Year One

This past Sunday marked the one year anniversary of me matriculated from library school. I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone. I decided to look back on my capstone and compare the five year professional development I wrote and what has happened this year.

For a recap here is what I wrote a year ago:

Year One: January 2011 to December 2011


  • Take on a practicum at Wake Forest University’s library: Z. Smith Reynolds Library in the Research and Instruction department to gain experience in reference services, library instruction, and general academic library experience.
  • Graduate from UNCG’s Master’s in Library and Information Studies program – May 2011.
  • Find, apply, and gain full time employment in an academic library, in a position that focuses on research, reference services, instruction, and technology.

Professional Growth/ Maintaining and Updating skills

  • Continue my membership in professional associations (American Library Association and North Carolina Library Association).
  • Attend conferences, nationally and/or statewide, to network and learn of new trends in the LIS field.
  • Provide mentoring help with the new cohort of Academic Cultural Enrichment Scholars.


  • Apply for research grants to continue research previously started, (i.e. Modern Teens and Library Usage).
  • Submit end product of Public Library Design and Technology to scholarly journal for publication with Dr. Chow.

Here’s the breakdown:


The spring of 2011 I did in fact complete a practicum at Wake Forest in their Research and Instruction department. I taught a total of 3 classes as part of a Library Instruction course and complete many hours on the reference desk. You can read about my practicum here. I graduated from UNCG with an MLIS in May of 2011, a very exciting time and nerve-wracking at the same time. In September of 2011 I found, applied and gained full-time professional work at the public library in my hometown.

Professional Growth/ Maintaining and Updating skills

This year I will not be attending ALA but I did attend NCLA and PLA online. It has been a bit more challenging than I realized to continue in the professional association as well as get more involved in these associations. I do hope to do better in year two. This past year one of the second cohort ACE Scholars did their internship at my library and in my department. I actively tried to talk to her not just about the library school program but also the field as I’ve experienced so far. I’ve also had conversations with other interns here and people who by happenstance are applying to the program this upcoming term. It’s always strikes me as odd when I find myself having these conversations and actually having an opinion and things to share with people who are in the same place I was just a short time ago.


I was able to present my research with my professor at the NCLA conference this past October. And that’s as far as publication has gone. I realized that there was a lot more research and observation that needed to happen. This is still an goal of mines but I’m not sure when that will get checked off.

Looks like I’m settling in nicely into the library field…yay!


Google Effect on Academic Libraries

Image representing Google Book Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Like most people in the library field I have taken interest in the journey of Google and their effects not only on the Internet but the world as a whole. A company born of the modern world their reach is extensively global and generation encompassing. And in 2004 Google set its eyes on the intellectual world with the announcement of its new Google Book Search. Within months those in the library world noted its stake in the success of this project. The announcement was met with fear and announcement. Google publicized that their goal was to ultimate create a universal digital library. Critics were quick to note that a company bent on making money could never compete with libraries already established for hundreds of years. However people started declaring the end of the library, touting Google as the founder of a new information society. “Though a lot has been written in both the popular and technical press, especially related to the settlement with authors and publishers, there is still in my mind a lack of clarity regarding how this project may impact libraries in the long term. If it is true that the successful completion of the project will “create the world’s largest library online,” does this necessarily also entail that libraries as we know and love them are dying?”(Dougherty, 2010)

In this paper I discussed the literature surrounding the future of books, the Google Book Search Project, and how these two things are affecting the future of academic libraries. I believed like many others, there is a distinct connection between these topics and that while Google’s idea of a universal digital library is a good idea I don’t think its time to say goodbye forever to traditional libraries. “And in the case of academic libraries, they are not the research and teaching embraced by the academy, but without their bibliographic traditions, scholarly discovery, learning, and teaching would be isolated, episodic, and limited to the harsh economy of the subject or topic attracting the greatest money or the best students.”(Shuler, 2007)

Google Effects on Academic Libraries by JPW

One Month and Counting

As of today there is but one month left before I can switch the words MLIS candidate to just plain MLIS (I’ll have to wait about a month before I can hold the actual degree in my hand). I’m a mix between being excited, nervous, and a little sadden at the same time. Another chapter in my life is quickly coming to an end. Two years honestly flew by in a flash.

To catch you all up since I didn’t post much last month besides the Practicum update here and there I’m steadily applying for employment. Granted I could be applying more but I’m just a bit tired to be honest. For instance today with a long list of things to do I got up early, but ended up taking a 2 hour nap before doing anything. There’s so much more I feel like I could and should be doing but at the same I’ve been non-stop since 2009. I’m running on empty here. But if I can make it to the finish line and accept that job offer than I can think about resting then.

Classes are going good, the final papers will be due soon and I’ve started rewriting my Professional Value Statement. It’s interesting to see how much I’ve not changed what I value professionally, but my understanding as to why I value these things has changed. I should have it all completed by next week. Technically I’ve completed the minimum hours needed for my practicum and could use the hours to do other things,  but I’m continuing to go because I’m just learning and experiencing  so much. Which you’ll learn more from the many posts I’ve been sharing…(insert some sarcasm there.) The only class giving me some pause is my Academic Library class. The final paper is due at the end of the month and I’m suffering from information overload. I’m glad I’m not stuck with a topic that lacks information but now I can’t stop finding relevant articles and books. I need to narrow my topic and just start writing. I’ll talk more about the paper at another time.

I guess it’s fine to speak about this since she’s officially made the announcement but my BFF is having her first child in August. I’ve been named the Godmother and I’m beyond excited.

I think that’s really all for now. Time to bunker in for the long haul.

Practicum Day Two: Shrimp, Champange and iTunes

194/365 APA Style manual

Image by eiratansey via Flickr

Thursday I went back to my practicum, my schedule for the semester is Tuesday and Thursday 8-4pm. Again I started the day with two hours on the reference desk. It was a bit more traffic and I actually had to help a student on a research problem. Lucky for me it dealt with history so I could recommend databases as well as help them find books. I followed lunch with work on the LIBGuide and then around 2 I attended a staff meeting. The meeting lasted for about an hour. After concluding the meeting we all made our way to one of the large study areas and enjoyed some refreshments.

It was very satisfying being able to work with a student to find information they needed. While I’ve helped friends and family. And I’ve done simple reference work, which really was helping someone find a book. This was more intense I guess because they were really clueless about databases and journals. And their research skills weren’t that great. I think I gave them confidence to come back and do it on their own. The staff meeting was great. It’s great to see how different institutions deal with their communications. In the small academic college it was more open and you just talked. This site is much bigger so I didn’t know what to expect. To start the meeting they had a presentation done by the Head of Facilities department. They have a 20 minute presentation every meeting, the speaker changes every meeting, which means the topic changes. This allows communication to happen with the library and other departments, creating a great team environment. The library isn’t a solitary entity. They’re allowed to ask questions and get what ever they want off their chest. Then they went through any updates and news. I was introduced formally to everyone, which was a bit nerve racking with my shyness and what not. And they did their monthly drawing. I didn’t win, I really wanted that $10 iTunes card.

The shrimp and champagne was provided by the college administration (I think) for winning the ACRL award. They take great pride in their staff and it shows. I’m going to be very sad when I go in next week and there is no cake. (I’m just saying twice in a row, I’m already addicted to it.) Although I asked my sister if it was weird that a majority of my alcoholic experience were with librarians in a library somewhere. She said it was.

My lesson for the day was working in a positive team environment. My previous experience in a large academic library I found there wasn’t a great overall sense of team, each department had a great working environment but their was no unity within the whole library. I honestly thought that was just how it was once you got to the medium to large size academic libraries. So many individuals with that many personalities, just how it is. Not that is was a negative thing per se but I don’t know I just never thought you could get a great sense of community in a large working environment. While I haven’t been able to observe all the departments I have seen them all together and you can tell that they all care about making the library work as one. That they are willing to sacrifice something in their department so that another department can get what they need.

The cake and alcohol was also a great time to network, while pretending to drink champagne I was able to talk to the dean of the library and other head’s of departments. I got offers to come talk to them and get advice whenever I had the time.

Next week I envision doing more in the instructional side of it and finishing up the LIBGuide (and learning more than I probably wanted to know about APA style).


There was cake!

My first day at my practicum started with two hours on the reference desk. Since it was the beginning of the semester we didn’t have many students needing help, so I was able to engage one of the librarians in conversation about general reference things and explore their catalog as well as the access they have to journals and databases. Which differs a bit from UNCG’s. After lunch I observed one of the librarians teach a LIS100 course. The topic of the day’s class was information needs in the 21st century. After the class was over I was able to talk to that librarian about how she prepared for her course. I ended my day getting introduced to the LibGuide program in preparation for my first project.

I thought I would be extremely nervous going into my first day but I wasn’t. The whole staff was very welcoming and everyone I met took the time to engage me in conversation and offer a chance to complete a project in their department for extra experience. Sitting at the reference desk wasn’t so bad and I can’t wait for the speed to pick up as the semester goes by. Talking to the librarian after the class was very interesting as it was her first course teaching by herself. She didn’t have any instructional experience before starting there a year ago so she understood how I felt.

I think what I took away from the first day was learning about LibGuides, I didn’t know what one was before I started but I am confident that I could create one on

my own now. Plus in reference to my title there was cake. My site had been one of the recipients of the 2011 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries so Award and in congratulation their dinning service had baked an HUGE (It was a foot thick two layer cake) cake. It was yummy!


2010 iDEAL Summit

I’ve been getting a lot information about the 2nd annual UNCG LIS’ iDEAL summit and I thought I had posted about it already.

The Department of Library and Information Studies (LIS) invited you to participate in the second iDEAL Summit at the Elliott University Center. This year’s theme is “LGBTQI out on the open shelves: Serving Hidden Communities”, with the main panel, also as the Fall 2010 lecture of the UNCG Libraries and LIS Lecture Series, taking place November 15th from 1:30 to 2:45 pm. The panelists are:

  • Mario Ascencio – Director, Corcoran Library in Washington, DC and recent past president of REFORMA.
  • Jim Carmichael – Professor of Library and Information Studies, UNCG, much of his research has focused on the history of LGBT issues within librarianship.
  • Trae Middlebrooks – MLIS Student and Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholar
  • Polly Thistlewaite – Head of Public Services, City University of New York Graduate Center Library and long-time volunteer at and chronicler of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
  • Moderator: Nathan Belyeu, Master of Education Student and Coordinator for LGBTQI Health, The Wellness Center of Student Health Services.

Learn about the past iDeal Summit here.