Librarian Stereotypes: Do they hurt our image as instructors?

Interesting post over at In the Library with a Lead Pipe:

Ice Ice Baby: Are Librarian Stereotypes Freezing Us out of Instruction?

In Brief: Why do librarians struggle so much with instruction? Part of the problem is that we have so many facets to consider: pedagogy, campus culture, relationships with faculty, and effectiveness with students. Research on student and faculty perceptions of librarians combined with sociological and psychological research on the magnitude of impression effects prompted us to more thoroughly examine how perceptions of instruction librarians impact successful teaching and learning. In this article, we look at theories of impression formation, the historical feminization of librarianship, and suggestions for next steps that we should take in order to take charge of our image and our instruction.

Read the rest of the article over at the blog.

One week left to submit roundtables, posters, blitz proposals

There’s only one week left to submit roundtable, poster, and blitz session proposals for the joint AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference!

You can go big with a full program or workshop, dip your toes in with a poster, or present in a 15-minute blitz session.

Need guidance? No problem! Here’s a great guide to creating winning conference proposals for library professionals.

Hesitant because you’re a library school student? Here’s a blog post on the whys and hows of submitting a conference proposal!

If you need some topic ideas, take a look at last year’s presentations!

Deadlines for AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference:

  • Preconferences, Programs, and Workshops: April 28, 2014.
  • Posters, Roundtables and Blitz Sessions: May 26, 2014.

Submit your proposal now on the AzLA website!

The Library eBook Situation is Appalling

Publishers have been heavily resistant about selling their catalog of eBooks to libraries in the US and Canada. It took years of lobbying from the American Library Association and companies such as 3M and Overdrive to finally sway them over…Major publishers and publishing associations seem to fear that libraries could circulate ebooks to thousands of readers, decimating their profits. 

Read the whole article here. Also see the ALA State of America’s Libraries report.

What has your experience been with ebooks, whether at your institution or your favorite public library?



AzLA-MPLA Call for Proposals – Deadline Extension

2014 AzLA-MPLA Joint Conference: Libraries: Best of the West!

Extended Deadline for Program Proposals

In response to member feedback, the 2014 AzLA/MPLA Annual Conference is granting an extra week for program submissions.  Proposals for preconferences, conference programs, and workshops will now be due Monday, May 5, to allow a little more time to work around busy Spring schedules.

The 2014 AzLA/MPLA Annual Conference will be held at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Conference Center in Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, November 12 – 14, 2014.  This year’s joint conference will include attendees from Arizona and from throughout the 12-state Mountain Plains Region.  Together, our two associations will highlight the best our libraries have to offer: Creative approaches, new ideas and services, unique collections, and more!

Conference Theme

 The 2014 conference theme is “Libraries: Best of the West!”  Out here on the great frontier, what are your libraries doing not only to stay relevant, but to push the boundaries of library services?  How are your libraries building strong communities?  How do you balance serving your library against connecting with libraries with very different needs and populations?  In the constant duel for limited resources, how do your libraries promote themselves as “the good guys”?  Show off your frontier spirit by sharing the plans and strategies that have made your libraries among “The Best of the West!”

Submission Deadlines:

  • Preconferences, Programs, and Workshops: May 5, 2014 (extended).
  • Posters, Roundtables and Blitz Sessions: May 26, 2014.

Preconference Presenters must be available: 

  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 

All other presenters must be available to present on either day of the conference: 

  • Thursday, November 13, 2014, and
  • Friday, November 14, 2014

Program Tracks:

  • Leadership & Staff Development – Explore leadership, management, and organizational/career development issues, trends, and best practices.
  • Children & Young Adults – Share exciting, practical, and theoretical ideas and information about serving children and young adults.
  • Information Literacy & Teaching – Focus on instruction techniques, theory, information literacy, and classroom trends and topics.
  • User Services – Explore collection development topics, new trends in designing user spaces, and improving public services.
  • Technology & Tech Services – Explore ideas and information about digital library issues, metadata standards, and hot new technology trends.
  • Library Outreach, Marketing and Advocacy – Teach others how to create partnerships, be aware of legislative issues, advocate for libraries, and utilize new marketing techniques and ideas.

For more information, or to submit your proposal online, visit the conference page at  You can also follow AZLA’s blog at, “like” us on Facebook, or follow our Twitter feed (hashtag #azlampla).

Online registration opens on August 26, 2014. Contact the AzLA Association Management Office for questions about registering for the conference or if you need assistance with your username and password. They can be reached at (480) 609-3999 or [email protected].

Books? Or no books? Envisioning the Academic Library of the Future

Two librarians debated the future of the academic library over on Huffington Post recently. Their consensus: physical books aren’t going away anytime soon! Furthermore, “students want spaces that inspire learning and offer opportunities for the three C’s: collaboration, creation and contemplation.” See the whole post here.

The ALA also released the 2014 State of America’s Libraries report in honor of National Library Week (April 13-19). Spoiler: academic libraries are dedicating more money to electronic resources than ever, and “staffing at academic libraries declined 9% in 2010–2012,” though salaries for new academic librarians increased 5% in the same time period. Jump straight to the section on academic libraries here.

Hit the Links: E-reading on the rise

Did you know there are more libraries than there are McDonald’s? And more than half of Americans have an active library card. It seems to me only people that don’t use libraries think no one uses them.

Three in ten Americans read an e-book last year, says Pew report from January. Half own a tablet or e-reader. Print books still dominate reading, though.

You’ve heard of Netflix, you might’ve heard of Freegal, and now there’s Hoopla, a Netflix-like service that streams digital content to library patrons. Have you used it yet?

If it’s an e-book, why can’t everyone use it at once? Here’s a primer on helping non-librarians understand the complex relationship between libraries and electronic content.

Small academic libraries rise: “Library directors at 66 liberal arts colleges on Friday called…to reject licensing agreements with publishers that impose restrictions on how ebooks can be accessed and shared.”

And remember to take a break from negotiating licenses to celebrate National Library Week, April 13th through 19th. How is your library celebrating?

What are your favorite citation tools?

BACK IN MY DAY (cue groans) we had to use the print MLA manual to do our citations! Students these days have got it easy with their EasyBib and their RefWorks and their Zotero.

A strange artifact found in the Weed pile.
A strange artifact found in the Weed pile.

But seriously, what are your favorite citation tools? I think citations can be one of the hardest parts of student assignments, and that a lot of plagiarism could be avoided with properly attributed sources. Students are delighted when I show them the built-in citation makers in our databases.

I was inspired this morning by a post over at the Unclutterer blog about Organizing References and Bibliographies. They only list the citation management tools EasyBib and CiteThisForMe. I admit I used EasyBib a lot in college/grad school.

Here at ASU, we’ve got a subscription to RefWorks, which I’ve used a bit, but find the importing and tagging to be a little cumbersome.

I know fans of Zotero, which is a free citation management tool, and Mendeley, which is free as well. Oh, and there’s EndNote, too, which I think thesis and dissertation-writers are a fan of, but I hear is pretty costly.

ASU Libraries has this neat Library Guide to choosing a citation management tool. I found this helpful Citations and Bibliographies Library Guide from Neumann University that helps students identify the parts of sources for easier citation.

And of course, there’s the Owl at Purdue, which got me through my MLIS.

What are your favorite tools and what makes them great?

Shelf Reading – Burden or Blessing?

Shelf reading. It has to be done – and you often gotta do it yourself. I’m currently more than halfway through shelf reading our Arizona state and local collection here in Government Documents. I confess that I hated shelf reading at first! But after getting through a few thousand documents, it’s gotten faster and easier to see what’s out of place. (Of course, after thousands of documents, I would hope that it would!)

She does not look thrilled.

I think one of the problems I had with shelf reading is keeping the call numbers in my mind as I shuffled through the books. In an academic library, call numbers are LONG! The massize size of many academic library collections necessitates using LC call numbers, allowing the level of detail contained in each call number to be very high.

But your short-term memory has a limited capacity to accommodate these long numbers. Your mind can only keep about seven pieces of information (plus or minus two) in your working memory at any given moment. Here in GovDocs we use a modified version of SuDoc call numbers in our state and local collection, which gives you numbers like GV 10.8 M31 973/05. More than seven pieces of information there? Yes.

And the lifespan of those seven pieces of info is only between 15 and 30 seconds. Space out for a second while shelf reading and it’s gone, and you’re flipping back and forth between books, wasting time. Talk about frustrating!

With practice you can get a little better at keeping more information in your mind. But I’m excited about technology making shelf reading obsolete. This computer science professor came up with an app to shelf read for you – the catch is that each book must have a QR-like code on its spine.

Meanwhile, do what I do or what this library director does. Turn shelf reading into a Zen experience by treasuring it as a quiet moment in your day.

The conference is coming – and you should participate!

Presentation proposals are now being solicited for the joint AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference!

Q: Who should submit a proposal?
A: YOU should.

Whether student, staff, or librarian, you’ve got a great idea, a unique perspective, or a new way of doing things that you should be sharing with other library professionals. You’ll be rewarded with networking opportunities, the chance to build your CV, and the satisfaction of contributing to your chosen field in a supportive environment.

You can go big with a full program or workshop, dip your toes in with a poster, or present in a 15-minute blitz session.

Need guidance? No problem! Here’s a great guide to creating winning conference proposals for library professionals.

Hesitant because you’re a library school student? Here’s a blog post on the whys and hows of submitting a conference proposal!

I presented a poster last year! I had a great time and met some wonderful people. If you need some topic ideas, take a look at last year’s presentations!

Deadlines for AzLA/MPLA 2014 conference:

  • Preconferences, Programs, and Workshops: April 28, 2014.
  • Posters, Roundtables and Blitz Sessions: May 26, 2014.

Submit your proposal on the AzLA website! Full press release here.

What do you want to see this year at the conference?