The OCLC Conference

During Monday, September 29th, I attended the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) Forum that was held at Wayne State in the Undergraduate Library (Bernath Auditorium). It was an eye-opener as to what I will expect when working as a librarian. Although I came about fifteen minutes late, I did not miss out on too much information. I was given a small packet about OCLC, their mission, and information about where they will hold other events as well. During the presentation, Ms. Sites and other speakers were presenting information about the library system and updates about FirstSearch and how it would change to WorldCat Discovery. FirstSearch will still be available until December 15, 2015. They also informed the librarians in the audience about the change and how they need to apply the changes to their institutions in the month of October. Other features presented about WorldCat Discovery were lender costs, statistics for borrowing and lending, and options for staff to buy or borrow. Some technical details such as the “enter my symbol twice” would save time, 15-symbol lender strings (sending requests to other libraries), and even item availability displayed on the actual availability of the item were presented. Even though I did not have a clue as to the process of doing so, I thought it was interesting to see the lives of other librarians and how they receive beneficial information at the conferences and using it to update their systems. They even provided us information about actively posting to their Twitter account to answer any questions that we may have had through Twitter throughout the entire conference.

After this session, there were breakout sessions in Instruction Labs A, B, and C. Lab A held the session about the FirstSearch and WorldCat Discovery. Lab B had information about metadata and cataloging (in which majority of the people attended). I ended up in Lab C, which was about WorldShare Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing. Some of the ideas and news presented was that during the first week of October, the British Library would open their libraries digital for the first time to the world. Articles can also be exchanged with WorldShare Interlibrary Loan by using an alert button. Patrons can even e-mail articles to themselves with this feature as well. Updates to WorldShare libraries includes searches that are easier to find, Select All/Clear All options are available, and printing pages can be selected (instead of continuous pages). Performance can be increased in libraries that have WorldShare and even rush lending is supported for as low as $43 up to $100, depending on if one needs it within 2 hours, 24 hours, or 4 days. One of the main things that I remembered from the session was that there was the ongoing issue of e-books and how it can be rented to only one patron without being copied. One of their solutions to the problem was that they could send the patron a personalized link that would only be accessible to them. However, once they click on the link and download the e-book, the link would expire and no one (not even the patron) would be able to re-access the link after downloading. I thought this was a very interesting process of eliminating the problem of copyright infringement and piracy.

After the sessions, everyone mingled in the community room on the third floor where they served free lunch. I spoke with two other librarians that worked together. Their names were Breanna and Maureen. They provided me very interesting information about the profession. After we all introduced ourselves, I told them that I was a Masters Student at Wayne State, trying to learn more information about the profession by attending the event. Some insight that they both provided was that a librarian has to decide on which events or functions that should be funded and that one year, there may be a surplus in funding and the next year, the library may be underfunded. They both agreed that these situations level themselves out within a span of a couple of years. I asked them when and why did they want to become librarians and I received a response that surprised me. Both Breanna and Maureen did not know what to expect when they wanted to become librarians, but they enjoyed the profession as well as the aspects of a librarian (such as smelling the new books from the shelves and even working with others in their community). When they were ready to leave, we all exchanged business cards/information for further contact after the convention.

After the luncheon, there was a final closing session where there was an overview of the conference. They briefly discussed the information from the three sessions. With the cataloging session, they discussed metadata, API (Machine interface), e-content (books and serials), transitioning to WorldShare platforms, a collection manager versus the record manager, and authority control (records management and integration). The FirstSearch/WorldCat Discovery session discussed the integration of WorldCat into its newer counterpart, expansion of data and knowledge, and registering user links for the new database. Although Ms. Sites encouraged others in the audience to ask questions, there were very few responses. I wish I had a question, but because so much of the information was so new to me, I could not even form one at the moment. After the conference was over, they handed out business cards just in case if we ever needed to contact them. I feel that I have learned much from this conference and it has helped me gain much needed insight as to what I should expect to encounter after graduation.

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Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

So far, while halfway into the semester, the workload has become much more hefty compared to the beginning of the semester. However, I feel that I have learned so much more in these eight weeks thus far. From the first day, it seemed interesting, however, I did not know what I was going up against in the classes. I knew that the master level classes would be difficult, but so far, it has been demanding, but not necessarily hard. Although I knew that the library system that almost everyone in the United States is more familiar with is slowly dwindling away, I did not realize how fast it was dwindling until these weeks have passed. Future librarians have to just learn the basics of many trades in order to compete with other librarians in society. Some of the basics can range from coding to management skills and even setting up databases and leadership with innovation. The modern librarian has much more electronic/technological duties to fulfill compared to librarians of previous centuries.

In my current blog postings, all of them are related to the assignments. All of my posts help myself realize which aspects of LIS I should consider (in relation to my personal interests, whether in academic, special, research libraries, etc.). However, concerning the discussions with my fellow peers have been interesting because of the discussions that ranges from homeless patrons occupying the library to presidential libraries and even the issues of gender issues being present in todays’ library system. Even issues of copyright were discussed and intellectual property, which is still an ongoing and unresolved issue to date. Some things that I have noticed in my blog posts is that although they are not too personal, I add my thoughts concerning the topic and how it relates to my field. My first blog post was about my interest in the field and where I plan to see myself in a few years. However, from the discussion of banned books to comparing publishers and associations, the blog post is essentially my journey in the LIS field. Although the “ride” may be bumpy in the next upcoming years, I think that it will be a rewarding journey. I did not know what to expect when I first enrolled, but I know that it will be an unforgettable, yet enriching journey.

During the last week of September, I did encounter an event in which I feel really opened my eyes to the LIS field and things that I may expect (which I will elaborate in another blog posting after this one). It was very informal and helped me understand what I may endure after graduate school. Concerning the second half of the semester, although it may be time-consuming trying to juggle both this class and another class that I am currently taking, I know that it will be much more demanding. However, I know that as long as I keep myself aware of deadlines and pay attention to my work ethic and submit quality assignments that the end of my first semester will be a great one.

LIS Professional Associations – ARLIS/NA and ALISE

Two LIS professional associations that fits my particular professional interests and goals are ARLIS/NA and ALISE.

ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America) is an organization founded by Judith Hoffberg in 1972. ARLIS/NA uses librarianship to help catalog and manage artwork. The mission is sharing collaborative ideas, publishing articles, means for communication with other art librarians, and mentoring other future art librarians. Some of the benefits and opportunities for joining ranges from networking with other professionals in the field as well as awards for substantial contributions as well as opportunities for publishing and collaboration. Requirements for joining ranges (depending on status). For students, it is $50 for three years. $100 is for people joining for the first time, and $130 for individuals. ARLIS/NA publication is titled “Art Documentation,” which their official bulletin. Some of their primary activities involve meetings on Fridays and hosting conferences based on art design and managing these images as a main focus.

ARLIS/NA is on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Facebook postings are brief with few interactions from its users, but they post important information such as chapter meetings and award nominations. On Twitter, they post pictures of current events in the organization (such as the 2015 Conference in New York) and other news reports. They have an open group on LinkedIn and Pinterest boards for reviews/publications and conference information. One of their publications, Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship is compiled of over 60 essays regarding the state of art librarianship and its duties (from cataloging, managing, and collection development). Another publication, The Self-Portrait: a Cultural History discusses the self-portrait and how other artists from the middle ages up to contemporary artists have drawn themselves using their choice of medium.

The other LIS professional association is called ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) founded in 1915, expanding from an informal set of meetings to the organization that is now recognized as it is today. The mission is promoting research and teaching services to LIS disciplines in the program. Membership benefits and opportunities includes networking, being eligible for awards, and collaboration with others with a similar discipline in addition to attending conferences. The requirements to join for students are $60 (for six years) and $75 for three years for doctoral students. Part-time or retired employees pay $75 annually and full-time employees pay $130 annually. A quarterly publication called JELIS (Journal of Education for Library and Information Science) is volume-based. Some of the main activities are research, reports, and journals with concentrations on classroom discrepancies, virtual learning, and the current state of the LIS profession and its improvements. ALISE has social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Their Facebook page posts weekly information and news relating to the field. Their Twitter page has daily postings of information in LIS. Their LinkedIn group is members-only and is set to private. Two of their publications: Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS) and the Library and Information Science Education Statistical Report contains information pertaining to the LIS field and their other journal containing statistics. The information in both journals for the most part have been censored and can only be viewed once one becomes a member.

I chose ARLIS/NA and ALISE because both organizations have things that I am interested in and interested in working as a career. I enjoy art as well as technology (troubleshooting technological devices and the like) while having a love for books as well. Both organizations seem interesting and something that I would be interested in doing for the rest of my life. Although one organization (ARLIS/NA) seems to be much more candid, the other one seems to be secretive (ALISE), but considering the membership costs, maybe that is why ALISE is taking a precaution by not revealing too much details about the activities that is going on in the organization. Both organizations seem interesting to join, but if I were to join one of these organizations today, I would choose ARLIS/NA.

Citations:

About the Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/about/about-the-society

History/Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/about/history-mission

Membership Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/membership/membershipbenefits

Join ARLIS/NA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/membership/join-arlisna

Publications. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/publications/publications

Reports and Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/publications/arlis-na-research-reports/114-art-museum-libraries-and-librarianship

Reviews. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.arlisna.org/publications/reviews/405-the-self-portrait-a-cultural-history

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History. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alise.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=437

About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alise.org/about-alise

Membership. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alise.org/membership

Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alise.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=445

Research in LIS Pedagogy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.alise.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=405

Comparative Analysis – ProQuest and EBSCO Host

Two journals that I consider of interest to library and information science are ProQuest and EBSCO Host. ProQuest is a company based in Ann Arbor, MI. They have a database of hundreds of thousands of e-books worldwide and from nationally known organizations (such as the NAACP) as well. They provide these resources to libraries that utilize their services worldwide. Ebrary is another company spawned from their services. Libraries have ProQuest available to patrons that would like to search their library’s resources or even resources that ProQuest provides outside of the patron’s local libraries. The history of ProQuest started in 1872 with R. R. Bowker and in 1876, involved Melvin Dewey. ProQuest was not online until 1996. ProQuest is used by libraries ranging from school, academic, public, and even governmental. ProQuest reaches faculty, graduate students, and information professionals about the services that they offer. ProQuest has partnered with over 9,000 publishers to date. ProQuest published scholarly material based on research of other scholars and peers and is predominantly intended for educational uses. More focus is present on college students versus primary and secondary schools. ProQuest is peer-reviewed, which is important since the work has been read by another person than the original author. Therefore, the ideas presented in the paper has the minds of two people involved, whether if editing, correcting false information, or just double-checking to make sure that the information in the paper presented is correct. This proves that the student is working towards becoming a professional and working with other professionals to come to a general, correct consensus with the idea presented in the paper. Other materials that I found interesting in ProQuest was that they had advice available for people ranging from how to write a doctorate thesis to job interviews, which I believe are very important and pertinent resources to know beforehand.

EBSCO Host is another journal that I have considered of interest. They have databases as well as over five hundred thousand e-books to date. They serve the needs of researchers, the government, and even corporations. Tim Collins is the president of EBSCO Host from previously owning a publishing service that was bought by EBSCO Host in 1983. EBSCO Host has been in operation since 1944. Although EBSCO Host has not been in the industry as long as ProQuest, it still produces the same data output and similar resources just like other library databases. EBSCO Host has live support in twenty-five different languages and are always available every day of the week. Customers are able to contact them through various means of media, whether by e-mail, phone, or other services. The audience of EBSCO Host are predominantly professionals and some pre-professionals. These range from college graduate students to medical students, the government, public libraries, and primary/secondary schools. They publish scholarly materials as well as beneficial information for other types of special libraries ranging from e-books to publications and newsletters. EBSCO Host does has over 7,500 peer-reviewed journals, which is pertinent to future professionals that are developing their research papers and findings.

Some of the important similarities between ProQuest and EBSCO Host is that both journals have been around for a century or two and have reliable information that reach people globally. They serve special libraries and divisions as well as academics and even patents and inventions. However, some of the differences were the layout of both websites. ProQuest has been around much longer than EBSCO Host and has a better website layout. EBSCO Host’s website seems dated, but it is still functional, even on the lowest-end of computers. EBSCO Host also seems to not have as much resources posted online compared to ProQuest as well. Despite the variety of the LIS field and what it has to offer, there will always be competitors as well as information available if not in one journal, then it will be in another.

Who we Are. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.proquest.com/about/who-we-are.html

About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ebsco.com/about

Banned Book Week – Focus on “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

For Banned Book Week, one of the stories that Ii selected to read from the Banned Book List in the United States was “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. The main reason why the book was banned because of the swear words from the characters’ dialogue (ALA.org). My reaction to the story was that although it is set during a depressing time in American History, there is a lot that can be learned from this. Steinbeck presented fictional characters in a real-life situation that reflected the times of the Great Depression and how families struggled to make ends meet. In the story, when the family has to move from Oklahoma to California, they face so many struggles that tears away at their family. By the time they arrive to California, some members of the family have either abandoned the rest or have died. It almost seems that there is no promise or guarantee for the Joads by the time they reach California, which in a way, can be related to life now, especially with the economy and recession going on. People back then and even today are struggling to make ends meet and sometimes they will have to resort to moving from one place to another in hopes of finding something better.

I disagree with the reasons for the book being challenged because in most media today, almost everyone swears. Although just thirty years ago, cursing in public and on media were predominantly done in R-rated movies or shown only on cable television, but today, those times have changed, therefore, the book should not be banned. Depending on the reader of the novel, some of the biggest concerns could be if a young student were to read the novel and think that it is okay to say some of the profane languages in the novel. However, a late adolescent/young adult (around the age of 15-18 years old) should know never to say these words aloud or in public to another person. Some readers of the novel may only be concerned of that aspect when they are missing the whole plot and moral of the story itself.

The argument that I would make to a library board for retaining the title on the shelves is the historical and realistic aspect of the story. Even though it may be perceived as a fictional family and a fictional story, the historical aspect of it is real indeed. The author himself experienced the Great Depression firsthand and instead of writing it in a newsworthy way (such as an article), he decided to do so from a personal intimate and creative aspect that would get the attention of people during his era as well as our own. By censoring such a historical novel, instead of learning how to prevent situations like such and how to react to them, history may repeat itself if we decide to hide and neglect learning from past mistakes. Seeing as how the book was challenged during his era since it was so realistic to negative aspects of life, nearly eighty years later, that same mistake almost repeated itself when the stock market went to a record low since 1929 back in 2008.

ALA.org (n.d.). Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics/reasons