Tag Archives: academic libraries

This blog has MOVED

Hi everyone! This blog has moved! Please come and check it out – I got tired of managing 2 blogs at once and decided to bring everything together. So, if you’re so inclined, come read over at this blog’s new home 🙂

Here you will find Library-related issues and discussion, photography, poetry, and my musings as an editor for an up-and-coming literature magazine. Exciting things are happening.


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Safe Zone: practical applications in the commuter-college library

If you remember from my last post, I started working on a LGBTQ libguide with a few other colleagues in the HACC system.  Luckily, I was able to attend the Safe Zone training presented at the York Campus today and gained some valuable information that can be utilized to assist our LGBTQ student/staff/faculty population across campus’.

First, we learned terminology that I THOUGHT I was totally familiar with – this was not the case.  Most noteably, I discovered that the term “Transgender” is an umbrella term, while I thought it meant someone who was transitioning from either male-to-female or female-to-male but who hadn’t gone through with the surgery yet.  ::insert obnoxious buzzer::  Wrong!

However, this got me thinking – what terms would LGBTQ students be using in their search?  I wrote down terms and added them to the libguide (which is not public yet).  I put this under the “Books” tab, but I am still mulling over the idea of placing books, articles, and more into one category.  I added a section: “Try using these terms” to help our campus population find more information on what they are looking for.

I also learned about “Central Voice” which is an LGBT paper published out of Harrisburg (available here) and that the SGA (student gov’t) is working with the “It gets better” project – all of which I am very excited about.  So, I was thinking of adding the latest edition in PDF form to the libguide so that it is also accessible online and physically.  I think that many LGBTQ students may not be comfortable carrying around the physical pamphlet, so making it accessible online would provide another avenue of access.

Since HACC York does not currently have an Allies group on campus, I was thinking that maybe the smaller satellites could work with the Harrisburg campus’ strong Allies group to coordinate events together.  Since this is a commuter campus, we should be thinking of ways to allow all students the chance to participate.

Here’s some things to try:

  • Skype meetings with Harrisburg Allies group to other HACC Campus’
  • Coordinate events such as: Campus Pride or set up a  display table at local (central PA) Pride events during the summer.  This will show that HACC is a safe place for all students and it gets us out there in the community.
  • Discuss having special topics classes offered at different campus’ on Queer Studies.  Seems out of reach, but it’s not unheard of.
  • Celebrate Pride events in the library!  Parties = People!  Bring people in, provide a safe space, gain allies, and promote library resources for LGBTQ students/staff/faculty

With a little help, we can all reach out to provide a safe space on campus for LGBTQ students.  The library plays an integral part as we are providers of information, and we need to be understanding, knowledgeable, and able to provide resources to our campus community.

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PaLA 2011 conference notes (Sunday/Monday)

So if you didn’t attend PaLA this year, don’t worry!  I’ve taken a few notes on my short stay in State College, PA.  Since I got there a little later on Sunday, I only went to two sessions.  Then, on Monday, I went to three sessions and presented my poster: “Changing perspectives, building careers: library internships for undergrads” with Libscenester 🙂

Service Learning @ the University Library

  • The data shows: students take ownership of learning, it increases student motivation to learn course content, learning through point-of-need is most effective, and it’s a low-pressure way for students to transfer skills.
Ok..so how does this apply to Higher Ed?  Perhaps at HACC, the community college I work at, we could have our CSI (computer science and information) students teach computer literacy to non-traditional students.  This will then increase their ability to learn the material they have worked with in class and then transfer skills to students in need.
A safe space on campus to serve LGBTQ students and faculty
You can find the slides of this presentation here , but here are the basics:
  • ALA provides many places for libraries to get ideas for starting LGBTQ
  • Our universities need to provide a safe welcoming environment (either through collection development, or in my case, an online guide)
  • Guides should be electronic and should have a contact person and/or link to a student group on campus
  • Our reference librarians should be knowledgeable of terminology and where students can find the guide.
  • Outreach:  Connect with Allies group on campus, educate staff on ALA ethics, participate in safe-space training, GLBTQ history month is October (reach out!), try poetry readings, hook up with the Student Activities group, etc.
At HACC, we are collaborating to create a GLBTQ libguide for our students.  As it stands, there is a “Diversity” guide which provides excellent information.  However, in order to provide service to all students and to treat everyone as a WHOLE, we are collecting materials and working across campus’ in order to provide the best service for our students and community.
Marketing: a librarian’s field guide to NFC
Ever hear of Near Field Communication?  No?  Well, it is basically a new way to transfer information (data) between phones similar to a QR code.  However, this type of marketing will allow people to just “tap” their phone to an icon and have that information transmitted through a short field blue-tooth connection.
What does this mean for libraries?  How can we use this technology?

  • Obviously, Marketing – outreach
  • Provide a quick way for people to register to library events
  • Replace locks?  Possibly for 24-hr labs, dorms, etc.  Replace the student ID
This technology is very new and the iPhone4s does not support it YET.  The phones that do support the technology include: Nokia C7, N9 and the Google NexusX phone.  Perhaps this is something to look forward to in the near future – experts predict 2012 🙂
Get off the bench: Outreach initiatives
This was a fantastic presentation discussing some easy (and cheap) ways to get students and the university community into the library – who doesn’t want that??  Here are some things I gathered from the talk:
  • Try performances at the library – this helps get people into the library as well as bring awareness to other students about different campus events.  This is a fun way to integrate departments across campus
  • A college author reception: bring in the faculty to have a pseudo-fancy event to celebrate the work they’ve published.  Offer cheese and crackers and display the work (MU might remember the Showcase of Scholarship).
  • Offer free tea and hot chocolate on late hours (HACC-york is possibly working with the tutoring center to provide a 24-hr open access environment for students for finals – maybe we could try this).
  • Anything having to do with a birthday (famous in the library-world or not) will bring people into the library.  Cake = people.
  • Offer study breaks – legos, games, crafts
  • Book-truck decoration contests – maybe campus groups?
  • 1st Friday exhibits in the library – this could be fun.
  • Write Thank You cards to people on campus that have helped out the library.  Maybe use some photographs from special collections for the front of the cards!
Going Mobile with Lincoln
This session discussed mobile marketing of the library (at Gettysburg College).  I went to this session because I am preparing a QR code presentation for Millersville University and I got some good ideas about marketing here.  The problem is: how do we get the website to go mobile – how do we tell students that they can access the library at all hours even when the library is closed?
           First, we need to know what students are using, who’s the target, and what values are there?
Here are some ways to market to students:
  • Partnerships with campus community groups
  • Table tents (in library) and maybe in the study rooms
  • Digital signage
  • Newspaper/stall publication
  • Stacks signage
Promote the message “Wherever you are.”  I like this because for my instruction I use QR codes so students can access their libguides at any moment when they need help.  I have been following the QR codes to track data and to see if people are actually using them – we cannot forget to assess what we are doing, or we begin to assume what the students are doing – and we all know what ASSuming does to us 😉
Hopefully you can take something away from these notes – I look forward to spearheading new initiatives at HACC from what I learned at PaLA.  So, just like last year – Thanks PaLA!


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Hey PaLA 2011!

Fall weather, classes starting, and PaLA conference-time is in the air!  

This year, I am presenting a poster with LibraryScenester called “Changing perspectives, building careers: library internships for undergrads.”  Learn how I (and other interns at Millersville University Library), gained invaluable experience and the motivation to continue further study in librarianship – so, be sure to stop by on Monday between 1-2pm! 🙂

It’s good to know, too, that I’ve never stayed overnight at a conference so this is going to be an entirely new experience for me.  Last year, I just walked down to PaLA which was being held about 4 blocks from my apartment – this year, I’m driving 3 hours up to State College (no worries, I’ve got playlists).

Here’s a few things that I’m bringing for my short stay at PaLA 2011:

  • My trusty laptop – Mostly because I have to work on a Lit midterm – haven’t decided whether to bring it to sessions – thoughts?
  • Multiple outfits– I’m terrible at choosing what to wear, hopefully my hotel roomies can help me out 🙂
  • My COAT – It’s going to be freezing and raining on Sunday, so come prepared!
  • iPod – for the car
  • Camera – I’ve never been to State College, and I thought taking photos at PaLA would be a fun way for me to relax between sessions.

Be sure to check back for notes from the sessions – thanks for having me again, PaLA 🙂


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