Working: High School vs University Libraries

In my first year out of university, I worked in high school libraries. And for the last two years, I’ve been working in an academic library. For those who are just starting their career journey, and are interested in this type of library work, I thought I would write about what its like working in each of these environments.

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Walking the Tightrope – Balancing Teaching & Learning vs Research

A little while ago I attended a very interesting seminar on balancing teaching and learning in the library field with the conducting and publishing of research.

It was a topic that I, as a relatively new librarian, had not thought much about. I’m glad that I now have this concept at the back of my mind while doing my everyday work.

The basic premise of the seminar was that we rely a lot on anecdotal evidence and many times fail to communicate our worth to those who fund us or decide our futures. By utilising an Evidence Based Practice model, we can innovate and build new capabilities. By sharing knowledge across libraries, we can grow our evidence base – improving our knowledge of where we are providing value, and what we contribute. Many librarians contribute a vast amount to the field and develop fantastic projects, but the next step is writing this up, publishing and sharing this knowledge.

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Hack Library School blog

Need another blog to follow? Of course you do – you can never have enough to read!

Check out ‘Hack Library School’ :

a collaborative project begun in the Fall of 2010. It quickly grew from a Google Doc to a wiki to the rotating group of contributors that it is today. HLS was founded on the principle of students taking the future of librarianship into their own hands….Hack Library School is an invitation to participate in the redefinitions of library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization….What will the information professions be next year if we define it for ourselves today? If we had a voice in the development of curriculum, what would that degree entail? This is our challenge to you; participate or come up with a better idea. How would you hack library school?

With a range of contributors and huge breadth of topics (from the informative and innovative to some quite funny posts) it’s definitely worth a look.

I was going to suggest a few ‘most interesting’ parts of the blog, but every time I clicked on another topic it was super interesting! I wish I had more time to read everything (but with new posts every day or two I don’t think I’ll ever manage to catch up with them haha).

Kudos to the creators and contributors.

Embedding Information Research Skills with Dr Karey Harrison

At the university I have been working at, I was able to attend an inspiring peer learning seminar.

It’s focus was on embedding information research skills within courses and was presented by Dr Karey Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to think about how we can encourage students to develop their research skills, especially since I was recently a student doing this myself!

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Building a Library Homepage/Website using LibGuides

At one of my school library positions, I was solely responsible for designing, creating and maintaining a new library webpage using LibGuides.

This system is used by many school and university libraries for an array of purposes. LibGuides can be used within a university’s website to create individual subject guides. For example, the Law Library at a university may link to individual LibGuides for Criminal Law, Tax Law, Writing a Research Project, Finding Case Law etc while still sitting within the larger institution’s website (run by another vendor). I have helped with some guides like this while working at a university library, as well as other e-learning systems such as Moodle (creating quizzes for students and online tutorials etc).

However at the school library, the LibGuide constituted the entire library website, linked over from the school’s webpage. Here I will briefly discuss the functionalities of such as system and my experiences in using it to create a website from the ground up.

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‘Cultural Weeding’ Workshop

A few months back, I attended a full day workshop through the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). It was called ‘Cultural Weeding’ and was run by Kevin Hennah, who also authored the book ‘Rethink’.

Kevin is a consultant, originally from the retail field, who works with libraries to rethink and upgrade their layout and culture for the 21st Century. His workshop “showcases forward thinking and innovative initiatives. A collection of ideas that…need to be embraced or at least considered in order to keep libraries relevant for many years to come.” While I focus mainly on the school library, these ideas are also easily applicable to public and other libraries.

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Library of the Future Blog – Libraries Transform

A blog to bookmark!

Run by the American Library Association (ALA) the blog looks at all sorts of trends and tech for libraries in the modern age.

Especially topical with yesterday (October 21st 2015) being the day Marty McFly travels to in ‘Back to the Future II’! Yesterday was the future – mind blown! 😉

Source: Library of the Future Blog – Libraries Transform

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/buckaroobay/3721809183

My Youth Programs & Ideas (Engaging Youth in Libraries Part 2)

One of my favourite things about working in a high school library is using my creativity to engage the students to come in and enjoy our collections and events. I want them to view the library as a safe haven, and a fun place to spend their time. I want them to know they can come to the library whenever they want to relax, read, play, or need help with school stuff. This post will discuss the programs I have run, and some ideas I have for the future to continue to engage youth in the library.

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International Librarians Network – Featured Article!

How exciting! I have been featured in a short article on the International Librarians Network (ILN) website. The article talks about LIS studies, and provides my two top tips for students. You can read it here.

I have been a member of the peer mentoring program through the ILN since 2014 and have been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn from professionals all across the globe. My current partner is from the Philippines and we have had some fantastic discussions about Library studies and work. It fascinates me to learn about the differences, and the many similarities, we face in the field in such different parts of the world.

If you have the time to commit to an email pen-pal situation, sign up for the next intake on their website.

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Thanks for reading,

Michelle De Aizpurua