Monday, April 26, 2010

U.S. News Rankings 2010 - No Changes

There are no changes to the Social Work and Library and Information Science categories in the U.S. News Best Graduate School 2010 Rankings. However, I noticed my undergraduate alma mater ranks #8 in the Best Education Schools category. Go SESP!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Article: From Social Worker to Librarian

Here is another story from the North Jefferson News about a former social worker who changed career paths to pursue public librarianship.
Robertson was a social worker before she got her master’s degree in library science.

“You put a lot of heart and soul into a job like that, and it’s easy to burn out. I loved what I did, but I wanted a career change,” she said. Robertson said there was opportunity for social work in her library job as well.

“People come in here and they want help with resumes, and finding jobs, they can’t find their books, they need to get something for their kids... The library is a place where the community can come and all share the same resources,” she said.

Her social work background have many transferable skills: working with people and providing services and resources.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Annoyed Librarian: Librarians Are Like Social Workers

The title may sound far-fetch, but a growing number of librarians, especially in rural and urban public settings, are realizing their job responsibilities are becoming more similar to the role of social workers. As a dual-degree student in both areas, I find this discussion very interesting. In a way, social work and library science are related in the field of education. Both promote service and helping people.

One of the readers' comments:
"And that's not uncommon. Most libraries today are getting social service tasks dumped on them with no training, funding, or staffing to handle it. Of course, it would be better to have a separate facility to handle the homeless and the latchkey kids, since they have driven out anybody wanting to use the library for its intended purpose, but that would involve effort."

Do you agree with this statement? Should library schools adopt social work skills and training in their curriculum?

Here is another situation regarding employment:
"I don't really think many people think of librarians as government employees,'' he said. "I think they think of librarians as members of a helping profession, like teachers.''

Some colleagues, he said, lament the "good old days," when the job was more about helping people find great literary works than navigating technology and applying for government aid.

Other librarians have embraced their new roles:
Edina, Minn. — The combination of a recession and changes to the typical job application process has made some local librarians into self-described social workers.

Many companies nowadays require job seekers to fill out online applications, which may be tough for people who don't know much about using the Web, or don't have access to it. Many job seekers are turning to their local librarians for help.

"It's like the new normal to have social work be part of being a librarian," said Kim Poole, a librarian at Hennepin County's Southdale Library in Edina. "Sometimes as a librarian you feel like you're throwing out a life preserver to a person ... they are often at the edge of an abyss."

Rhodarian and YALSA also discuss this issue.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

InsideHigherEd: Eroding Library Role?

From InsideHigherEd, libraries must find ways to sustain relationships with university departments, or their own roles as intermediaries to information will decline and vanish.
If libraries do not seriously rethink their role in the lives of researchers, they could come to be seen more as resource purchasers than as research collaborators, according to a report released today by the nonprofit group Ithaka S+R.

“As scholars have grown better able to reach needed materials directly online, the library has been increasingly disintermediated from research processes,” write the authors of the report, which is based on a national survey of professors administered last year.

“The declining visibility and importance of traditional roles for the library and librarian may lead to the faculty primarily perceiving the library as a budget line, rather than an active intellectual partner,” they later add.

More people are using search engines, such as Google, as their first and primary search tool for searching information. Institutional universities may need to re-evaluate their websites and services in order to engage faculty and students more effectively. Nevertheless, librarians are participating in more outreach and collaboration with different units across campus.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Video: History of the Library of Alexandria

In honor of National Library Week, I posted the first two clips of the History Channel's History of the Alexandria Library. History, sociology, and geography were my favorite subjects growing up, and I wanted people know that the history of libraries and archives goes back many centuries. Altogether there are 5 clips; please make sure you view the last three clips.

Part 1

Part 2

Don't forget to view clips 3, 4, and 5!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

National Library Week 2010 - Communities Thrive @ Your Library

April is National Library Week. It is observed each year in April, generally the second full week. This year's theme is related to my interests in community outreach!
Libraries are the heart of their communities. National Library Week 2010 (April 11-17) will be celebrated with the theme, "Communities thrive @ your library."

This year's theme will focus on the following topics:

  1. Libraries as community cultural centers
  2. Libraries help communities thrive in tough times
  3. Diverse communities thrive @ your library

For more information check out the National Library Week Fact Sheet.