Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thoughts on Academic Librarianship, Reviews, Various other Things

On the review front: still waiting to hear from the Journal of Web Librarianship about my review on Teaching with Technology: An Academic Librarian's Guide and Choice about my admittedly lukewarm (more luke than warm) review of, but:

Happy days! My review of Bell & Shank's 2007 Academic Librarianship by Design: The Blended Librarian's Guide to the Tools and Techniques was published in the November 15 Library Journal. It really should be on your shelf if you're an academic librarian who has anything to do with planning or implementing library programs or instruction. If you are an academic librarian who is not involved in those things...perhaps you should rethink where you work. Get involved or get out - it'll help your library become far more fabulous if you let someone who is interested in the work - and the welfare of the students - participate in building the library's future.

I say this not out of spite, but because I've seen libraries that have gone both ways - the ones with the dodgy, stodgy, never-to-be-found-doing-librariany-things philosophy who enjoy their tenure strapped into their cubicle for dear life (and whom nary a student could identify, even when promised a 4.0), and the ones that embrace new technologies, new librarians with new ideas and new ways of implementing them, and give us the freedom to fail spectacularly so long as we could prove that somewhere in there was the kernel of an idea that could have improved the library experience. I won't point any elbows at the dodgy sorts (you know who you are), But UTC happens to be one of those shiny, happy places, more than happy to wreck the status quo and comfort zone in favor of students with non-plagiarized, well-cited, well-researched papers, and faculty who actually come back to us because actual librarians work the reference desk, instead of students or graduate assistants. I know! *gasp* Unheard of, isn't it? Just think, on any old boring, ordinary day, you could walk up to our reference desk and who will be standing there, ready and able to answer your question, but the very Dean of the library? Or our head of collection development, or our cataloging librarian?

Yes, I am well aware that getting excited over this sort of thing is nerd-tastic. It's also the reason I figured that librarianship was the spot for one laughs at my "I heart JSTOR" t-shirt here, and the neon shirt I have that reads "got books?" on the front, and answers with a cheeky "I do" on the back is always appreciated.

Either way, get involved. If you're new to the field, pick a specialty, read up on it, and then bug editors of journals you like to allow you to be a reviewer (Phil Edwards at the JOWL has an excellent section for new reviewers - you should read it before sending your reviews out.) Subscribe to the journals you'll read that you can afford, if your library doesn't get them, or at least to the RSS or email alerts of the Tables of Contents of new issues - it helps. A lot.

And that, ladies and gents and others, is all I've got for now. Best of luck in infusing your librarianship with extra awesomeness this week.

~ Guardienne

Monday, November 12, 2007

Returning from Residency

Just returned from Louisville late last night, and am recovering from a hugely intensive residency week. (Who knew being a writer could be so exhausting?)

In other news, I've had poems picked up by Poetry Midwest, Creekwalker, and just had another nabbed by Survivor's Review. (I also heard a tale at residency of a librarian who became such a good poet she was able to quit her job...) This, combined with the recent workshopping, my first public reading, and the work I have planned for next semester all have me raring to go, submitting manuscripts and wildly revising what I have already written. I'm even feeling kindly towards the editors that have, to date, rejected me. The ones who hand-write their rejections I consider actual fans. Yep, definitely a good place to be.

On the other hand, I am back at work (which I did miss), and working on deleting a backlog of emails, as well as planning a workshop I am to teach tomorrow on alerts. (You know, where you can have the database run your search and email you if there are any new results? Excellent stuff). I've fallen off of the Twitter planet, and am planning to return tomorrow (I am username: warmaiden if you care to add me). Mostly, I'm looking forward to picking up Otto from the vet and getting in some quality pooch and reading time.