Category Archives: Professional Associations

#slatalk: round-up

SLA Logo

I mentioned the #slatalk event I was going to participate in last week… And then it happened. And it was fun! A round-up of the event:
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#slatalk

SLA is hosting a twitter chat session this Tuesday. Just log onto Twitter, and follow the #SLAtalk hashtag. What a lovely idea – connecting with other info pros all over the whole planet on an important topic – while sitting on my couch in sweatpants sipping wine. This is my kinda networking.

Job Hunting and Career Growth: an #SLAtalk!

SLA’s first Twitter chat of 2013 will focus on finding a job, and growing within that role.
Tune-in to enjoy tips from both colleagues and SLA’s vendor partners.

Two sessions will be held so information professionals across the globe can participate at a convenient time.When:

2 choices on Tuesday, March 5th
Session #1 at 18:30 GMT (1:30 pm Eastern / 10:30 am Pacific)
Session #2 at 00:00 GMT (7:00 pm Eastern / 4:00 pm Pacific)

Read more at the SLA Blog. See ya on the Twitters!

“The best piece of career advice I received is…”

Thursday night I participated as part of a panel set up by the SLA Student Chapter at the University of Toronto’s iSchool. The theme of the night was, “What’s the best career advice you’ve ever gotten?” One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to take more risks, and this dovetailed a bit with what I told these fledging information professionals: Stop being scared. A wise and sage librarian told me this recently, and it stuck.

Man, I was so intensely terrified in my second year of grad school — scared I wouldn’t get a job, scared I wouldn’t get a good job, scared I’d have to make lattes for a living, scared I’d be bad at everything, all the time. And then, when I took my new job, I was scared of the business world, scared I’d suck at this new gig, scared of the professional and lifestyle changes, scared I’d hate Sales. No more being scared, Meg! I’m not dodging bombs or performing brain surgery blindfolded. There really is no reason to be so scared. Also, everything worked out, I love my job and the work I do, and I haven’t had to make a single latte in years. All that fear was really unjustified, and didn’t get me anywhere. Silly.

I spoke with three other librarian people, all of whom had some really valuable things to say as well. One important theme that arose was the need to have, and to be — a mentor. Mentorship is huge, and it’s so key to passing on insights and good judgement from one generation of librarians to the next.

Another theme that came up was the myth that you have to figure out what type of library sector you want to work in for the rest of your life right now and go with it, because you can never ever leave that field to go do something else. Um, what? That’s just crazy talk. Transferable skills are easy to come by in our profession, and organizations love to hire people with an outsider’s perspective. Stay engaged with the profession, know how to talk the talk (one library’s company research is a other library’s prospect research is another library’s competitive intelligence), and you’ll go places.

Another important thing we discusses was the need to always advocate for yourself. Ask questions, be confident of the value you bring to your organization, show off your achievements, let people know how keen you are and what good ideas you have. Good things happen when new librarians speak up and assert themselves in the field.

It was a great evening, and I learned a lot. There are some really smart, dynamic, creative students coming out of the iSchool right now, so watch out. And if you’re in a position to hire new librarians — take note!

UPDATE: My friend (from the Internet, we’ve concluded that we don’t think we’ve ever *actually* met) Graham Lavender posted a refined view of my original statement. He says, you can’t stop being scared. But what’s important is this: “Don’t let being scared stand in your way.” Read his response here. Thanks, Graham for your insights!

You guys, I think this Internet thing is gonna be around for awhile.

As I mentioned awhile back, I’m participating in a CLA session called “Getting on (tenure) track: New Professionals and Academic Librarianship (Friday, May 27 from 8:30 – 10:00 am — be there!). Each presenter is going to try to do a bit of homework on various topics related to getting, and keeping an academic lie-berry job, and I thought it might be neat to bring up the topic of creating an professional online presence for yourself. Getting yourself set up on the Internetz  is pretty much free, which makes it a great option for new and aspiring librarians, but it also shows a whole lot of initiative and even a bit of tech savvy. Which employers like. Of course this is an unconference-style session, so we don’t actually have any  idea what’s going to happen, and what the attendees are going to want to talk about. Even still, here are some of the things I might bring up.

Oh, and if you’re not sure what the Internet is, Bryant Gumbel understands how you feel:

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CLA Sessions Accepted!

This is Halifax, looking QUITE dapper.

Just so ya know I work with the bestest CLA committee eva, and we have TWO count ’em TWOOOO sessions accepted at the CLA Conference in Halifax in May, 2011. Yay, us!

Here are the blurbs:
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CLA 2010

Candian Library Association 2005 Conference by Mita, from flickr

CLA is next week! Weeee, I’m excited! Although… before I board my flight to Edmonton on Monday, I have to drive to Ottawa and run a half-marathon. Talk about a kill-joy.

Okay, but let’s not talk running, let’s talk CLA! I’m doing a few things while I’m there: I’m participating in two sessions with the Re:Generations Committee that focus on new and aspiring librarians. “Preparing for the Profession” is designed as a little unconference for new professionals, in which we discuss topics that are key to getting into the job market — everything from writing an effective C.V. to negotiating salaries. I’ll be directing the conversation around networking, and creating a professional web presence for yourself, but we’re hoping that much of the discussion is driven by audience participation (fingers crossed!) There are lots of helpful hints on how an unconference actually works from an article on the LNG website (thanks to Megan for the tip). It’s not one of those things where you can sit back and be silent and take notes — But I hope the collaboration and interaction helps create some community among the audience and that we all get to learn a whole bunch.

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OLA Postered

I’ve been trying for oh, the last TWO WEEKS to write a post about all the fun and glorious things I did at the OLA Superconference 2010, but I have some writer’s block or something.

So instead, I’ll discuss all the fun and glorious things I presented on, at the conference”s poster session.

Me and my buddy Angela Hamilton (Science Librarian at York), presented our lovely poster on the topic, “Why screencasting? The benefits of interactive online tutorials”. I say it’s lovely because Angela designed it and she made it look far, far prettier than anything I’d have been able to churn out. Bravo to her.

The poster focused on our combined work creating Adobe Captivate videos, with a lit-review we did of existing articles on the topic of screencasting video use in librarians. In fact, there is a lot of interesting coverage of this topic and it informed not only the contents of our poster, but the way I approach my own video-making.

We wanted it to be interactive, so we had a laptop set up with Captivate installed, to show attendees just how easy the whole thing is. It was fun to demonstrate in about one minute how you can capture your activities on screen, and turn it into a published video. We also had another laptop set up with our finished videos running on it — videos like “How to use CINAHL” or “How to cite properly”. That was cool too, because it shows off the bell’s and whistle’s of the software, and makes us look like competent, tech-savvy lie-berrians. Which we are, of course.

If you are going to be participating in a poster session: Bring lots and lots and lots of handouts. Why do people love the handouts so much? They were like, stealing them right off the table. We ran out. Lesson learned: More handouts. We had about 40 and that wasn’t enough.

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