Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Monday, February 11th, 2008

…we’re back! rocks.
Speaking of which, so does Open Journal Systems who responded to our calls for help (though it wasn’t their fault) within 20 minutes of receiving our email. Free software and free support. (Note to self: do not say naughty things about Microsoft right now…)

The website is back up and running.


Is there a theory-practice divide in MLIS education?

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Since beginning my MLIS degree I have met a number of students (at conferences, online, in Second Life, and in class) complaining about one of the following:

1. “My program focuses way too much on theory. I really want to learn the practical components of working in a libarary. I wish we were back in the guild days when apprenticing was the main way of learning.”
2. “My program focuses way too much on the practice of working in a library. Why aren’t we learning the theories and concepts which are the foundation of the LIS discipline and encouraged towards a PhD?”

Do MLIS programs have a responsibility to produce professionals or researchers?
Does this dichotomy actually exist?

I am eager for responses to this issue, and will publish an editorial in February about the discussion which arises. If you are uncomfortable with posting your responses to the comment board - please email me at [email protected] with “Editorial” in the subject line - but this is really to foster healthy discussion - so post!


First annual LSJ Emerging Leaders special issue

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Library Student Journal believes that in many ways the average LIS student today understands the average user better than does the average LIS professional. We have new and exciting ideas. We see information needs in new places (and new worlds). We can, and should, make a vital contribution to the LIS field while we are still students.

Do you have a colleague who is doing innovative research? Have you met someone at a conference whose blog you read daily because it inspires you to think in new ways? Has a classmate come up with a creative new way to address a current problem in your local library?

If so, we want to hear about these people!

To nominate an emerging leader, please send us the following:
1. Full name, school affiliation and email address, of nominee.
2. Reason for nomination. Try to be as specific as possible - which project, event, concept makes this person an emerging leader.
3. Your full name, affiliation and email address.
Send your nomination to librarystudentjournal [at] gmail [dot] com, and be sure to put “Nomination” in the subject line.

We want to hear about students who are doing something!

The special issue will appear in April 2008.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Cheers everyone!

What type of user are you?

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet & American Life Project gave a keynote at Internet Librarian 2007 titled “2.0 & the Internet World”.

In his presentation, he cited 10 major user groups:

Omnivores - 8% of population: More information gadgets, use voraciously
Connectors - 7% of popl. : More females than males
Lackluster Veterans - 8% of pop: frequent users, more males,
Productivity Enhancers - 8%: 40ish, like how tech helps them DO
Mobile Centrics: 10% - Love their cell phone. But not early adopters.
Connected but Hassled: 10% - High level of connectivity, cell phone, but they dont like it.
Inexperienced experimenters: 8% - Will occasionally take advantage of tech, but will sometimes try something
Light but satisfied: 15% - fine with what they have, don’t need any more. Mid 50s. Tech is not central to their lives.
Indifferents: 11% - I don’t like this stuff. Proudly disassociated from tech.
Off the network: 15% - don’t have cellphone, not on the net, nada.

To which group do you belong? Do your peers? Do most library patrons?


Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Think of all the ways we’ve learned how to categorize information: Dewey and LCSH, taxonomies, folksonomies, controlled vocabulary, tagging…
Let me know what you think of this video by Michael Wesch, Kansas State University.



Simmons College PLG rocks.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Sorry for taking so long for this post, but now that the semester has begun, various professors of mine are demanding that I hand in assignments (the nerve!). (To my profs: I joke! I joke!)
Eli & I met (finally, after months of having an e-friendship) in Boston for the Simmons Progressive Librarians Guild SkillShare.
First, Boston is beautiful. We had some pretty sweet weather (HOT for late September) and the city is great for touring. We even managed to check out “Old Ironsides” and, of course, have a beer (maybe more?) at the oldest tavern in the United States.
Once we stopped playing tourist, we visited Simmons College and the LIS program there, to give the keynote address at the PLG SkillShare. Marcel LaFlamme, Wendy Brown, and Leslie Burmeister know how to organize a truly interesting conference. Not only are they great hosts (the Milky Way has such tasty offerings!), but the conference went off without a hitch. There is nothing which makes me prouder to be doing an LIS degree, than seeing what other LIS students are researching.
On that note, the Progressive Librarains Guild is an interesting group which I firmly believe needs more student chapters. The PLG aims to provide “a forum for the open exchange of radical views on library issues.” LIS students are in a wonderful position to provide this type of forum.*

Check back soon - LSJ will soon be offering a new “type” of student content, and we’re eager to get everyone involved.


* For an example of what LIS students & activism can create, check out Librarian Activist.

Rochester Public resists censorship

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

In Rochester, New York, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks has threatened to pull Rochester Central Library’s funding because the library allows patrons to view pornographic material. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the library filters all internet connections, but to the displeasure of Brooks’ and many other citizens of Rochester, adults may request that filters be removed without being questioned as to why. As the Rochester Democrat and Chronical describes:

Patrons viewing unblocked Web sites are required to put tinted privacy screens on their monitors, and the library prohibits access to those sites on the main floor and parts of the second floor — areas with the most traffic and with children’s sections nearby.

The firestorm touched off following a WHEC investigative report:

With a hidden camera, we made a half dozen trips to the library, and on nearly every visit, we found someone looking at porn. We saw a man viewing images of naked people engaged in sexual acts. Standing nearby, we could see it all.

The library, in response, has temporarily halted the unblocking of filtered websites, and has issued this statement, which reads in part:

TV coverage has suggested that we could do more to prevent inadvertent viewing and we will study ways to insure that this is the case…. Filtering of content has been an inexact science and has resulted in blocking sites with legitimate content. As a corollary, to request unblocking of filters is not necessarily an admission or declaration of wrong-doing or bad intent. Put differently, not all people who wear trench coats are spies.

A measured response and a call for dialogue on the issue may be ineffective in the face of public outcry. Facing the threat of a complete budget cut, Rochester Central may have little choice but to agree to censor their patrons.

To voice your support or complaint, contact information for the Monroe County Exucutive can be found on her website.


RFID Powder changes the debate

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

You know those clunky RFID tags (an example below) that most of us have in mind when we’re debating the usefulness of RFID in libraries? The ones that are about an inch or two wide and and inch or two high. Now look at the little dots in the picture to the left, shown magnified next to a human hair. These are the newest generation of RFID tags being developed by Hitachi: RFID ‘Powder’.

These tiny chips can easily be incorporated into paper, making money, gift certificates, etc, extremely difficult to conterfeit…and they might have interesting implications for libraries. For better or worse, advances in RFID technology may soon make them irresistable to libraries on a budget, regardless of other concerns. Cheap, invisible, woven right into the fabric of new books-the days of the barcode might be numbered.

New LSJ Editors’ Blog

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Welcome to the new LSJ Editors’ Blog! We’re taking the leap from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Even more exciting, we’re opening up the blog to contributions from the entire Editorial Board, a distinguished group of future LIS professionals with a wide variety of interests and experiences.

All new posts will be made on the new blog—the the old blog will no longer be updated. Apologies for any inconvenience to regular readers, but we really think the new format will be an improvement.

The Editors, Library Student Journal