves books and people, but I don’t necessarily think that is the case. (And I’m not trying to be rude, nor am I saying “You’ll fail at being a librarian”… I’m just saying, its a lot of hard work, but if you keep at it, of course you’ll be great one day!)
I also noticed in this video that the librarian is categorized into five different types: The Cataloguer, The Reference Librarian, The Circulation Librarian, The Children’s Librarian, and The School Librarian. (Does anyone else think that these roles could be made into a superhero name of some sort? Or is it just me?…Moving on…) I feel like in today’s libraries, these roles aren’t only assigned to one individual librarian, but that one individual librarian takes on at least two of these roles, if not all of these roles at some point, whether “some point” is over a life-long career, or over the course of a full day. This can be especially the case in Special Libraries!
While I did thoroughly enjoy this video, I feel like it’s quite outdated (which makes sense, since its older than both of my parents!) Libraries and librarians have changed drastically since this film was created, and while they still share a number of characteristics from 60 years ago, they’ve added a bunch of new ones by combining, changing, and removing previous roles so as to better the library experience for our patrons. Librarians these days are writing informative “things” (books, articles, …blog posts 😉 ) and with internet access, the possibilities are endless in what we can do to enhance the library experience for others. If libraries and the role of the librarian has changed so much in a short time, I’m excited to see what the future holds for us, and our patrons!
Browsing the internet, and fellow librarians’ blogs, I stumbled across this lovely piece posted on the Librarian in Black’s blog: (Specifically here )
This article written about a talk given by David Lee King on Web Trends for 2014 really made me start to think about what we, as librarians, are providing (or lack thereof) for our curious patrons. I didn’t really consider the significance of a website design. The fact that people can access the World Wide Web via cell phones and tablets/ iPads these days means that internet browsing is done by practically everyone – not only those who have/have access to a laptop or desktop computer. While its pretty easy today to make a web page (I mean, come on, if I can create my own blog page, I feel that practically anyone can), to get visitors to stay on your page and for them to keep checking back later is a pretty big deal.
So, this is our chance, fellow librarians and library students, to get these tech-savvy, internet-browsing folk to check out their local library. We now have the technology available to step far (far) away from the web pages of the 1990s and present ourselves (the library) as a place that actually does have cool stuff to read and do. It is so important that we ensure our libraries have websites, and that these sites can be easily accessed via computer and mobile device (because let’s be honest, every kid has a phone these days).
David Lee King spoke about the importance of a simple design and use of white space, but also that using the perfect combination of colours and photos will impact how long a user will stick around. It is important that we take these tips and go with it, because the better the content and visual appeal, the more visits we’ll have to our site, and perhaps more patrons will be intrigued to find out what we have to offer. We can persuade them to check out the library in person. to see what else is available for them (and maybe trade-in their phones for a book!)
I found this video a few years ago, but it keeps being removed from its original source. I’m hoping this link will survive! This is a short animated film about the importance of books to the protagonist. The books bring colour and emotion into this man’s life, and he passes these experiences on to the people of the community through his own small library of sorts. He plays the role of a readers advisor librarian, in a sense, so that the “patrons” can experience the joys of the books as well. Very sweet, and worth a watch if you enjoy reading (or watching animated short films, for that matter). Enjoy!
For my first blog post, I’d like to welcome you to my professional blog page! As a current graduate student of Library and Information Science, I plan on posting library-related items, thoughts and reflections throughout my time spent at Western and beyond. In addition, I will be posting anything of interest relating to librarianship, my love for reading, and more. Take a look around, and if you see anything that you like, feel free to bookmark or follow my blog!