Keeping Up Professionally: For Library School Students

By this point one or more professors will have impressed upon you the need to keep up with professional news reports and articles.? For those without a prior background in libraries, like myself, this can be overwhelming.? You don?t know much about librarianship, and this lack of knowledge if further complicated by the fact that librarianship has entered a time of competing evolutionary models of what librarianship is and should be, and pedagogical differences.

How do you start keeping up with all this?

  • Breath.? No one expects you to know all of this information overnight.? Start keeping up with the profession now and you won?t have to cram right before you graduate and are looking for a job.? The longer you keep up with current events the easier it becomes as you pick up on the terminology and identify points of major concern within the profession.
  • Acquire an RSS feed reader, if you do not already use one.? It does not matter which one you use so long as you check it on a regular basis.? I try and check mine a couple times a day but the world won?t end if you can only check it a couple times a week.? RSS feed readers allow you to check multiple sites at once, instead of? having to check them individually.

Some Popular Online RSS Feed Readers:

      Blogline ?

http://www.bloglines.com/

      Friend Feed ?

http://friendfeed.com/

      Google Reader –

http://reader.google.com

Desktop Mac Application:

      NetNewsWire ?

http://www.NewsGator.com/NetNewsWire

What to read?

I?m sure you?ve seen at least one list titled something like ?100 Best Blogs for Librarians?.? Websites and Twitter feeds found on lists like this tend to be high quality but who has time to keep up with 100 of anything?

Below is a list of RSS feeds that I use to keep up with major topics the library profession; it does not include the feeds I subscribe to about specialized library topics (academic, cataloging, education, history, research, science, technology, etc.).

Blogs:

 

The Embedded Librarian

      ?

http://embeddedlibrarian.wordpress.com/
RSS Feed Link

      ?

http://embeddedlibrarian.wordpress.com/feed/

A unique take on librarianship, complete with practical examples and recommendations, from a faculty member of the School of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

In the Library with the Lead Pipe ? http://inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/
RSS Feed Link ? http://inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/feed/
RSS Comments Feed Link ? http://inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/comments/feed/

One of the most thought provoking library blogs around, this group blog provides thoughtful advice, comments, and discussion on issues and topics important to librarians.? I have included a link to their comments feed as well as their post feed because you can learn almost as much from reading people?s thoughtful responses as from the original posts.

Library Man (Michael Porter) ? http://www.libraryman.com/
RSS Feed Link ? http://www.libraryman.com/blog/feed/

Always interesting, presenter, video maker, technology and PEZ fan, he is actively engaged in activities to promote and enrich libraries; Michael should be one everyone?s watch list.

Library Scenester (Erin Dorney) ? http://libraryscenester.wordpress.com/
RSS Feed Link ? http://libraryscenester.wordpress.com/feed/

Erin is in her second year as the Outreach Librarian at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.? Witty, connected, and active in both professional organizations and independent projects Erin is an example of what you can accomplish.? Erin?s blog covers a variety of topics and often includes tips and insights for new or aspiring librarians.

LISNEWS ? http://lisnews.org/
RSS Feed Link ? http://lisnews.org/rss.xml

This very popular blog posts summaries and links to news articles impacting librarians.? It is not uncommon to see items posted here reposted elsewhere with commentary and will give you a general overview of what issues and innovations librarians are talking about.

From Twitter:

Library Associates Companies (LAC)

      ?

http://twitter.com/libassociates
RSS Feed Link

      ?

http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/20789580.rss

This company hires and recruits librarians for their company, and library industry? jobs across the country.? Following them will make your more aware of what types of jobs are out there and what skills are in demand.? In addition, they regularly post news items of interest to the profession, and job seekers.

LIBGIG_Jobs ? http://libgig.com/
RSS Feed Link ? http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/16810581.rss

This company posts jobs across the information industry, not just in a traditional library setting.? Although most of the jobs listed are in the US they do occasionally post international jobs and, like LAC, they regularly post news items of interest to the profession, and job seekers.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There are blogs by librarians for librarians on every topic and issue, I follow 30+ relevant librarians, associations, and companies using Google Reader.? This sounds like a lot, but, as you get more specialized posts are published less frequently, and there are more duplicate postings.
  • Life happens and the world will not end if you miss a couple of news items. Do your best and with repetition it?ll become second nature to check your news feeds.
  • RSS feeds provide you with additional material for your class discussions and papers.

Good luck, and happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Keeping Up Professionally: For Library School Students”

  1. Kiyomi – Thanks for the shout out! This is a great post. One of the things I like best about it is that it is a manageable chunk of advice and information. Especially for those new to the profession, the vast array of development opportunities out there can be overwhelming at first. I picked up a couple of new RSS feeds after reading this too, so thanks! 🙂

  2. Erin – Thanks! I’m amazed I had a few you didn’t. I kept wanting to put in great people, like Melissa, who are more tech oriented and had to remind myself that tech oriented library blogs are a matter for another day 😉

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