" /> The Dewey Library Blog: April 2011 Archives

« March 2011 | Main | May 2011 »

April 27, 2011

What is a Citation Generator?

If you were to hear the phrase citation generator what would you think of? Maybe you think of a magical website that would automatically cite all of your sources and save you hours of time. Or a large smoking machine from a mad scientist’s laboratory that pumps out citations at a mile a minute. Whatever it is that you think of let us set the record straight. Citation generators are meant as a research aide to organize and standardize your citations to help you have a more professional finished product.

You may be asking, how can I get my hands on some of these citation generators to try them out? Well, as always your library has compiled all of them in one easy place, the library website. These generators come in many forms, some are extensions to your web browser, some are all online, try a few of them out to see which one you like best!

You may have noticed a program called Endnote installed on all of the University computers; this is software that will help you to collect and organize bibliographic data. Endnote allows you to create “libraries��? where you can store data on various sources and generate citations using these sources. It is a great program because you can separate your sources depending on which project or assignment you are trying to complete. Some of you may be saying, I have never used Endnote, where can I find help? This is again where the University Libraries website can come in handy. All of the information you need to use Endnote can be found on a page dedicated to Endnote within the Libraries website. This will walk you through importing bibliographic data in to Endnote, which websites to use with Endnote, and also a link to Endnote’s support site should you run into any other problems. So check out Endnote, you will not be disappointed!

Along with Endnote there are few other citation generators that can be found on the Libraries’ website that are free! Zotero is an extension of the Mozilla Firefox browser. It allows you to create folders and assign citations taken from databases and websites to these folders for later use in your bibliography. It is excellent for the management and collection of all types of sources. Another is BibMe which produces citations in a variety of formats such as APA and MLA. It also includes an auto fill feature and the ability to toggle between various citation styles. StyleWizard is another free citation generator that allows users to create citations in MLA and APA formats for six basic types of sources. It also features step by step instructions on each page to walk you through the process of citing your sources. It’s best to check out a few of these generators to see which you like the best, and which has the features and citation styles you need. Plus, who doesn’t like things for free?

There are also subscription based citation generators with great features and comprehensive services for their users. Do not be scared away by the words subscription fee, both of these sites have very reasonable rates even for the most down and out undergraduate or graduate student. The first of these is called NoodleBib; it can format and alphabetize bibliographies for over 50 different types of sources. It features MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles, and allows for importation to Word documents and note taking. Now the big question, how much it? NoodleBib is only $8.00 for an entire year of service for an individual, so check it out, it is highly recommended and is considered one of the best subscription based generators! Along with NoodleBib, there is another subscription based citation generator named EasyBib. It costs $8.99 a year for students and it can format and alphabetize over 37 different types of sources. It also allows users to import citation data from databases and journal websites. Either one of these generators would be an invaluable help to any student or faculty member doing research, they are also a steal at less than ten dollars for a whole year!

Hopefully this has been a helpful introduction to citation generators, try a few out and you will find you can save time and be more organized. Make sure to read the “Common Errors��? section on the library website to avoid common problems when using citation generators. As always make sure to double check the citation, these generators are not the end all, and do make mistakes. Save yourself some time; make these sites work for you!

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

April 24, 2011

Dewey Workshops 4/25 – 4/29

April 27 is a marvelous date. Did you know?

- Both Samuel Morse and Ulysses S. Grant were born on this date.
- In 1983, Nolan Ryan became the strike-out king [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/gallery/featured/GAL1154952/6/7/index.htm] after hitting number 3,509.
- Is Freedom Day in South Africa, a holiday commemorating the first general election in 1994, which marked the end of apartheid.
- On Wednesday, April 27 at 3pm, Dewey library will hold a Social Welfare Research Seminar! This workshop is an introduction to library resources for social welfare students, including databases and selected Internet resources.

Sign up now! Stop by the reference desk, call 442-3691, email dewclass@albany.edu, or register online (sorry, Mr. Morse, telegraphs not accepted).

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 20, 2011

Dewey Librarians are Happy to Help!

Have you ever been working on a project, assignment, or paper and found yourself at a total dead end when it comes to finding new sources or references? Your first instinct was probably to delve deeper into the University Libraries website to look for any scrap of information you may have missed. You may have also gone to the help guide on the website for whatever subject you are researching. You may have even called the reference desk for help with your problem. As a last ditch effort you even came down to the library and went to the reference desk to get one on one help. All of these to no avail, so what is a desperate student like yourself supposed to do in this situation?

Well, it sounds like it’s time to bring in the big guns.

By big guns we mean the four bibliographers that cover different subjects here at the Dewey Library. All joking aside, students are encouraged to contact these people for help at any stage of a research project or assignment. If you feel you are having trouble or just need a good place to start these people are experts in their respective fields and can help you! They all have years of experience and trust me they are very nice people and are always willing to help. Here is the information for all of the subject bibliographers:

Elaine M. Lasda Bergman
Bibliographer for Dewey Reference, Social Welfare, and Gerontology
(518) 442-3695

Mary Jane Brustman
Bibliographer for Criminal Justice

Deborah Bernnard
Bibliographer for Information Studies
(518) 442-3699

Richard Irving
Bibliographer for Political Science, Public Administration & Policy, and Law
(518) 442-3698

Sometimes you may need to contact a subject specialist who is outside your normal field. There is a complete listing of library subject specialists available on the library website, look for it under the "Research Assistance" tab.

So, do not hesitate to call or email them and set up an appointment to get help for your most recent project or assignment. They are here to help and are happy to sit down and work through a problem with you.

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

April 19, 2011

Librarians in the Field: An Interview with Chrissie Morrison

Chrissie Morrison is the latest addition to the Dewey blog’s series of interviews with librarians in the field. She is the Teen librarian at the East Greenbush Community Library and an avid reader and blogger. Read on to learn more about her valuable insights into the world of public libraries and teen services.

Q: Welcome to the Dewey blog! Tell us a little about yourself:
A: Thank you! I often tell people, as a way of explaining why I like to work with tweens and teens, “I am an adult because it is a life stage of the human body. I will NEVER be a grown-up.��? I read YA books because I like them better, not just because it’s a part of my job, and I can’t imagine a life lived without video games. And even though I am a wife and a mother of two, I still FEEL like a teenager – so working with teens is a perfect cover!

Q: What does a typical day for you at “The Jungle��? look like?
A: It honestly depends on the day of the week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are days when I typically sit in the Teen Area (aka “The Jungle��?) and try to get some work done while making myself available to the tweens and teens (which I often just call “teens��? for simplicity’s sake) who come in to hang out and/or do their homework after school. Some days are relatively quiet and I will only see a handful of teens; on other days, however, The Jungle will be packed with teens playing board games, working on homework, or just sitting around talking. Tuesday afternoons are when we have our teen programs like Anime Club, Book Group, and Teen Advisory Group (TAG). Friday afternoons are when we have Teen Café – a “happy hour��? of sorts where teens have (free) access to video games, laptops, and popcorn to celebrate the end of the school week.

Q: Why did you decide to go into YA librarianship?
A: I actually fell into YA librarianship completely by accident! I started off with a BS in Elementary Education, with a science concentration, and an English minor. To fulfill my teacher’s certificate, I had to get a masters degree. I decided to skip the “normal��? masters many elementary teachers will get (reading) to give myself some more career options. When I applied to UAlbany, I fully intended to get my MSIS as a SLMS and go back to teaching when I was done. When degree requirements began to change at the state level, I decided to switch to the public library track so I could still graduate “on time.��? I fell in love with public libraries during my required internship, and I even let my teaching certificate expire a couple of years ago – with absolutely no regrets!

Q: What are your favorite – and least favorite – things about working with teens and tweens?

A: My least favorite thing is having to remind people that not all teens are “bad.��? Sure, I deal with some teens who are rude and cause more than their fair share of trouble… But I also work with a lot of helpful, respectful, and energetic teens.

My favorite thing about working with teens is the notion of endless possibility. We all know that teens are the future (as scary as that sometimes seems!), but not everyone has the opportunity to work directly with teens and to help them figure out how they want to shape the future. When I work with teens, I am often awed by their ingenuity and how passionate they can be. My library teens restore my faith in humanity on a regular basis.

Q: You have a great blog called Librarina. Most of your blog is focused on teen book reviews, but there are also a few informational blogs about current events as well as some promotional blogs for library programming. What was your motivation for starting a blog? Who do you see as your primary readership, and how do you try to promote it to them?
A: I started my blog as a way to keep track of my own reading. I figured it could probably be a valuable readers’ advisory tool, too, if I kept it up to date. I don’t have a huge readership, but that doesn’t matter to me. While I had hoped to get my library teens reading the blog for book suggestions, I think most of my readers are likely adults who work with teens. I am doing my best to get more “real live teens��? interested in the blog by linking my blog to my Facebook wall, but it’s too soon to say if that has made a difference yet.

Q: I understand that you were in Missouri last week to present a series of teen summer reading workshops. What workshop are you the most jazzed up about?
A: I am very passionate about promoting the message that teen services are a necessary part of public library services. Public libraries are a community center, and that means that we need to keep our services relevant to ALL age groups! I often hear people complain if the teens aren’t studying or reading books the whole time they are at the library – but we have plenty of adults who only come in to use the free computers and to borrow DVDs. Why should teens be held to a higher standard?

Q: How do you make summer reading programs fun for older children and young adults?
A: The TAG at my library has done a great job helping me revamp our Teen Summer Reading Program (SRP) so that we can keep middle- and high-schoolers reading during the summer. Many schools have required reading during the summer anyway, so we just need to find a way to make sure teens know about our SRP and why they should sign up. We have lots fun programs, like a Karaoke Kick-Off, and great raffles, like $20 cash! To earn raffle tickets, teens simply report on their reading habits and attend teen programs.

Q: What would be your advice for librarians interested in entering the YA world?
A: The most important advice I can give is to be yourself. If you are not genuine, teens will know. They can tell when an adult is trying too hard to be cool, so just face the fact that you aren’t cool anymore and move on! Also, be prepared to develop a split personality. It’s extremely rare to get a job working with only teens, so you’re most likely going to need to brush up on your storytime skills and/or be ready to perform readers’ advisory at the adult reference desk.

The Dewey Library Blog would thank Mrs. Morrison for her participation in today’s blog. This interview reaffirms the flexibility, creativity, and continuous learning required by so many of today’s library positions.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 17, 2011

Dewey Workshops 4/18 – 4/22

April 18 is a remarkable day. Did you know?

- In 1775, Paul Revere took a midnight ride.
- An earthquake [http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist10/06timeline.html] struck San Francisco in 1906, sparking a fire that raged unchecked for three days.
- There will be an Evidence Based Practice workshop for social welfare students at 10am on April 18, 2011! Learn to find and evaluate research information (Prerequisite: Social Welfare Research Seminar).

Sign up now so you can ace that final project. Stop by the reference desk, call 442-3691, email dewclass@albany.edu, or register online.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 14, 2011

LibQUAL+ Survey – Voice your opinion AND enter to win a free iPad2!

Are you a current UAlbany student, faculty, or staff member? Then we want to hear from you! Voice your opinion and help influence the future of the UA Libraries by filling out the quick LibQUAL+ Survey Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

After completing the survey, if you submit your email address (which will not be associated with your responses), you will be entered to win an iPad2!

Have questions? Check out the FAQ or contact Mary F. Casserly at mcasserly@uamail.albany.edu or Carol L. Anderson at canderson@uamail.albany.edu or 518-442-3546.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 13, 2011

Copyright Registration

Since the Copyright Act of 1977, no one is required to register their work with the Copyright Office in order to enjoy copyright protection. However, one may still register one’s work to obtain certain benefits. Registration is especially beneficial to those who expect to exploit their works for financial gain.

The Copyright Office provides good basic information about copyright and registration in their Frequently Asked Questions page: Copyright Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ also includes information regarding copyright registration.

The Copyright Office also provides very good basic information regarding copyright and copyright registration in their Circular no. 1, “Copyright Basics��?. Here is some of the information from that Circular regarding registering copyright.

“In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Among these advantages are the following:
• Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
• Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
• If made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
• If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
• Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies. “

The Copyright Office has provided a method for electronically submitting copyright registration applications through their Electronic Copyright Office – eCO. The registration application form is available online for viewing any time:
Application for copyright registration (form CO)

More about registration from “Copyright Basics��?: “Registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to make another registration when the work becomes published, although the copyright owner may register the published edition, if desired.��? Preregistration is also available for unpublished works. On the Copyright Office page regarding preregistration they list possible benefits:
“You may benefit by preregistering your work if:
• you think it’s likely someone may infringe your work before it is released; and,
• you have started your work but have not finished it.
You can preregister your work only if:
• your work is unpublished; and,
• creation of your work has begun; and,
• your work is being prepared for commercial distribution; and,
• your work is one of the following: motion picture, musical work, sound recording, computer program, book, or advertising photograph.��?

For more detailed information regarding copyright registration see The Copyright Office web pages: www.copyright.gov.

Blog post created by Lorre Smith

April 12, 2011

New and Improved: Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text

Attention Criminal Justice students! There is a brand new database available to you through the University Libraries website. It is called Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text; it is powered by the popular EBSCO family of databases. Ebsco has purchased the Criminal Justice Abstracts database, formerly hosted by SAGE, and added full text capabilities. This improved database has many more features than its predecessor and now you have the unique opportunity to use this website for all of your future research and assignments.

One of the most impressive aspects of this database is the wide variety of topics within Criminal Justice that it covers; here are some of those topics:
• Criminology
• Criminal Justice
• Corrections and Prisons
• Criminal Investigation
• Forensic Sciences & Investigation
• Substance Abuse & Addiction
• Probation & Parole

The database houses over 300,000 records from all of these categories along with bibliographic records and of course full text. There are over 500 titles with cover to cover full text, allowing for easy access and searching. This new database even allows for searchable references. The database also contains resources from countries all over the world to highlight the globalization of Criminal Justice and the ground breaking research being done all over the world. The database includes records that are compiled from over 200 publications. Of these 200 publications there are over 180 peer reviewed journals included within the database. The database even houses full text books and monographs!

One of the best parts of this database is that it is run by EBSCO, one of the most comprehensive and well known publishers in the world of academic research. Many of you are probably familiar with the EBSCO interface so searching within this new database should take little to no adjustment on your part. You will find all of the same features you are used to with other EBSCO databases. There is still the same search options that allow you to assign a field to each search term as well as link search terms with the Boolean operators AND, OR, as well as NOT. The interface allows you to limit your search to full text as well as limit it to publication type and whether it is peer reviewed or not.

With all of the new features of this database along with the user friendly EBSCO interface you should have no problem using this database to its fullest potential. It will be a huge help to you as you research and compile information for papers and assignment, so get out there and check it out, you will not be disappointed!

If you have questions about criminal justice research, please contact Mary Jane Brustman, our criminal justice bibliographer. She can be reached at 442-3540 or by email at mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu.

blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

April 9, 2011

Dewey Workshops 4/11 – 4/15

Historically, April 13 is an amazing day. Did you know?

- It’s Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.
- In 1796, the first Indian elephant arrived in the US.
- The Challenger 5 space shuttle returned from its mission in 1984
- At 1pm on April 13, 2011 there will be an Introduction to Information Resources workshop for gerontology students! This course provides a basic overview of key resources, including reference works, databases, and search tips.

Researching a paper about gerontological social work? Stop by the reference desk, call 442-3691, email dewclass@albany.edu, or register online .

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 8, 2011

Photo of the Week: On the New Books Shelf

small newbooks 009.jpg

Have you browsed the New Books Shelf lately? Here are a few of our new offerings. Come take a look to see what else might be there!

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

April 6, 2011

The Moment…

Imagine this moment: You have finished your latest research paper or assignment. It has been exhaustively researched, written, revised, edited, tweaked, and saved. Your hand is poised over the print button as you savor this moment and all of the impending free time you are about to have. Free time in which you can do anything you want, watch TV, see friends, or just catch up on sleep. You then come to a horrifying realization: you have not completed your reference page yet! You flash back to the last time you wrote a paper, and the pain you went through trying to correctly cite all of your sources. Letters start to flash before your eyes, APA, MLA, ASA, Chicago, and you begin to panic…

There’s no need to panic! The University Libraries are here to help. We have many resources designed to help you quickly and easily cite your sources in a variety of formats and styles. Whether you are looking for help on line, or in print we have you covered, here are a few of the options to help with citing your sources.

One of the newest citation aids available on the Library website is CitationFox. This resource was created by the User Services Department and it is available for MLA and APA citation formats. It allows you to pick the type of source you are citing such as a book, article, or journal and further break it down by the number of authors or whether it is in print or online. You can then look at various examples as well as a template that instructs you on where to place the various pieces of information from the source. Try CitationFox and you will find it is extremely helpful when completing that pesky reference page!

Another great resource to use on the library style guides website is the “When and Why to Cite Sources page. This is a great resource complied by the University that will walk you through the process of citing various sources. It has helpful information on plagiarism, when you need to cite a source, and when you do not need to cite a source. It also deals with the difference between common knowledge, paraphrasing, and direct quotes and gives examples of each. It also answers the age old question, “Why cite sources?��? Overall it is a great resource and definitely a good place to get started or if you are ever stuck on a particularly difficult citation question.

Finally, on this page there are a variety of basic style guides for various citation styles. There are guides for APA, one was produced by the University Libraries and the other comes directly from the American Psychological Association. There is an MLA guide created by the University Libraries and both Chicago and American Sociological Society guides directly from their websites. These will give you the basics of all of the above mentioned formats and have you well on your way to a successful reference page.

Some people prefer to use a book, especially if they are working in the library, to complete a reference page. Here at Dewey we have a wide variety of print resources for all of your citation needs. If you are not finding some of these citation books on the shelf they may be on reserve, so visit the circulation desk and you can check it out from there. If you do take out a reserved item it often has a time limit on it, generally three hours, so manage your time wisely! Here are a few of the most popular print citation resources we have at the library:


American Psychological Association. (2010). (6th ed.). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Dewey REF BF76.7 P83 2010, also available for 24 hour loan in Dewey Reserves

Gibaldi, J. (2008). (3rd ed.). MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. New York: Modern Language Association of America.
Dewey REF PN 147 G444

Chicago Style
The Chicago Manual of Style. (2003). (15th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dewey REF Z253 U69

Legal Citations
The Blue Book: a uniform system of citation (2005). Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Law Review Association.
Dewey REF KF 246 U54X

If you have any questions about citing your sources, please feel free to ask a librarian for assistance. You can call us at 442-3691, email us at dewref@albany.edu, or drop by the reference desk!

Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles

April 5, 2011

Librarians in the Field: An Interview with Mary Jane Brustman

The UAlbany librarian that we'd like to introduce you to today is Mary Jane Brustman, the Associate Director for Public Services. She has worn many hats, including: administrator for Reference. Information Literacy, Information Commons, and Access Services; head of Dewey Library; Criminal Justice bibliographer and previously, Social Welfare bibliographer; and chair of several different ALA committees. Mary Jane is a graduate of UAlbany’s School of Library and Information Science (now Department of Information Studies.) As an administrator and subject bibliographer, she provides a unique viewpoint of both the big picture and the day-to-day operations within an academic library.

Q: Congratulations on your appointment as Associate Director for Public and Access Services! What does a typical day look like for you in your position?
A: Three University Library-Science Library department heads report to me – Reference, Information Literacy (including Interactive Media Center), and Access Services (including Circulation, Reserves, Media & Interlibrary Loan). I am also responsible for the Information Commons for the University Libraries and serve as bibliographer for Criminal Justice. So it’s busy every day. Absolutely never dull.

I get lots of e-mail, people letting me know what’s going on, cc’ing me on messages, asking what we/they should do, etc. People stop by to fill me in or consult with me several times per day. And I have lots of meetings scattered throughout the week, mainly with managers and other people in the libraries, but also with patrons, ITS (the university’s Information Technology Services), others on campus. Every two weeks the Dean, Associate Directors, and Head of Dewey Library get together to discuss library-wide policy issues and once a month we have a division-wide Public Services meeting. There are memos to write, recommendations, etc. There is problem-solving-- on personnel and other issues. Occasionally I handle patron complaints—which are surprisingly few, given the huge numbers of patrons using the Libraries (1.7+million users at the University Library alone last year).
Other activities occur every few days or so. Several committees report to me (including the Website Development Committee and working groups for the EBSCO Discovery service and our Facebook page) so I need to keep on top of their concerns and progress. It’s very important to keep abreast of what’s going on in other libraries, with new technology, and the profession generally. Listservs, such as infocommons-l (moderated at Binghamton University) or stars-l (ALA, RUSA) on ILL keep ideas in front of me, but I also like to find time to read professional journals or magazines. Colleagues here and from professional organizations constantly share information and ideas in person and via e-mail and listservs.

Four hours a week I work at a reference desk. I do this because I enjoy it (and it was the original reason I became a librarian 34 years ago!) and because it keeps me in touch with who our patrons are and how our services are working. As criminal justice librarian I buy books and other criminal justice resources and occasionally meet with researchers and speak to classes. Currently, there is committee work for two ALA LLAMA Committees. Also, I do a little scholarly work --annual revisions of the criminal justice section of Resources for College Libraries, writing occasional book reviews, and service on a journal editorial board.

Q: How do you translate the library’s mission into practical programs for the student body? Are there any particular goals that you are always seeking to fulfill when making administrative decisions?
A: Our goal is always to provide the best service to our students, faculty and researchers to further their studies, research and teaching. Public Services facilitates access to resources, offers research assistance, and teaches effective use and evaluation of resources. We work with ITS and our own facilities people to provide the best possible research and study environments within the Libraries and also work to provide anytime/anywhere access to the best extent possible. Translating the mission into practical programs involves thinking and talking about what we might do, looking at the literature, inquiring about what other libraries have done, and coming up with a plan to put our ideas into operation. For new initiatives we usually appoint a committee or working group. I am invariably pleased with the results of their work. We have a very talented and committed staff. We are always aware of the need to use our funds as effectively as possible. Sometimes this leads to a win/win as when we implemented the RapidILL system for ILL two years ago. We got faster and less expensive service.
We always have something in mind to improve services. Many of these ideas are stimulated by what we read and hear about. In a library-wide effort over the past few months we had several task forces make recommendations for additional initiatives. Many excellent ideas emerged, but most require more resources to be effectively carried out.
A few things we’ve been working on: we recently completed a mobile website (access with your phone here [http://library.albany.edu/mobile]) for the Libraries. We have in mind other mobile improvements involving QR codes and transferring catalog information to devices. Our ILL Coordinator is currently using ILLIAD software to further streamline some of our interlibrary loan processes. We also have been working on a long-term plan to gradually renovate the University Library to make it a more usable and pleasant space. To be an effective librarian you need to be a life-long learner who is receptive to new ideas.

Q: As an administrator with several titles, you must do a lot of juggling. How do you prioritize and stay afloat when managing several different departments?
A: You need to have intelligent, well-organized, and committed department managers—which we are very fortunate to have at the University Libraries. Trudi Jacobson, Cathy Dwyer, Kabel Stanwicks, Regina Conboy and Tim Jackson are in my division. I am also most fortunate to have a Dean of Libraries, Mary Casserly, who I can frequently consult for sound advice. It is very important generally to have good lines of communication, positive working relationships, and ready sources for information.

Issues that directly involve patrons invariably come first. Other issues may or may not be extremely time sensitive. Some are cyclical (beginning of every semester), some need to wait for when staff have slower times (between semesters, etc.). Other things we do are constant. It doesn’t all work like clockwork! There are times when the pace in the Libraries is very frenetic. The person in my position needs to be flexible and also to plan for sometimes staying late, sometimes finishing work at home. It’s very important to maintain balance and keep the workplace a positive place for all of us.

Q: Is there a specific time management software or technique that you could recommend to our readers?
A: I would like to find an optimal software program to keep me on track or to help me organize. I keep extensive “to do��? lists, use Microsoft Outlook for calendaring. E-mail is a great “memory bank��? and alternate file cabinet. I try to leave a certain amount of time each day for the unexpected as well as catching up on projects. Regularly scheduled meetings keep particular projects or responsibility areas on track.

Q: In today’s economy, libraries are not a well-funded oasis in the midst of troubled times. How do you reconcile financial limitations with the demands of a mid-sized academic library?
A: This is very difficult. We are very short of staff in the Libraries. Our staff members have stepped up in a great way, but there is a limit to how many responsibilities each person can take on. We as a group have very high standards and feel a lot of pressure to provide the same high quality services and resources regardless of funding. Over the past few years we have had to make many difficult choices about purchases of resources and filling of positions.

I am particularly concerned about hiring. New librarians are an important way of keeping the intellectual environment and profession fresh and energized. We’ve had several terrific Department of Information Studies students work for us. It has been very disappointing that we haven’t been able to hire some of them. It is frustrating when we can’t move forward with ideas that we’ve developed. We try to find ways to do more with less and sometimes technology can be a big help in that regard.

Q: You’ve mentioned the importance of getting meaningfully involved with professional associations, and I see that you’ve taken an active part in both the ALA, a national library organization, and the CDLC, a local library council. Why are professional memberships so vitally important to the library field, and what advice can you give future librarians about finding one to join and getting involved?
A: Being involved in ALA has been absolutely essential in my development as a librarian. It’s where I observed and tried out leadership and “management��? skills, where I found several role models for my career as a librarian. Some people I have met at ALA have developed deep expertise in certain areas of librarianship; others have found success in management and leadership. This experience has been very important to me for finding confidence and a sense of the possibilities of what I and my library might do. When I initially joined ALA there was no group for criminal justice. At the urging of my supervisor at the time, Barbara Kemp (now at the US Naval Academy), I circulated a petition and created the now 13 year old Criminal Justice/Criminology Discussion Group. This offered opportunities to talk about the challenges of criminal justice collection building and services and to directly impact the products of vendors. It also opened up opportunities for me for professional presentations and publication.
Professional organizations engage in many projects of critical importance to librarians and libraries. Committees I’ve worked on have put on programs, mounted joint websites with subject resources, drafted standards, sponsored listservs , been involved in development of products, and had discussions about how-to provide services, etc. I have served on committees with librarians from libraries that do amazing things (note the current rapid development in information and learning commons). Conferences are an important way to renew, learn, and become connected to a community.

For the beginning librarian or someone working in a fairly general area (reference or information literacy, for instance) local organizations can be terrific. Many have excellent programs, and it is relatively easy to join committees or even be an officer. For those with narrower areas of expertise, like criminal justice, national organizations are essential. Visitors are usually welcome at committee meetings. Organizational websites provide essential information on activities and specialties of organizations, but there is no substitute for a mentor who knows his/her way around.

The Dewey Library Blog would like to extend a sincere thank you to Mary Jane for sharing her knowledge and experience with our readers. For more information about her position and a selection of published materials, please visit the Library Administration web page].

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 3, 2011

Dewey Workshops 4/4 – 4/8

A lot of awesome things have happened on April 8. Did you know?

- It’s Buddha’s birthday.
- The 17th Amendment [http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=58#] was ratified on April 8, 1913.
- There will be an Evidence Based Practice seminar at 11am on April 8, 2011! Learn to find and evaluate research information for clinical social work practice (Prerequisite: Social Welfare Research Seminar).

Sign up now! Stop by the reference desk, call 442-3691, email dewclass@albany.edu, or register online.

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

April 1, 2011

Photo of the Week: Who is an April Fool?

small sunycard 001.jpg

Who is an April Fool? Not this student, because she brought her SUNYCard to the Library! SUNYCard not only allows you to borrow materials from the library but also gives you the ability to print documents and make photocopies. Make sure you have your card with you when you're on campus!

Photo credit: Morris Stilson