Friday, November 8, 2013

GIS EVENT: Applications of Geographic Information Systems in a Research Environment

Join SCALA on Friday, December 6th, at 6 PM, for the first in a series of GIS talks and workshops hosted by Scott Haag.

Scott Haag is a PhD Student at the College of Computing and Informatics and the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Database Administrator at The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) a non-profit focused on lending to disadvantaged communities.  Scott has used GIS and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies for the past 14 years to study a variety of research questions, from the location of prime fish habitat in the Hudson Canyon to the identifying areas with inadequate access to supermarkets. In the past Scott has held research positions at the Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences both within Rutgers University.  Scott has a master of Sciences in Ecology and Evolution and Certificate in Engineering Geophysics.

The session will cover the history of GIS, what's happening in the field, and the practical application of GIS skills as illustrated by Haag's work. At the end of this session, participants will be able to ask questions, propose topics for future workshops, and express community needs related to GIS skills.

This event will be held at Drexel University Libraries’ Hagerty Library in room (L13-C). Refreshments will be served beforehand in room (L33) starting at 5:30 PM.

Please RSVP to Drexel SCALA (

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Online social: This Thursday!
Please join us for the SCALA (Student Charter of American Library Association) / DUSLA  (Drexel University's Special Library Association)  joint online social tomorrow, Thursday (4/11/2013) from 7:00 - 9:00 PM EST, please click on
We'll be discussing ways that online students can get involved with both SCALA and DUSLA and chatting about how classes are starting out this quarter! New students are welcome and encouraged to join!

Details, Details!

WHO: Drexel Students and Officers, like you, who are interested in meeting with other online students and share ideas and experiences about your time here at Drexel.

WHEN: Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:00 – 9:00 PM EST; please join use for as long as you would like!

WHERE:  The link   will take you directly to our Adobe Connect chat- there is no need to download anything at all! If you would like to use the audio, we recommend that you wear earphones to block out feedback. You are also welcome to use a webcam for video if you feel comfortable!

"See" you Thursday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

DUSAA and SCALA Present: A Talk with Sarah Moore, Curator for The Design Center

On Friday, April 26th, DUSAA and SCALA will co-host a talk with Sarah Moore, Curator for The Design Center. Philadelphia University's Design Center houses more than 200,000 objects, textiles, and fashion materials, and their collection has been used by well known designers such as Free People.  The collection was also showcased by WHYY at their Downton Abbey event this year. Sarah will speak about her work at The Design Center, how she uses social media to help promote and digitize the collection, and give attendees an overview of her latest grant project. Sarah was kind enough to answer some pre-talk questions for the SCALA officers.

What made you decide to pursue textiles, what degrees do you hold, and where are they from?
I have always been excited about textiles; the perfect intersection of history, science, and beauty. I studied Fashion Merchandising and Fabric Design at the University of Georgia.  I took a history of costume class, and it opened up a whole new world to me, one outside of the fashion industry.  I had never thought about the intersection of museums and archives and fashion until that course. My history of costume professor, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, encouraged me to attend the University of Rhode Island, where I studied Historic Fashion and Textiles with an emphasis in curation. 

What made you decide to go into archival work? How did you get to where you are today?
IDuring my studies at the University of Rhode Island, I interned at Rough Point, the historic mansion of Doris Duke. It was amazing to research the personal collection of Ms. Duke! A collector of couture and rugs and textiles!  I then was a consultant at The Design Center and got to explore its vast collection.  I cataloged African factory printed textiles at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art. Then, started back at The Design Center, in January 2010.

How has social media helped, improved, and/or changed The Design Center? 
Social media has definitely helped The Design Center.  We'll hit 25,000 followers on Tumblr this week! We have over 200,000 colorful objects that live in archival boxes and cabinets, and only our staff, students, and designers who visit get to see them. I thought why not share our staff favorites online (which is something new everyday!)  It's so interesting to hear from people all over the world about our textiles and how they are inspired by them.  Social media has opened up huge promotional opportunities to TDC, whether it be a blog post or an upcoming collaboration on a fashion line for Art in the Age.

Can you briefly describe the grant you're working on? 
With generous funding from the Barra Foundation, our staff has been able to digitize and catalog 9,000 Victorian-era printed and 1960s woven swatches this year.  Our web development team at PhilaU leveraged Wordpress to create mobile website, Tapestry, that seamlessly adapts its format for iPhone, Android, tablet and PC users. Users are able to browse the collection by year, date, and motif for the first time.

Do you have any advice for students looking to go into archival work?
I'm sure you hear this all the time, but intern!  It gave me the chance to see the differences of working in small museum versus a large museum. It helps you get the opportunity to find out what is the right work environment for you. 

Please join us on Friday, April 26th at 6pm at the W.W. Hagerty Library in room L33. Please contact SCALA ( if you have any additional questions. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Top 5 thing I learned from ALA's Virtual Student Town Hall Meeting

I recently attended ALA's Virtual Student Town Hall meeting, where ALA's current president Maureen Sullivan and president-elect Barbara Stripling spoke to, and then fielded questions from, library students across the country. It was the first of hopefully a series of these virtual meetings, and I found it to be very informative and worthwhile. Here are the top five things that I learned from tuning in:

1) ALA has a number of student and recent graduate leadership development opportunities from the Emerging Leaders program to New Members Round Table and upcoming leadership development program, to be announced this summer. All of these opportunities allow for skill development, networking, and great resume builders.

2) Volunteer! I know people say to volunteer all the time, and often as students holding down a (few) job(s), it's pretty tough to find the time to do so. However, ALA's committees offer great ways to volunteer without a huge time or financial commitment (read: virtual). So, look for a committee that you're interested in, submit the volunteer application, and contact the people in charge to let them know that you're interested. You'll meet engaged, experienced professionals as well as newcomers, and gain skills along the way.

3) President-elect Stripling said that ALA is "re-imagining" how conferences are held- they want to get away from stagnant presentations to more engaged hubs of social and academic interaction, where professionals and students can share and spread their ideas. It sounds to me like the types of "unconferences" that are popping up everywhere, including THATCamp. (Note: if you can't afford to attend a major conference like ALA, look into local un-conferences- they are often free, and great places to network).

4)When asked about employability after graduation, both Sullivan and Stripling talked mainly about getting out there, and talking to people. Everyone that you can find. They mentioned it in all sorts of ways- networking, informational interviews, social gatherings, local volunteering, etc. But mainly, they said that oftentimes it's not what you know, but who you know. And as students, we have an incredible opportunity to reach out to professionals for as much information and time as they are willing to share with us- so figure out what kinds of positions you're interested in, what organizations you're interested in, and just start talking to them.

5) Finally, both Sullivan and Stripling agreed that library school programs are seriously lacking in courses on instruction. When looking through our Awesome Alumni surveys, many alumni noted that they were surprised to find out just how much instruction they did in their jobs, and wished that they had learned more about it while in school. So look for ways that you can boost your resume in this area- look for webinars, internship opportunities (or opportunities within your internship to teach, even if it's not required) and just general reading materials on the topic.

If you missed this webinar, keep your eyes peeled for another one in the upcoming months! We will forward the information from drexelscala AT gmail- if you're not part of our listserv and want to receive our emails, join our DrexelSCALA Google Group!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Join us for a Trip to NYC!

We've had a few spots open up on our trip to New York. We'll be visiting the NYPL (Schwarzman Building) this upcoming Friday, March 8th at 2:00 PM. 

During the tour, we will speak with the Rare Books Curator (the Rare Books Room is unfortunately closed on the day of our tour), visit the Art and Architecture Division, the Milstein Division, the Map Division, the Dorot Jewish Division, and the General Research Division of the building. There will be time before the tour to explore the city, and some time afterwards to look around the library on your own.

If anyone in the Philadelphia area is still interested in coming, email to RSVP. We'll be leaving from 30th St Station on the Megabus at 8:30am and arriving back in Philly at 8:10pm. Transportation to/from 30th St and all meals are on your own, but we've got your bus ticket covered. 

If you are an online student in the NYC area, we would be thrilled if you'd like to join us on the tour or meet us for lunch beforehand. Please just let us know! If you're interested, email

Friday, February 22, 2013

Alumni Interview with Law Librarian Genevieve!

Before Genevieve came to Drexel, she attended law school at Fordham and worked as an attorney in New York City. She started at Drexel in the fall of 2010, and joined both DUSLA and SCALA. During the time she was at Drexel (Fall 2010-Spring 2012), she worked as a Senior Circulation Assistant at the Legal Research Center within Drexel's Earle Mack School of Law (which she says was awesome) and also did an extended Practicum as a Reference Intern at the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Biddle Law Library. She's a member of AALL (the American Association of law Libraries) and it's local chapter, GPLLA (the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association).

What is your current job? I am a reference librarian at Rutgers School of Law- Camden.

How did you find your job? I responded to a job posting that the law library advertised via the American Association of Law Libraries' website and listerv (which was subsequently re-ported several other places, on law library blogs, etc.) It so happened that I'd had a chance to visit the library on a field trip organized by SCALA and DUSLA during the Spring term, 2011, which was fun and a great chance to meet some of the librarians. I was really impressed by how they took the time to speak to us about all kinds of issues. I was very excited when I saw that a position was opening just around the time I was graduating from Drexel.

What does your typical day look like? Is this what you expected when you took the job? I'm sure everyone says this, but every day is different. Our librarians work one-on-one with faculty, either by supporting faculty research or by teaching/guest-speaking on research topics in other classes. We share duties at the reference desk, answering questions from faculty, students and members of the public, which includes alumni, local attorneys, and non-lawyers who are researching a legal topic. We share responsibilities for collection development, and picking up side-projects, like creating study guides. I work with the students who do staff the law school's three scholarly journals on resource collection, interlibrary loan, and so forth. Rutgers librarians are also members of the faculty and placed on a tenure track, which means I spend a significant part of my time working on my own research and writing projects, attending faculty meetings, etc.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I work with really nice people, which is a huge plus! I'm still at the stage where I can't believe I actually get to work full time as a librarian, which is great. I'd have ot say my favorite thing about the job is tackling research projects for faculty, especially when I'm able to track down an elusive source. It can be a challenge, like a treasure hunt.

What was the most valuable thing you did or learned while in library school? The most important thing I did in library school was to take advantage of opportunities to meet working librarians and secure internships and part-time work in law libraries in my area. Joining the local law library association was a great way to meet people, and I learned so much from taking a practicum. You learn a lot of valuable information in class, but the hands-on experience really helps put it in perspective.

Do you think that being an officer in a student association was helpful post-graduation? Why or why not? My involvement in DUSLA helped me feel more confident in approaching professional librarians in my area to ask questions I might otherwise have felt too shy to ask.

What inspired you to choose this career? I first became interested in law librarianship when I was still in law school, but I ended up going into legal practice first. After a few years, I decided to take the plunge and go back to school for the MLIS. I was hoping for a job that would allow me to use my legal background, but also focus on research and information issues. My current job is really a perfect fit!

What do you wish you had learned more about? there were so many classes I know I would have benefited from. I wish I'd had more formal background on teaching and pedagogical techniques, and also the class on working in academic libraries (so that I would have more expertise with non-legal academic resources). I really enjoyed the introductory database class, and I wish I could have spent more time learning about code and computer languages.

Any tips for current students? Put yourself out there. I've found librarians as a group to be enthusiastic and welcoming to newcomers, and eager to share what they know. I was very shy and uncomfortable at first with all of the "go interview a librarian" assignments in the MLIS program, but I got a lot out of my conversations with more experienced people.