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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Announced!

Looking for some good reading in 2013? Confused about what to read? Need Book Club suggestions?

Well, Check out the Carnegie Medal Awards Longlist here:  2013 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction

Here is a preview of the list, for the full list visit the ALA website HERE:


Chabon, Michael. Telegraph Avenue. (Harper)

 Groff, Lauren. Arcadia. (Hyperion/Voice)

 Kingsolver, Barbara. Flight Behavior. (Harper)

 Morrison, Toni. Home. (Knopf)

 Theroux, Paul. The Lower River. (Houghton)


Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. (Random House)

Holt, Jim. Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story. (Norton/Liveright)

Ingrassia, Paul. Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars. (Simon & Schuster)

Rushdie, Salman. Joseph Anton: A Memoir. (Random House)

Winterson, Jeanette. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Grove/Atlantic)

Let us know your favorite book of 2013 on Facebook and Twitter!

  of American Library Association website:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blog Compilation!

Reading LIS-related blogs is a great way to keep up-to-date on topics and trends in the professional world. It' can be pretty easy to get bogged down by schoolwork during the quarter, and taking a break to read some blog articles is a great way to do some informal professional development on your own schedule. Here a few of the blogs we like to read, on a variety of topics, and in no particular order:

1) Hack Library School: written by library school students at a variety of institutions, this blog highlights ways to get through, and get the most out of, your library school experience.

2) Hiring Librarians: managed by Emily Weak, this blog provides interviews with librarians who hire librarians, with recent interview series now featuring job seekers and library school career centers as well.

3) I Need a Library Job: managed by Naomi House and her team of editors.Features daily updates on jobs around the world, focusing on the United States, as well as more general job resources and interviews with successful job hunters.

4) I Love Libraries: maintained by the American Library Association, this blog is written for public awareness on what is going on in the library world.

5) Librarian in Black: written by Sarah Houghton, a public librarian in California, this blog focuses on trends in library, web, and digital services.

6) Words in Space: written by Shannon Christine Mattern, a professor at the New School, this blog focuses on library and archives-related information with an urban twist.

7) Digital Humanities Now: governed by an editorial board, this blog pulls noteworthy digital humanities content from hundreds of sources and highlights the work in an open source format through their website and online journal, titled Journal of Digital Humanities.

8) The Scholarly Kitchen: maintained by a group of editors and contributors from the Society for Scholarly Publishing, this blog discusses trends and issues in open access and scholarly publishing.

9) Letters to a Young Librarian: managed by Jessica Olin, this blog provides advice to new(er) librarians on navigating academic librarianship. She often posts entries by guest bloggers as well.

10) Things of Interest to a Medical Librarian: written by Michelle Kraft, this blog discusses a variety of topics related to medical librarianship.

One great way to stay on top of a long list of blogs is to create folders in an RSS feed, like Google Reader. That way, it's easy to see what's new without jumping from website to website.

Are there any blogs that you rely on or read frequently for LIS-related information?