Tag Archives: librarians

The power of librarians

Marcel Fortin is a man in demand. Fortin, the geographic information systems (GIS) and map librarian at Robarts Map and Data Library, is a master at mapping spatial data, the geographic dimension of information. The popularity of this discipline has skyrocketed during the last 10 years, especially with the advent of Google Maps and Google Earth, he says. “Spatial data means thinking about things in relation to geography. People often haven’t done that before,” says Fortin. “It’s applying spatial patterns to stories and research.”

If you want to see where the 10 best hamburger joints in Toronto are, for example, a map gives you a better understanding than a list. Ditto for the epicentres of the world’s 10 most recent earthquakes or the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.” (via UToronto)

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Librarians and Scholars: Partners in Digital Humanities

“Approaches to promoting digital humanities work varies from institution to institution — some have centers or hubs on campus or in libraries, others have coordinated programs and initiatives, and many have neither. The challenge for researchers interested in pursuing digital humanities work is to create a path forward and identify resources to help them at each stage of the scholarly process. Libraries are particularly well suited to meeting the needs of digital humanists by uniting diverse disciplines, facilitating dialogue, promoting ideals such as open access and preservation, and championing scholarly and pedagogical innovations. Indeed, we suggest that libraries can play a key role in supporting and promoting digital humanities scholarship, especially on decentralized campuses. Here, based on our experiences at the University of Michigan Library (MLibrary) we explore the benefits and challenges of this approach, share examples of the impact of leveraging existing library expertise and resources, and expand on the potential of these collaborative partnerships, all of which define agile, creative, and forward-looking teaching and research practices.” (via EDUCAUSE)

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Kyle Cassidy photographs librarians at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting

“When you think of a librarian, what image comes to mind? Photographer Kyle Cassidy ventured to the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January to explore that question. In between networking, educational events, and panels, librarians from across the country stopped by Cassidy’s makeshift studio to sit for a portrait. The result is a celebration of the diversity in the librarian community. “I realized I had a stereotype in my mind of what a librarian looked like, which is one of the reasons I wanted to do this project. Whenever I think something is true, I’m often wrong,” Cassidy said. “I tend to think of librarians as the ones I know from my public library and from school. But there are librarians who are researchers and archivists doing extraordinarily technical work. There are librarians who work in specialized fields who have to know about archaeology, for example, or medicine or research science. The field was broader than I had gone in there thinking.” (via Slate)

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Librarians rock “Oly’s Living Room”!

“Did you know you could go online with a library account and “Ask a Librarian”? Ask them anything. Any time of day. There are reference librarians all over the world standing by to answer your most random, burning questions. With any luck, they’ll have knuckle tattoos and beehive hairdos like the Olympia branch’s badass bibliognosts. Then there’s the Dewey Decimal System. Parker Posey made it hip in the ‘90s flick Party Girl. The Olympia librarians are doing the work to make the library the kind of place where rock and roll and spontaneous bursts of learning happen. The Olympia library has events like Anti-Valentines Day party for teens; story time for four year olds with a book whose protagonist is a transgender child; typewriter celebrations; all ages rock shows in the atrium; death row surviving activists; zines made in collaboration with punk rockers and senior citizens; authors who write about secret POW camps in WWII-era Minnesota; and that’s just the beginning. It’s millennia away from the oldest known library, which dates back to a 1200 BCE Syrian palace library. Yeah—that information came from a library.” (via Olympia Power & Light)

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The District library’s Washingtoniana division is a treasure trove of D.C. history

“People occasionally approach me — on the street, in the grocery checkout line, at the polo match — and say, “Excuse me, Mr. Man, there’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask you.” I typically respond, “Please, call me ‘Answer.’ What can I do for you?” “How do you do it? How do you know so much about so many things?” I give a knowing wink and walk away. Why should Answer Man give up his secrets for free?” (via The Washington Post)

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10 LIBRARIANS RECEIVE $5,000 AWARDS FOR SERVICE

“Some were praised as inspirations for young people, others for their work on digital projects and still others as tireless researchers. The American Library Association announced Tuesday that 10 librarians were named winners of the I Love My Librarian award. Each will receive $5,000. The awards were based on nominations from more than 1,100 library patrons nationwide and were sponsored by The New York Times and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.” (via The Associated Press)

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Is the End of the School Library Upon Us? Budget Cuts Hit Librarians Where it Hurts

“Paul McIntosh of Wadleigh Secondary School in Harlem has spent the past 10 years building what he calls “an environment where young people can explore all dimensions of the human experience.” He recruits big-name guests for his popular speaker series, publishes an annual poetry anthology, even acts as an unofficial guidance counselor to any student who reaches out to him for help. For those struggling with school, personal problems, even thoughts of suicide, the school library is one place they can go to find solace. Whether it’s a transgendered student being bullied or a shy writer trying to find his voice, McIntosh says kids have, for years, turned to him for support.” (via Alternet)

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Former Montrose librarian claims she was fired for talking too loudly to police

“A former Montrose librarian is suing the Genesee District Library over claims she was fired for talking too loudly. Susan Harshfield, 30, of Swartz Creek, said she was fired for talking loudly to police after she called for help with a patron who refused to leave the library. Library spokesman Trenton Smiley declined to comment on the lawsuit. Library attorney Patrick Parker also declined comment. No response to the allegations has been filed with the court. Harshfield’s attorney, Tom Pabst, said his client was serving as a whistleblower when she was fired by the library.” (via Mlive.com)

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Librarian’s Love of Books Began in Her Struggles to Read

“Patricia Ann Kettles did not read her first book until she was 10. She knows what it is to struggle with the very act of reading, trying to make sense of words on a page long past an age when other children can polish off a thick Harry Potter or Twilight novel as quickly as a wedge of cake. Now 40, at the library on Staten Island where she presides and where patrons know her fondly as “Miss Patty,” she talked recently about what it was like to be illiterate while others around her were devouring entire worlds.” (via New York Times)

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New breed of teen-services librarians emerges

“On a cool morning a few weeks ago, Maya Escobar noticed a young woman tentatively looking around Cambridge Public Library’s Teen Room. Escobar offered to help, and the hoodie-clad teen said she was looking for “Gossip Girl,” a best-selling series about the romantic escapades of wealthy boarding school students that had been adapted for TV. Escobar, a teen-services librarian sporting a lock of dyed pink hair, headed for the stacks. But the young woman was out of luck: “Gossip Girl” had been checked out. Escobar chatted with her a bit longer, and the teen left with several recommendations for books — and an application for a library card.” (via Boston Globe)

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