Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hidden Cataloging geek

So, today at the VA we started cataloging training. As I had stated before, they were still on card catalog and are now transferring to OPAC. Its so exciting to be joining them on this venture because I will be learning so much! A friend of mine believes that not many MLS students in my position get this type of opportunity so I am not taking that for granted.

When I took cataloging I was half and half about how I feel about it. Some of it is certainly hard, like creating a bib record and such. However, the organization of it all was so intriguing to me. I had been working also with Dewey for so long that you sit there and go wow, how did they come up with it and what do all the numbers mean. After today's session I think part of me was meant for cataloging.

It is apparently rare that someone creates a new Marc record for their library. The occasion of special materials is of course different. Now I hope that I am not wrong but I have noticed that most Marc records are imported and such and can be tweaked in regards to how your library is. That is basically how we will be doing much of the catalog and it seems I will be taking the bulk of it. But, not caring about the work load, I am SO excited. I will be learning all the fields again and such, even though the program allows us to basically fill it all in (its idiot proof in my opinion).

I am still of course in the early stages, but I am sure so much more will be happening!

Monday, February 13, 2012

"The Role of the Library and Information Science Professionals As Managers..."

Recently I read this article by Parvez Ahmed and Mohd Yaseen. The article discussed a comparison of managerial roles within the Library Field and also the corporate world. Similarly, skills that any manager in any setting should maintain are technical skill, human skill, leading skills, conceptual skill, planning level, organizing skills, controlling skills and decision-making skills. After reading this, many of these may seem like a given. I personally would hope that a manager would know these skills when they become one. However, some do not and sometimes you become that "accidental manager". I say accidental after being to a discussion on how sometimes that may happen in the library field. You may not wish to be one, but it may come your way at some point in your career.

However, going deeper into these skills Ahmed and Yaseen discuss how they are involved with the Library field. Take for example technical skill. We all must be aware of what our jobs involve. They use the example, "a surgeon must know hot to do surgery. An accountant must know how to keep accounts"(Ahmed and Yaseen, 2009, p.2). For a librarian manager, one must certainly keep up with the ever growing technology. One must be fluent with being online, troubleshoot new technologies, and also learn new technologies. Technology is growing at a extreme pace and for those in the library field they have to keep up in order to provide our services. Doesn't matter if its public or a special, one should be aware of new technologies to provide. One must also be able to handle changes. There are so many changes involved with libraries from funding, technologies, our patrons and so much more. One must be able to handle change but also be prepared and plan for those changes.

I for one am unsure if I want to be within the managerial role of the libraries, however sometimes it may just happen. This article gives a great insight of what one should expect being a manager within a library setting. They are similar to other organizations, however a librarian has to almost take those skills to the next level!

Ahmad, P., Yaseen, M. 2009. The role of the library and information science professionals as managers: A comparative analysis. Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, 10(3)

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Information Partnership: Recognizing a V.I.P.

Just finished watching this video for my Special Libraries Seminar Class. Both videos that I have watched so far have been interesting in the fact that the companies that talk about the libraries that service them, speak very highly of the services given to them. Repetitively said, is that Special libraries need to continually promote their libraries to the companies. Its a partnership, as this video states, where the goals on both ends should be the same. Knowledge and information is needed for companies to succeed. Having the library allows them to sometimes be ahead of the competition, know their competition, gain more knowledge about the product or such  the company services and much more.

Another reason why I do find this video interesting is because its from the early 90's. As much as you hear how valuable the library is to the company, id be curious to find more recent discussions about special libraries and information centers. Hospital libraries, in my opinion, are still essential in present times, but some may beg to differ with the ever growing technology of having ipads and iphones and what not. However, many of us within the field may argue that we allow less time to be spent finding the information.  In order for a company to recognize a V.I.P (valuable information partner) one must make sure that their library is a crucial asset to the company. Promoting, being one on one with staff, getting information in a timely manner but also maintaining accuracy with the information. Those mindsets stated in the video are certainly relevant today, but I would be curious to see how companies feel about their V.I.P's today. Would it still be the same want and desire.

 I am unsure because you hear of so many libraries struggling or budgets being cut. Its one thing to promote your libraries assets but sometimes they are the first to go within a company cut. OR the library is not taken away, but unfortunately the librarian was. We of course all feel that it is wrong for this scenario to happen but it does. Disney was one of those, where a librarian was cut but the library remained. So yes, I wonder what companies think of today's information centers!