Tag Archives: library


13 Jan

It’s that time of year. The time where we all reflect on the past year and look ahead at what’s to come. 2011 was just the way I like it–lots of travel and many strange and wonderful experiences.

I enjoyed 6 weeks of vacation. I visited four countries and saw 6 states. I crossed the US border 9 times. I took 6 plane rides. I drove from SLC to Vancouver three times and  up the  California coast from San Diego to Sacramento. I visited great friends and had great friends come visit me. I rode a bike in the Netherlands and didn’t die. I went punting down a canal in England and was actually good at it. I drank cactus beer in Belgium. I became an immigrant.

I moved twice and spent the summer with the greatest roommates I’ve ever had.

I started two book clubs, each with moderate success.

I applied to, got accepted to and started graduate school. I got 1/4 of the way closer to becoming a librarian and found out I actually like it. I also discovered I might even be good at it.

I posted 45 times on this blog.

I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. I made a turkey for the first time and enjoyed the holiday in October and November.

I ate the greatest hamburger in the world, made the best french onion soup, tried poutine, learned to make sushi, and discovered Tim Tams and Coffee Crisp.

I learned to share my twin sister and was truly happy for her on her wedding day. I gained two wonderful brothers-in-law and two amazing step-nephews.

I took out my first student loans.

I attended my first black-tie event and was grateful that my mom taught me good enough manners to blend in reasonably well.

I was pulled over for the first time and got my first speeding ticket.

I was rehired and quit my job at the law firm for (hopefully) the last time.

I went from being an animal hater to an animal hater living with a dog and a cat.

Looking back, 2011 was pretty alright. Although I’ve decided not to worry about 2012–I’m pinning all my hopes on 2013 to be my year–here’s hoping that the next 12 months are as interesting as the last. Or at least that the world won’t end.


Just one of those days

10 Jan

You know how some days are just terrible? Everything seems to go wrong and by the time the sun goes down you’re ready to climb into bed and hope that something better comes in the morning. Today was NOT one of those days. The opposite in fact. Today just one of those great days where everything is happy and you feel good. I got a job as a research assistant, doing research I’m really excited about with people I really like. I made a delicious (and healthy) dinner. The beautiful sunshine outside inspired me to go running, resulting in me 10% running, 90% walking for almost an hour. I finally got a VPL library card and checked out a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. And now I’m off to bed early, ready to take on my 8:00 am class tomorrow morning.

I hope my happy isn’t too loud for you all. I’m sure I’ll return to normal in the morning 🙂

Yep, this is the reaction I usually get

3 Dec

When I reveal to people that being a librarian requires a master’s degree they are usually pretty shocked. I ran across this gem of a post on SL County Library’s facebook page and it made my day.

Epic fail

18 Oct

Today I had my first really disheartening grad school experience. We got our grades back for our first cataloging assignment. We had to take some bibliographic records (you know, those long reference citations that have title, author, year, publisher, etc for books and articles and websites) and then cite all the formatting rules from the AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Ed.) used to create those records. Try to remember back when you used to have to figure out bibliographies for research papers. It’s like doing that, but backwards. It was a terrible assignment. I hated every minute of it. The AACR2 totally made me its bitch. I’m pretty sure I got the worst grade in the class. I’m not exaggerating; people are pretty open about their grades, so I had a lot to compare myself to. **Silver lining, my 78% is actually a B+ here at UBC. They are so weird with their grading in Canada.** Anyway, despite the B+, it was a pretty dismal performance on my part. And now I’m sad.

School is hard

18 Sep

Since I decided to get my Master’s in library science, a lot of people have asked me, “What do you actually study in library school?” Well, that in addition to the clever the first time, but super lame the 100th, “It takes two years to learn the Dewey Decimal System?” Hi-larious. So I thought I’d let you all know where my academic pursuits have taken me.

Everyone in my cohort has to take the same 4 core courses this first semester. Three are regular classes on campus and one is online. The idea of these courses is to start with the very basics of technology skills and LIS (library and information science) theory to bring everyone up to at least the same base-level knowledge.

All in all, I’m finding the grad school experience to be whole lot of work. The work itself isn’t that hard. I would say it’s not any harder than some undergrad classes I took, it’s just a lot more time and effort that I have to put in. Mostly in terms of the amount of reading I have to do. I spend at least 4 hours a day just reading–and that’s with a lot of my lazy skimming. Along with that it’s been a challenge to make and keep a work schedule. I only have class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (each class meets only once a week), so I have five days in a row without class. I’m also not allowed to work for the first 6 months that I’m here. All that free time makes it easy to push tasks, most often reading, to another day. However, if I procrastinate at all there’s just simply too much to do in one or two days.

The rest of this post is just a description of my classes, so you can stop here if you’re no longer interested. I won’t be offended.

Foundations of Information Technology: This is my online class. We met up once at the very beginning of the semester to go over the interface of the course. From then on it’s been strictly online. We have content modules where we get all the information of the class, and we participate in online course discussions. There are also optional computer lab demonstrations to help us with the technical aspects of the course. This class covers the very basics of LIS. There are two components:

1. The syllabus states: “It deals with the development, current state, issues and challenges of information technologies in society at large. While the implications of these techno0logies for libraries and other information-based organizations will also come up, the course generally takes a wider view of information technology and society.” So far we’ve  been talking about what information actually is, how we use it and classify information, and how  technology and access to information impact our lives.

2. This is the technical skills portion of the class. We have 3 assignments that deal with PowerPoint, web design and social media.

This class is one of the most difficult for me so far. I’m finding it hard to really concentrate on all the reading online. It’s hard because I tend to skim when I read online, so I have to go back and re-read things several times. The online discussions are hard because they never end. I log on every day and I usually have between 40-75 new messages to slog through. This is one class that is really testing my ability to manage my time.

Foundations of Information Society and Information Organizations: This class is focused on professional roles that students will fulfill after graduation and issues of interest to information workers. It emphasizes the development of professional skills, including reading and analyzing academic and professional literature, presenting, writing, and giving and receiving constructive feedback.

We have 3 assignments that include

1. A presentation where we have to teach a portion of the course material to a small group and lead discussion activities

2. A paper in which we discuss an article from the popular media that focuses on a topic relevant to LIS

3. A critique of a scholarly article from the class

So far this class seems fine. We haven’t really delved to far into the material, but I’ve enjoyed learning about the different kinds of libraries and all the career options for LIS grads (i.e. public libraries, archives, academic libraries, hospitals, law firms, gov’t organizations, newspapers, corporations, and the list could go on and on…)

Foundations of Resource Description and Access: This class focuses on how information is actually organized in libraries and various classification systems. There’s a lot more to this process than I ever knew. It takes a ton of work to figure out how to organize information and documents in a way that makes sense, looks good and allows for easy location and retrieval. This is the class where I learn about the Dewey Decimal System 🙂

There are 3 assignments. (Sensing a theme here?) Two have to do with classification systems, and one is about subject headings.

So far this class is SUPER technical a.k.a. boring. I think I will get more into it once I get the basic terminology down. Right now it’s like blah blah blah metadata systems blah blah indexing blah bibliographic control. It’s important information to know, but I know it’s going to be a tough one for me.

Foundations of Information Sources and Services: Where the last class focused on how information is organized, this course focuses on how to find and access information. Basically this is what you need to know to provide reference services. It emphasizes both the technical skills/research strategies needed as well as interpersonal and communication skills.

Again, there are 3 assignments.

1. A written report analyzing our experiences using information services. Basically we have to go out with some sort of need, have an information professional at the appropriate location help us address it (at a library, bank, insurance company, etc.) and then analyze the experience.

2. A set of written responses to information seeking scenarios

3. A group project in which students identify the information needs of a real or hypothetical organization and design a reference collection to serve those needs.

This class is also a bit dry so far, but I think it’s going to have TONS of great and practical information about how to be an effective resource for library patrons.

#93: TU Delft Library

3 Apr

Being the incredible nerd that I am, a  good chunk of the excitement I felt about my recent trip to the Netherlands was centered around seeing library at TU Delft. I first ran across some photos of this amazing building when a friend forwarded me a list of the coolest libraries in the world. It didn’t disappoint. The first photo is of a desk in architecture library at the architecture school, which is another almost as cool building. I WILL have one someday.

Desk made of books at the architecture library


11 Feb

41. I ran across this picture of the Stockholm city library. It’s beautiful in a way that I rarely associate with books. The photo itself is stunning as well. Another reason to love libraries, and another place to add to my list of must-see libraries. One day I will take a world tour. 42. Molly and all the wonderful things she says. Last night she was mocking me and I make a gesture like I was going to punch her arm. Her response: One day I’m going to slap that violence out of you! Priceless.