New library community site: LibGig

Today I came across a new site that has the potential to become an important resource for library-folk:

Sections include job postings, info about ALA-accredited schools, and social networking tools for information professionals. From the site:

LibGig is a new professional networking website dedicated to bringing together everyone who accesses, organizes, creates, manages, produces or distributes information for a living.

Our goal is to establish a common, human link within the enormous and multi-faceted information industry through dialogue, interaction and sharing of interesting stories, as well as dynamic and exclusive content that encourages feedback and debate.

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How I found my summer job

I thought I’d say a few words about how I landed my summer job. Working in Ottawa for the summer is a popular choice for Canadian students, especially for those of us who attend school in the eastern part of the country (since, as we all know, Canada’s really big). The federal government encourages students by helping to arrange for us to find three- to four-month full-time positions with federal organizations, often not just related to our fields but actually quite tremendous opportunities, that employers would likely never offer us on the free market. This is how I ended up working for the federal government this summer.

My interview (which was mercifully over the phone, since Montreal is close but not THAT close to Ottawa) was not actually for the position I ended up with. My name had been selected from the FSWEP pool as a candidate for a reference position at the Industry Canada library in downtown Ottawa. When I accepted their offer of an interview, I was fully aware of two major problems, but I was happy enough to have been offered an interview that I didn’t worry too much. The first problem was that the job required me to be bilingual, and the second was that my French is quite weak. When the interview finally took place, they asked me five questions, to which I gave four rather good responses and one embarrassingly bad one; indeed, the interviewers seemed quite impressed with all of my answers except the one in French (though they were certainly nice enough about it).

Now, I’ve hunted for summer jobs enough times to know that my first interview of the season is not usually my best, so I chalked it up as a practice run and expected not to hear from Industry Canada again. To my surprise, a few weeks later I received a call from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which is a very small part of Industry Canada, and they wanted to know whether I would accept a position at the CIPO Resource Centre in Gatineau, immediately across the bridge from downtown Ottawa. Apparently IC had liked me enough that they’d passed my name on to CIPO, where they were looking for a summer student for a non-bilingual position.

Anyway, it’s been a great experience so far – and it’s hard to believe the summer is almost halfway through!

ILSS Book Club: Library 2.0 and Beyond

I spent the weekend at my parents’ house in Toronto to see my brother, who’s visiting from Vancouver. The train ride from Ottawa takes about four and a half hours, which was plenty of time to make my way through the short but sweet Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow’s User, edited by Nancy Courtney.

This collection of articles revolves around the ideas of (surprise, surprise) Library 2.0. For those who don’t know and can’t wait to open the book for a more detailed explanation, Library 2.0 is essentially the application of Web 2.0 tools (and more importantly, Web 2.0 concepts) in libraries as a way to become more responsive to the needs of the user community. For those unfamiliar with Web 2.0, I’ll direct you to Wikipedia, but here’s a hint: leave a comment on this blog post, and you’re participating in it!

One major strength of the book is that each article tackles a certain tool by first explaining how it is typically used on the web and then providing specific details of how it could be used in a library setting. As such, it will satisfy readers with a general interest in the future directions of libraries as well as librarians looking for advice they can put to use immediately.

Highlights for me include Looking Toward Catalog 2.0 by Michael Casey, which discusses improving library catalogue interfaces by taking advice from Google and Amazon.com; The Wonderful World of Wikis: Applications for Libraries by Chad F. Boeninger, which covers the use of wikis for internal communication, institutional collaboration, and research guides, as well as suggesting best practices for library wikis; and Folksonomies and User-Based Tagging by Ellyssa Kroski, which weighs the pros and cons of user-based categorization and offers examples of libraries that have already made use of tagging.

So if you’re interested in where libraries are headed (or at least where they will hopefully be headed soon), I recommend Library 2.0 and Beyond – even if you’re not trying to pass the time on a boring train ride.

The ILSS takes on the Marginal (or perhaps vice versa)

I just wanted to let everyone know that the Spring 2008 issue of the Marginal is now available online. In its own words, the Marginal is “an e-zine published by The McGill Library and Information Studies Student Association (MLISSA),” and it features the reflections, poems, and other writings of students at SIS. Before you ask, yes, the ILSS is featured, but sadly, the material won’t be new to my faithful readers. At any rate, it’s definitely worth taking a look, and for extra credit, check out the history of the Marginal.