7Questions? – Heather Lausten

This week’s 7Questions? comes from Heather Lausten, Curriculum Librarian at Grand Canyon University.  Heather is currently Co-Chair of the AzLA CULD:

1.What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Always Seeking Answers

2. What is your favorite place in AZ?

The Mogollon Rim

3. What do you value about working in a college or university library?

I love the constant focus on learning. We are all learning and discovering new things. It keeps me on my toes and gives me something new to see every day.

4. What is the best thing about AzLA?

It provides a community outside my own workplace. It helps to see that there are others experiencing the same thing and coming up with solutions that may also apply to my situation.

5. What was your first library job?

My current one. I got lucky and went from a life outside of libraries into a job as a librarian relatively seamlessly.

6. What are you currently reading?

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

7. Any parting words of wisdom for your AZ CULD colleagues?

Go out and talk to people. The dialog is what matters and the answers will follow. There is a place for everyone, from someone that wants to be a huge part to someone that can only contribute a little.

7Questions? – Tina Sibley

 This week’s 7Questions? comes from Tina Sibley, Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College in Yuma.  Tina is currently the AzLA CULD Communication Officer:

1.  What three words would you use to describe yourself?

   Creative, funny, serious.

2. What is your favorite place in AZ?

Arizona has diverse offerings, but probably the Central Phoenix corridor. I like the historic neighborhoods, restaurants, coffee houses, second hand stores and general cultural offerings that are available.

 3. What do you value about working in a college or university library?

Being involved in teaching and learning and the lifelong learning focus.

4. What is the best thing about AzLA?

For me, it has been the opportunity to meet many other librarians across the state. I’m at a smaller, rural academic library, and I’ve found it energizing to be able to brainstorm with others in our state that also support distance students and online classes. A group of us has gotten together at the annual AZLA conference for the past three years to swap ideas and socialize. Every year I have been able to team up and collaborate with librarians at other institutions on varied projects and presentations. It’s been fun. AZLA presents the opportunity for camaraderie and professional growth.

 5. What was your first library job?

My current position as Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College is my first paid library job. While in Library School though, I volunteered at the Sunset Branch of the Chandler Public Library.

6. What are you currently reading?

I just finished Nora Ephron’s “I Feel Bad About my Neck”. Loved it, laughed out loud. Now I have just downloaded chapter samples from two books to my Kindle. Matt Taibbi’s “Griftopia” and Kai Bird’s “Crossing Mendelbaum Gate”. Not sure which one I will read first.

7. Any parting words of wisdom for your AZ CULD colleagues?

   In the immortal words of Tim Gunn “make it work”.


Resource of the Week – MERLOT

MERLOT is the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching,  ‘a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy’.  A program of the California State University, MERLOT allows individuals and institutional partners to access and contribute to peer reviewed online learning materials. 

Unlike other resources focused on higher ed, MERLOT includes Library and Information Services as a specific academic discipline.  Resources are available to review and use, and by becoming a member (which is free) you can contribute to the collections as well as establich contacts within the profession.

7Questions? – Anali Perry

We, at the AzLA CULD Blog Research Labs, have been thinking of ways for colleagues to get to know each other.  We’ve come up with a short (but hopefully fun and informative) interview that’s a little ACRL and a little Vanity Fair.  If there is someone who works in an Arizona College or University Library that you would like us to interview, send their name and contact information to one of the CULD officers and we’ll contact them to participate.

In order to show just how fun and easy it is, we’ve turned the questions on ourselves.  Our first 7Questions? participant is Anali Perry, Assistant Librarian – Collections & Scholarly Communication at Arizona State University Libraries.  Anali has been working as our CULD Legislative Liaison and all-around positive influence!  Here’s what she has to say:

1. What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Librarian, Gamer, Wife

2. What is your favorite place in AZ?

My home. I can’t pick just one place, I love Arizona! It’s the most beautiful state!

3. What do you value about working in a college or university library?

I value the freedom we have to explore different interests and experiment with new technologies and services. I also value working with students and faculty and my fabulous colleagues.

4. What is the best thing about AzLA?

The people! Through AzLA, I have made some great friends that I would not have otherwise met. I love meeting other Arizona library folk – we are all so awesome!

5. What was your first library job?

A student aide in the ASU Music Library.

6. What are you currently reading?

I am between books at the moment- I just finished reading Fire by Kristin Cashore (loved it!) and am perusing my lengthy To-Read list to decide what to read next. Any suggestions?

7. Any parting words of wisdom for your AZ CULD colleagues?

As the conference planning co-chair, I just can’t help myself – please submit a program proposal, or talk your favorite speaker into submitting a program! I know you all are doing cool things, or have great ideas – the annual conference is the perfect place to share your knowledge with your colleagues!

Resource of the Week – USA.gov Reference Shelf

The Federal government provides historical and cutting edge information on just about everything and make an effort to make that information available to everyone.  The USA.gov portal has created a Reference and General Government resource page that allows you to delve into specific topics and set up accounts and feeds to be kept aware of information as it becomes available.  No matter what your role in academic libraries, I’m sure you will find something personally and professionally useful at  USA.gov Reference Shelf:

Find U.S. government common abbreviations, calendars, contact information, forms, gadgets, photos, maps, news and more.

  • Government Photos and Images 
    A large collection of photos and images made available by the U.S. government
  • Historical Documents 
    Articles of Confederation, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence…
  • Laws and Regulations 
    Business laws, code of federal regulations, database search of laws and regulations…
  • Libraries 
    Local, federal, and national libraries; online library databases; grants and benefits for libraries…
  • Maps 
    Local, national, world, and specialized maps from multiple government agencies…
  • News 
    Federal press releases, USA.gov news, foreign news service, government e-mail newsletters…
  • Publications from the U.S. Government 
    Consumer publications, educational resources, federal agency publications, Government Printing Office…
  • State Photo and Multimedia Galleries 
    Find photos from the U.S. states.


Resource of the Week – ACRL Professional Tools

It doesn’t look like much, but the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Professional Tools page leads to a lot of valuable information for anyone working in academic libraries. 

You can use the site as an introduction or overview of ACRL, exploring the diversity and opportunities of the Association ( AzLA’s CULD is a recognized Chapter of ACRL).

You can also home in on practical information like Standards or Toolkits that have been devised to guide you through common issues in academic libraries and provide examples of best practices devised by colleagues who have faced similar challenges before you.

And you can network and expand your knowledge and experience by connecting with colleagues through publications, conferences, and social media. 

There is a lot of information and opportunity out there if you know where to look.  The ACRL Professional Tools page is a good place to start.

Resource of the Week – Library Webinars

Simply put, Library Webinars is a one-stop shop for…Library Webinars!

Created by the NorthEast Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN) for its members, this site provides access to webinars from over 40 organizations from ACRL to WebJunction.  While it’s not geared specifically towards academic libraries, many of the organizations offer items that may be of interest and, except where noted, the webinars are free!

You can also subscribe to an RSS feed or get blog postings emailed to you so that you have time to decide and prepare for the sessions.

Things I wish I Learned in Grad School

By Dana Shreve

$24,000 spent on graduate course work at a four year university. In three years, I learned the history, theories, current practices and upcoming technologies for my profession and a second degree.

What I did not learn was how to survive on internships, part-time work, minimum wage and a car that always needed repair. The professors warn you at the beginning of the program that the job market is fiercely competitive and that we students would not be raking in piles of money. So where was the class that provided feedback on job searching, resume building, and the like? Some professors would allow for meetings to help with such topics, but they were usually trying to finish their research, grade assignments and eat lunch.

Why not give students recipes on how to be creative with Ramen noodles or where to find the best deals on Red Bull? Or how to un-jam a stapler, copier or printer? How about tips on how to get toner out of khaki pants or ink out of a blouse? These are the life skills that should be taught before graduation.

With that, I propose the following coursework to be taught concurrently with the Final Project or Practicum. 16 week course, two days a week

Weeks 1-7
Computer Basics
Turning on the Computer
Locating the Volume Button

Office Basics
Jams: Staplers, Copiers, and Printers
Refills: Paper, Toner/Ink, Paperclips

Wardrobe Basics
Stains: Toner/Ink, Coffee, Lipstick
Casual versus Professional

Dental Hygiene
Coffee Drinkers and Smokers: Breath Mints Please!
Removing Food from Teeth: Tooth Picks, Not Pen Caps

Email Etiquette
Grammar, Punctuation, and NO CAPS
How to Reply, Reply All, and Forward

Telephone Etiquette
How to Answer and Transfer
Volume Control

Break Room Etiquette
Eat What You Bring, Not Others People’s Food
What Not to Heat Up in the Microwave (e.g. fish)

Week 8: Midterm
1000 word essay on Ramen noodles and pizza

Weeks 9-15
Job Searching Tips
Where to Find a Job
How to Apply Only Once

Resumes and Cover Letters
One Page or Two?
How to Give Them What They Want

Interview Basics
Why Do You Want to Work Here?
What to Do With Your Hands

Online or Notebook?
When Is Too Much?

Associations and Affiliations
How to Join Before Graduation
No, Webkinz Does Not Meet Requirements

Difficult People
When it’s Your Boss
When it’s Your Cubicle-Mate

HOV hours
How to Dress the Dummy

Week 16: Final
1000 word essay on how to keep your job

For supplement information on how to live in the real world, workshops would be available, each a 2 day session.

Car Repair: Duct Tape and Coat Hangers
Ramen Noodles and Pop Tarts:
How to Survive in College
How to Crank Out 10 Pages in Two Hours
How to Survive on Minimum Wage:
Get Another Job
When 24 Hours Are Not Enough:
Surviving the Deadline

Yes, if only some of my college tuition had gone to this coursework or workshops, I would be a better employee. No longer would I have to call for maintenance, computer help desk or my mom.

(Dana is currently the Electronic Resources Librarian at Grand Canyon University, and she loves her job, really.)

Resource of the Week – ResourceShelf

ResourceShelf has an intriguing catchphrase, “We find the sources; you get the credit”.  The criteria for selection of sources seems to be:  high-quality, free, and of interest to information professionals.  In this day and age, there may be a lot of resources that meet this criteria, but who has the time to search, let alone for the latest stuff?  ResourceShelf!

Each item is ‘hand-selected’ by researchers and librarians, and made available in various ways to meet your information intake preference:  the blog is constantly updated and provides RSS and Twitter feeds; a weekly newsletter provides a sampling of resources; and the Archive provides access to over 25,000 resources back to 2001!  That’s a lot of information.

It is a lot of information.  Be aware that they generally share between 300 – 500 resources per month.  Not every item will be of interest to you, but you may know someone for which it is, and it’s easy and free to share.  And, as they say, you get the credit.

Resource of the Week – Stephen’s Lighthouse

There are lots of free, quality resources online to assist us in the wide variety of tasks and components which comprise the work that we do in academic libraries.  I would like to use the blog forum to share a different resource every week.  Let me know if you have a resource you’d like to share and we’ll get it posted!

Those of you who get my occasional CULD Resource Round Up email know that I am a big fan of  the Stephen’s Lighthouse blog, by Stephen Abram.  Abram is an international librarian who is Past President of the Special Library Association, Past President of the Canadian Library Association, former Vice President of Innovation for SirsiDynix.  He is currently Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Markets at Gale Cengage in Toronto, Canada.  He has extensive experience in library technology and trend forecasting, and travels extensively, speaking (and listening) to librarians around the world.

While the blog doesn’t speak to academic libraries exclusively, his questions, exploration, and insight on a variety of issues  always gets me thinking.  He has a sense of humor but also challenges us on issues that need to be raised.  With his guidance, I often come to understand technology and other library issues that I may have heard about, but haven’t really dealt with.  He also presents new ideas/perspectives on issues that are fundamental to libraries but need constant tweaking.  A perfect example is a post from today, Information Literacy Videos

I bet if you take a look at his archive for just January 2011, you’ll find several items of interest.