Monthly Archives: November 2013

Reflections of the second semester

So the second semester is almost at an end. Semester two for the most part was more tolerable than the first, mainly because I had some electives, I will attempt to give an overview of each of the courses and my opinion of the course and/or professor.

Management course(LIS9005) – This is the last of my mandatory courses, it was a poor class, but my prof can’t be blamed, mainly because she was a great prof. The class spent 8 weeks going over team building¬† and one management based group project. The last few weeks has actually started to get into the whole management portion of the course, but it feels like it is too little, too late. The Prof (Sarah Roberts) is a great prof, she made an otherwise boring class somewhat entertaining and would get us involved with her stories and experiences, as well as encouraging class participation. Since everyone is required to take this course I suggest taking it with Roberts as her counterpart Pam McKenzie has a bit of a negative review from students I’ve talked to.

Special Libraries РA great class, I was originally told this is a better management course than the actual management course, and I would tend to agree. The prof is once again a great prof, a little heavy with the jokes though.  Professor Craig is a corporate librarian who puts the class through a semester long project of building libraries of your choice in groups of 3 or 4. My group did a Library for Ubisoft, another did a Lego library, and another ended up doing a Foodshare Library. It was a great experience and put us through the paces in building a final report through User Reports, Budgets, Collection Development and more. The class is only offered in the fall, but I suggest this for anyone in the program, not just those interested in Special Libraries.

Intro to Archives – Another interesting course. The prof knows his stuff, but Lutzen Riedstra is a very soft spoken man. His lectures could put a raging bull to sleep. The course consists of 3, 5 page papers on weekly topics that can be spread out throughout the semester depending on what aspects of archives you are interested in. The final essay is an option between doing and archive visit in a group and writing about it, or writing a 15 page topical paper of interest to you. The archive visit is fun, and I would suggest any who take this course to do that option.

Government Information – I did this online and that was certainly a mistake. The prof for the online version of this class is a government librarian from Queens University. He knows his stuff, but is not really professor material. His marking scheme is a mystery to me, but I survived his course. The course is good if your interested in learning how to find and analyze government information, though it is not a bird course that is for sure. Government information is not easy to find or navigate. Topics covered include: Canadian Government Info, US Government Info, UK Government info, International Government Info (such as UN, World Bank, etc.). This course may have been better as an in class course, and I hear the person teaching it on campus is pretty good.

Digital Libraries – Don’t let the title fool you, this course is a good course, but not what you expect. Basically you spend a semester building a website for a collection of your choice. You also do this using a program called Greenstone, it is a challenging and outdated program. If you are not technically savvy this course is not for you; The class is not taught well, as Gord Nickerson just speeds through all kinds of topics without allowing time for it to sink in. The tutorials he has are on Youtube and these are what you will be required to do if you want to learn anything about using Greenstone. These tutorials (10 of them) are worth 1% of your participation mark each, and will likely take up to an hour or two to go through each of the tutorials.

So there is my two cents on this semester.

Looking for library work? Where do I look?

The University of Western Ontario FIMS office posts jobs from time to time on a board just down the hall from the GRC. This is hardly a great job board, but it is a good start for anyone looking for work, should they be graduating soon. So where else do people find work?

There are a variety of online sources that are geared towards librarians. Some of these sources are purely job assistance sites, while others are part of bigger organizations like the Canadian Library Association. Below is a list of some places you can find job postings

I Need a Library Job –

Canadian Library Association – –

UWO FIMS job site –

Working in –

If your looking for more info on jobsearching, interviews, and other resources check out the following link:

Librarianship: Then and Now.

For a Management class assignment I am required to watch a video on youtube entitled “The Librarian 1947 Vocational Guidance Films” found here: We need to look at the film and write a blog post about the video.

The video is a general purpose informational video, that reminded me of those Donald Duck cartoons with the narrator talking in the background. This video begins by asking if the viewer has a love of books and people, “if so Librarianship may be for you.” I understand that Libraries have changed in the last 74 years, but it goes on to say that there are many Library types, but librarians are generally all the same. This seems like an over generalization of the field.

The description of Librarian types, which seems like a contradiction of the generalization made earlier describes librarians in a variety of roles, some which are now handled by Library technicians such as cataloguer and circulation librarians and puts elementary school librarians in the same category as academic librarians. Alot has changed since then, and many of the jobs mentioned are either outsourced or more narrowly defined. It also briefly mentions the library administrator as a business type, and there is no mention of the average librarian taking any managerial role at all.

The film goes on to describe certain types of librarians such as subject specialists and rural libraians being part of an expanding field. The reality of it today is these types of librarians are fading, and the notion of expanding those fields is rediculous in todays economy.

It goes into the education required for Librarians at the time. The video makes mention of Librarians generally needing a bachelors in librarianship, but some librarian jobs can be done by those with other semi-relevant degrees. If I walked into an interview today with those qualifications I would be laughed out of the interview.

The video also describes librarianship as a lucrative career path, it is considered a secure job with similar salary to other professionals. Once again this is laughable. The reality is it is a descent paying job that is usually contract work, 3-5 years seems to be the feel I get from many of my professors.

The video ends by claiming there is a need for thousands of librarians. The job market is nothing like it was in the 1940’s. Overall, the video is entertaining and an interesting look at the history of librarianship. As an educational video on libraianship for librarians it is an extremley outdated source, and I find it sad that this course would use it.