The Library Student Bill of Rights by Char Booth

This article, written by Char Booth and posted on Tame The Web, is certainly not a brand new one, but it’s new to me, so I thought I would share it. I believe that library schools have a lot of work to do towards updating their programs for the 21st century, and Char has provided some insightful suggestions. I especially agree that there should be more of a focus on teaching students how to evalute, use, and develop technology, since this is a key skill for information professionals.

From The Library Student Bill of Rights:

In order to create a more vibrant and resilient profession, the students of library and information studies programs should be entitled to the following rights:

1. The right to educate. Students should receive training in learning theory, pedagogy, instructional design, and assessment methods regardless of their areas of focus.

2. The right to evaluate. Rigorous, realistic, and applied instruction in action research methods as well as techniques in environmental scanning and user needs evaluation should be available to all.

3. The right to challenge. Debate and critical inquiry between library students should be encouraged, while information activism should be considered alongside impartiality as one of the unique contributions librarians make to the information world.

4. The right to innovate. Technology evaluation, selection, experimentation, development, and planning should be woven throughout the curriculum, rather than sequestered to the “information” side of learning.

Why You Should Blog – article in The Marginal

I wrote a short article for The Marginal, McGill’s SIS journal, and it’s now online in the Fall 2008 issue. It’s called Why You Should Blog – here’s reason #1 of 3 that library school students should become bloggers:

1. Self-promotion.
Let’s face it: when you apply for your first full-time gig after graduation, your potential employer will be going through a stack of CVs from people just like you, and every single candidate will have an MLIS, and the vast majority of them will have some experience working in the field. If you don’t make your CV stand out, it will never make it to the top of the pile, so you need something to show how special you are. Blogging shows that you’re interested in the field and have ideas to contribute, so when you include your blog’s URL on your CV, employers will take notice. They’ll also have the opportunity to take a look at a sample of your writing and ideas. Even if your interviewer doesn’t take the time to follow the link to your blog, they may google you; it is becoming more and more common to google a candidate’s name before making a hiring decision, and having a blog shows that you have a constructive online presence (wouldn’t you rather they find your blog than those photos of you partying at Thomson House?). A blog is also a good thing to list on your business cards.

Guest post – Jared discusses online music

Today’s guest post is from my professional partner, Jared Wiercinski, Digital Services / Outreach Librarian and Music & Contemporary Dance Librarian at Concordia University. Thanks, Jared!

Graham and I met through the Professional Partnering Program which is organized by the Canadian Library Association McGill Student Chapter. It’s been a great experience so far. I got to gulp down a really tasty radioactive sugar drink at the kick-off event, and Graham has been continually handing over secret documents from McGill (obtained through his work with the library administration there). So far, so good.

Graham was kind enough to invite me to write a guest blog post on anything I wanted to write about. At first I struggled with the idea, not knowing what to write about. Writer’s block, I believe it’s called. But then it dawned on me – why not write about online music?

Concordia has a really interesting Music Department that includes jazz, classical, popular and (my personal fav) electroacoustic music. Probably the most interesting  project for me so far has been looking at different ways to make sound recordings available online. For the most part things are pretty old school here. As far as course reserves go professors typically bring in compact discs to the library and then students come in and borrow them (or not). Truth be told it’s pretty hard to motivate yourself to come to the library to listen to CDs with so many other alternatives: iTunes, peer-to-peer file sharing sites, MySpace, YouTube, last.fm, et cetera. Especially during this holy season known as winter.

So I’ve been experimenting with different ways to make music available through our website. The set-up I’m currently using involves a Flash Player embedded in a web page that plays the mp3 files off of our server. The web page is hidden behind our WAM software, which means that only students who are registered in the course can listen to the music. This pilot project is in the early stages but seems to be going well. So far I’ve set up online audio files for two courses: “The Music of the Beatles” and “Rock and Roll and Its Roots”, both taught by Craig Morrison.  Needless to say it’s been a labour of love.

So yeah. That’s all I’ve got to say. Drop me a line at jared.wiercinski@concordia.ca if you’re interested in or working on this type of thing as well. I’d love to hear from you. Cheers!