CPD23 Hiatus: MLS journey

Well, I am back on the MLS Bandwagon, while admitting that I have abandoned CPD23 Thing Challenge. I am prideful to the notion that I finish most things that I have started.  The thorn in my side lately has been that I haven’t finished my MLS degree. While on CPD23 Hiatus, I have been working hard to position myself to finish my MLS program.  Now readers before your eye pop out your sockets- let me share with you, my MLS school journey.

Remember that feeling of not knowing what you wanted to be growing up? Well for me—I always knew I wanted to help others, but never knew to what capacity. During my last semester in undergrad, while writing a research paper and completing an independent study bibliographic guide, I discovered a love for finding information. It took me a couple of years in the social services field to realize that my time could be better spent educating clients about nutrition, wellness, healthy lifestyle management through finding resources. My intellectual curiosity for searching for information led me to an information session on library schools. It was during that time that I ‘bought’ into the idea of becoming an ‘Information Ninja’. [Wait, don’t cue the symphonic harmonies yet]. I had no idea that that the next two years of my life would play out as one faculty member suggested. In my first MLS lecture, the professor said something that now reasonates with me, ‘In the undergraduate years, YOU get in the way. During graduate school, LIFE GETS IN THE WAY.’ Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Half way through my program, I encountered some health challenges that prevented me from achieving my MLS within a two year period. Despite this minor setback, I am ready again to resume the challenge of tackling the MLS program.

Even though I do not have the credentials, I won’t let that discourage my focus. So my advice for people who may feel unmotivated, hopeless, or defeated; please know that you are not alone. NEVER give up on your dreams. I leave you with a couple of references regarding professional development.

Reflections on Mentoring–  By Tixylix

Professional Advice– By Academic Librarian

Charting My Professional Journey  By Joeyanne Libraryanne

Thing 4: Twitter/RSS Love Affair

My apologies for being a week behind, but with good reason. I have officially begun my permanent full-time position after completing a six months contract. I completed a one week training and I am happy with the organization/team members.

In honor of CPD23 Programme, Thing 4: Current Awareness- Twitter, RSS, and Pushnote, I  will talk about my experience using Twitter and RSS.

Twitter Photo Credit: Google Image

Twitter is considered a micro-blogging service that allows users to publish up to 140 characters. You can follower others by subscribe to their updates. According to the CPD23 Programme Twitter summary, it is a common belief that celebrities tweet about minutiae things. However, it is believed that few users actually use Twitter for networking or sharing ideas.  My personal ‘love affair’ with Twitter is that I use it to comment on reality tv shows or use the hashtags in my FB comment posts (i.e. #CBSBigBrother). I see the value of Twitter as a consumer because I rely on Twitter hashtags from my Linkedin Profile feedreader.

I recently discovered the usefulness of Twitter in the Genealogy Community. I recently became interested in researching my family history. I have connected with a local Genealogist who showed me how to search Twitter using Tweetdeck to stay up-to-date within the Genealogy community.Tweetdeck is an extension of Twitter, which allows users to view tweets on a desktop and mobile devices.

Here are some of my favorite Genealogy Tweeters that I follow: @AYWalton, @geneabloggers, @DearMYRTLE, @GederGenealogy

Here are some of my favorite Library Tweeters that I follow @JustinLibrarian, @librarianbyday, @hacklibschool.

Photo Credit: Google Images

RSS (known as Really Simple Syndication) is my favorite Web 2.0 tool. Google has a RSS tool called Google Reader that comes with signing up for a Gmail account. I proudly confess that I have not paid for cable in two years and get more enjoyment out of my RSS Feeds. I like the flexibility that Google Reader has- it allows me to categorize my feeds by subject and also keeps up with the blogs that I have not read. A common opinion among CPD23 Thing participants is the need to balance information intake. I allow myself a hour before work to read several blogs and take a small break (i.e. 15 minutes) during the day to check out my Reader. My participation with CPD23 Things have made my RSS list longer, however, one goal I hope to accomplish by the end of this programme- organize/minimize my RSS list.

FURTHER READING:

CPD23 Thing 4 Spotlight User: Angela Pashia

Hack Library School: LIS Blogs to Follow- Edition 3

the Wikiman3 Essential Things to do as soon as you join Twitter

23 Things for Professional Development

Do you want to get a headstart on making yourself noticeable, employable, competitive before completing your MLS degree? I want to encourage today’s MLS students to join me in the 23 Things for Professional Development challenge. I started my new library blog as a way to stay connected to libraryland. 23 Things for Professional Development is a ‘self-directed’ tool that will help me continue in my journey in librarianship by teaching how to use Web 2.0 tools to engage my audience and think critically about important topics. It will also help me to organize my lifestyle as an information professional. I am very excited about this journey and look forward to meeting others who are on the path to improving their lives professionally. Stay tuned for more to come as the journey next Monday, June 20, 2011.

A New Year and Its Meaning(s)

In the Spirit of the new year…I was inspired to write my own piece to have it cemented in electronic history thanks to a fellow Blogger named Will . I found it very interesting that he encourages reconciliations as well as resolutions to start the new year. I have never been big on making resolutions because I found the things that I sought out to quit or change never really held up. So for using the word resolutions, I run to my thesaurus toolkit and chose to use the word goals. Goals are defined as measurable steps to achieving a REASONABLE short-term/long-term goals.

My Three Goals:

  1. Developing a writing voice
  2. Attend a library conference
  3. Read three books

WRITING

Developing a writing voice is something that I have struggled with recently. I do not have an issue writing about non-professional topics, but for some reason writing professionally makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps I am suffering from the post-student syndrome….the fear that my readers know more than me. ACTION: currently working on a book review this month. Continue blogging- *hopeful* with practice it will cure the writers’ anxiety.

ATTEND A CONFERENCE

I have had the pleasure of attending the last two American Library Association (ALA) Mid-winters. Both times were excellent and I was a part of two wonderful leadership institutes. I met some wonderful people and want to continue to contribute/stay relevant in the library world. I am working towards securing a full-time library position this year. My interest include strategic succession planning for libraries, library residency programs, and technical services in libraries. ACTION: ACRL and SLA are some possible conferences.

READING

As silly as this sound, I have not been able to read for pleasure as often as I have in the past. This holiday was filled with visiting family as all of mine are out of state. I have several that I am looking at reading in the future. I hope to feature my thoughts about these selections on this blog. One suggestion that I have given myself is to find something that I will enjoy reading. I know this sounds silly, but I am a loyal reader that hates to start reading a book and not finish. This time around…I am giving myself permission to abandon ship if the book has me asleep by the 3nd chapter. ACTION: Select, read, and share my thoughts about one book (every other month).

Have a great year folks.

3 Benefits for Joining ALA as a Student Member

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) sends out its annual call for volunteers for committee work. Last week, I was happily reminded why I love being a part ALA. I want to share my journey on how beneficial it is to be active in the professional organization. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Library Science through the University of North Texas’ online program.  The benefits of my online LIS program is that it has given me the opportunity to become mobile and take advantage of library fellowships, internships, and leadership programs.

3 Benefits for Joining ALA as a Student Member:

CHALLENGE

I joined because I wanted to get involved and learn about the library profession in a holistic way. ALA is an organization that seeks to speak about the various aspects of the library profession, from technical services, public services, career development, information literacy, research/statistical assessments, diversity initiatives, etc. My participation as a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader (Group D), was invaluable because I had the opportunity to learn about the Assn. for Library Collection and Technical Services (ALCTS), a committee within ALA. It was through my EL project participation, I was offered a volunteer position as a webinar technical assistant with the ALCTS CE Technical Subcommittee.

NETWORKING

By joining ALA as a student, I have met wonderful people along the way who have encouraged me to take on projects and have served as wonderful role models. I wanted to meet people in the library world and build professional relationships in the field. Through my experience as an ALA Student Member, I feel like my expectations have been met by my affiliation. I have taken advantage of ALA-sponsored webinars related to career development, job searching strategies, and internship opportunities.

EXPERIENCE

I have taken a unique path by not having professional library experience before entering my library program. I do not regret not having library experience prior to attending library school. I am not discouraged about the literature reviews or reports about library hiring trends. My curiosity, motivation, and active participation in ALA will give me the experience I need in the future. My participation as a student member in ALA has allowed me to develop skills in technical services and has kept me aware of current trends in the library world. So my advice to students….don’t wait until you have your degree to get experience start now! Become Active Now!

Burst the Interview Anxiety Bubble

Do you get nervous talking in public with strangers? Do you get excited while talking and sometimes lose your train of thought? Are you selectively sociable or considered shy by others? Well if you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then we both have something in common.

The last six months of my life have been filled with job search activities such as searching online job boards, completing job applications, and interviewing for entry-level library positions. From my experience with reviewing online content about preparing for interviews, I found limited resources about preparing for in-person interviews. The following is my personal advice for preparing for interviews.

5 Tips for In-Person Interview Preparation

1.   Research the company

BEFORE you apply for a position, research the company. Try finding someone who works at the institution to ask about the organization climate. If this is not possible, try using public company profile tools such as Hoovers – Review the website. What is the organizations’ mission statement and how does it relate to your personal values? Talk about how your values will help the organization meet their mission statement

2.   Remedies for Nervousness

REACH OUT to fellow friends or mentors to help you prepare for your interview by role playing a Q&A session. Often times hiring committees like to see how you handle stress so prepare yourself  by reviewing interview question books as guides for preparing answers. Avoid too much caffeine and arrive at the interview site 15 minutes early. Take a copy of your application, resume/CV, and reference list.

3. FOCUS on Your Value

Your value as a professional is evident by the fact that you are one step closer to getting the job. You have secured an interview. Talk about your value as a professional and give specific details about situations where you have had to demonstrate [technical, interpersonal, supervisory] skills. Talk about volunteer positions or previous jobs where your job responsibilities relate to the position you are applying for.

4.  AVOID Negative comments about former manager

As tempting as it may be to make comments about dealing with difficult managers- NEVER do it. By providing inappropriate comments or stories- this shows that you lack professional courtesy and are not capable of working in a team environment. My golden nugget for having a successful working relationship with management is having open communication.

5.  ASK questions

NEVER leave the interview without knowing the next steps in the interview process. Ask what the timeline is for the process. AVOID asking about the benefits. This shows that you are more concerned with the benefits rather than doing the job. I often ask about the history of the job, what is the goal for the person in the position, opportunities for additional job responsibilities. I always like asking the hiring committee why they like their jobs.

Additional Resources

Beshara, T. (2008). Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job. New York: AMACOM

Cambridge, S. (2010, Oct 28), Fifteen Ways to Knock Yourself Out of the Job Search Race, Retrieved from http://www.employmentdigest.net/2010/10/fifteen-ways-to-knock-yourself-out-of-the-job-search-race/ (2010, Nov 1) Employment Digest Net Blog.

Deards, K. (2010, Sept 14), Breaking into Academia: Acing the In Person Interview, Retrieved from http://libraryadventures.com/2010/09/21/ipinterview/ (2010, Nov 1) Library Adventures of Kiyomi

Fry, R. (2009). 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions. Boston: Cengage Learning.