December 8, 2010

Beg, Borrow or Steal This Issue

Posted in Inspiration, Job Success, Reference, Resources at 3:10 pm by melissaautumn

Okay, don’t steal it, because stealing is wrong (and you can read the issue online). But, you definitely want to read the fall 2010 issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ).

RUSQ is already one of my favorite journals – it is full of well written articles on a range of reference topics. But, this fall’s issue is spectacularly jam packed with awesomeness:

  • An annotated bibliography of books, articles and resources for reader’s advisory. This is now the go-to source if you want to learn more about reader’s advisory or beef up your collection of resources.
  • A biography of notable librarian Helen Haines.
  • The previously mentioned “Best Free Reference Websites: 12th Annual List.”
  • The annual “Best Historical Materials” list.
  • Four substantial, practical articles:
    • Using wikis to create a ready reference tool for information sharing at the reference desk.
    • Factors that influence people to pursue librarianship. Fellow professionals take note – there’s a lot we can do to encourage promising young (and not so young) people to enter librarianship!
    • Reaching college students through residence halls. This one not only discusses reasons to do outreach in the halls, it gives tons of practical ideas for doing so.
    • Developing guidelines for the use of social software.
  • Updated RUSA “Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services.”

All that and the usual book reviews, too!

November 5, 2010

12th Annual Best Free Reference Websites

Posted in Reference, Resources at 9:32 pm by melissaautumn

RUSA’s Machine-Assisted Reference Section publishes an annual list of high quality, free websites that can be used for reference. The 12th annual list was announced last month. It was published in the fall issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly and is also available on ALA’s website.

This is great resource, whether you are at a small library with a limited reference budget or a large library with extensive resources – there is something here for everyone. I recommend you peruse this list and keep an eye out for future editions!

October 26, 2010

Using the Wellness Wheel in Libraries

Posted in Resources at 9:04 am by melissaautumn

I am very interested in how libraries can reach out to patrons, either by drawing people into the library in creative ways or going outside the library walls to serve people. A lot of what I learned about programming and outreach, especially with undergraduates, came from working with student affairs colleagues at my last institution.

This interest in programming, outreach and the work of student affairs professionals is something I share with Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. We co-teach a course together at Illinois, 590HEL: Higher Education and Information Professionals and one of the topics we cover is student affairs.

All of that is to say that some of my readers, especially those who took LIS590HEL, might be interested to know Lisa and I recently authored an article on using the Wellness Wheel, a model from student affairs, to develop programming and support holistic student development in the library. Using the model has helped me think creatively about programming, especially in collaboration with other (non-library) folks.

Hinchliffe, Lisa Janicke and Melissa Autumn Wong. “From Services-Centered to Student-Centered: A “Wellness Wheel” Approach to Developing
the Library as an Integrative Learning Commons.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 17 (2010): 213–224.

We’re also co-editing a book on library collaborations with students affairs (due out from ALA in early summer 2011). The chapters profile exciting collaborations at a variety of institutions – our colleagues are doing great work! So if this topic interests you, stay tuned for more.

August 19, 2010

Working with Student Affairs

Posted in Resources at 7:58 pm by melissaautumn

As the library director at Marymount, I worked extensively with colleagues in Student Affairs. This work was one of the highlights of my eight years at Marymount – my colleagues were smart, professional, and always student-centered. In addition, they came from diverse educational backgrounds and possessed an incredible array of experiences and skills (this is probably one reason why they remind me so much of librarians!).

One of the things that has struck me for many years is how much librarians and student affairs professionals have in common, particularly when it comes to assessment. Like librarians, student affairs professionals are often called upon to assess the impact of their programs on student learning, yet lack the structure of formal courses where one can assign, collect and analyze assignments for evidence of learning.

Scott Walter’s, “Building a Seamless Environment for Information Literacy,” in Communications in Information Literacy addresses how librarians can learn from student affairs as we think about our own assessment efforts. It is worth a read!

And, if you are interested in more on academic librarians working with student affairs, keep a lookout: Lisa Hinchliffe and I recently taught a professional development course via ACRL on how librarians can collaborate with student affairs, which was great fun, and we’re working on an edited volume on library/student affairs collaborations.

August 5, 2010

ACRL Conference Scholarships

Posted in Professional Success, Resources at 11:54 am by melissaautumn

ACRL is offering 80 scholarships for its 2011 conference. The conference will be held March 30 – April 2 in Philadelphia. This is a great conference (if you cannot attend in person, they also offer a virtual option).

August 3, 2010

PrePrints from College and Research Libraries

Posted in Resources at 9:54 am by melissaautumn

Yesterday in class my students asked about options for accessing professional readings post-graduation when they no longer have access to the university’s online resources. I mentioned open-access journals and preprints as two sources for articles. So, it is a nice coincidence that this morning’s ACRL Update highlights the following:

College and Research Libraries, the academic journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries, provides free access to preprints of accepted articles. The site includes an RSS option so you can be notified when new content is available.

September 27, 2009

ACRL’s Internet Resources

Posted in Reference, Resources at 8:44 pm by melissaautumn

Students often ask me how I learn about the various websites I highlight in my courses. Like most librarians, I learn about sites from various sources – links from other blogs, recommendations from friends, and reviews in print media.

One source you can use for web reviews is Internet Resources, a monthly column in College & Research Libraries News. Each column focuses on a timely topic, such as healthcare reform, providing information on 15-20 relevant, good quality websites. The columns are also available (free!) on the ACRL website and can be browsed by topic or date. A wiki provides additional and updated resources.

Reading “Internet Resources” is a good method to build your own knowledge of what is available on the web. You can also browse past columns when you webliography of good sites on a particular topic to create a library guide or to prepare an instructional session.

August 7, 2009

Good Book – The Desk and Beyond

Posted in Resources at 11:50 am by melissaautumn

I’m usually not a fan of books that are a compilation of essays by different authors – often the essays are of uneven quality, are intended for different audiences (making me wonder who the intended audience of the book was) or are superficial “how I done it good” pieces.

Thus, The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Services(Sarah K. Steiner and M. Leslie Madden, eds., Chicago: ACRL, 2008) has been a very pleasant surprise. The book contains thirteen essays on different models of reference, such as embedded librarians, field librarians, and chat. Although most of these topics are well covered in the professional literature, the essays here provide succinct, well written overviews, practical advice for success, and sources for further reading.

Highly recommended for those interested in brief introductions to integrating current technologies into reference and models for service.

July 19, 2009

Visible Tweets

Posted in Resources at 10:39 am by melissaautumn

For those of you who teach, Visible Tweets is a fun site to post on your instructor screen while you are waiting for a class to start. The site allows you to enter a word (try something relevant to your instruction, like library or research) and it displays random tweets featuring your word. You can choose from three animation styles and the screen changes colors as the tweets change, giving you an instant, professional-looking visual display.

Warning: There is no filter on the content of the tweets, so you may see language inappropriate for younger audiences – this is not a site I recommend for use in school libraries.

May 25, 2009

Read to Me . . . .

Posted in Resources at 8:48 pm by melissaautumn

Another favorite blog is Marcia Brandt’s Read to Me . . . .  Marcia is a K-8 Library Media Specialist in Illinois who blogs about literature for children and young adults. Marcia provides insightful reviews of new books, but my favorite posts are about the books she is reading to students in the library. She details not only the plot of the books, but outlines how she introduces, reads and discusses the books with her students. Great insight into how a school librarian works and full of “copy this” ideas for getting kids hooked on reading.

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