Talking to future librarians

18 Nov

…is certainly different from talking about them.

I have an odd relationship with the physical Syracuse University. While I’ve been as immersed in Cornell’s environs about as much as a human my age can be, I only spent 14 days at SU during the two years I studied there; distance programs are like that. And more than half of that class time was spent in a building that’s not even the iSchool’s official home, which was being renovated back in 2007.

But that didn’t cause me a moment’s hesitation when I was invited to talk to this Fall’s IST 511 (Introduction to the Library and Information Profession) class about academic librarianship.

Jill Hurst-Wahl was the main lecturer that evening, and my portion preceded the Syracuse University Library’s own Natasha Cooper (who’d been one of the instructors for my own IST 511 class four years ago).  I put together a presentation, the slides of which can be found here. (As usual, a lot of the meaning is lost without the voiceover, but I do think that slide #6 is complete unto itself.)

I really enjoyed the experience, and it was great to answer questions and discuss elements of academic library work both during the class, in the hallways of Hinds afterwards, and on Twitter over the last couple of days. I’m grateful to everyone involved, and I’d jump at the chance to do this again in the future.

Two points of follow-up:

1. I was thrilled to see that the iSchool was also covering the more esoteric elements of library professional development:

Photographic evidence of rockin' professional developmen... on Twitpic

2. I was asked during the initial Q&A period about librarians jumping from public to academic libraries, and vice versa. I asked around on various social networks, and found examples of both.  One prominent local example is Susan Currie, director of the Tompkins County Public Library, who spent many years working and leading at Cornell and Binghamton University. Most of the other examples were shared directly with me, but I’d be glad to discuss them over email if folks are interested.

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2 Responses to “Talking to future librarians”

  1. Elise November 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I know personally of two examples. WVU’s current art librarian started her career as a public librarian, in Oklahoma if I remember correctly. Also I interviewed for a job at a Manhattan design school that shall not be named and they hired a public librarian from DC for the job. I believe she had some artsy type job at DC Public previously. I think it helps if you have a specialty that crosses library boundaries, like subject knowledge of the arts.

    • Jim DelRosso November 21, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks, Elise! The specialty element strikes me as an important element, as well.

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