Work with me: Limited Term Business Librarian Opening

The Laurier Library is searching for great candidates for another limited term posting.  We have a 1-year, limited term part-time appointment for a Business and Economics Librarian at our Waterloo campus.  Working with our other Business and Economics Librarian, the person who takes on this position will hit the ground running and be quite busy interacting with the School of Business and Economics – the largest faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University.

I promise that this would be an incredible learning opportunity for new or recent grads, and also a chance to gain and build upon your existing experience with business and economics librarianship. 

The Laurier Library : We Mean Business
The Laurier Library : We Mean Business

Business and Economics students at Laurier work with stats and data quite a bit, so I expect to collaborate often with who ever fills this position.  I’m happy to answer any general questions you might have about the posting, the university, and living in Waterloo, Ontario.

See our Business Librarian posting here.  The application deadline is August 5, so start moving on this one soon.

-Michael.

New Degrees and New Jobs

This week I begin a new position working in Information Literacy and Reference Services at the Dalhousie University Libraries.   I’m excited about this posting and expect to do some great things and have a little fun along the way.  I’ve been a student and a community member at Dal for a number of years so it’s heart-warming to get the call and be asked to join the team.  Of course, there will be days that may feel more frustrating than fun (what job doesn’t have them?), but I think that on the whole everyone is going to come out ahead when it’s all said and done.

This opportunity to work at Dal and my graduation this spring from their MLIS programme at their School of Information Management has kept me busy thinking about what I’ll do with myself in my new profession. At Dal, I’ve been hired to work in information literacy and in research and reference services, and sure enough I’m experienced in both areas.  I like the service aspect of both fields, i.e., the opportunities to help students learn how to learn, to identify how to use information resources effectively, or to help someone find the tiny kernel of truth that can set a paper straight.  I’m also going to try to find some time at or outside of the workplace to do some publishable research in IL.  A large part of my time will be creating learning tutorials (something I’m already acquainted with) and maybe making use of social media, so I’d like to possibly examine their value and worth to academic librarianship.  Creating streaming instructional material can be a cumbersome process that requires a lot of time and collaboration, and the end result is often a finished project that can’t be easily tweaked, so I’m thinking about researching means to improve production rates, or researching alternative ways to produce materials which will remain adaptable to changing environments.

But I know that my professional and academic interests aren’t limited to these fields alone.  For several years now I’ve been interested in the intersections between technology and culture.  In my MLIS programme, we called this the “information society,” which is an apt term, but I’m also concerned about how tech and information affects the things we make and consume in this society – hence, the “culture” aspect. Aside from my work in IL and Reference, I’m determined to spend my evenings working on a half-finished MA thesis on the effects of modern technology on Shakespearean adaptations, but at this point I may instead convert what I’ve done in this area into an MA focused on the Technological Affects rather than on the literature itself. This would require course transfers to a different programme, but it would better reflect my research interests.

I’m leaving the most important thing to the end of this post (a definite no-no when it comes to blogging), which is my interest in applied ethics in information science.  Understanding information ethics is an imperative for me – my morals, the ethical guidelines of my workplace, and of my profession guide my thoughts and actions.  I’m also a firm believer in social justice, so I’d like to one day not only do more research in this area, but also put it into practice.  We’ll see how it happens.

So there’s a list of action items and aspirations for you.  On Tuesday, I’ll enter the trenches in my new position, so you may see a few more posts related directly to information literacy.  But with a little luck, you’ll find a few posts about technoculture and information ethics arrive in your feedreaders as well.

-Michael.

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On organizing and networking

One of the things I do in my Working Life is serve as one of the two co-chairs of the Dalhousie student chapter of the CLA.  Although I took this role on with a little bit of reluctance (I’m a busy guy, always on the go, etc etc), I’m happy to do my part in this volunteer capacity.

There has been quite a bit of work involved with standing in for the CLA at the student level.  This workload is balanced, however, with the opportunities I’ve had to meet an inordinate amount of people – young stars and veterans alike – in the LIS field in Canada.  In the past two weeks I’ve spearheaded a successful Professional Partnering Programme that matches LIS students at Dal’s School of Information Management with professionals in the region, as well as helped organize an annual talk given by the president of the CLA to the students of the class. Last Friday, John Teskey, CLA Prez, rolled into town and gave a great casual chat to 35 students on the role and effects of technology within the profession and on our own careers.  It was all very good, and the organizing committee was more than pleased with the results.

By reflecting on this past month, however, when so much of my time has been committed to organizing these two events, I’m glad to have shoved away my initial reluctance to take on the role of co-chair. I’ve met a lot of people – formally and informally – in the past six months (let alone the past year) by way of working with the CLA, and I’ve begun to figure out exactly what fields I’d like to work in, ideally with whom, and ideally where in the world I’d like to work.  But it hasn’t been all one-sided – this close interaction with seasoned professionals is perhaps a small reward (if not an intangible perk) for my volunteer associations work.  I may be left “some-kinda-tired” at the end of certain weeks, but in the long run the local LIS community has improved – if ever so slightly – by my efforts, and hopefully so will my career opportunities.

So is this a general call to go and volunteer in associations in your field?  Possibly, yes.  I think it may be more pointed, though.  If you’re an LIS student, then think long and hard about taking part in these extra-curricular activities.  The coursework in your programme will help you learn about theories and methods in librarianship and information science, but don’t forget about the stuff going on outside of the classroom.  Where a people-profession, for sure, so be sure to get to know some people.

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