in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Posts tagged ‘ischool’

LIS student Day in the Life #1: Teaming up with Hack Lib School!

A quick word of explanation:

all week, I’ll be blogging/tweeting/vlogging (if I’m brave) “day in the life” posts, in conjunction with the Hack Library School team. If you want to know more about the project, or jump in — read here!

Today I am…

  • at my high school library internship! Wednesday is my last day, so I’m wrapping up some projects (and starting up one or two for my host librarian to continue once I leave here). I taught classes on Thursday and Friday on digital footprints, blogging and creating a positive web presence, and the like. They were very discussion-based and I was pretty impressed with some of the ideas my high schoolers had!

    summary of projects I’m devoting time to today:

    updating and curating our GoogleSites page for the library, to make it more reader-friendly.
    collecting research and best practices on “genre-fying” a school library fiction collection, to be compiled into a report with suggestions on if we should implement it here.

  • wearing a black cardigan. It’s the staple of my cold-Upstate-NY wardrobe, and I don’t care if it’s stereotypical.
  • drinking my usual 6 cups of coffee (that’s 36 ounces) and then switching to hot H20.
  • planning to dive into new modules for my online courses, IST 611- Technology in Educational Organizations, and IST661- Management in School Libraries this evening over dinner. I’m not even sure what topics we’re on this week, because I avoid checking into BB until I have time to pay attention. Wheeeee!
  • using a MacBook Pro, because the high school I’m at is an All-Mac school. Which means I could take this awesome photo for you!
    (Yes, my coffee mug is huge. We call it the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo, affectionately.)
self, black cardigan, coffee mug. in a high school library office room.

self, black cardigan, coffee mug. in a high school library office room.

I don’t plan to blog every morning this week, so you’ll get some “here’s what I will be doing” and you’ll get some “here’s what I did” posts depending when my free time emerges. Join us, if you’re a fellow libschool student!

Sidebar: I’m on twitter, @intjME, and if I decide to vlog I’ll embed the video here.


Crashing a conference, #HEWebSYR style.

Last week I caught word of a conference happening mere feet away from my office, on the SU campus, focused on “higher ed web”. I had no idea what that meant – I mean, I’m immersed in higher ed, and I know what a/the web is – but I had no idea what would actually happen at such a conference. Do you compare websites? “Mine has great graphics, but man, your layout is so intuitive!” Do you talk about how to attract the right kind of students? “We want students that appreciate artistic Instagram photos, but if you want students that like good blogging, well, here’s how to do that.”
Summary: I had no idea
what would happen.

Here’s what I knew:
A conference of smart people was happening feet away from me.
I like smart people.

HighEdWeb Syracuse logo image

Image of HighEdWeb Syracuse logo shamelessly taken straight from the event website at


So I effectively crashed the conference, representing the iSchool while still getting to hear some of the presentations. And it wasn’t what I expected, but even better, I learned things. And we all know how I feel about learning! (It’s a good thing; I enjoy it. So now we really DO all know.)

And because brevity is a wonderful thing and I haven’t had enough coffee to do more, here’s a summary of what I liked/noted/enjoyed/remember:

  • Devices make life more convenient – and more complex. Don’t make the assumption that everyone has one, OR that they know how to use it. – advice from Jill’s keynote
  • Jill wins SO many points from me for putting an attributing link for every Flickr image used on her slides. YES.
  • Accessibility is a big deal, especially if you’re moving to lots of web content. Do you alt-text your images? Is your alt-text at all similar to what you’re actually alt-texting? Do you optimize for screen readers? (This came up multiple times.)
  • If you’re making a higher-ed website, consult XKCD first. Obviously.
  • Not everyone wants apps, especially people who don’t have app-centric devices. Even people WITH those devices admit to often using the web function instead.
  • Students are already talking about your school. Don’t be afraid to ask them to continue to do so.
  • Undergraduate students might not mind being paid in pizza. This graduate student probably wouldn’t – it would just mean more time at the gym. Nothx.
  • Tweetbook might be the coolest thing ever. *nerdy squee*
  • If your philosophy sees accessibility as something “that needs to be fixed” in the system… you might want to reconsider your philosophy before you “fix” the system.
  • Everyone loves old school, black-and-yellow Tweetdeck. Everyone.
  • People who write code are really, really smart. But they know how to talk to us non-coders. Quite the skill.

And that’s just the highlights. You can read through the pretty-active hashtag for the event, #hewebsyr, to catch more thoughts from more people. Thanks for the fun, conference attendees and speakers!

day 1, semester 2.

Here we go! Today marks the official day one of semester two, year one, of my experience as a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a school media specialization.

I’m spicing things up this semester. Translated, this means I’m taking two courses online while taking one on campus. Translated, this means I’m currently freaking out and attempting to not freak out about this switch to a predominantly online learning environment.

Therefore, this being day one, I’ve set up some general ground rules, which I’m hoping will alleviate some of the stress while also make the online environment just as comfortable as the in-class environment. (Sidenote: the fact that I can now be ‘in class’ while wrapped in my favorite fuzzy blanket with a never ending supply of delicious coffee only a few short feet away in my kitchen is a perk.)

  1. When the laptop is on the desk, it’s school time. Correlaries to it being school time are:
    -Two hours at a time, max. Preserve the mental health.
    -Pandora. Reading of a screen is something I’m still not quite used to – music helps.
    -Nix on the social media. No facebook open, no tweetdeck (my favorite of favorite distraction), not even pinterest (I don’t even like pinterest yet, but it’s a decent distraction.)
    -No checking email. (Sidenote: email annoys me anyway. Figured I may as well throw in a perk.)
  2. One day a week is designated “non-school day”. Last year, I had three on campus classes, and it’s a bit easier to think of them as “Monday’s work, Tuesday’s work”, etc. Online classes have the potential to sneak into “every day’s work”. So, one day each week is non-school day!
    -Correlary: non-school day just might also be bake-cookies day.
  3. CALENDAR. I really need to get to work with a calendar for the semester, and keeping track of when things are due. It’s a bad habit I’ve never fully dropped. (Sidenote: I highly doubt I will fix this in one semester.)

I’m sure I’ll come up with a few more guidelines as this adventure continues. Anyone with advice is welcome to contribute! 🙂

we’ve got class!

Actually, we’ve got multiple classes, most of us. But this week we had our first experience with IST 511, technically known as “Introduction to the Library and Information Profession”, though I affectionately (for now) refer to it as “Intro to Libraries”. Rolls off the tongue a bit better.

What did we talk about this week? A little bit of everything. It was like a delicious pasta salad – not too much dressing (gag), not too much pepperoni (also gag), a good handful of green pepper and cheese, with a solid base of slightly-al-dente pasta. If by pasta you mean “general talk about libraries”, with everything else serving as a relevant tangential topic. That said, I’m going to expound upon something that, while not overly discussed, is going to be crucial from here on out, forever and ever.

To paraphrase Prof. Lankes – because I didn’t write it down verbatim, and misquoting is horrific – You can not be unbiased.

What does this mean? It means stop parading around that little sign around your neck that says “I know how to be objective, I really really do, I swear! It’s called presenting you with all sorts of sources so I can’t seem biased in any one direction, while secretly hoping you only read the source I support most fully!” (Sidenote: I have a tendency to the overdramatic. Don’t take it personally, fellow students.) When a patronusermember asks for information, they seek information. They don’t seek it with a side-dish of bias, but they certainly don’t seek it with a side-dish of bias-disguised-under-a-cloak-of-objectivism.

I think it’s especially hard for those of us who -desire- to be objective to realize that it’s impossible. I know I spent the last four years of undergrad doing my damnedest to write “objective” papers, knowing full well I was spinning those sources around my personal wheel of beliefs. But therein lies another issue – how to balance the art of acknowledging a bias, while not letting that justify being lazy and completely nonobjective? I think that’s what I’m going to keep tossing around in my mind over the next couple days weeks months years. 

I recognize my bias, I know it, and I know it’s not the common – that’s something I’m learning in all my classes so far. Yet I want to work past it without denying my own self-knowledge. Thus begins a quest that I’m sure will continue long past this semester, or this school. Well, I do love a good quest…


I don’t even know what number blog this is for me. Really.

I think I’ve had four xangas (four?! gosh)… three blogspots…and this is my second tumblr. I admit to never having grown to like wordpress. I used to blog on myspace – remember myspace? – which oddly enough, was one of the *worst* features on myspace. And we all know the “Facebook note” – I’ve used those for blathering and/or mindless words. Because really – Facebook as a blogging platform? I laugh.

So, here we go, with tumblr account #2. For the purposes of exculpating and exaggerating and examining my experience studying library and information science, school media specialization, at Syracuse University.

Here goes nothin’!