Monday, January 30, 2012

Your Voice - Why Libraries? - Katharine

Each issue of this year’s FLAG we hope to share answers to questions related to library work and life by a variety of information professionals.

Last issue’s question was:
Why did you decide on librarianship or library work as a career?

 
For several years, I was a pink-haired bookseller in a large bookstore. I enjoyed my job immensely, particularly the opportunity to have conversations with customers about the kind of books they were looking for (for themselves and others) and the opportunity to recommend titles to them based on those conversations. I had a fairly regular customer who I often chatted with at length over the years. One day, our conversation turned to my work in the bookstore and what I hoped to do after my upcoming undergraduate graduation. When I explained the things that I loved the most about being a bookseller she explained to me that librarianship was a career that shared some similarities to what I did in the bookstore: communicating, close listening, assisting people in identifying the “book” or information they were looking for, and being knowledgeable about how or where to find the information. She introduced me to the concept of reference work and also explained some of the other things that librarians do. Though it took me several years to get back to school to pursue my MLIS, that conversation really sparked my interest in librarianship and stuck with me long after I left the bookstore. It is thanks at least in large part to her that I ended up where I am today!



Katharine Barrette
Acting Collections Librarian and Librarian for Women’s Studies
Mount Royal University Library

Would you like to contribute to this new feature section? The next issue’s question is:

What do you consider to be the most important issue in librarianship right now?

Send your responses with your name, job title, and institution to flag@fla.org.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rachel Chan Memorial Grant – now accepting applications!



FLA is presently accepting online applications for the annual Rachel Chan Memorial Grant: http://www.fla.org/home/grant

The Rachel Chan Memorial Grant is named in honour of a former University of Calgary Librarian and FLA Executive member. She passed away in 2010, to the regret and sadness of many in the library community.

Each year a grant of up to $500 is awarded to an FLA member in good standing to assist them to attend a library conference related to their work. The grant may be applied to cover registration fees, accommodation and/or travel expenses to the conference.

Though all FLA members (excluding Executive members) are eligible to apply, priority is given to applicants who:

·       Receive little or no funding for such travel, e.g. employer-paid grants, grants from other library associations, etc.,
·       Have not attended a professional conference in the past two years,
·       Will be presenting at the conference

Winners must agree to write a brief article about the conference, and their experience attending, for the next FLAG issue after the conference. 

Applications will be accepted until Friday March 16th, 2012.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


 The Alberta Association of Library Technicians

The Alberta Association of Library Technicians (AALT) was formed in 1974 by a group of enterprising Library Information Technology students from SAIT.  They accepted a challenge issued by their instructor, Bill Manson, to form their own organization.  The small group researched, planned, met with other library technicians and an association was born.  The first AALT conference was held February 21-22, 1975 with 37 people attending the annual general meeting.  At this meeting the very first executive board was elected and on September 8, 1975 AALT was officially incorporated.

AALT is dedicated to supporting the professionalism of Library Technicians through communication, continuing education and cooperation.  This mission is met by publishing a journal, hosting an annual conference and by working with other organizations to promote library technicians throughout the province.  AALT relies on the leadership of an elected board of directors comprised of dedicated volunteers.



Monday, January 23, 2012

Your Voice - Why Libraries? - Brian

Each issue of this year’s FLAG we hope to share answers to questions related to library work and life by a variety of information professionals.

Last issue’s question was:
Why did you decide on librarianship or library work as a career?

 
I became a youth librarian because it gave me an opportunity to take things that I love (comics, dungeons and dragon, German board games...) and share them others. Even when it is things that I don’t love (Shakespeare, baby story time, classical music...) I am learning and becoming a more literate and knowledgeable person every day. Basically, I became a librarian because I like waking up not knowing exactly what I am going to be doing, but that I will be learning... Something.



Brian J. Lin
Youth Librarian
Spruce Grove Public Library

Would you like to contribute to this new feature section? The next issue’s question is:

What do you consider to be the most important issue in librarianship right now?

Send your responses with your name, job title, and institution to flag@fla.org.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Your Voice - Why Libraries? - Nancy

Each issue of this year’s FLAG we hope to share answers to questions related to library work and life by a variety of information professionals.

Last issue’s question was:
Why did you decide on librarianship or library work as a career?

 
Working in a library is something that came about for me very serendipitously. I come from an art studio based education and it was my interest in working with the subject that brought me to my current position, working in a specialty library with in a post-secondary art institution. Because of that subject specialty, understanding the language of art was the defining criteria for my position in this library. Training for understanding library systems and management came ‘on the job’ so to speak, and that training continues and evolves as technology has become the major player in how we help our community become proficient in information literacy. Keeping abreast of changing library ideology and technologies keeps the work challenging and interesting, but the major attraction to the position is the collection itself.



Nancy Casciato
Media Collection Assistant
Luke Lindoe Library, Alberta College of Art and Design

Would you like to contribute to this new feature section? The next issue’s question is:

What do you consider to be the most important issue in librarianship right now?

Send your responses with your name, job title, and institution to flag@fla.org.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

NETSPEED and NETPUB 2011

Four years ago GELA (Greater Edmonton Library Association), LISAA (Library and Information Studies Alumni Association), and FLA decided that it would be a great idea to collaborate on an event. This nebulous desire to do something together was channeled into the first Netpub (also billed as Pub.net and Pub 2.0), in 2007. The event was held in conjunction with the Netspeed conference, which focuses on changing technology in the Library world. The intention was to provide a purely social event that would engage Library folk from across the province who were in town for Netspeed. This year marked the fourth Netpub, where once again we sought to take “…social networking out of the computer and back into the pub!”

At this year’s event I was once again struck by the desire of people to have real time contact with like-minded colleagues. No matter how fast the online environment has changed the context of personal contact in cyberspace, there is no replacement yet for the face to face engagement that occurs over a drink and some appetizers. Netspeed’s theme this year, The Human Side of Technology, seemed especially appropriate as I watched people chatting and socializing. Despite the increasing number of webinars and online professional development opportunities, it seems that in-person attendance at a conference is still very rewarding. It might be due to the removal of the usual distracters, all those things that demand our attention in our offices that somehow are easier to forget about for awhile in a hotel ballroom, or it could be the energy generated by a room full of people.
A good keynote speaker moves me to think, to question, and to look at something from an alternative viewpoint. Jesse Hirsh, Netspeed’s opening keynote speaker talked about the dangers inherent in getting the majority of our information online. He pointed out that our bias to only engage with material that supports our views and opinions on the Web is easy. A speaker who challenges those opinions or leads you to consider other ones has great value, especially if you disagree with him, I might never have sought out the opinions of this speaker but I did find what he had to share engaging and thought provoking.


In a similar vein, Kevin Franco, the closing keynote, opened a whole new world of possibility for storytelling. Kevin demonstrated the difference between knowing something could hypothetically be done using new technologies, and creating something gloriously new and transformative with them. After all, few of the tools he used to generate the transmedia story of One Child, from Facebook to YouTube, are unknown to most of us. What is exciting is the way those tools are combined. The resulting story approaches an event more real than how the novel could have been experienced as a story in the traditional format. This is due largely to the opportunity to perceive a level of personal, social interaction with both the story and the characters. Something like the difference between emailing a colleague and joining them for a drink at the pub!


Events like Netspeed give us the opportunity to look at our increasingly technological world and the Library’s place in it, without forgetting that it is our collective energy as social beings that makes things interesting and keeps us engaged.


by Michelle Sinotte