May 20, 2014

Summer Reading: Novels Featuring Librarians

As summer finally approaches the Dewey Library thought it would be great to highlight some fiction that features yours truly, the librarian, as a central character. These books can be picked up physically at your local library or downloaded onto your e-reader.

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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004.

Audrey Niffenegger’s novel bucks the librarian-as-protagonist trend by not only featuring a male lead but by also being immensely popular. The 2.5 million-copy seller is a love story centered around a man who involuntarily time travels while his wife attempts to deal with the aftermath. The interesting narrative structure is the perfect backdrop for a lazy summer afternoon.


The Archivist by Martha Cooley. Boston: Little Brown, 1998

T.S. Eliot’s unopened letters to Emily Hale have been sitting in the Firestone Library at Princeton University for over 50 years. In less than six years, January 1st 2020, the letters will be opened. In the meantime we can all read this fictionalized account of events surrounding the letters. The story focuses around the archivist Matthias Lane and a graduate student, Roberta Spire. Throughout the course of the book the pair recount their past and posit toward the future as they decide whether or not to open the forbidden box of letters.

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Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989 

One of Sinclair Lewis’ most popular novels, Main Street, centers on Carol Kennicott. Our protagonist is a librarian who moves away from the city and into a much quieter setting. Unhappy with the new environment, Carol attempts to incorporate cosmopolitan elements into her small-town world and makes a fool of herself in the process. The satirical text was written during a time when Americans were moving towards life in more “wholesome” towns and can be picked up at a number of local libraries.

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Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg. New York: Anchor Books, 2011.

This memoir encapsulates a Harvard graduate’s move from an Ivy League school into the depths of a Boston prison. Steinberg begins his tale as a graduate out of work and searching for a meaningful occupation. The reader follows Avi as he transitions between freelance stints into the Craigslist-posted job of a prison librarian. The author uses anecdotes and descriptions of jailhouse soap operas to eleoquently transcribe how the Public Library still matters for every member of a community - a place where all people can exchange ideas regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status.

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The Librarian from the Black Lagoon written by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee. New York: Cartwheel Books, 2008.

As we look towards the end of the semester it’s worthwhile to remember how intimidating the first few days of graduate school felt. This illustrated book reminds us of how much we have in common with our younger relatives by centering on a student’s first day of school. Our protagonist Hubie envisions his first visit to a library as treacherous, a place where broken rules are punishable in the most extreme ways. It isn’t until after he meets the librarian that Hubie realizes the endless possibilities contained in his school library. This is a fun title to read to elementary students that not only entertains but also dispels popular myths about their local library.


Blog post created by Mark Seabury

April 8, 2014

A New Framework for Information Literacy

trudibiopic.jpegIn August 2012, the Board of Directors of the Association of College and Research Libraries convened a task force to update the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Co-chaired by Trudi Jacobson, Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University Libraries, the task force is made up of leaders in the information literacy field and higher education. They have recently released the draft of the first part of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education for review and comment from the field. This section of the Framework includes and introduction, the first three threshold concepts, a glossary and a bibliography. The second section of the draft, including more threshold concepts and sample scenarios, is slated for release this month.

This Framework is centered on the idea of threshold concepts, a pedagogical approach that has been explored in many disciplines in recent years but has only recently been applied to information literacy instruction. According to the draft's introduction, "threshold concepts are those challenging 'gateway' or portal concepts through which students must pass in order to develop genuine expertise within a discipline, profession, or knowledge domain." The first threshold in the draft, "scholarship is a conversation," focuses on a student's understanding that the body of knowledge on any topic is not represented by a single authoritative voice proclaiming the "truth," but is comprised of a variety of perspectives, which must be evaluated on their evidentiary merits.

The task-force's embrace of threshold concepts reflects changes in the information landscape over the past decade and reflects the evolving needs of students as both information producers and consumers. It also reflects the growing understanding the information literacy should be incorporated into the disciplines, requiring a flexible tool that can easily be adapted by disciplinary faculty. According to Jacobson:

"Threshold concepts are an entry point into information literacy that resonates with the faculty members I’ve spoken with. We need to encourage disciplinary faculty members to incorporate information literacy instruction into their courses, or to frame what they are already teaching. One-time, course-related sessions only provide an opportunity to explore the tip of the iceberg, and need to be augmented with faculty contributions. We believe that the framework will encourage the discussions necessary for this movement."

The task force is accepting feedback on the draft through April 15.

The University Libraries have many resources that add to the information literacy conversation, including:

Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction by Maria T. Accardi. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2013. Dewey Library / Z 711.25 C65 A27 2013.

The Information Behavior of a New Generation: Children and Teens in the 21st Century edited by Jamshid Beheshti and Andrew Large. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013. Dewey Library / ZA 3075 I5325 2013.

Rethinking Information Literacy: A Practical Framework for Supporting Learning edited by Jane Secker, et al. London: Facet, 2013. University Library / ZA 3075 S384X 2013.

Ways of Experiencing Information Literacy: Making the Case for a Relational Approach by Susie Andretta. Oxford, UK: Chandos Pub., 2012. Dewey Library / ZA 3075 A53 2012.

For more information on resources on information literacy, contact Deborah Bernnard, Library and Information Science bibliographer, at 442-3699.

Post created by Cary Gouldin.

March 18, 2014

New In Information Studies: Libraries and Social Media

Networked Library.jpgLibraries of all kinds have been using social media for a variety of purposes. The most common use is as a marketing tool for the promotion of library resources, services, and news and events as well as the library's grand in general. Keeping users informed about things like library closings and network updates is also a common function of social media platforms in libraries. Many of these platforms can also serve as in informal focus group, enabling staff to collect feedback from patrons on services and programming and information about what users want from their institution. A less common function, but one that offers the most opportunity for interaction with patrons via social media, is the opportunity to conduct short reference interviews, from providing directional information to basic research instruction.

One of the keys to the successful incorporation of social media in the library is careful planning, implementation and management of activities. The Dewey Library has recently added several books to the collection that will help librarians navigate social media of all kinds:

Google This!: Putting Google and Other Social Media Sites to Work for Your Library by Terry Ballard. Oxford, UK: Chandos Pub., 2012. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 S63 B35 2012.

Managing Social Media in Libraries: Finding Collaboration, Coordination and Focus by Troy A. Swanson. Oxford, UK: Chandos Pub., 2012. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 S63 S93X 2012.

The Networked Library: A Guide for the Educational Use of Social Networking Sites by Melissa A. Purcell. Santa Barbara, CA: Linworth, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 675 S3 P86 2012.

Using Social Media in Libraries: Best Practices
edited by Charles Harmon and Michael Messina. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 S63 U85 2013.

Strategic Planning for Social Media in Libraries by Sarah K. Steiner. Chicago: ALA TechSource, an imprint of the American Library Association, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 S63 S74 2012.

For more information on resources on library and information science, contact subject specialist Deborah Bernnard at 442-3699 or

Post created by Cary Gouldin

February 11, 2014

Have You Signed the Declaration for the Right to Libraries?

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In communities all across the country and around the world, people of all ages and walks of life turn to their local libraries for everything from the hometown newspaper and books on organic gardening, to demographic data and an in depth exploration of factors that lead to the fall of the Roman Empire. For many patrons, libraries provide a much needed bridge over the digital divide, giving them access to essential online resources for everything from finding a job to understanding a medical diagnosis. Time and again, libraries have demonstrated that they play a varied and essential role in their communities.

The American Library Association (ALA) believes so strongly in the fundamental role of libraries, that it has declared having vibrant libraries in our communities a fundamental right. To that end, it has drafted a “Declaration for the Right to Libraries”, a document designed to build public support for libraries of all kinds. In support of these efforts, libraries across the country have been holding signing ceremonies, giving community members the opportunity to publicly declare their support for libraries by signing the declaration.

Last semester, UAlbany librarian Carol Anne Germain worked with the Student Chapter of the American Library Association (SCALA) to host a signature drive on the uptown and downtown campuses. According to Germain: "It was an exciting and positive event which emphasized the value of libraries and librarians, and prompted many signers to comment on how libraries had changed their lives." A total of 1060 people signed the petition! Way to go UAlbany!

If you missed this opportunity to sign in person, don’t fret! Library lovers across the country can sign via the ALA’s website. To date, 5957 individuals have added their virtual signatures. We hope you will add yours.

Of course, we at Dewey love libraries and believe that they are essential to the social, educational and economic life of a community. We have a plethora of resources on libraries and their communities. Here are a few to get you started:

The Atlas of New Librarianship by R. David Lankes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries, 2011. Dewey Library / Reference: Z 665 L36 2011.

The Library as Place: History, Community, and Culture edited by John E. Buschman and Gloria J. Leckie. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007. Dewey Library / Z 716.4 L485 2007.

Libraries, Community, and Technology by Andy Barnett. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2002. Dewey Library / Z 716.4 B29 2002.

Libraries and Society: Role, Responsibility and Future in an Age of Change edited by David Baker and Wendy Evans. Oxford, UK: Chandos Pub., 2011. Dewey Library / Z 716.4 L465X 2011.

Linking Literacy and Libraries in Global Communities by Marlene Asselin and Ray Doiron. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2013. Dewey Library / In Processing.

Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community by Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie, and Paulette M. Rothbauer. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, c2006. Dewey Library / Z 1003 R75 2006.

For more information on libraries’ impact, contact Deborah Bernnard, Library and Information Science Bibliographer, at or 442-3699.

Post created by Cary Gouldin.

December 10, 2013

New Information Studies Books on Technology

Is there such thing as too many books? Of course not! As long as they keep publishing them, we’ll keep buying them. That’s how we help keep the downtown campus on top of new ideas and hot trends in the fields. Among our recent acquisitions for the Information Science collection are several books focusing on the technical side of things. Check them out!

Information dynamics.jpgInformation Dynamics in Virtual Worlds: Gaming and Beyond by Woody Evans. Oxford: Chandos Publishing, 2011. Dewey Library/ GV 1469.3 E9367.

Presents a broad examination of the nature of virtual worlds and the potential they provide in managing and expressing information practices, grounding information professionals and students of new media in the fundamental elements of virtual worlds and online gaming. The book details the practical issues in finding and using information in virtual environments and presents a general theory of librarianship as it relates to virtual gaming worlds. It lays out a set of best practices for meeting the needs of the new generation of library users and explores ways in which information literacy can be approached in virtual worlds. Final chapters examine the efficacy of conventional information evaluation techniques in the virtual world.

Convergence.jpgConvergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations: New Information Support Models by Christopher D. Barth. Oxford: Chandos, 2011. Dewey Library/ Z 675 U5 B327 2011.

This book explores the convergence of library and technology support in higher education. Over the past 15 years, a number of institutions have pursued merging library and technology services into a single information support organization. These mergers have taken different forms, but all seek to redefine information support in a way that promotes the interdisciplinary use of information. The continuing growth of the Internet and digitally-based services, coupled with economic pressures, will force libraries and technology organizations to look closely at long-held assumptions of how their teams are organized and how work is divided and shared. This book provides useful and practical guidance on converged information organizations as an effective response to change in the information profession.

Digital Media.jpgDigital Media: Technological and Social Challenges of the Interactive World edited by Megan A. Winget and William Aspray. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011. Dewey Library/ZA 4045 D54 2011.

Digital media has exploded over the past quarter century and in particular the past decade. As varieties of digital media multiply, scholars are beginning to examine its origins, organization, and preservation, which present new challenges compared to traditional media. The essays in this collection are the product of a workshop designed to examine these issues from a variety of perspectives. Participants were drawn from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from humanities and fine arts to communication theory. The book is divided into four parts: preservation, focusing on the problems of archiving digital media for long-term preservation; the humanities, which offers a human-centered view of digital media, focusing on the interaction between technological changes and cultural practices; organization, which goes beyond the study of digital artifacts in isolation to consider the context, collection, and arrangement of objects; and the historical, examining how our perspectives on digital media have changed over time and how issues like the digital divide and digital production have changed as technology has changed.

UX for Libraries.jpgUser Experience (UX) Design for Libraries by Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches. Chicago: ALA TechSource, 2012. Dewey Library/Z 674.75 W67 S43 2012.

User experience (UX) characterizes how a person feels about using a product, system or service. UX design incorporates the practical aspects of utility, ease of use and efficiency to make your web design and functionality decisions with patrons in mind. This results in a better design, a more intuitive interface, and a more enjoyable experience. This book shows you how to get there by providing hands-on steps and best practices for UX design principles, practices, and tools to engage with patrons online and build the best web presence for your library. You will find out how to conduct a usability test, perform a card sort, make decisions on how to build the architecture of your site, create personas as a cornerstone of your website planning process, create a content strategy, and perform an experience-based evaluation of your site.

For more information on these and other resources in information science, contact bibliographer Deborah Bernnard at 442-3699 or

Blog post created by Deborah Bernnard and Cary Gouldin

November 5, 2013

New and Noteworthy for Information Studies students in the School Media track

Students who are in the School Media track of the Information Studies program will be interested in the following new acquisitions at the Dewey Library. Dewey collects resources that cover the art of delivering library services to youth as well as resources that identify important trends in children’s literature.

reference-sources-and-services-for-youth-gallery-1-240x350.pngHarper, M. Reference Sources and Services for Youth. New York, Neal Schuman, 2011
Dewey, Z 675 S3 H266 2011
Useful for both Public and School Media Librarians, this book is a comprehensive overview of reference services’ history, present and future. The author pays particular attention to the challenges of providing reference services to children and youth at different developmental stages. She also provides a useful primer on creating a core reference collection. There are chapters on using online reference and government web sites appropriate for youth. Each chapter ends with exercises and scenarios designed to help the reader think like a practitioner.

youth serving libraries.JPGFarmer, L.S.J. Youth-Serving Libraries in Japan, Russia and the United States. Lanham, MD. Scarecrow, 2012
This unique work presents perspectives from youth-serving librarians from Japan, Russia and the United States. Each country’s history, political climate and educational and social history is described in relation to its libraries. Current issues and future trends are also considered. Practitioners from all countries will benefit from these in depth studies.

contemporary childrens.JPGMallon, K & Bradford, C. (Eds.) Contemporary Children’s Literature and Film: Engaging with Theory. London, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011
This book delves into the theory that informs Children’s Literature and Film. The authors explore diversity, identity, cultural globalization, misogyny, pleasure, desire and more. Each chapter connects children’s literature and film to the wider adult world. Geared toward scholars rather than practitioners, this work identifies and parses major themes present in popular titles.

bridges to understanding.jpgPavonetti, L. M. (Ed.) Bridges to Understanding: Envisioning the World Through Children’s Books. Lanham, MD. Scarecrow. 2011
This is an extensive bibliography of children’s literature set in or about other cultures written between 2005 and 2009. All the books are either in original English or have been translated. More than 90 countries are included. Each entry includes bibliographic information as well as a descriptive annotation. Librarians who wish to build their multicultural collections for youth will find this book indispensable.

If you have questions or need help locating any of these materials, please contact Deborah Bernnard, our Information Studies Subject Specialist. She can be reached at or 442-3699.

Blog post created by Deborah Bernnard

October 1, 2013

Celebrate New York Archives Week!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of New York Archives Week, October 6-12, which promotes awareness of the many archives available to the general public across the state. Organized by the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (A.R.T.), the celebration features an impressive calendar of events throughout the week at institutions across the state, including lectures, tours, exhibits and workshops.

Unable to attend any of the week’s festivities? You can still celebrate by exploring the many archives in the capital district. What better place to start than right here at home at the UAlbany Libraries’ M.E. Grenander Department Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of the Science Library. The Grenander’s collections include the New York State Modern Political Archive, the National Death Penalty Archive, the Business, Literary and Art Collection and the University Archives. The department has also curated a variety of digital exhibits on topics from children’s literature and book design and illustration, to the University’s historic buildings and local history.

The University Libraries also have numerous resources on archives. In Minerva you can find many books on archives and archival practice. Some of the most recent additions to our collection are:

Archives for the Lay Person: A Guide to Managing Cultural Collections by Lois Hamill. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2013. Dewey Library / CD 971 H36 2013.

Archivists, Collectors, Dealers, and Replevin: Case Studies on Private Ownership of Public Documents by Elizabeth H. Dow. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2012. Dewey Library / KF 5752 D69 2012.

Community Archives: The Shaping of Memory edited by Jeannette A. Bastian and Ben Alexander. London: Facet, c2009. Dewey Library / CD 976.5 C66X 2009.

Engaging Students with Archival and Digital Resources by Justine Cotton and David Sharron. Oxford, UK: Chandos Publishing, 2011. Dewey Library / Z 701 C68X 2011.

Libraries and Archives: A Comparative Study by Tomas Lidman. Oxford, UK: Chandos Pub., 2012. Dewey Library / Z 721 L43X 2012.

We also subscribe to a number of journals that focus on archives, including the Journal of Archival Organization, Archival Science, American Archivist, Archives and Manuscripts, and Archivaria.

For more resources on archives, contact Deborah Bernnard, Information Science bibliographer, at 442-3699 or

Post created by Cary Gouldin

September 11, 2013

Building the Library of the Future: Trends in Architectural Design

As libraries reinvent themselves in the face our changing digital landscape, it is only logical that new and renovated library spaces not only reflect these changes but also seek to take an active and innovative role in reimagining the library as space. Looking at some of the library building and renovation projects that have been completed over the past few years reveals a number of trends in design, functionality and services that help to position these libraries for the future.

Flexibility of Function and Space
One of the biggest of these trends is flexibility. Many of these libraries envision themselves as a central space of learning, exploration and socialization in its community. As such, they designed spaces that can be used for everything from group study and class meetings to guest lectures and social events. At the heart of the Goucher Athenaeum, for example, is the Forum, a large, open amphitheater space used for a variety of events, including concerts, speakers and broadcasting world events. The Polk Wisdom branch of the Dallas Public Library and Ohio State’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library feature movable seating and workstations that allow patrons and staff to easily create the space they need. A key part of this flexibility is that it allows libraries to plan for the future. Features like raised flooring that houses data, electrical and HVAC components enable reconfiguration to fit future needs.

New and Innovative Partnerships
In an effort to maximize resources, libraries are forming innovative partnerships to provide patrons with more diverse services. The South Mountain Community Library, a joint venture between Maricopa County Community College District and Phoenix Public Library, is both a public and an academic library. Perched on the edge of the South Mountain Community College, the library’s service desk is bidirectional, with half facing the campus entrance and half facing the public entrance. The first floor, featuring a cybercafé, teen room and children’s area, has a public feel. The upper floor, complete with group classrooms, study areas, presentation practice rooms, has a more academic focus. This blurring of the lines between academic and public allows the library to provide a deeper, more well-rounded experience for its patrons.

Connection with the Environment
One of the most prevalent trends is bringing the outside into the library, often in the form of natural light. One of the most striking examples of this trend is Berkeley Law Library’s new 55,000 square foot addition, which was built in a small courtyard between existing buildings. Faced with this size constraint, the architects decided to build down instead of up, adding two subterranean levels under a glass-walled atrium built at ground level. A glass walkway connecting the addition to the rest of the law school, a large glass and granite staircase and liberal use of glass pavers in the courtyard and skylights tucked into planters are strategically placed to bring a surprising amount of light into the underground levels. Another example is the South Mountain Community Library/, which uses rooftop monitors and light shafts to channel natural light into the library’s first floor.

Another aspect of this trend is the creation of outdoor spaces for library activities. Above the Berkeley Law Library’s atrium is a roof garden which offers space for café seating, study, class meetings and special events. The expansion of Seattle University’s Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons created a variety of outdoor spaces, including a plaza, terraced amphitheater, meditation lawn, rain garden, and bioswale.

Going Green
One of the most common elements among recent building projects is a concerted effort to create sustainable spaces. The latest technologies, materials and systems were employed to ensure that these buildings have a minimal footprint. The design of the Goucher Athenaeum, for example, includes solar-heated water, a radiant-heat HVAC system, energy-recovery wheels, and displacement ventilation to maximize system efficiency. Sensors are used throughout the building to control both light and heat. Reusing and repurposing existing space and furnishings is another common sustainability strategy. This trend can been seen in the Thompson Library at Ohio State, where a 1951 addition, a tower which originally held closed stacks, was converted into a glass-walled open stack area with a spacious and airy reading room at the top. The Berkeley library restored 100-year old study carols from its original building for use in the new addition.

While these libraries serve diverse missions and communities, they brought to their building and renovation projects a similar focus on innovation, sustainability, flexibility and a focus on the patrons’ full range of needs that will define the library of the future.

If you are interested in researching library design, contact Deborah Bernnard, our Information Studies subject specialist. She can point you to a number of books, articles, and other materials available at the Dewey Library on this topic. Call Deborah at 442-3699 or email her at

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

July 31, 2013

Meet Your Library Subject Specialist: Deborah Bernnard

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Continuing with our series on Dewey library subject specialists, meet Deborah Bernnard who is the specialist for Information Studies. She also happens to be Head of the Dewey Library. 

What are your long-term goals and projects for the library?

Dewey Library is already great resource for the students, faculty and staff on the downtown campus.  I want to make sure that Dewey maintains its high level of service and continues to be responsive to the informational and research needs of our patrons.   One of our current projects is to investigate new methods to deliver reference services.    With the advent of technology, patrons are no longer physically present in the library as much as they have been in the past.   We would like them to have access to reference help whenever they need it, wherever they happen to be.

What was the most challenging part of your transition to your current position?

I would say learning all of the regulations that are part of a state organization.   Before I became an administrator, I didn’t need to be aware of State funding rules, and Union regulations.  Now I must be aware of all of these in order to plan for staffing and operational costs.

What recent professional development activities have you been involved with?

I have recently co-authored a chapter in Magazines for Libraries. I have also contributed to an online information literacy textbook authored by information literacy librarians at the University at Albany.

What was your best or most noteworthy conference experience?

I like small regional conferences. Being immersed in an all day exploration of one interesting concept can really jump-start my creativity.  Larger conferences can become overwhelming with too many options on too many different topics.

Whom do you consider your mentor?

One of the benefits of working in a large academic library is that there are many colleagues and each has something to teach.   Dewey library has always had a collegial atmosphere and many of the librarians that I have worked with here helped me advance in my career and served as sounding boards for my ideas.    The University Libraries also has a robust information literacy department.   Since I was originally hired as a User Education Librarian, I have worked closely with the members of this department who are all very generous about sharing ideas.


What blogs, websites, or resources do you follow for LIS news?

There are a few journals that I read religiously, College and Research Libraries, Journal of Academic Librarianship, Reference and User Quarterly and Reference Services Review.   I also like the ACRL blog and the Information Literacy Instruction and Collection Development listservs.


What technology do you find most helpful to you when performing your duties at Dewey?

I think that email is the technology that I use most often. It helps me to communicate seamlessly with staff, faculty and students.

What advice do you have for newly-matriculated IST students?

In terms of finding employment, I would say—get some experience.  Either volunteer or work part time if you can’t find a full time job.   Being able to say that you have worked in a library will almost always give you an advantage in the employment pool.

What do you think is the most important advance for libraries that you've seen throughout your career? What do you think/hope the future will entail?

The digitization of information has been huge for libraries.     When I started my career, it wasn’t possible to easily access full text information online.   Now the speed in which you can retrieve and share information has transformed research.

The pace of change has been astonishing since I began my career.   New technologies and applications are developed almost daily.  Using technology to access information has made information available to more people at more convenient times however, information is not free and quality information has become more costly and less permanent.  It would be great if libraries could take on some of the functions of publishers in making information available.

If you have questions related to Information Studies (or general questions about Dewey), please contact Deborah at or 442-3699.

July 17, 2013

Pioneers in Library and Information Studies

Throughout the years, information professionals have put forth amazing efforts to revolutionize how we store and retrieve information.  Their conquests and hard work to ensure information accessibility have paved the way for the information age as we know it today.  Let’s take a look at a few notable leaders in LIS history:

Tim Berners-Lee

Berners-Lee is a computer scientist best known for inventing the internet.  When he wrote the first web client and server in 1990, he changed the information field forever.  He is currently the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his incredible contributions to our cultural and technological advancement.  As Director of WC3, he has made net neutrality a priority and sponsors initiatives to further bridge the digital divide.  Berners-Lee is also the President of the Open Data Institute [], a non-profit organization working to ensure accessibility and the unhindered dissemination of knowledge.

"Tim Berners-Lee." (2013). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition 1. Canadian Reference Centre, EBSCOhost(accessed July 7, 2013).

Abbate, J. (1999). Inventing the Internet. Cabmridge: MIT Press.  Dewey Library/TK 5105.875 I57 A23 1999

Berners-Lee, T. (2000). Weaving the Web: the original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor.  New York: Harper Collins. Science Library/TK 5105.888 B46  2000.


Winifred Sewell                                                          

Winifred Sewell is known for er work in promoting accessibility, and her emphasis on subject expertise in librarianship.  To better serve patrons, Sewell felt subject specialists were a necessary part of the equation.  She felt strongly that librarians would be better able to connect with their patrons if they were able to speak with authority on the subject being discussed.  Her patron-centered approach to librarianship helped define many of the principles that we hold important today in the Information field.  Her particular interest was in the medical sciences, and she worked closely with others to promote the importance of subject specialists in libraries-- especially academic and special libraries. 

"Sewell, Winifred." (1960). Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost(accessed July 7, 2013).

Ruffner, Malissa, and Emily J. Glenn. (2009). "Highly Subjective: The Librarianship of Winifred Sewell." Libraries & The Cultural Record 44, no. 2: 256-275. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, EBSCOhost(accessed July 7, 2013).

Groen, F. (2007).  Access to medical knowledge: libraries, digitization and the public good.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. Dewey Library/ R858 G76 2007.

Sewell, W.  (1973). Reader in medical librarianship. Washington: NCR Microcard Editions. Storage-CCBED/ Z 675 M4 S 48

Eugene Garfield

Eugene Garfield is one of the founders of bibliometrics and scientometrics—the studies of scientific literature and the analysis of scientific research and how it is used.  His work on the Science Citation Index paved the way for the academic community to gauge the importance of scientific journals; it also spurred the development of several different algorithms still used in information retrieval today.  Garfield changed the way librarians, researchers, and publishers approach data.

Garfield, E. (2001). "Interview with Eugene Garfield, Chairman Emeritus of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)."Cortex; A Journal Devoted To The Study Of The Nervous System And Behavior 37, no. 4: 575-577. MEDLINE with Full Text, EBSCOhost (accessed July 7, 2013).

Cronin, B. and Atkins, H.B., eds. (2000). The web of knowledge: a festschrift in honor of Eugene Garfield.  Medford, NJ: Information Today. Dewey Library/Z695.9 W37 2000.

Garfield, E. (1979). Citation Indexing - its theory and application in science, technology, and humanities. New York: Wiley. Dewey Library/ Z697 S5 G37.


Fred Kilgour

Fred Kilgour was the founding Director of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) and its President from 1967 to 1980.  He was responsible for joining together libraries in an unprecedented way.  His vision of connected, collaborating libraries revolutionized the information industry.  Without OCLC or some organization to connect and strengthen them, libraries would have been unprepared to cope with the changing times, technological advances, and the increased demand for instant information.  His work on OCLC paved the way for 21st century librarianship.

 "Commemorating Fred Kilgour." (2004).  American Libraries 35, no. 2: 19. Canadian Reference Centre, EBSCOhost(accessed July 7, 2013).

Smith, K.W., ed. (1998). OCLC, 1967-1997: thirty years of furthering access to the world’s information. New York: Haworth Press. Dewey Library/Z674.82 O15 O16 1998.  

If you are interested in learning more about visionaries who shaped the profession of library and information science, please contact Deborah Bernnard, our bibliographer for information studies. She can be reached at 442-3699 or

Blog post created by Laurie Buckley

June 26, 2013

Career Resources: Library and Information Studies

The Dewey Library has a wide collection of resources for Information Studies students and alumni to consult when seeking new positions and career opportunities.

The Employment tab on our Library and Information Studies research guide provides useful email subscription lists, library-specific job websites, and other resources for your career search.The Associations tab will link you to professional associations that each maintain job lists and offer other resources and opportunities for professional development.

Also be sure to visit the sites listed in our Online ReferenceCareers section for more general advice on resumes, interviews, and for the essential tools to aid in your career search.

There are also numerous books geared toward providing information professionals with job-seeking tips, advice, and strategies.Here are a few of them:

Resume writing and interviewing techniques that work : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians / Robert R. Newlen.(2006).
Dewey Library / Z 682.35 V62 N49 2006

Career opportunities in library and information science / Allan Taylor, James Robert Parish (2009).
University Library / Reference: HF 5381 T383X 2009

What’s the alternative? : career options for librarians and info pros, Rachel Singer Gordon. (2008).
Dewey Library Reserves / Z 682.35 V62 G68 2008

New to Dewey Library:

Reflecting on the future of academic and public libraries [edited by] Peter Hernon and Joseph R. Matthews. (2013).
Dewey Library/Z 675 U5 R4435 2013

What do employers want? : a guide for library science students
/ Priscilla K. Shontz and Richard A. Murray ; foreword by G. Kim Dority ;illustrations by Robert N. Klob. (2012).
Dewey Library/Z 682.35 V62 S48 2012

How to get a great job:a library how-to handbook editors of the American Library Association. (2011).
Dewey Library/Reference: HF 5382.7 H68 2011

What they don’t teach you in library school/ Elisabeth Doucett.
Dewey Library / Z 665 D685 2011

How to stay afloat in the academic library job pool/ edited by Teresa Y. Neely; foreword by Camila A. Alire. (2011).
Dewey Library / Z 682.4 C63 H69 2011

The generation X librarian : essays on leadership, technology, pop culture, social responsibility and professional identity / edited by Martin K. Wallace,
Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, and Erik Sean Estep. (2011).
Dewey Library / Z 682.2 U5 G46 2011

The new information professional : your guide to careers in the digital age/ Judy Lawson, Joanna Kroll, and Kelly Kowatch. (2010).
Dewey Library / Z 682.35 V62 L39X 2010

So you want to be a librarian, by Lauren Pressley. (2009).
Dewey Library / Z 682.35 V62 P74 2009

There are also many general books on resume writing, interviewing, etc; don’t forget to take a look in our library catalog,Minerva.

For other tips, check out these blog posts from librarian Kathryn Farrell from a few years ago:
Staying Sane During the Job Search
Job Search Strategies: How to Prepare for the Interview
It's OK to Say No
Dealing with Rejection
The Job Search: Consider All the Options

Remember, if you would like assistance locating further information pertaining to careers for information professionals, call us at 442-3691, email us, or send us an Instant Message.

Blog post updated by Laurie Buckley

April 30, 2013

Advice to New Library Grads

Graduation is just around the corner and for many library and information science students it is a time of excitement but also of anxiety. It is no secret that the current job market is a challenge for new graduates but there are things you can do to prepare yourself when it comes to finding a job. This blog post will highlight job-seeking resources specifically for library and information science graduates.

The Dewey Library has several resources on finding a job with your library degree. Our Library and Information Science guide [] has an employment section which provides several websites with job announcements. There are also many recent books available in print at the library. Check them out today!

How to get a great job: A library how-to handbook. Editors of the American Library Association. New York: Skyhorse Pub., c2011.
Dewey Library Reference HF 5382.7 H68 2011

How to stay afloat in the academic library job pool. Edited by Teresa Y. Neely; foreword by Camila A. Alire. Chicago: American Library Association, 2011, ©2011.
Dewey Library Z 682.4 C63 H69 2011

The information and knowledge professional's career handbook: Define and create your success. Ulla de Stricker and Jill Hurst-Wahl. Oxford: Chandos Pub., 2011.
Dewey Library Z 682.35 V62 D47X 2011

The new graduate experience: Post-MLS residency programs and early career librarianship. Megan Zoe Perez and Cindy Ann Gruwell, editors. Santa Barbara, California : Libraries Unlimited, [2011], ©2011.
Dewey Library Z 682.4 C63 N49 2011

There are also a countless number of online resources that provide tips and real-world advice when it comes to finding a job. Read the following for more information.

Tips for Library Job Applicants in a Tight Market by Meredith Farkas

Library School Grads: 11 Obstacles Standing Between You and Your First New Job by Ellen Mehling

I Need a Library Job’s Success Stories

Ask A Manager

Hiring Librarians

Congratulations to the students graduating in a few weeks! Although these resources are not a comprehensive list of all that is out there, they are a great way to get started with valuable advice that will help you prepare for entering the job market.

If you have any questions about information resources for library and information science students, please contact the subject specialist, Deborah Bernnard by phone at 442-3699 or email.

March 12, 2013

On the New Books Shelf: Resources for Information Scientists

Information and Library Science Bibliographer Deborah Bernnard is always on the lookout for new books to add to the collection. From archival practice to information literacy to human computer interaction, Deborah finds the most interesting and informative new publications on all aspects of the field. While most of her acquisitions are serious, scholarly tomes, she does, from time to time, round-out the collection with selections from the lighter side of librarianship. Below is a selection of books that have recently been added to the collection. For a complete list of new acquisitions, click on the “New Titles” tab in Minerva or come in and check out our New Books Display.

Beyond the Browser.jpgBeyond the Browser: Web 2.0 and Librarianship by Karl Bridges. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 I58 B75 2012.

Most librarians are infinitely familiar with the Internet due to their daily use of this essential resource. However, having practical expertise with today's digital resources does not guarantee the ability to speak intelligently and convincingly about their less-obvious benefits to funding authorities—a vital skill in today’s economy.

Beyond the Browser: Web 2.0 and Librarianship overviews the history of libraries and the Internet to provide necessary perspective and then examines current and future trends in libraries. In Part I, the author traces the notion of connectivity from its roots in the 19th century through the rise of digital technology in the second half of the 20th, concluding with a discussion of its influence on the role expectations and performance of today's information professional. Part II investigates the evolutionary impact of open access, scholarly inquiry, and second-generation web technologies on library organization and services. A bibliography of helpful resources is also included.

Laughing Librarian.jpgThe Laughing Librarian: A History of American Library Humor by Jeanette C. Smith. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, c2012. Dewey Library / Z 682.5 S65 2012.

Despite the stodgy stereotypes, libraries and librarians themselves can be quite funny. The spectrum of library humor from sources inside and outside the profession ranges from the subtle wit of the New Yorker to the satire of Mad. This examination of American library humor over the past 200 years covers a wide range of topics and spans the continuum between light and dark, from parodies to portrayals of libraries and their staffs as objects of fear. It illuminates different types of librarians--the collector, the organization person, the keeper, the change agent--and explores stereotypes like the shushing little old lady with a bun, the male scholar-librarian, the library superhero, and the anti-stereotype of the sexy librarian. Profiles of the most prominent library humorists round-out this lively study.

Web Search Engine Research.jpg
Web Search Engine Research
edited by Dirk Lewandowski. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Pub., 2012. Dewey Library / ZA 4230 W42X 2012.

This book provides an understanding of Web search engines from the unique perspective of Library and Information Science. The book explores a range of topics including retrieval effectiveness, user satisfaction, the evaluation of search interfaces, the impact of search on society, reliability of search results, query log analysis, user guidance in the search process, and the influence of search engine optimization (SEO) on results quality. While research in computer science has mainly focused on technical aspects of search engines, LIS research is centered on users’ behavior when using search engines and how this interaction can be evaluated. LIS research provides a unique perspective in intermediating between the technical aspects, user aspects and their impact on their role in knowledge acquisition.

For more information on the Information and Library Science collection, contact Deborah Bernnard at 442-3699 or

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

February 5, 2013

College and Research Libraries Switches to Online Only Format

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CRL Logo.jpg
In January, the Association of College & Research Libraries announced that College & Research Libraries, its scholarly research journal, will be transitioning to an online-only publishing model by January 2014. According to ACRL President Steven J. Bell, this move is an “acknowledgement of the academic reader’s preference for the e-journal” that will allow them to better manage journal resources and expenses.

In 2011, the journal became a fully open access publication, removing the six month embargo it had previously imposed on all online articles. While they did not suspend their print publication at the time, then editor Joseph Branin did indicate that the fate of the print journal was tied to their efforts to “prudently reduce and control costs.”

Current editor Scott Walter called this move an exciting opportunity: “we will be able to enhance the connections between research reported in C&RL and other research and research-based continuing education programs provided through ACRL. We will work with a wider range of ACRL members to explore the potential that C&RL has to anchor a broader portal promoting access to basic and applied scholarship in academic and research libraries."

The November 2013 issue of the journal will be the last published in print.
Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

December 17, 2012

Library Science Poster Session

displays 001.JPG

Information Studies Students had a poster session recently to display innovative programs and services that are currently being used in libraries. Shown from left to right: Ashley Smolinski, Jennifer Collins, Heather Gayton, Michael Paulmeno, Cary Gouldin, Stephanie Kogler, and Barbara Speck. Great job, students!

Photo credit: Morris Stilson

October 23, 2012

Digital Public Library of America

Have you ever wished that there was one place where you could find all the information you need? Wouldn’t it be nice if that place was online and accessible by everyone free of charge? Well, that wish will begin to come true in a few short months.

Scheduled to launch in April, the Digital Public Library of America(DPLA) aims to “make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.” This ambitious goal will be approached in phases. They will begin by acquiring items in the public domain that are already available from other sources. Once this foundation has been laid, they will move on to orphan works and those that are still under copyright protection but are out of print. Then they will focus on ways in which copyrighted items can be made available. The collection will include resources in all formats, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, digital texts, audio, video, and image files.

To make the most of the collections of the many existing digital libraries that have sprung up across the country, the DPLA’s the Digital Hubs Project is working to establish a national network connecting state, institutional and other repositories to create a single access point for users. It will also set up regional service hubs to provide local institutions with a full menu of standardized digital services, including digitization, metadata, data aggregation and storage services. Service Hubs will also provide a range of services to local end users.

Development of the project is being managed in six different workstreams, each addressing the critical questions regarding the nature of the project: audience and participation, content and scope, financial/business models, governance, legal issues and technical aspects. Each workstream is led by a core team of co-chairs with a larger group of convening members tasked with gathering public input. Membership in all of the workstreams is open to the public and members can attend meetings online or in person. Each workstream has an associated wiki with information on its membership and the issues under consideration.

The DPAL, is which is being run out of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has received funding from several organizations, including the Sloan Foundation, the Arcadia Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Want to get involved? In addition to joining one of the workstreams, the DPLA has a variety of announcement and discussion LISTSERVS that you can join. They also offer paid internships in their Boston office.

If you are interested in research relating to digital libraries and repositories, or any other topic related to libraries and information studies, contact Deborah Bernnard, our subject specialist for that topic (email:; phone: 442-3699.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

September 6, 2012

Meet Your Subject Specialist: Deborah Bernnard

bernnard.jpgDeborah Bernnard is the head of Dewey Library, bibliographer for library and information science and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Information Studies. She also teaches an eight-week Information Literacy course for undergraduates. In this installment of the Dewey Blog, she provides an overview of Dewey’s library and information science collection, discusses the many roles she plays at the University and shares her insight into the field of librarianship.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: I have been working in libraries for 25 years. I started as a paraprofessional in various public service positions. Working as an assistant convinced me to obtain the credentials that I needed to become a librarian. In 1996 I obtained my MLS from the University at Albany. My first position at the Dewey Graduate Library was as a part time User Education Librarian. This became a full time position and eventually, I also took on Information Studies Bibliographer responsibilities. I was appointed the Head of the Dewey Graduate Library in 2011.

Q: What does a bibliographer do? How do you choose which resources to acquire for the collection? How do you manage your collections budget?
A: This is a question that can be best answered by a three credit course. But I’ll try to give a shorter answer. A bibliographer is responsible for all aspects of a collection. This includes buying resources (books, journals, reference materials, audio visual materials, databases, etc.), managing those resources, and acting as liaison between the library and the academic department. Bibliographers are subject specialists with expert knowledge about the subjects for which they collect. In a subject like information studies it is necessary to keep educating myself about new developments in the field.

I try to choose resources that our faculty and students need in order to successfully conduct research. I use class syllabi, reviews in the information science literature, recommendations from other librarians and faculty as well as reputable authors and publishers as aids in collection development.

Our acquisition budgets have remained relatively stable for the past several years. However, journal prices have risen dramatically. Our policy is that if we subscribe to a new journal we must cancel something already in the collection. Our budgets just won’t stretch enough to cover new subscriptions. Also, we have been dropping many of our print journal subscriptions in favor of electronic formats. Whenever possible we subscribe to free or open access journals.

Q: What interesting books have you recently added to the collection?
A: There are a lot of new titles that focus on changing library services in the 21st century. Among them are:
Library Classification Trends in the 21st Century, by Rajendra Kumbhar. Oxford, England: Chandos, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 696 A4 K86X 2012.

College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know, edited by Lynda M. Duke and Andrew D. Asher. Chicago: American Library Association, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 675 U5 C6458 2012.

Libraries in the Early 21st Century: Volume 1, An International Perspective, edited Ravindra N. Sharma. Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2012. On Order.

Leading the Reference Renaissance: Today’s Ideas for Tomorrow’s Cutting-Edge Services, edited by Marie L. Radford. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2012. Dewey Library / Z 711 L44 2012.

Q: What are some of the Libraries’ key resources in library and information science?
A: Library and Information Science is an interdisciplinary field so there are many different aspects to the resources in our collection. The most useful databases [] for information studies research are Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) and Library and Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA). Students may also find ERIC and INSPEC valuable. The database that you use for your research is really driven by the focus of your research. If you need assistance selecting useful databases, I am happy to help.

Q: How can incoming students learn more about doing research at the Libraries?

A: Dewey Graduate Library offers free workshops on using library resources. You can find more information on these workshops on the Libraries’ website . I am also happy to consult with you about your research and using our resources. You can also consult with any of our reference librarians. We are available by phone, email and chat.

Q: You also teach both graduate and undergraduate courses at UAlbany. Please tell us a about the role of instruction in librarianship.

A: In recent years, librarians have expanded their teaching from bibliographic instruction or library skills courses to information literacy. Information Literacy skills are essential to students, both during their academic careers and in their daily life. It encompasses computer/software literacy and research skills as well as critical thinking skills. Many librarian positions include a teaching component. Even if you are not a public services librarian, it is likely that you will engage in teaching or training your coworkers. I find that teaching is a particularly rewarding part of being a librarian.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a librarian? What is most challenging?

A: As I said, I do like to teach, but I also like researching and spending time one on one with students and faculty. I love having access to sophisticated information resources. The most challenging part is keeping up with the constantly changing information universe. It seems that as soon as you master one information technology another comes along that does the same thing only better!

Q: As Head of Dewey Library, what skills do you rely on most? What aspect of library administration takes up most of your time?
A: I think administrators have to be patient, diplomatic, and creative. They also have to learn to delegate. And it helps to have a talented and hardworking staff. At the University Libraries, we accomplish a lot of our work by committee. I think that this is a good organizational model but it does take up a lot of time.

Q: What advice do you have for those just starting their careers?
A: There are so many different work environments for information professionals. I know of a recent graduate who started out as an academic librarian but found himself the sole librarian in a rural library. It is important to recognize that your skills are valued in many settings. I think that the most important attributes that have guided my career are flexibility, the ability to adapt to change, lifelong learning, and the ability to work collaboratively.

For more information on the library and information science collection or for assistance with your research, contact Deborah at 442-3699 or or stop by the Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin and Deborah Bernnard

June 26, 2012

Information Studies Summer Reading

Summer is here! Put away those text books and journals and grab something fun to read. Dewey’s information science collection has lots of interesting, provocative, inspirational and entertaining books that would make great additions to your summer reading list. Here are a few book we recommend:

Biblia.jpgBiblia’s Guide to Warrior Librarians: Humor for Librarians Who Refuse to Be Classified by Amanda Credaro. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, c2003. Dewey Library / Z 682.5 C74 2003.

Biblia, the Warrior Librarian (aka Amanda Credaro), teamed up with cartoonist Peter Lewis to produce a book that expands on her award winning web site, Warrior Librarian Weekly, and which examines the lighter side of librarianship through a combination of outrageously funny cartoons, commentary, and wit. Equally applicable to all types of libraries, the work offers humorous advice, typical situations and dilemmas, and helpful examples that will be appreciated by anyone who has ever worked in a library. An additional section features a glossary of library terms, abbreviations, professional associations and other resources.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sandy Berman but Were Afraid to Ask edited by Chris Dodge and Jan DeSirey. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, c1995. Dewey Library / Z 720 A45 M634 1995.

For nearly four decades Sandy Berman has been the embodiment of the activist librarian, championing the causes of intellectual and personal freedom with a seemingly boundless supply of energy. His work to rid the Library of Congress subject headings of bias is legendary, but it is perhaps his encouragement and prodding of fellow librarians to broaden their vision of the profession that most counts. Here many of his friends and associates reflect on what Sandy has meant to them and the profession.

Broken Pieces.jpgBroken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941-1978 by Michael Gorman. Chicago: American Library Association, 2011. Dewey Library / Z 720 G68 A3 2011.

From his earliest reading memories in wartime Britain through five decades of librarianship, eminent librarian and former ALA President Michael Gorman offers insights from his extraordinary career in this new memoir. He made perhaps his most significant contribution to librarianship as editor of the 1978 Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, a major development that receives detailed attention here. The debates and arguments that would shape professional practice for years to come are dramatically presented, with a vivid cast of characters including leading librarians from two continents.

Librarians in Fiction: A Critical Bibliography by Grant Burns. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., c1998. Dewey Library / Reference: PR 151 L53 Z991 1998.

The depictions of librarians in over 374 novels, short stories, and plays in English are the focus of this fully annotated reference work. The stereotypical or fictional librarian—the one with the bun, comfortable shoes, and dour demeanor—may be fading, but fiction teaches a lesson about public perception. In fact, fictional librarians are often described as adaptable, knowledgeable, shrewd, tactful, tender and intelligent—traits that the authors, and by extension the readers, look for in their librarians. All entries include complete bibliographic data, followed by a lengthy annotation that discusses how the librarian fits into the story and gives insight to how he or she is depicted. Title and author indexes are provided for further utility.

Institutions of Reading.jpgInstitutions of Reading: The Social Life of Libraries in the United States edited by Thomas Augst and Kenneth Carpenter. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, c2007. University Library / Z 716.4 I57 2007

Tracing the evolution of the library as a modern institution from the late eighteenth century to the digital era, this book explores the diverse practices by which Americans have shared reading matter for instruction, edification, and pleasure. Writing from a rich variety of perspectives, the contributors raise important questions about the material forms and social shapes of American culture. What is a library? How have libraries fostered communities of readers and influenced the practice of reading
in particular communities? How did the development of modern libraries alter the boundaries of individual and social experience, and define new kinds of public culture? To what extent have libraries served as commercial enterprises, as centers of power, and as places of empowerment for African Americans, women, and immigrants? Institutions of Reading offers at once a social history of literacy and leisure, an intellectual history of institutional and technological innovations that facilitated the mass distribution and consumption of printed books and periodicals, and a cultural history of the symbolic meanings and practical uses of reading in American life.

The Library: An Illustrated History by Stuart A.P. Murray. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, c2009. Dewey Library / Z 721 M885 2009.

Throughout the history of the world, libraries have been constructed, burned, discovered, raided, and cherished—and the treasures they've housed have evolved from early stone tablets to the mass-produced, bound paper books of our present day. The Library invites you to enter the libraries of ancient Greece, early China, Renaissance England, and modern-day America, and speaks to the book lover in all of us. Incorporating beautiful illustrations, insightful quotations, and many marvelous mysteries of libraries—their books, patrons, and keepers—this book is certain to provide you with a wealth of knowledge and enjoyment.

Book of Lists.jpgThe Librarian’s Book of Lists edited by George M. Eberhart. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. Dewey Library / Reference: Z 665 L565 2010.

After years spent editing American Libraries and the many editions of The Whole Library Handbook, George Eberhart has collected a raft of arcane librariana and amusing trivia for this volume. Equally suitable for the reference shelf and the staff lounge, the dozens of wide-ranging lists in this book include: 14 ways libraries are good for the country, how to say “Where is the library?” in 50 different languages, 10 intriguing paper defects, 6 library-related birdsongs, and the top 12 silly reasons to ban a book. With a mixture of serious topics, tongue-in-cheek items, and outright silliness, this book offers something to please everyone.

A Social Networking Primer for Librarians by Cliff Landis. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, c2010. Dewey Library / Z 674.75 S63 L36 2010.

Social networking is rapidly infiltrating the information environment, and it is essential that librarians understand how best to use these sites and tools with to better serve their users and reach people who have never before used the library. A Social Networking Primer for Librarians, part of Neal-Schuman's Tech Set series, gives librarians a start-to-finish guide to the basics for using and maximizing popular social networking sites in all types of libraries. From planning to implementation to best practices to evaluation, author Cliff Landis provides highly practical, easy-to-follow guidelines for using Facebook and other prominent sites as a way to expand and improve crucial library functions like instruction, outreach, service delivery, and marketing. Landis also provides additional recommended print, online, and interactive resources to help further development. The discussion is accessible to the novice who wants to learn the technology and how to implement it, as well as the seasoned pro charged with translating 'best practice' examples to the local setting and quantifying the results.

Special Collections 2 0.jpgSpecial Collections 2.0: New Technologies for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archival Collections by Beth M. Whittaker and Lynne M. Thomas. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, c2009. Dewey Library / Z 688 A2 W48 2009.

Based on surveys and firsthand research across the archivist's profession, this book offers essential advice and practical ideas for creating, collecting, and preserving born-digital materials for optimal long-term access—using the best of what the new web has to offer. Special Collections 2.0 surveys the web's new options for interconnectivity and interactivity tool by tool, exploring the benefits and shortcomings of applying each to the special collection and archives profession. It combines expert analysis of the pros and cons of Web 2.0 with numerous reports of how wikis, blogs, photosharing, social networks, and more are already being put to work in this essential field.

The Youth Cybrarian’s Guide to Developing Instructional, Curriculum-Related, Summer Reading, and Recreational Programs by Lisa Champelli. New York: Neal-Schuman, c2002. Dewey Library / Z 718.5 C43X 2002.

More and more educational and recreational content on the Internet is geared directly to kids. Studies have shown that access to contemporary information resources can increase a child's opportunities to succeed in the world today. In this informative guide, Champelli highlights dozens of field-tested library programs from across the country, including for each the target audience, required equipment, program plan and goals, notes from an experienced teacher of the program, and a sample library use policy. Programs are arranged into four major groups: instructional, curriculum related, summer reading, and recreational. This programming manual provides a solid foundation for beginning or augmenting Internet programs for young learners.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

May 8, 2012

The State of American Libraries

ALA has just released “The 2012 State of America’s Libraries.” This report focuses on the many issues libraries faced in 2011. Like many, libraries have been greatly affected by the recession. The Library of Congress lost 9% of its budget and 10% of its workforce. Academic librarians are faced with increasing enrollment with reduced staff. Libraries everywhere are tightening their budgets and making due with less.

However, not all of the news was grim. The public library in Troy, Michigan was saved from closing after voters approved a five-year operating millage. Circulation is rising among public libraries in many major U.S. cities, and there is an increase in demand for e-books in libraries. “Guerilla libraries” appeared in camps of the Occupy movement. In Zuccotti Park, the location for the Occupy Wall Street movement, the People’s Library was created. When the park was cleared on November 15th, the People’s Library had 5,500 volumes.

Libraries also continue to shed light on issues such as censorship, copyright, and piracy issues. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of the First Amendment and the dangers of censorship. Libraries are also connecting to customers through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media has helped libraries widen their reach within the communities they serve.

What do you think 2012 will bring? What can libraries do to improve their services when facing stagnant budgets and reduced staff?

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

April 10, 2012

LISA Gets a New Home

LISA: Library and Information Science Abstracts, one of the key Information Science databases, has moved to the ProQuest platform. What does this mean for users? A new interface with some great features!

LISA has a couple of really helpful new search functions. If you are looking for a certain article but only remember a few details about it, maybe a couple of words from the title and the journal it was published in, the Look Up Citation function can help you find it. Looking for statistical information or illustrations related to your research? Try the Figures & Tables Search, which will let you define the exact type of information you want to include (e.g. graphs, maps, photographs).

On the results page, the limiters on the right-hand side will allow you to narrow down your results by categories such as source type and subject heading. There is also a date slider that not only lets you define the publication date range of your results, but also has a bar graph displaying the number of articles in each year. A handy Preview function lets you see each article’s full information without leaving the results page.

Once you have identified articles that you want to use for your project, you have several options. You can print out or save a copy directly from the database or you can email it to yourself or others. The email function has several options: you can send a link to the entry or the actual PDF, customize the exact information that is included in the message, and select which citation style (APA, MLA, etc.) to include. You can also export the citation information to reference management software like EndNote and RefWorks.

Users can set up an email alert or RSS feed based on a search string that will to let them know when new articles on a particular topic are available. You can also create a My Research account with ProQuest that will allow you to save and organize documents and searches on the ProQuest platform among other things. For more information on MY Research and the ProQuest user interface, check out their tutorials on YouTube.

For more information on LISA and other databases, visit the Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

March 13, 2012

Association of Research Libraries Reports Now Available Electronically

The University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and because of this, we have access to ARL Digital Publications. These publications are available online and include selected publications from 2006 to the present. If you’re an information studies student, these publications are valuable resources and definitely worth checking out.

Included in the available publications and reports are the ARL Annual Salary Surveys, ARL Statistics, Research Library Issues, and SPEC Kits. SPEC Kits are a combination of resources on a specific topic put together by ARL. SPEC surveys are conducted on ARL member libraries and target current research practices and policies. These SPEC surveys are combined with other relevant ARL publications, creating a SPEC Kit. These kits serve as a guide for member libraries when it comes to dealing with current library issues. Several of these SPEC Kits are available on the online.

SPEC Kits are a great way to see what’s currently being talked about in the academic library world. The three most recent SPEC Kits are: Digital Humanities, Reconfiguring Service Delivery, and Digital Preservation. Reconfiguring Service Delivery focuses on delivery points in ARL libraries and the changes being made to them. These changes are presented in this SPEC Kit as well as the impact and effectiveness of these changes. The Digital Humanities Spec Kit examines the digital services related to the humanities. Relevant policies, projects, and staffing issues are illustrated and evaluated. The Digital Preservation SPEC Kit also focuses on digital content. Funding, staff issues, and content are explored as well as new policies and workflows. These recent SPEC Kits show how the academic library is changing in this digital world. Service points must be reevaluated and digital policies must be in place.

As mentioned before, these SPEC Kits can be found online . To be up to date on the latest SPEC Kits, you can sign up for their RSS feed. It is also possible to access older SPEC Kits in Minerva by searching the term "SPEC Kits".

The ARL Salary Survey is available online from 2006 until the present. This survey includes the salaries of more than 12,000 ARL library professionals. ARL Statistics tracks the spending, staffing, and services of ARL member libraries and Research Library Issues [] is a quarterly publication addressing issues in ARL libraries.

These are all valuable and relevant resources for academic libraries. It is possible to brows all online publications by title or author. There is also an RSS feed for the latest ARL Digital Publications .

If you have any questions about ARL Digital Publications, please contact our information studies bibliographer, Deborah Bernnard by email at or phone at 442-3699.

February 7, 2012

The Internet Flexes Its Muscle: Blackout Derails SOPA and PIPA

In a move that was hard to miss, an estimated 50,000 websites participated in an information blackout on January 18th to protest two copyright enforcement bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), that were due to be voted on by the House and Senate respectively. With an estimated 50,000 sites and 30 million individuals participating, the protest could not be ignored. In the wake of the protests, several lawmakers withdrew support for the bills, including several bill sponsors. On January 20, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the PIPA vote would be delayed. Later that same day, SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) followed suit.

This protest marks the first time that internet companies have worked to together to influence the outcome of a legislative decision. Some sites imposed a complete blackout. Wikipedia, for example, shut down its English language site for 24 hours. The company estimates that 162 million people viewed the blackout site, with over 8 million U.S. users registering their protest of the bills by looking up their representative through the blackout page. Other companies continued to offer their services, opting instead to register their protest visually. Google, for example, placed a black box over its logo and provide a link to its position statement and a petition for users to sign.

Aimed at foreign sights which provide access to content pirated from U.S. companies, these bills target U.S. companies that do business with or direct traffic to these sites. Opponents fear that the bill’s fast-track judicial process will result in the complete shut-down of an accused site without the site being able to respond to the charges, raising serious questions about due process and the censorship of legitimate content. They also believe that the close monitoring of user-generated content required by the bills will overwhelm smaller companies and stifle innovation.

Major proponents of the bills, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry of America, claim that these fears are overblown. They argue for the bills’ necessity by siting the toll online piracy takes on the U.S. economy annually, an industry estimated $2.5 billion a year, a figure that has been disputed by some.

While these two bills have been effectively killed, this is not the end of the line for piracy legislation. In fact, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international treaty, has sparked protests in several European countries, including Poland and Ireland as the United Kingdom and 21 other EU countries signed the treaty on January 27. ACTA raises many of the same issues as SOPA and PIPA regarding websites and ISP’s responsibilities for user-generated content. ACTA was signed by President Obama as a “sole executive agreement,� meaning that it does not have to be ratified by Congress to become law, leading some constitutional scholars to questions its constitutionality.

For more information on ACTA and the ongoing negotiations regarding intellectual property law, check out:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

American Library Association’s Intellectual Property Page

If you have questions about researching this or other anti-piracy legislation, please talk to Dick Irving, our Law and Public Policy bibliographer: To find information on how anti-piracy legislation and other copyright laws affect libraries, contact our Information Studies bibliographer, Deborah Bernnard:

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

December 6, 2011

How to get published in Library and Information Science Literature

If research is one of your passions, chances are you will wish to publish the results of your current research projects. If so, the library and information science literature offers a broad range of publications in which to submit your research articles. With tips and useful resources, this blog will help you get a head start on the publication process.

Once you’ve decided that you want to publish, you must determine which journals publish in your research area. Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory makes it easy to search for relevant journals. Here there is information on a wide variety of publications including academic, magazines, and e-journals. Ulrich’s also provides information on whether or not a journal is refereed or peer-reviewed. Through Ulrich’s it is possible to access Magazines for Libraries which lists periodical publications in library and information science. Magazines for Libraries provides updated reviews on the best publications available. For the latest information, you can subscribe to their RSS feed.

Since library and information science journals cover a broad spectrum of subjects including education, business, informatics, computer science, and public administration, it may be difficult to determine which journal is right for you. It may be helpful to search one of the information and library science databases to identify specific journals that publish in your research area. You may also wish to consult one of the journal ranking services to determine how influential a journal is. Check out our libguide for more information.

As a student, it may be beneficial to begin with a journal such as Library Student Journal. This journal is produced by library students from around the globe. Peer-reviewed research and literature reviews are published as well as more informal essays and editorials.
If a peer-reviewed journal seems to be too selective for your scholarship, remember that there are other types of publications within the discipline. You may wish to submit your articles to a non-peer-reviewed journal such as College and Research News, Library Media Connection, or Information Today.

Whichever publication you chose, find out what the requirements are for submission. Usually journals print requirements for submission in one issue of each print volume. You may find this information on the publication’s website. Also, a good rule of thumb is to only send your manuscript to one publication at a time.

Another avenue to seeing your scholarship in print is to present your research at conferences. Like peer-reviewed journals, conferences have an acceptance rate. Choose your topic carefully and make sure it is relevant to the conference you are submitting it to. Often the conference will publish a “proceedings� in which all of the papers presented at the conference are published. Not all conferences publish proceedings, so be sure to investigate each individual conference.

Once you’ve found a home for your research, you can start writing! It’s important to find an appropriate match before you starting writing your manuscript. When you’re ready to write keep in mind that most manuscripts should contain the following elements:

  • Literature Review

  • Methodology of research

  • Analysis and interpretation of data

  • Conclusion

You must also know how to correctly cite your sources. Library and information science literature typically cites in APA format. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Dewey Reference BF 76.7 P83 2010) for guidelines on writing for scholarly publication.

The Dewey Library also has several resources on publishing in the library and information science profession. Check out these resources for more information:

Writing and publishing: the librarian's handbook. Carol Smallwood. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 2010. Dewey Library Z 669.7 W75 2010

The librarian's guide to writing for publication. Rachel Singer Gordon. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, c2004. Dewey Library Z 669.7 G67 2004

First have something to say: writing for the library profession. Walt Crawford. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, c2003. Dewey Library Z 665 C776 2003

Jump start your career in library and information science. Priscilla K. Shontz. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2002. Dewey Library Z 682.35 V62 S47 2002

If you have any questions about publishing library and information science research please contact our information studies bibliographer Deborah Bernnard by phone at 442-3699 or email

Blog post created by Katherine Farrell and Deborah Bernnard

November 1, 2011

Researching Juvenile Literature

For information studies students interested in becoming a library media specialist or children’s librarian, stop by the library! The University Libraries have an extensive children’s collection geared toward future juvenile librarians. Books, reference titles, journals, and children’s novels will all help you better understand the world of children’s literature and help you become a better librarian.

There are several books on children’s literature and librarians that can be checked out at the library including:

Using children's literature across the curriculum: a handbook of instructional strategies. Catherine M. O'Callaghan. Boston : Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, c2011.
University Library LB 1573 U85 2011

From cover to cover: evaluating and reviewing children's books. Kathleen T. Horning. New York: Collins, c2010.
Dewey Library PN 98 B7 H67 2010

New directions in picturebook research. Teresa Colomer. New York : Routledge, 2010.
Dewey Library PN 1009 A1 N39 2010

Telling children’s stories: narrative theory and children’s literature. Mike Cadden. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, c2010.
Dewey Library PN 1009 A1 T445 2010

There are also several reference resources that are relevant:

Guide to reference materials for school library media centers. Barbara Ripp Safford. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, c2010.
Dewey Library Reference Z 1037.1 W95 2010

Best books for middle school and junior high readers: grades 6-9. Catherine Barr and John T. Gillespie. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
Dewey Library Reference Z 1037 G482 2009

Popular series fiction for K-6 readers: a reading and selection guide. Rebecca L. Thomas and Catherine Barr. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2009.
Dewey Library Reference Z 1037 T4654 2009

If you want the latest on libraries and children’s literature, you may want to check out one of the following journals. These journals have up-to-date articles relevant to the field:

Children & Libraries. Chicago, Ill.: American Library Association.
Online Periodical: Z 718.1 C46 WWW
Children's Literature Association Quarterly. [Winnipeg, Man., Canada]: The Association. Online Periodical: PN 1008.2 C48 WWW
Children's Literature in Education. [New York, etc., Agathon Press, etc.]
Online Periodical: Z 1037 A1 C5 WWW

If you want to be a children’s librarian it’s also a good idea to read children’s literature for fun. This will give you a better understanding of the genre and will help you connect with kids when talking about books. The University Library at the uptown campus has an extensive juvenile collection. Check out these titles that are being read by kids today:

Redwall. Brian Jacques. New York: Philomel Books, c1986.
University Library Juvenile Y J19 R4

The Sea of trolls. Nancy Farmer. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2004.
University Library Juvenile Y F2335 S43 2004

Diary of a wimpy kid: Greg Heffley’s journal. Jeff Kinney. New York: Amulet Books, c2007.
University Library Juvenile Y K558 D53 2007

Babymouse: queen of the world
. Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm. New York: Random House Children's Books, c2005.
University Library Juvenile Y H7475 B33 2005

To see the new juvenile titles at the library, visit our New Titles tab in Minerva. It’s possible to subscribe to the RSS feed so you will be aware of new titles when they arrive at the library.

If you have any questions regarding our juvenile collection, please contact our information studies librarian Deborah Bernnard by email at or call 442-3699.

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

October 18, 2011

Open Acccess: A Student's Perspective

Scholarly communication, the process of producing and disseminating new knowledge, is essential to the growth and development of all disciplines. Scholars’ ability to discover, create and innovate is dependent on their access to the current body of knowledge in their field. Students’ success, for graduates and undergraduates alike, is similarly dependent on their access to information. The meteoric rise of journal subscription costs over the past two decades has severely limited access to scholarly works as libraries are forced to cancel large numbers of journal subscriptions. In some cases, these cuts have been so dire as to impede scholar’s ability to secure funding and conduct research. At the heart of this crisis is an inequitable publishing model that benefits publishers at the expense of scholarship.

Current Publishing Model

Many of the for-profit publishing companies that produce the top journals in their fields, particularly those that specialize in the science, technology and medicine (STM) fields, realized profits of over 30% in 2007, profit margins that rival companies like Microsoft and Google. At the same time, profits for book publishers were in the single digits. At the heart of this profitability is a unique and inequitable business model. For-profit publishers get their content for free from scholars who are dependent on being published in top-tier journals for career advancement and to contribute to their field. Funding for the research these articles are based on comes primarily from academic and government programs. Once published the works are sold to academic and medical libraries at exorbitant rates. Many journals cost $5,000 or $10,000 a year, with a few charging an astronomical $25,000. An article can only be published in one journal, eliminating competition that would otherwise make these prices untenable. It is no wonder that a recent Guardian article claims that academic publishers “make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch like a socialist.�.

Authors’ Rights

In the traditional publishing model an author signs over all rights to the publishing company, including her right to disseminate her own work. Therefore, she could not give it to friends and colleagues, post it on her personal website or use it as course materials. While copyright is often thought of as a single entity, it is, in fact, a bundle of rights which can be separated and managed individually as best suits the needs of the author. For example, the rise in popularity of academic repositories has prompted many academic institutions to prevent their scholars from signing contracts that prohibit their work from being included in a depository. As a result, about two thirds of the publishing companies include such a clause in their contracts, however many companies do not have such a clause, forcing many authors to give up all rights in order to see their work published. In response, organizations like Creative Commons and SPARC have developed tools to help authors manage their rights and negotiate with publishing companies.

Open Access
Open Access (OA) is a reorganization of the academic journal publishing industry to ensure wider access to scholarly communications. It calls for journal content to be made available online, free of charge and with limited copyright and licensing restrictions. This would ensure that the latest research can be used by the greatest number of people. In the medical field, for example, doctors and nurses from hospitals and practices of all sizes would have access to the latest information when making decisions about patient care. This would have the most impact in smaller communities and developing countries where library budgets are smallest. OA would also give authors more flexibility in managing the rights to their works.

Many question OA’s economic viability. The OA community has developed several funding models/. For example, the use-triggered fee model proposes a voluntary fee for institutions whose use of journal reaches a predetermined threshold. Free access by individual users, institutions that are occasional users and users in developing countries would be subsidized by larger institutions. By definition, OA journals must be free, so the fee cannot be mandatory. Publishers would, therefore, have to implement various incentive programs to encourage institutions to pay, including extra services. In addition, the fact that institutions could opt out of payment would prevent publishing companies from charging the astronomical rates common in today’s subscription based market. Another funding option would be the inclusion of advertising with online journal content following the model of sites like Google. While this may seem like blasphemy to some, it is not unprecedented; print journals have long included advertising. These are just two of the funding models being discusses in relation to OA. In the end, a combination of models will probably be necessary to create sustainable funding.

Digital Repositories

Digital repositories offer another OA model which bypasses publishing companies all together. Repositories are online collections of peer-reviewed works, data sets, images, preprints, research reports, dissertations and thesis that are freely available to users. They allow authors to quickly disseminate their works to a wide audience. Institutional repositories, usually maintained by the library, preserve the intellectual output of the institution in digital form. The growth in popularity of repositories has spawned several software packages that help institutions set up their own repository []. DSpace, for example, is open-source software developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create a seamless world-wide network of repositories. The SUNY Digital Repository, which uses DSpace, collects and makes available works from across the SUNY system. Disciplinary repositories collect items related to a particular field. DLIST, for example, is an open access, cross-institutional archive for Information Science and Technology hosted by The University of Arizona Campus Repository. More examples of digital repositories can be found through The Open Access Directory, and

Libraries and Open Access
As the primary purchasers of and point of access for scholarly communications, libraries have a large stake in the OA movement. As the traditional publishing model is revised, librarians have an opportunity to put themselves and their institutions at the center of the production and dissemination of scholarly works. Libraries have played a central role in the growth of digital repositories and will continue to be active as more colleges and universities collect and preserve student and faculty works. In addition, some libraries have taken on the roles of publisher and distributor, either on their own or in partnership with university presses and other not-for-profit publishers. For example the Cornell University Library has teamed up with Duke University Press to produce Project Euclid, an online collection of hi-impact, peer reviewed journals in applied mathematics and statistics offered available at reasonable subscription rates. The University of Michigan Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office publishes books, journals and other scholarly materials in a variety of fields, including philosophy, social work and women’s studies.

For more information on scholarly communications and open access, check out:

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

The ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit
The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
Open Access Week

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

September 13, 2011

Getting Started with Information Studies Research: the IST Subject Guide

Here is a fun exercise for Information Studies students, try and count the number of times you have used library resources while working on your graduate degree. Have you lost count? I liken it to lying in bed as a kid and trying to count to a million, it can’t be done! Whether you are just beginning the program or are towards the end of your time here, the library resources are an invaluable tool in your quest for a degree in Information Studies. You could make the case that the library is one of the most important factors in completing your degree here at SUNY. Now, things may have changed over your time in the program, specifically on the library website, one of the best developments has been the creation of Research by Subject� pages on the library website. The page on Information and Library Science is particularly good, and can help you to complete your degree in no time at all!

Forgive me as I wax poetic, Information and Library Science Subject page, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways (that you help students complete their degrees)…

1. In nearly every class in the program, students are asked to access articles and information from various journals on all different subjects. The best way to do this is to access a database that compiles many of these articles into one easy to use interface. Upon entering the Information and library Science subject page, you will see a link that reads Library and Information Science Databases. This will bring you to a list of key databases for library students that expands to show all of the databases the library subscribes to. Using these you will easily be able to complete that extensive research paper or that pesky annotated bibliography with ease.

2. Have you ever taken a tour or a city or even a museum? There is usually a guide that points out all of the best sites or pieces of art in their collection. This is exactly what the research guides will do for library school students. Depending on your concentration, choose accordingly. The guide for Library and Information Studies is organized into tabs that will bring you to the databases the library subscribes to as well as open access and internet resources to help you broaden your research. There is also a tab that highlights encyclopedias and dictionaries specifically tailored for library students. There are also tabs to highlight specific topics such as statistics, research reports, and collection development. Finally if you are thinking ahead to post graduation, there are tabs that explore the future of the library as well as employment resources for library students.

3. One of the most popular concentrations in this program is the School Library Media track. The next research guide is built just for you, it is called Children’s Literature/School Library Media. This guide has the basics such as databases, background information, and online resources to get you started. It also features book review resources as well as author guides, and a tab featuring various awards and prizes for children’s and young adult literature. It also features a tab that guides you to excellent collection development resources to build your children of young adult book collection. This is a great guide that can help you in Young Adult Literature as well as Children’s Literature classes and even in collection development as well.

4. The final guide will be most useful for students in the Archiving track, it is entitled Archives: a Guide to Information Sources. This guide will direct you to pertinent books, and articles related to archiving as well as outside resources important to the field. There is a tab that will help you locate archival collections around the world, as well as one that links you to dictionaries and encyclopedias vital to archival students. Again if you are thinking beyond graduation there is a tab that links you to professional organizations that can help archivists in their future careers.

There you have it, a good start on basic resources you need, no matter what concentration you have chosen to pursue. If you have any other questions or need a recommendation for your Information Studies research or class work, do not hesitate to contact our bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. You can email her at or give her a call at (518) 442-3699. Good luck in your studies, the library is here to help, come see us with any questions.

Blog post created by Ben Knowles

July 27, 2011

What is in Special Collections? Information Studies Resources

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives features several robust Information Studies resources.

One of the highlights is the Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children's Literature Collection, which includes over 12,000 children's books and periodicals published in the 19th century and up to 1960. The central purpose of the Mathes Collection is to provide the texts of works that are generally no longer available in children's library collections today–and to make them available for historical, literary and cultural study and consultation by scholars, students, teachers, librarians and the interested public. There is an especially strong concentration on neglected and forgotten works published in the United States, 1875–1950. The Mathes Collection is named for Miriam Snow Mathes, Class of '26, who had a continuing interest in the Historical Children's Literature Collection. Within the collection, researchers will find series, adaptations and retellings of classic literature, historical fiction, biography and biographical fiction, stories depicting ethnic, racial and religious minorities, fantasy and stories of travel and people of other lands.

University at Albany records offer another source of materials for scholars in this subject area. Special Collections and Archives houses the records of the office of the director of the University Libraries and the School of Information Science and Policy. The director’s records begin in 1916, the year the first professionally trained librarian began working for the school. The bulk of the collection dates, however, from after 1962, when the school became the State University of New York at Albany and resources began to be made available to dramatically expand staffing and collections. The School of Information Science and Policy records document the administrative, curricular, and social activities of the institution from its establishment as a one year undergraduate school for librarians in 1926 through its merger with the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy as a graduate school for information professionals in 1986.

In addition, Special Collections holds the personal papers of individuals who served as librarians including the Marcia Brown Papers, Jennie D. Lindquist Papers, and Sabra W. Vought Papers.

Sample documents within all of these collections include:

This is only a sampling of what is available in Special Collections. For more information, call (518) 437-3945 or use their online contact form.

Special thanks to Jodi Boyle for compiling the information and images. All images are the property of the University at Albany Special Collections and Archives Department and may not be reused without permission from the Department.

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 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 []) 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

March 8, 2011

Librarians in the Field: An Interview with Trudi Jacobson

The Dewey Library Blog is happy to announce a series of interviews with librarians in the field today. The professional that we'd like to introduce you to today is Trudi Jacobson, the head of the Information Literacy Department at the University Libraries. She is a recent recipient of the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year Award, and we are very lucky to have the opportunity to pick her brain.

Q: I understand that you're a proponent of active learning and hands-on computer work. Would you please explain what that means, and why it's so integral to information literacy classrooms?
A: I strongly believe that students don’t necessarily learn by observing or listening—they actually have to work with the material and make it their own. One of my favorite sayings, adapted from a statement by Eric Sotto in his book When Teaching Becomes Learning [University Library / LB 1025.3 S68 2007] is: Can you learn how to ride a bicycle or how to kiss from a lecture? Probably not, or at least not well! Students have to really engage in activities connected to what they are learning. I think this is especially true of information literacy, for a couple of reasons. First, it is practical—there are skills involved. It isn’t highly theoretical. It can be lots of fun to design ways for students to really delve into discovery and application exercises. Second, many students take information literacy courses to fulfill a general education requirement, or come to a course-related instruction session because their teacher requires it, not because they are inherently interested in the topic. We need to show them how very applicable this knowledge and these skills are to both their assignments and to lifelong learning.

Q: Your book Teaching the New Library to Today's Users [ Dewey Library / Z 711.2 T43 2000] provides recommendations for interacting with and teaching a number of minority groups, including international, GLBTQ, older, and at-risk students. In light of today's diverse campuses and schools, what advice would you give to a librarian just starting out?
A: Become aware of diverse learn
ing styles and traditions of education. There are many good sources in both the education and the library literature. Talk with experts on campus or in your school district to gain more background information. In the classroom, use inclusive examples (of searches, of resources shown). But ultimately, treat each student as an individual who has his or her own needs and styles of learning. In brief classroom encounters, such as during a single, course-related instruction session, you probably won’t have the opportunity to learn much about each student. But in this case, if you include several different types of activities during class, and encourage students to give feedback and to ask questions (as can be done with free-writing exercises), you will be making a good start.

Q: You've mentioned that you use team-based learning here at SUNY Albany. How has it changed your role as a teacher, and the role of your students?

A: Dramatically! While I was never the type of teacher who spent much time lecturing, I do almost none now. But the revolutionary thing about team-based learning (TBL) isn’t the small shift in my role (which would be much more dramatic for someone who does spend more time lecturing), but rather the incredible transformation in the role of the students. They truly are accountable for their own learning, both individually and in their teams. Before we start a new section of the course, I assign readings. They are then tested on this new material, before it is ever introduced in class! They take the test both individually and then as a team, and it quickly becomes clear to them that the combined knowledge of the team is very important to successful learning. Once the tests are done, they engage in activities that promote learning and team development. I am both amazed and delighted by how much TBL changes the atmosphere in the classroom. If you happened to eavesdrop on team conversations, I think you would be impressed in how engaged they are with the material! I provide structure and guidance, but so much of this happens behind the scenes, in topic and readings selection and in construction of the tests and exercises. But in class, the teams are the focal point, not me. And I think that is exactly how it should be. For those who are interested in learning more about TBL, I’ve put together a guide on the subject
Q: What sort of motivational techniques do you use in the classroom?
A: TBL’s structure inherently introduces all sorts of motivation for students. When I am teaching course-related sessions, where TBL isn’t possible, I try to relate the content of the instruction to student needs. This is a key element of John Keller’s ARCS model of motivation: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (1987).

  • Attention: Try new approaches, varied activities, and changing the environment when possible

  • Relevance: Ask students to share their goals, which can affect the instruction. Use familiar examples and invite learners to impart their own experiences and expertise

  • Confidence: If possible, design learning activities to match the different skill levels of students. Let learners know what is expected of them and that they have the means to control their success.

  • Satisfaction: This often comes from application opportunities
    Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes [Dewey Library / ZA 3075 J33 2004] (Jacobson & Xu, 2004) provides lots of practical ideas.

    Q: How would you define information literacy, and why is it so important for today's learners to possess it?
    A: Until recently, I would have used ALA’s definition of information literacy: “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information.� And it still has great merit. But rapid changes in technology have changed the information landscape dramatically. I have been working with Tom Mackey, Interim Dean in the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College (formerly a member of the IST department) on raising awareness of the need for information literacy to be conceived broadly, in order to reflect these changes. In our recent article in College & Research Libraries ("Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy"), we argue for a framework for information literacy that “integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types� because of the transient and collaborative nature of social media environments.
    It is critical for today’s learners to be information literate because they are constantly producing and sharing information as well as consuming it. Involvement with social media tools such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Wikipedia is so common, and this trend of easy publication will probably only increase. At the same time, people are trying to sift through all the information others are producing. It is imperative to have the tools to do so effectively.

    Q: Assessment is a hot topic in libraries today, and you wrote a chapter for Developing Web-Based Instruction [Dewey Library / Z 711.2 D5 2003B] about using assessment in online classrooms. If you could tell graduates from the MSIS program just one thing about assessment, what would it be?
    A: Don’t be afraid! There are all sorts of ways to start small described in the literature. A fabulous source of easy to implement, easy to adapt ideas is Angelo and Cross’s book, Classroom Assessment Techniques [University Library / LB 2822.75 A54 1993].

    Q: To wrap things up, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
    A: Teaching can be extraordinarily rewarding, as I am sure many readers will know. There is also great demand for it in connection with public service positions in libraries. If you’ve not thought about gaining skills in teaching before, you might want to consider it.

    For more information about Ms. Jacobson and her work at UAlbany, please visit her bio. The Dewey Library Blog would like to extend a sincere thank you to Ms. Jacobson for sharing her knowledge with us all.

    Blog post created by Lauren Stern

February 22, 2011

LIS News Highlights Best Library Blogs of 2011

If you are a library student and want to keep current on the latest happenings in the library world, LIS News, is a great place to start. This collaborative blog brings together news and items of significance regarding libraries, publishing, and other areas of interest.

Of particular interest is a recent blog post by LISNews founder Blake Carber, where he lists his top ten LIS blogs of 2011. These blogs come from a diverse group of librarians and there is even a blog on the list for library students.

And when you want to follow up with more detail on a topic you read about in the blogs, don't forget the Dewey Library's information studies and library science collection contains many up-to-date resources that can help you with this task.

January 25, 2011

Notable Books: Newberry and Caldecott Book Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) is an organization committed to improving libraries and librarianship. To achieve this task, they focus on a number of key action areas, including diversity, literacy, and education and lifelong learning. Their motto is “The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost,� and to this end they sponsor a variety of book awards each year (ALA, 2011).

You can view a full list of this year’s ALA youth media award winners at their website , but you may already be familiar with a few of them from your own childhood, or from the books you read to your children or grandchildren. Those familiar gold and silver badges on the covers of children’s books are the marks of the Newbery and Caldecott award winners and honorable mentions.

The Newbery, named after an eighteenth-century British bookseller and instituted in 1922, is awarded by the ALA to books they believe to represent the most distinguished writing in children’s literature for that year (ALA, 2011). This year’s winner is Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, and the honor books are Turtle in Paradise, Heart of a Samurai, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and One Crazy Summer.

The Caldecott Medal, awarded since 1938 to children’s books with the most distinguished illustrations, is named after an English illustrator (ALA, 2011). This year’s winner is A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. The honor books are Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave and Interrupting Chicken.

Whether you are building a library collection within a school, public, or other children’s library – including the library in your home – keep an eye out for the gold and silver badges of ALA honor.

American Library Association (2011). ALA. Retrieved from

Blog post created by Lauren Stern

November 16, 2010

Does the book have a future?

With the increasing popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle and Nook, many people wonder if the print book has a future. Recently, Apple’s iPad was released; another device that can be used as an e-reader and Amazon claims to now sell more e-books than print books. Even libraries are beginning to advertise their e-book collections and promote this new technology.

So why are e-readers so popular? It is possible to store multiple books on an e-reader, e-books are cheaper to purchase, and they come with extra technological features. People can instantly download e-books from the comforts of their own home, which in today’s fast-paced world is a definite benefit. However, the book can do something e-books cannot. It doesn’t have to be plugged in to charge, it’s a physical object, and many people still enjoy holding an actual book while reading. Some people say books are easier to read because there is no backlight although proponents of e-readers claim that the display is very similar to an actual book.

The future of libraries, although not directly linked to the future of the book, will be greatly influenced by the book’s future. E-books already exist in libraries and many catalogs also link to Google Books, a site that allows partial access to many materials. Libraries will give patrons what they want and if the trend leans more toward e-books, than libraries must develop a larger digital collection. However, there are some that think the book will always have a future and that libraries will always provide access to them.

For more information on the future of the book, check out these resources at the library:
Cope, B. & Phillips, A. (2006). The future of the book in the digital age. Oxford: Chandos Pub.
Dewey Library: Z 278 F88X 2006

Epstein, J. (2001). Book business : publishing past, present, and future. New York: W.W. Norton.
Dewey Library: Z 280 E67 2001

Stoicheff, P. & Taylor, A. (2004). The future of the page. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Dewey Library: Z 116 A3 F88 2004

You can also contact our bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by email at, or by calling 442-3699.

What do you think? Will there someday be a world without books or will there be a mix of electronic and print materials? Leave your comments below!

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

October 19, 2010

New Resource for IST Research

LIS Encyc.jpg

The third and newest edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences can now be found at the Dewey Library (Reference Z 1006 E57 2010). It now contains seven volumes in which seventy percent of the material is new, a reflection of the many changes within the information science world. The encyclopedia covers many information disciplines, showing their similarities and differences. Among the topics covered are archival science, museum studies, information systems, and informatics. There are also featured institutions from over thirty different countries.

Library and information studies students can gain a comprehensive view of the information science world from this encyclopedia. Students can find information on different types of libraries, library services, online databases, and today’s information needs. The featured institutions from around the world will also help students gain a global perspective on library and information science issues. Although each volume focuses on different materials, all topics are connected which is true of today’s information environment.

If you have any questions about the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, please contact our bibliographer for information studies, Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by email at, or by calling 442-3699.

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

September 28, 2010

Doing without Dewey

Melville Dewey introduced the Dewey Decimal Classification system in 1876 and since then libraries have been using it to organize books and other resources. However, libraries are beginning to rethink the efficacy of Dewey and some, including the new Albany Public Library branches, have replaced the Dewey Decimal Classification system with a broad subject based organization system designed to simplify patron browsing. Most of these newer classifications are based on the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC), which is used in bookstores. BISAC consists of an alphabetical list of categories and is less complex than the Dewey Decimal’s system of classes and subclasses.

Patrons are generally happy with the BISAC shelving in libraries. Feedback indicates that they find it easier to locate items that they want and enjoy browsing to find other items of interest. However, many librarians are relunctant to relinquish Dewey. Some are concerned about adopting a retail model for an entity whose primary motive is not to make a profit. Others feel that BISAC will not help researchers find specific information in their disciplines. There is also concern for non English speaking patrons who may have difficulty understanding the BISAC categories.

Librarians have begun to propose compromise classification systems that will enhance Dewey without replacing it. For example, The Darien Library in Darien, CT. uses Dewey classification for its travel books but then disregards Dewey and places language books next to the travel section * The Phoenix (Arizona)Public Library kept Dewey but used BISAC to enhance the catalog record**.

What do you think? Has Dewey outlived its usefulness? Visit an Albany Public Library branch for the “Deweyless� experience. Then weigh in with your opinion.

*Fister, B. (2009). The Dewey Dilemma. Library Journal. 134 (16), 22-25.

Blog post created by Deborah Bernnard

August 9, 2010

Libraries in the 21st Century: Mobile Devices

In today’s world we can access all types of information from our mobile devices. Because of the improvements in technology, libraries are beginning to embrace the ability to access information from anywhere. In 2009 there were around 250 million wireless devices capable of receiving data in the U.S. (SLG Staff, 2010). This means that libraries have the chance to reach out to remote users who may never step inside the actual library. Many libraries now offer e-books online, allowing users to access library services from their mobile devices many miles away.

In addition to e-books there are now MOPACs or online OPACS available for mobile devices (Library Technology Report, 2008 ). Some university libraries are also using a portable version of their OPAC called the AirPAC which is designed for mobile devices. The District of Columbia Public Library has an iPhone application that allows patrons to search the OPAC, place items on hold, and view general library information (ALA Office of Information Technology Policy, 2010). Duke University also has an iPhone application (DukeMobile) for viewing many of the library’s collections (ALA Office of Information Technology Policy, 2010). With the increasing desire to stay connected at all times, these library features help libraries stay relevant in today’s world.

Here are some resources in the University Libraries about library technology:

Burke, John. (2009)Neal-Schuman library technology companion : a basic guide for library staff. New York: Neil Schuman.
Dewey Library / Z 678.9 B85 2009

Gordon, Rachel Singer. (2007) Information tomorrow : reflections on technology and the future of public and academic libraries. Medford, NJ: Information Today
Dewey Library / Z 678.9 I534 2007

ECDL 2007. (2007). Research and Advanced Technology for Libraries:11th European Conference, ECDL 2007, Budapest, Hungary, September 16-21, 2007.
Available online to UAlbany students, faculty and staff

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes, ed. (2005) Mobile learning : a handbook for educators and trainers. London:Routledge.
University Library / LB 1028.3 M63 2005

Here at the University Libraries, there is a Text a Librarian service. Simply dial 265010, start the text with ualibraries: (include the colon!), and write the message. Please note that the texting service is only available when IM Reference is available. If you have any questions about how to use your mobile device in the University Libraries, please see our texting policy or ask a librarian!

Blog post created by Katie Farrell and Elaine Bergman

June 9, 2010

Job Searching: Library and Information Studies

Aside from libraries, there are many settings in which someone with a MSIS can be employed. The Dewey Library has a wide collection of resources for job seeking by Information Studies students and alumni.

The Library and Information Studies research guide has a tab on Employment that provides many email subscription lists, job listing websites and other useful resources for obtaining jobs listings. In addition, take a look at the Associations tab because many professional associations maintain job listings and other professional development and career seeking resources.

There are numerous books for information professionals providing job seeking tips, advice and strategies. Here are a few of them:
Resume writing and interviewing techniques that work : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians / Robert R. Newlen. (2006)
Dewey Library / Z 682.35 V62 N49 2006

Career opportunities in library and information science / Allan Taylor, James Robert Parish (2009).
University Library / Reference: HF 5381 T383X 2009

What’s the alternative? : career options for librarians and info pros / Rachel Singer Gordon.
Dewey Library / Z 682.35 V62 G68 2008

Don’t forget that there are many general career resources on the Careers section of the Online Reference page, and many general books listed in Minerva on resume writing, interview skills, etc.

Remember, if you would like help in locating material on job seeking or careers for information professionals, call us at 442-3691, email us, or send us an Instant Message.

March 30, 2010

Information on Upcoming Library Conferences

Throughout the year, numerous organizations and associations in the field of librarianship hold conferences for the professionals in the field to come together and share ideas, but spring and summer are often thought of as "conference season" in the library world. . There are many benefits for seasoned librarians, recent library school graduates, and even library students who attend conferences. These conferences are a great way to become involved in the field of librarianship in a meaningful way. They also provide valuable opportunities to develop professional networks with fellow librarians from across the country. Each conference provides participants the chance to share ideas, socialize, hear from the experts, and see the latest products. Recent graduates and people new to the world of librarianship that attend conferences will find extensive opportunities to grow professionally and prepare for their new career.

The following is a list of upcoming conferences from major library organizations, both regional and national:

• 2010 Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter of the Medical Library Association Annual Conference

When: Wednesday, October 13th – Friday, October 15th
Where: Renaissance Syracuse Hotel
1701 East Genesee St.
Syracuse, NY 13210

• Eastern New York ACRL Chapter Annual Conference
Title: Creating Opportunity from Crisis: New Models, New Partners

When: Monday, May 24th
Where: Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346

• 2010 SUNYLA Annual Conference

When: Wednesday, June 16th – Friday, June 18th
Where: The College at Brockport
350 New Campus Drive
Brockport, NY 14420

• The American Library Association 2010 Annual Conference

When: Thursday, June 24th – Tuesday, June 29th
Where: Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington D.C. 20001
Advance Registration Information

• Medical Library Association 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibition
When: Friday, May 21st – Wednesday, May 26th
Where: Hilton Washington
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20009

• Special Libraries Association 2010 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO ()

When: Sunday, June 13th – Wednesday, June 16th
Where: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130

• Speak, Share, Learn: An UNYSLA Conference & UnConference ()

When: April 23rd
Where: Anderson Gallery, University of Buffalo
1 Martha Jackson Place
Buffalo, NY 14214
Note: The registration details of this conference are not yet available. Keep checking the UNYSLA website for registration information and updates.

Click on the title of the conference for more information and the official website on any of these upcoming conferences.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

March 16, 2010

On the New Books Shelf - Photographs: Archival Care and Management

The Bibliographers of the Dewey Library are continually developing the library’s collection of books and materials. Many of the new books and items that are added to the collection are first placed on the New Books Display shelf. One book of particular interest for Information Studies students in the archival studies track that is currently located on the New Books Display shelf is the recently acquired Photographs: Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler.

There are a myriad of important and relevant topics covered within this book that are especially pertinent to students on the Archives track. The book starts by taking a look at photographs from historical, aesthetic, and sociological perspectives, specifically the historical significance of the work done by the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression in documenting the effects of the depression through the use of photographs. It then goes into some basic background information related to the characteristics of photographs, such as how to read and research photographs for archival and research purposes and how to describe photographs that would best facilitate their incorporation into an archives’ finding aids and catalog records.

Once this general framework regarding photographs as been set, the book gets into a discussion of the archival and preservation aspects of collecting and maintaining photographs. Some of these topics focus on the digitization of photographs, and include guidelines for creating digital images out of physical photographs and film negatives, quality control and quality assurance regarding a digitization project, planning a digital conversion project, and managing and preserving digital images.

The other main area of focus in this book covers the archiving and preservation of physical photographs. Some of these topics include the preservation environment, selecting the appropriate enclosure materials and storage furniture, preservation procedures, creating and implementing a successful preservation program, photographs as physical objects, housing and storage systems, and causes of deterioration.

If you would like to check out Photographs: Archival Care and Management, here is the call number for the book. Please note that it is currently located on the New Books Display Shelf:

Dewey Library / Oversized * TR 465 R58 2006

If you have any questions or need any help conducting research in the field of Information Studies, please contact our Bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by email at, or by calling 442-3699.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

February 9, 2010

Title: Looking for Technology-Related Instructional Books? Try Safari Tech Books Online!

Now available to all members of the UAlbany community is the Safari Tech Books Online database. This database offers users with a collection of Information Technology (IT) instructional books in eBook format. Safari Tech Books Online may be searched or browsed, and the books are fully cataloged in the Minerva catalog.

To access Safari Tech Books Online, first go to the Databases and Indexes Page of the University Libraries website. Then click on the “S� under Browse by Database Title. Safari Tech Books Online will be at the top of the following page.

There are two options for finding books within Safari Tech Books. You can search for a book using the search bar located at the top of the homepage, as you would with any other online database, or you can browse the entire list of books subscribed to by the University by clicking on the “View All Titles� link. Although the collection includes over 3,700 titles, the University at Albany community will have access to about 150 books. Subjects covered within these titles include Business Statistics, Database Design, Desktop Applications, Web Design and Development, C++ Programming, and Adobe’s Flash, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver programs.

Once you have identified and located the eBook you would like to read, click on its title. The next screen will present you with multiple ways to interact with the selected book. There is the Overview tab, which provides a general summary of the title, as well as a collection of Amazon Reader Reviews. The Table of Contents tab not only displays the table of contents of the selected book, but each item in the contents is clickable and will take you directly to the clicked on chapter. Then there is the Search this Book tab, which allows you to search the entire book for your desired term or phrase.

If there is a page or multiple pages that you would like to save, you have two options. The first option is to email the desired page(s) to your email account. Within the blue bar towards the top left of the page is an “Email this Page� button. Simply click the button and input your email address, and Safari Tech Books will send you the selected page to your inbox. The other option is to print out the desired pages. Next to the Email button in the blue tool bar is a Print button. Click this button and the selected page will be printed.

The following titles are examples of some of the books available as eBooks through the Safari Tech Books database:

Robson, Elisabeth (2005) Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Ulrich, Katherine (2007) Adobe Flash CS3 Professional for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide. Peachpit Press.

If you have any questions or need help using this or any other library database, you can stop by the Reference Desk, give us a call at 442-3691, or use the Ask-A-Librarian Service.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

December 15, 2009

New Resources in Children’s Literature

Here at Dewey Library, new materials are constantly being added to our circulating collection. One topic that has recently seen an influx of new resources is children’s literature. Please take a moment to read about three new resources in children’s literature that have been highlighted in the following paragraphs. If you are interested in getting your hands on any of these books, they can each be found on the New Books Display under their corresponding call numbers.

The first book highlighted as a new resource in children’s literature is Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children’s Literature: Mirrors, Windows, and Doors. With an eye towards deconstructing assumptions based on language, meaning, reading, and literature, this book encourages teachers, teacher educators, and researchers of children’s literature to examine the ideological dimensions of reading and studying literature. Some of the topics covered in the book include the historical construction of children’s literature, the intertextuality of children’s literature, and the social construction of Race, Class, and Gender in children’s literature. At the end of each chapter, readers are provided with Classroom Applications, Recommendations for Classroom Research, and Suggestions for Further Reading. The call number for this book is: Dewey Library / PN 1009.5 M84 B68 2009.

Secondly, we have A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature. The aim of this book is to help teachers, librarians, and other media specialists select quality children’s literature. Rather than only provide selected chapters and text summaries, A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature makes use of examples of specific children’s books to explain critical principles and standards, along with special issues in evaluating books for children. Author Rebecca Lukens provides readers with definitions of literary terms, including plot, character, theme, setting, point of view, style, and tone, as well as criteria for evaluating the quality of children’s books. This book can be found on the New Books Display with the call number:
Dewey Library / PN 1009 A1 L84 2007.

A third recent addition to the children’s literature resources is Multicultural and Ethnic Children’s Literature in the United States. This title provides description of the history and characteristics of ethnic and multicultural children’s history in the United States. Each chapter addresses some aspect of multicultural children’s books, major issues in the field, multicultural initiatives and mainstream responses, research topics, and suggestions for addressing various groups of people. Connections are made between the people, businesses, organizations, and institutions that create, distribute, support, review, and collect children’s literature. The call number for this book is: Dewey Library / Z 1039 M56 G55 2007.

If you have any questions or require assistance related to children’s literature, please contact our User Education Librarian & Bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by phone at 442-3699 or by email at

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

November 17, 2009

SPEC Kits: New Information Studies Resources

Now available at the Dewey Library are six new SPEC Kits. Published by the Association of Research Libraries, these SPEC Kits are the product of collaboration between Librarians and ARL staff. Together they design and edit the components of the SPEC Kits, which serve the needs of the library community worldwide.

According to the Association of Research Libraries' Website:

SPEC surveys gather information from ARL member institutions on current research library practices and policies. SPEC Kits combine the survey results and documentation from ARL member institutions to provide resource guides for libraries as they face ever-changing management problems. These guides help libraries learn about current practice in research libraries, implement new practices and technologies, manage change, and improve performance.

The titles and call numbers of the new SPEC Kits are:

  • Social Software in Libraries: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.304

  • Promoting the Library: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.306

  • Manuscript Collections on the Web: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.307

  • Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.308

  • Library Support for Study Abroad: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.309

  • Public Access Policies: Dewey Library Oversized / Z 678 A88X NO.311

These SPEC Kits can currently be found in the New Books Display, located on the main floor of the library. For more help or information regarding the SPEC Kits, please contact our User Education Librarian & Bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by email at, by telephone at 442-3699, or stop by the Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

October 13, 2009

October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month

President Barack Obama has officially proclaimed October 2009 to be National Information Literacy Awareness Month.

The importance of developing strong information literacy skills has become vitally important in recent years. As more and more people turn to the Internet as a source of instantaneous information, having the ability to evaluate the quality and integrity of information gathered from the Internet is crucial. The role of information literacy is not limited to the Internet; the proliferation of global television and radio networks has contributed to the information overload that often overwhelms and confuses people in search of quality information. Simply having the ability to process data is no longer sufficient. People must be able to collect and assess the value and reliability of information in addition to simply process the data contained within the information.

This October is dedicated to the cause of increasing awareness to the importance of becoming an information literate society. Take a moment to read the text of the official proclamation designating October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina

September 15, 2009

Differing Generations and Social Networking

With their dramatic rise in popularity, social networking sites have become as much an integral part of the Internet experience for the Baby Boomer generation as it has for the current generation of teens and twenty-somethings. With sites like Facebook and Twitter, Baby Boomers are creating accounts and becoming regular users en masse. Social networks, once seen as a private club exclusive to younger users, have recnetly adopted more of a “come one, come all� feel to them resulting in a sudden generational diversity among its users.

A recent Computerworld article described the Pew Research Survey found that as the influx of older users continues, social networks are dramatically altered due to their presence. Just as in the “real world,� significant behavioral differences between Baby Boomers and their children are made manifest in social networks.

Users belonging to Generation Y, often defined as those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, tend to add every single person they’ve ever come into contact with into their social network. These users are not the least bit shy about broadcasting every detail of their daily life through frequent status updates, almost to the point of minutia.

Members of Generation X, identified as those born between 1964 and 1984, who currently make up a large portion of the mainstream workforce, have a tendency to skew their posts about their professional lives instead of their personal lives, much unlike their Gen Y counterparts.

The third generation of social network users is that of the Baby Boomers, traditionally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. These users often use social networks to connect with old friends, share and discuss news items, and explore hobbies. As more Baby Boomers discover and use social networking tools, members of Generation X and Y are not always happy to be sharing these spaces with their parents. Social networks that were once free of parental oversight can now be used as a window into the younger generation’s lives. It seems like it won’t be long before another means of social networking arrives—one that doesn’t encourage Baby Boomers to participate.

You may wish to check out other reports from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. If you have any questions about researching internet user patterns, please contact our Information Studies Bibliographer,Deborah Bernnard. She can be reached by e-mail or by phoning 442-3699.

Blog post created by Matthew Laucidina

July 29, 2009

Preserving Digital Collections

For information science students who are interested in digital access and other digitization projects, you might want to check out the following title:Digital Scholarship edited by Marta Mestrovic Deyrup [Dewey ZA 4080 D549 2009].

This book is a collection of essays written by fellow librarians and archivists concerned with digitization efforts. Each essay presents a challenge or success study about establishing and maintaining digital collections in humanities-based environment. All IST tracks will find at least one chapter of interest. Here are some essays of interest in the book:

The “Russian Doll Effect�: Making the Most of Your Digital Assets/ James Bradley
Bradley studies Ball State University Libraries in Indiana to show that digital objects may have been created to be used in a certain way but were utilized by diverse populations in others ways. He points out that creating any digital object or collection is subject to the Russian Doll Effect: “…objects being utilized outside of their original context, repurposed and embedded within secondary envionrmnets and access by a diverse user group using a variety of ever-changing information pathways and technologies�.

The Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System Online / Bradley L. Schaffner
This chapter discusses a Harvard digitization project dealing with extensive interviews carried out by the Harvard University’s Russian Research Center, studying Soviet Union émigrés who fled to displaced person camps after WWII. This project, known as the Harvard Project on the Soviet System, resulted in over 700 interviews, 60 psychological tests and thousands of questionnaires that sought to understand what life was like in the Soviet Union from 1917-1940.

GIS Technology as an Alternative Way of Access to Historical Knowledge/ Albina Moscicka
This technically-illustrated chapter, perhaps of interest for GIS students, describes how GIS functions can place historical collections and information on a map. Spatial features are studied in presenting researchers with another facet of gaining historical information.

Illuminating the Manuscript Leaves: Digitization Promotes Scholarship and Outreach / Rachel I. Howard, Delinda Stephens Buie and Amy Hanaford Purcell.
For those in the archives track and who love rare books, this chapter will be of interested as it discusses illuminated manuscripts and their digitization. The University of Louisville faced the issue of striking the balance between preserving valuable manuscript leaves and making them highly accessible to anyone, including inner-city school children. Howard et. al. marries these issues with the digitization solution: using ContentDM-based Digtial Collections so valuable manuscripts can be seen digitally in high-enough quality to demonstrate the intricate details medieval manuscripts contain without sacrificing stress on the original manuscript leaf.

This title is currently shelved in the downstairs circulating collection at Dewey. Ask at the Reference Desk if you need any help.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

May 21, 2009

Looking for a new career? Choose Librarianship!

According to U.S. News and World Report, librarian is considered one of the best careers in 2009.

Why is this? The report cites that librarians are expected to be more than their stereotype portrays: they are high-tech, problem solving, people-helping professionals. Librarians today are expected to apply Web 2.0 technologies all while helping people find the information they need. Plus, many librarians (myself included!) find the working environment “pleasant and the work hours reasonable�.

There are various types of librarians as well. Public librarians and school librarians are most common, but special librarians take their profession to a more specialized area. An example of a special librarian would be a law librarian or a medical librarian. Even in these tough economic times, library positions in special libraries are still available and growing.

The median salary for a librarian hovers around $47,400 depending on the type of librarian you become. One needs a Masters in Information and/or Library Science from an ALA-accredited University, such as University at Albany.

If you want more information, ask our librarians – after all, they know best about the profession and are always welcoming new information professionals.

Blog post created by Jill Parsons

May 12, 2009

Interested in Academic Librarianship? Here's a Program for You!

Here at the University at Albany Libraries, you can augment your experience as an Information Science student. The libraries are one of the few Academic Research Libraries that participate in the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) Career Enhancement Program (CEP). This program provides participants with the opportunity to gain knowledge about and work experience in an academic research library.

The University at Albany libraries will host two of the CEP fellows this summer. Arturo Longoria is from the University at Texas at Austin and Sandra Baker Castro is from here at the University at Albany. They will be on campus from May 18 through July 25. To kick off their fellowships, they will attend the Eastern New York ACRL conference held this year at Hudson Valley Community College. Once on campus, they will gain work experience in various organizations within the University Libraries (Interlibrary Loan, Archives and Special Collections, Reference and User Education, Dewey Graduate Library, Acquisitions, and Preservation).

While here, they will also meet with various University and Library groups (Library Policy Group, Collections Personnel, Systems and Technical Services Personnel, Library Faculty, User Services Personnel, staff in the Library and University Community as well as Capital District Area College Directors).

Not only does the University at Albany offer degrees in its Information Science department, the University Libraries provide additional experiences to help you on your way to an enjoyable career.

Blog post created by Judith Mueller

Interested in Academic Librarianship? Here's a Program for You!

Here at the University at Albany Libraries, you can augment your experience as an Information Science student. The libraries are one of the few Academic Research Libraries that participate in the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) Career Enhancement Program (CEP). This program provides participants with the opportunity to gain knowledge about and work experience in an academic research library.

The University at Albany libraries will host two of the CEP fellows this summer. Arturo Longoria is from the University at Texas at Austin and Sandra Baker Castro is from here at the University at Albany. They will be on campus from May 18 through July 25. To kick off their fellowships, they will attend the Eastern New York ACRL conference held this year at Hudson Valley Community College. Once on campus, they will gain work experience in various organizations within the University Libraries (Interlibrary Loan, Archives and Special Collections, Reference and User Education, Dewey Graduate Library, Acquisitions, and Preservation).

While here, they will also meet with various University and Library groups (Library Policy Group, Collections Personnel, Systems and Technical Services Personnel, Library Faculty, User Services Personnel, staff in the Library and University Community as well as Capital District Area College Library Directors).

Not only does the University at Albany offer degrees in its Information Science department, the University Libraries provide additional experiences to help you on your way to an enjoyable career.

March 31, 2009

A Useful Tool for School Library Media Specialists and Public Librarians

A good source for library patrons to search for printed books, audio books, and videos is the new Books in Print : Patron Books in Print ( This new database is put out by the same company (Bowker) that puts out the original Books in Print ( database. This original database is widely used by libraries, booksellers, and publishers. Books in Print : Patron Books in Print provides a more user-friendly interface designed for easier use for library patrons. This new product provides a reader’s advisory which finds titles of books that are similar to ones your patrons have already enjoyed. It also provides a way to search by subject, author, or by literary award. You can also narrow your browsing by only browsing in works of fiction, non-fiction, or in books written especially for children.

On the first screen there is a link that lets you take a tour of this new interface to learn more about all that it has to offer. For example, when you browse this database you will find that your results are displayed by Books, Audio Books, and Videos. You can then sort these results alphabetically by author, alphabetically by title, by price, and by release date. If available, cover images and reviews are also provided along with each result. If you find books that look interesting you can also save them in a My Favorite Books list.

You can access this new database from the Databases and Indexes page by entering “Books in Print : Patrons Books in Print� in the Find a Database field or by selecting the “B� in the Browse by database title field.

If you have any questions about this or any other Information Studies database, please contact our Information Studies Bibliographer, Deborah Bernnard. Her phone number is 442-3699, and her email is

Blog post created by Judith Mueller

March 3, 2009

Preliminary Report from Project Information Literacy

Ever wonder what the difference is between today’s typical college student and those of us who attended college before the Internet became the preminent tool for information delivery?
Finding Context: What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age is a preliminary report by Project Information Literacy on their findings from discussions with students on seven college campuses during Fall 2008.

The impetus for this research was to find out how college students “function in the digital age�. Discussion groups focused on students’ experience with research and their strategies for completing research projects. An important finding is that research has become more difficult for students to conduct.

Two types of research were identified: research that is undertaken because a research paper has been assigned for an academic course, and research that is spurred by incidents associated with students’ every day life such as health and wellness, news, domestic, career and spiritual. Students found the research process more frustrating when engaging in course related research. Their major complaint was an inability to find appropriate resources. However, students also reported frustrations with researching everyday life problems.

The authors, Alison J. Head and Michael B. Eisenberg, from the Information School, University of Washington, found that students have difficulty establishing context for both types of research that they regularly engage in. They hope to create a typology that will help faculty and librarians understand exactly where the need for context occurs in students’ research behavior. You can access the preliminary report online at More data is currently being collected by Project Information Literacy. Keep your eye out for further developments on this fascinating topic.

Blog post created by Deborah Bernnard

February 10, 2009

Where have all of President George W. Bush’s papers gone?

Now that we have a new president, what happens to all of President George W. Bush’s papers from his eight years in office? Eventually, they will be available in his Presidential Library. Until then, an archivist in the National Archives and Records Administration takes possession of all of his papers and artifacts and maintains them in a temporary depository. George W. Bush’s temporary depository is currently in Lewisville, Texas. The permanent location will eventually be on the Southern Methodist University campus. Public access to his records is governed by the Presidential Records Act (PRA) passed in 1978. This act states that George W. Bush’s records are not available for public access until January 20, 2014 (5 years after the end of his Administration). The PRA also changed the legal status of the Presidential and Vice Presidential materials. Under this act, the official records of the President and his staff are owned by the United States, not by the President. These records are eligible for access under the Freedom of Information act (FOIA), but the President can restrict access to specific kinds of information for up to 12 years after he leaves office.

The Presidential Libraries Act (44 U.S.C 2108) of 1955 established the Presidential Library System. These libraries are Presidential Archival Depositories and are part of the National Archives System. They provide for the transfer of Presidential papers and artifacts to the Federal Government. While the libraries are privately built, they are maintained by the federal government. While the act was signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1955, there are Presidential libraries for President Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman who all came before him. The Presidential Libraries Act was amended in 1986 (PL 99-323, H.R. 1349) and made significant changes to the Presidential Libraries including requiring private endowments linked to the size of the facility. The National Archives website provides information about the various laws and regulations governing the operation and access to presidential libraries.

As far as the Presidential libraries are concerned, there are three types of Presidential materials. The law that applies depends on how the materials are defined and the year it was created. Until the Reagan administration, materials created during the presidency, with the exception of Nixon, were considered personal property of the President or his staff and were considered donated historical materials. The acceptance of these collections is covered by the PLA of 1955 and may include any restrictions on access to these materials set by the donors. Thus some materials may not be available for research. However, the PRA in 1978 changed the legal status of Presidential and Vice Presidential materials. Under this law, the official records are owned by the United States. These records are available for access under the FOIA. Only the Nixon Presidential Historical Materials are governed by the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974.

A few books on Presidential Libraries that we have here in Dewey Library are:

  • Presidential Libraries and Collections by Fritz Veil – Dewey Library / CD 3029.82 V45 1987

  • Records of the Presidency : Presidential Papers and Libraries from Washington to Reagan by Frank L. Schick with Renee Schick and Mark Carroll – Dewey Library / Reference : CD 3029.82 S35 1989

  • Presidential Papers and the Presidential Library System by Jannean L. Elliott – Dewey Library / CD 330299.82 E44 1981

  • The History and Organization of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York (microform) by Frances Bromiley – Dewey Library / Microfiche: Z 674 A88X No. 117

Information about the thirteen Presidential Libraries can be found at the following links:

Blog post created by Judith Mueller

January 12, 2009

When Do I use a DOI?

When using online journal articles you may have noticed that they sometimes include a DOI number, and wondered as to its significance. Here are some Q & A about DOI’s and what they are used for.

Q.: What does “DOI� stand for?
A: DOI stands for Digial Object Identifier. This is essentially a persistent identification number for digital content.

Q: What does “persistent identification number for digital content� mean in plain English?
A: Essentially what this means for academic researchers is that an electronic document (say, an online journal article) is given a unique ID number that will enable anyone to find the document on the web.

Q: Why not just use a URL or web address?
A: Sometimes the location of a document changes on the web – the URL changes, for example, or the publisher of the journal changes. Even if the location or other information about the article (metadata) changes, the DOI remains the same and the article can still be located through that number.

Q: How do I use the DOI?
A: One easy way is to enter the number into Google. Google will recognize the number and will take you right to the material (or information on where to find it).

Q: What if you need a paid online subscription to access the journal?
A: The DOI will not provide you with the full text, but will provide you with the publisher’s site or other citation to the article. You will still have to check Minerva to see if we subscribe to the journal.

Q: Do I have to include the DOI in my bibliography or list of references?
A: APA format stipulates that one include the DOI in a citation when it is available. For assistance with this, Ask A Librarian. Here is an example:

Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2008) Guidance, policy and practice and the health needs of young people leaving care. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 30(1), 31 – 47. doi: 10.1080/09649060802124760.

Q: Are DOI’s used just for journal articles?
A: No, DOI’s are used for a wide range of electronic documents and content. For more information, see

December 2, 2008

Career Resources for Information Studies Students

Information Studies students might want to check out the library web page for useful information when looking for employment. On the library’s main web page on the right hand side, select “Information and Library Science� in the “My Research Subject is…� field. Then select “Internet Resources� at the top of the screen. And finally select the “Employment� link in the right hand column. You will find a number of useful internet sites that contain job listings in the information and library science fields. These job listings are both local to the Capital District (Capital District Library Council Job Postings ) as well as around the United States. (ALA Joblist).

You might want to also check out the Department of Information Science web page. Select the Resources for Students link in the left hand column of the main page. If you scroll down the page you will find the Career Links section. Within this section, select the Job Search link. Here the Internet sites are grouped together by location: Regional, New England Area, National, and International. Within the National group they are also grouped further by type of library: Academic, Archives & Records Management, General, Government, High-tech, Meta Job Sites, School Libraries, and Special Libraries.

Another source for information about employment in the information and library science field are the following two books that can be found in Dewey Library. These books are relatively recent books therefore the information they contain will be more relevant than some others. With the changes in technology in recent years, like many other careers, the information and library science career has changed dramatically.

• The Nextgen Librarian's Survival Guide by Rachel Singer Gordon (Z 682.35 V62 G67 2006)
• Straight From the Stacks : a Firsthand Guide to Careers in Library and Information Science by Laura Townsend Kane (Z 682.35 V62 K36 2003).

Blog post created by Judith Mueller

October 28, 2008

Information Studies Students -- Consider a Professional Association!

As an Information Studies student, you receive many email messages about a number of professional organizations and their various divisions. You might be confused as to what they are all about and why you should join them. Once you graduate and find work, belonging to a professional organization is the best way to keep up with the latest changes in any profession including librarianship.

Participating in a national association such as the American Library Association, reading their publications and attending their conferences keeps you informed of the latest changes in technologies and ideologies. Joining a state association such as the New York Library Association allows you to keep informed of your state government’s support (or lack of thereof) for the local public and school libraries.

You may wish to join one or more sections, divisions or roundtabies within each association, such as those for catalogers, science librarians, or bibliographic instruction librarians. This allows you to meet and learn from your fellow librarians in the same or similar specialized fields.

Here is a list of some of library associations:

The following are local Capital District library associations:

There are even a few student groups on campus:

There is even a social and networking librarian’s group here in the Capital District:

And if you like to travel, there is even an international association:
  • IFLA - International Federation of Library Associations

  • The American Library Association or ALA is a very important association to join if you work in any library setting. This national group produces many useful publications for librarians such as the journals Booklist (containing recommended-only reviews of books, audio books, reference sources, video, and DVD titles) to Choice (containing reviews for collection development and scholarly research).

    Probably the biggest reason to join as a student is because student fees are much cheaper than once you are out working in the field and have to pay regular fees. While some employers will pay for your association fees, others won’t.

    There are a great number of library associations out there. If you are interested in learning about others, check out this link:

    October 7, 2008

    New Book for Students Interested in Government Information

    A new book available at Dewey Library entitled Managing Electronic Government Information in Libraries: Issues and Practices will interest students who need to work with or access government information electronically. Information Science students interested in working as government documents librarians as well as those interested in working as reference, map, digital, or technical services librarians may also find this book useful.

    Since this book was edited by Andrea M. Morrison for the Government Documents Round Table of ALA, its focus is on discussing the issues of electronic government collections specifically for depository libraries. However, it provides useful information for all types of libraries. With the government providing information electronically more and more, the issues of providing access to it becomes a concern for all. For example, in the past you could find the printed IRS tax forms at most public libraries. Now, since the IRS has stopped printing most specialized forms, public librarians need to know how to access these forms for their patrons.

    This book also provides guidance for implementing and improving services for various populations like the underserved, young adults, and children. It also touches upon collection development, bibliographic control as well as integrating electronic government documents into reference services. It discusses the managing of local, state, federal, as well as international electronic government resources as well.

    Managing Electronic Government Information in Libraries: Issues and Practices currently is shelved in the New Books Display behind the monitor on the first floor but later will be shelved at Dewey Z 688 G6 M37 2008.

    Blog post created by Judith Mueller

    September 8, 2008

    Interested in the Latest Research About Libraries?

    If you are interested in reading some of the latest research concerning libraries you might want to check out the Research Reports section of the Information and Library Science area on the library web site. This research currently contains such topics as the future of libraries, library usage, and library perceptions.

    These reports are compiled by various library advocacy groups such as American Library Association (ALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Online Computer Learning Center (OCLC). One report (Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources) surveyed library users for their perceptions of libraries and the role they play when doing electronic research, while its companion report (OCLC: College Students Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources) found that while older students were more positive about libraries when seeking information, younger students were less positive.

    To find these reports, from the library main web page , go to the My Research Subject Is... field on the right hand side of the page. Then click on the Choose Your Subject menu and select Information & Library Science. Click on the first bullet in the list Internet Resources in Information and Library Science . Then click on Research Reports.

    These reports can be especially useful if you need to come up with a topic for a research paper. If you have questions about these or other Information Studies resources, contact Information Studies Bibliographer Deborah Bernnard.

    August 11, 2008

    New Book by Information Studies Professor

    In this hurried modern world, students these days are often more concerned about ‘passing the test’ than actually learning. Computerized social networking groups, blogs, and other online entertainment have changed the way we socialize, the internet has changed the way we gather information, and instant messaging and email challenge our concept of space and time. As a result, now more than ever, the village in the expression “It takes a village to raise a child� has become a global village.

    A new book co-authored by University at Albany professor Joette Stefl-Mabry, Knowledge Communities: Bringing the Village into the Classroom, discusses how the local and global community should become a bigger part of the classroom. In this modern world, feeling connected to and belonging to larger groups has changed dramatically. Children are no longer participating in family dinners or even playing outdoors with their neighbors. Now children spend more time with and feel a sense of belonging to their online communities. With this change in how children relate to the world the authors’ state the need “to create schools that maximize the students’ ability to interact with the world around them.�

    The authors advocate the need to create ‘Knowledge Communities� as a way to organize the world. These knowledge communities are comprised of “people in diverse positions who collectively help members of an enterprise shape their future.� By bringing the world into the classroom, students can see how they are a part of this larger global village. The authors’ state that we need “to be proactive and not reactive� to the changes in society that shape how students see their world. This book is invaluable to those interested in preparing students to become

    Co-author Joette Stefl-Mabry is an Assistant Professor with the College of Computing and Information, Department of Information Studies as well as an Assistant Research Professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University at Albany. This book can be found in both the Main Library as well as Dewey Library with the Call Number of LB 2833.82 S8415 2006. For now, in Dewey Library it can be found on the New Book Shelf near the Reference Desk.

    Blog post created by Judith O. Mueller

    April 15, 2008

    New: Archives Guide

    A new subject guide for IST students in the Archives track, is now available on the Libraries’ web site. This guide is a terrific starting point for conducting research about archival collections, preservation, and records management. You can easily find the guide from the University Libraries’ main web page. Using the drop down menu under the words "My Research Subject Is,� choose the subject "Information and Library Science." One of the options that appears is a link for Archives: A Guide to Information Sources.

    The resources are broken down into five main categories. The first, Finding Articles, highlights specific databases for locating scholarly articles dealing with archives and records management. The nature of archives research is interdisciplinary -- with content found in information science, education, and history databases.

    The Finding Books category provides a quick overview of Minerva, the library's online catalog, and Interlibrary Loan. However the most helpful information here may be the list of the most common Library of Congress Subject Headings for archives and records management. These terms can save you time when searching Minerva and other library catalogs. Most books related to archives are located here at Dewey, but any items housed at the uptown libraries can be obtained through UA Delivery.

    While not the primary focus of this research guide, the section Locating Archival Collections provides links to some popular online sources for finding special collections and other types of repositories.

    Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Bibliographies relating to the study of archives are found in the Dewey Library Reference Collection. A quick description of these ready referenc sources, along with its call number make this section of the research guide a quick, but extremely useful stop.

    Internet Resources includes web links for everything from professional archival associations, to sites dealing with topical issues such as digital preservation. These sites have been vetted for authority and reliability by our Information Studies Subject Specialist.

    If you have any questions or need further assistance, remember, you can always Ask-A-Librarian! For researching in-depth topics relating to archives and records management we encourage you to contact the Information Studies Subject Specialist, Deborah Bernnard.

    Blog post created by Michael Daly

    October 3, 2007

    New Information Studies Resource

    Finding information about technology is critical to today’s Information Studies students and faculty. In an effort enhance our offering of technology resources available to the UA community, the University Libraries now subscribe to the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Digital Library database. ACM is a widely recognized organization with a mission to advance computing as a science and a profession.

    This database is a vast collection of citations and full text from ACM journal and newsletter articles, as well as conference proceedings. Key topics include: computer technology, online education, software engineering, programming, networking, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and information systems, to name a few.

    Free registration is required to access personalized services, such as table-of-contents (TOC) alerts and virtual binders. The TOC alert service sends an email when a new issue of an ACM resource has been posted in the digital library. The virtual binder is your own personal bibliography where you can organize and store copies of articles of interest or build your own resource list for future research.

    The ACM Digital Library is available from the Libraries’ Databases and Indexes page. As always, if you need help with this or any other library resource drop by the Dewey Library Reference Desk, call us at 442-3691, or submit ani Ask-A-Librarian request online.

    September 20, 2006

    New Information Studies Journal Available

    Dewey Library is proud to announce that it is now receiving Public Services Quarterly, which happens to be edited by the University Libraries’ own Trudi Jacobson, who is the coordinator of User Education Programs. This journal is a great addition to our collection of journals on academic librarianship. It focuses on all areas of public service in academic libraries, including reference, information literacy and instruction, access and delivery services, e-reserves, and digital collections.

    Public Services Quarterly is available both in print at the Dewey Library (call number Z 711 P845) and online through Minerva.

    September 14, 2006

    New Databases for Information Studies Students

    University Libraries have recently added two new databases of interest to Information Studies Students available through EBSCO Host: Education Research Complete and Book Index with Reviews.

    Education Research Complete is a large education database that covers all levels of education from early childhood through higher education. Although Education Research Complete is primarily an education database, it also includes a number of Library and Information Science journals. Deborah Bernnard, bibliographer for Information Studies, thinks that this database will be very useful to Information Studies students. She says that “it will help students obtain citations to recently published resources. It also includes publications from many trade associations; which can help to add to the practitioner’s viewpoint to student research.� With indexing and abstracting of 1500 education journals and full-text coverage of 750 journals, Education Research Complete is the largest full-text education database available.

    The library also has a one-year free trial of Book Index with Reviews, whose goal is to help users “find information on the books you want and need to read.� The database contains information on a very wide range of books (3.8 million total), including both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Juvenile books range from pre-school to high-school level and adult book coverage extends from popular literature to the academic research level. Book Index with Reviews also has over 800,000 book reviews from sources including Library Journal, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Choice. Deborah Bernnard thinks that it is an especially good resource for finding book reviews of popular titles.

    You can access these databases through the Database Finder at

    July 5, 2006

    New and Notworthy in the Information Science Collection

    Deborah Bernnard would like Information Studies students and faculty to be aware of two useful new books that have content about careers in Information Studies:

    Dowell, D. R. & McCabe, G. B. (2006) It’s all about student learning: Managing community and other college libraries in the 21st century. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
    Dewey Z 675 J8 I87 2006

    This book’s focus is on Community College and Small College libraries. The authors differentiate these institutions from other academic libraries by their collection policies. These libraries are more likely to collect materials that support student learning rather than faculty research. The book contains a series of essay chapters written by working librarians in which they explain how to: organize a Community College library, motivate Community College students, market the library to students and faculty, manage library budgets and more.

    It’s all about student learning: Managing community and other college libraries in the 21st century is full of practical advice that will be of benefit to librarians who are just starting their careers as well as more experienced librarians. For example, Patricia Vierthaler, Technical Services Librarian at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina, provides a detailed primer on long range planning and David R. Dowell, Director of the Library/Learning Resources at Cuesta College, in California, provides a useful chapter on budgeting. The book also includes several short one to two page appendices which contain advice on selected topics.

    Skrzeszewski, S. (2006). The knowledge entrepreneur. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press.
    Dewey Z 682.35 V62 S57 2006

    The Knowledge Entrepreneur is written for graduates of Information Studies programs who don’t want to work in libraries. Instead of becoming a librarian think about becoming a knowledge entrepreneur. Skrzeszewski defines a knowledge entrepreneur as “someone who is skilled at creating and using intellectual assets for the development of new ventures or services that will lead to personal and community wealth creation or to improved and enhanced services�(Skrzeszewski, 3). Skills, characteristics and traits that make a good entrepreneur are described and case studies of entrepreneurs in action are interspersed throughout the book.

    Skrzeszewski himself is a trained librarian who has left a 22 year career in libraries to become a consultant. He has written an engaging how-to book that forecasts some of the career niches for future MSIS and MLS graduates.

    Both of these books may be checked out of the Dewey Library. Stop by the Reference Desk if you have trouble locating them.