Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blogs for LIS students and professionals

As I start to think about the Fall semester (2015), I wonder how to introduce my Foundations of LIS students to the profession. What words of wisdom can I share and how will they learn about the amazing world of Libraries, Archives, Museums, Historical Societies and more? 

I've come to realize that not only is it impossible for me to stay current, but that what I understand and know is radically different from what my students need to know. To that end, I've started following some amazing blogs that provide insight into what LIS students are learning and struggling with, or what they need to know when they graduate. 

My favorite blog, hands down, is Hack Library School HLS
This blog is written by a cadre of students in various LIS / IS programs. They describe what they are learning in the classroom, online, in practicum and internship programs, and in real life. As a professor and a long-time librarian, a very analog librarian, I learn a lot from the students who take the time to write something every day. Today, I was reminded that LIS students need a combination of theory and practice. It should be balance. Not all one or the other. As a practicing librarian, researcher, and historian, I know that LIS students have to know how to do research, answer questions at a reference desk, parse questions, and search the web. They also need to know how catalogs and databases work. Do we all have to know how the bits and bytes move from place to place? No, but a basic idea is good. Do we all need to know every MARC tag or how the catalogs communicate with one another using Z39 standards? Again, No! but we do need to have a basic idea about connectivity, interoperability, and, yes, discoverability. The rest, the really techy stuff, I'll leave to my students.

The other blog I read regularly is the LAC Group Blog A recent posting included advice for Job Seekers.
If you are looking for a job, what skills do you need? This head-hunting group will fill you in.

There are other blogs of interest? You bet. I'll find some more and post them here. In the meantime, explore these blogs and let me know what you think.

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