Monday, September 29, 2008

Book Some Time to Help Out at the Public Library -- Volunteer Now!

From the Pasadena Star News Sept 28, 2008, p. A4
Book some time to help out at the public library
By Linda Fields Gold, Staff Writer

South Pasadena Library, 1100 Oxley St.
The advantage of working at the library is that it connects you to your community and its activities, you become a part of educational and cultural events, you make the library a better place and use your talents and skills to stay active, and you meet nice people.
South Pasadena needs teen volunteers and adults who are interested in helping with children's storytimes. Or, if you like working quietly behind the scenes, you might choose to mend or re-shelve items.
People who reshelve recently returned items are very much in demand. Shelf readers are vital and make sure materials are in order so that they can be easily found by the next patron.
International Collection Aides use foreign language skills, including Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
Computer Data Input Aides input data for forms, databases, indexes, charts, reports, and statistical tracking.
If you are interested in assisting at South Pasadena, you must stop in and fill out an application. All library volunteers receive training and recognition at an annual event. Those who work with children must pass a background security clearance.
For more information on the South Pasadena options, please call (626) 403-7330, Library Administration offices.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Dark Librarian - Call of the Dewey

Librarian videos crack me up. There are a lot more of them than there use to be and getting funnier all the time.

Who needs The Dark Knight when you have "The Dark Librarian."

This one is mostly silent with title cards so all can enjoy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Job Opportunity - Temporary Position - Circulation Assistant

Library Associates Companies (LAC) is seeking a Circulation Assistant
for a position with a public library in Pasadena, California.

This is a temporary part-time (15 hours per week) paraprofessional position for a
candidate who will work a busy Circulation Desk, process branch collection deliveries,
patron returns and holds and respond to telephone information requests.

Mondays: 3pm-9pm (with 1/2 lunch)
Fridays: 3pm-6pm
Saturdays: 11am-6pm (with 1/2 lunch)
The duration for this position is 2-3 months.

-Previous work in a Public Library highly desirable.
-Experience with circulation systems preferable.
-Excellent customer service.

To Apply:
* For immediate consideration please email your cover letter and
resume to Joanne Schwarz at,, with a courtesy
copy to
* Please use "Circulation Assistant - Pasadena #1069" as the subject line of your email;

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Refund Deadline and Campus Flex Day

For those of you that dropped a class by the drop deadline, tomorrow is the last day to apply for a refund. Refunds for the Fall session will be available at the Student Bank from Monday, October 20 - Saturday, December 20, 2008.

Next Wednesday, October 1, 2008, is Faculty Flex day so there will be no classes in session and the library will be closed as well. Enjoy the day and/or night off whatever it may be for you!

University of the West Library Chinese Cataloging Internship

The University of the West Library has an internship opportunity for students who are interested on learning Chinese cataloging. Internships for credit require enrollment in LIB 106 Field Practice and 6 additional units at PCC.

If you are interested please contact:

Ling-Ling Kuo, Librarian, University of the West Library
1409 Walnut Grove Ave, Rosemead, CA
(626) 571-8811 x. 135

Volunteer Opportunity at City Terrace Library

City Terrace Library (in East LA, part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library) is starting a Friends of the Library group and looking for volunteers interested in becoming members.

If you are interested please contact Jing Li, Community Library Manager
City Terrace Library
County of Los Angeles Public Library
4025 E. City Terrace Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90063
(323) 261-0295 (phone)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Am A Librarian Video From I Love Libraries

It has been a while since I've posted singing librarian videos and there is no time like the present to show passions for information with a 1/3 or 2/4 beat. This is a captioned video sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy on why librarians are important and how cool it is to be one.

This video was sponsored by the ALA Office of Diversity in support of the Spectrum Scholarships. To be eligible for a Spectrum Scholarship (from the website):
  • Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada.
  • Applicant must be American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.
  • Applicant must attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an ALA-recognized NCATE School Library Media program.
  • Applicant shall have completed no more than a third of the credit requirements toward her/his MLIS or school library media degree at the time of award, June 1st.
  • Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited program and begin school no later than September 1st or the Fall Semester immediately following the award.
  • Applicants may have full or part time status.
If you are interested in becoming a librarian and need financial assistance to help you along the path check out the Spectrum Scholarship information page at ALA Office of Diversity.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Library Video Love from Detrimental Information

The first time I saw this gentleman perform I was sitting in the front row with a roomful of videobloggers. Half of us were laughing so hard we were gasping for oxygen and the other half were just stunned.

The second time I actually met him in person and I probably said more stupid things in front of him than I have in a lifetime. I could have been more tactful but you live and you learn. So here is a long distance amends with a thumping beat.

John is a gifted storyteller and performer. This is one of his more accessible works where he is riffing on his love of libraries. He will take you places you didn't expect to go.

If you want to see more of his work you can visit his blog/vlog at Detrimental Information or cruise through his YouTube page.

How can I say this. From an auditory standpoint his other work is not necessarily safe for work. I'm not talking about so-called bad words. It is more the images he can put in your head that you will spend time reviewing or expelling. He's that good.

Arizona Uses School Aids Replace Librarians

Because of Arizona state budget cuts Arizona elementary, middle and high school librarians were transferred out of the school libraries. Some were placed in school classrooms. Many of the librarians choose to retire instead.

School Aids, not necessarily trained or certified Library Technicians/Paraprofessionals, will take over the duties of running the school libraries. There is discussion about having the aids take a library technology certification program at Mesa Community College but as it stands now there is no formal training.

You can read the news story at the Arizona Republic website. In addition please read some of the comments. There are folks that believe because there is access to the Internet that librarians are no longer needed. There are other people who make a good case that search has become much more complicated and you need trained professionals to access quality and reliable information.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Hopefully, you are all settling into your new classes. I have to admit these last two weeks were quite a flurry of events for me with adding and dropping classes, starting a 2nd part-time library position, and experiencing first-hand the non-stop activity at the Circulation desk at the PCC Library. I shall elaborate more on my experiences as a student in the various library classes I'm taking and my work experience on the blog this coming school year.

As some of you may have noticed, I started guest blogging back in May of this year. I recently became head blogger as Gena was looking for someone to take over the blog. She is not leaving the blog which is a good thing as she covers more technology topics than I will. In addition to blogging about life as a student and my library assistant jobs, I will continue "At Your Local Library" while starting up "Where Are They Now?" which will consist of interviewing past graduates of the Library Technology program, and interviewing librarians and other library support staff from the PCC Shatford Library, current library students and more. Since I didn't get a chance to discuss more about what I saw and learned while at the ALA conference back in June, I will reveal more in future posts.

Feel free to drop comments and/or suggestions of topics you'd like to see on the blog. If you're interested in being a guest or a regular contributor, do not be shy! We'd love to see more faces on here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MeritAid - Scholarship Money Made Easier to Find

There are billions of dollars in scholarship money available. The problem is accessing legitimate places to find those scholarships that are looking for you. I'm testing out a new service called MeritAid.

MeritAid Scholarship Search

On the Internet you do have to be careful, there are a lot of flim-flam operations and rip-offs about finding scholarship information. What MeritAid does is gather your information and find schools that match up to your interests.

In addition they will also show you a list of the schools in a certain geographical area that you might be interested in attending. By clicking on the name of the school you can see how much it cost to attend, the acceptance rate and the amount of aid the school could supply.

Transfer and Graduate money
In addition, you can see if there is funding for freshmen, sophomore, transfer or graduate students. You can filter the result to show just those scholarship that apply to your situation.

UCLA Blue & Gold Scholarship
In this example from UCLA there is the Blue and Gold scholarship and the UCLA Regents scholarship that is available for transfer students. You do have to register with the site. There is also a place for you to set up your profile so that the more details that you provide the better the potential match between you and the institution.

This is a relatively new service, it is still in Beta but for those of you looking to go on to Library School or to continue your education elsewhere this is an effective way to find out if you can afford the school and if you can obtain scholarship or grant based assistance.

As always you should read the terms of service. The site will share your information with schools but it states that it will not personally identify you. You will also have the option of declining invitations from schools that would like you to attend there place of learning.

I have no desire in going into debt to complete my education. That may not be realistic but it is my primary goal for now. I will continue to evaluate if this site can help me locate a school that I can afford and has the ability to assist me without the use of student loans. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Senior Library Clerk - City of Monterey Park

Here are a few more details about the position that Krista Goguen referred to in her email. You don't have much time to apply so here we go; this is an extract from the web site. If you would like more info on the position you can download the job information brochure.

(Open/Competitive, Full-Time Position in Children’s Division)

THE POSITION: Under general supervision, the Senior Library Clerk performs difficult and responsible clerical and paraprofessional duties; supervises staff and volunteers; assists patrons with reference requests in person, by fax, E-mail, Internet or telephone in a computerized, automated environment; demonstrates and interprets On-line Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and Internet information; writes and prepares procedures, reports, flyers, program displays and other materials; makes presentations including story times and class visits; designs and conducts activities such as finger plays and craft programs; supervises, trains and evaluates assigned personnel; maintains records and provides data; recommends materials to be added to or deleted from collection; conducts tours of the Library; may serve on committees and performs other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of: reference sources, techniques and/or cataloging techniques including electronic formats; library functions, organizations and policies; modern library clerical procedures and practices. Ability to: interpret and determine patron needs; locate desired resources; use independent judgment; supervise and direct the activities of assigned staff; establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different backgrounds, different degrees of English expertise and different age groups; maintain required records; communicate effectively both orally in one-on-one situations, in front of groups, and in writing; type accurately at a speed of 45 wpm; operate standard office equipment and machines.

Education and Experience: Any combination of experience and education that has provided the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical combination would be: an Associate’s degree in Library Science from an accredited school, college or University and three years experience equivalent to a Library Clerk in a public library.

Licenses/Certificates: A valid Class C Driver's License and a satisfactory driving record are required at the time of appointment and as a continuing condition of employment.

DEADLINE: September 18, 2008. Completed City application and typing certificate, including any related educational or training documents and certificates, must be submitted to the City of Monterey Park Human Resources Department, 320 W. Newmark Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754 within the filing period. Faxes or Postmarks will not be accepted. A Current Typing certificate (issued within 1 year) from an accredited business school, adult school, or employment agency must be submitted with the application.

Also remember to check the Job Listings and Employment Sites on the Library Technology Program Website.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Carlyle Letters - Victorian Reference Sources

There is something to be said about obtaining history from primary sources. If you are interested in the Victorian era, life during the time of the potato famine or how people communicated without cell phones, Internet or even telegraph then you should visit The Carlyle Letters Online from Duke University Press.

Duke University Press Carlyle Letters Online
You will have the opportunity to meet Thomas and Jane Carlyle and be introduced to some of their family, friends and life in the 19th century. There are over 10,000 letters written to and from the leading lights of the day such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many more.

You will also get a sense of gender relations, travel, the importance of the Victorian class system and an overview of the society at that time.

Insight on the Potato Famine

One of the letters I read talked about the Irish population and the Potato Famine. The disease that infected potato cultivation did not just affect the Irish community. Most of the United Kingdom was impacted. As the potato crop died other crops became more valuable and fortunes were lost and made because of the famine.

I learned that there was a proposal to provide job infrastructure projects to help the Irish population sustain itself. The project was discourage and defeated by the merchants and landlords. The business class felt that such assistance would be a violation of free trade. It gives me an opportunity to compare that sentiment with discussions we in the 21st century are having about health care and governmental involvement.

Easy To Navigate and Find Information

It is easy to find letters on a certain topic. You can search by date, by the recipient of the letter or by subject. For example, when I selected London Library, I was provided a list of letters that talked of Thomas Carlyle's concern about who should be the next Librarian.

The letters are all connected via links so that you can follow the flow of the "conversations" or jump to a specific writer and follow his/her contributions. There are subject notes and footnotes to help explain changes in meaning or obscure words.

This is an excellent resource to add to your research and information gathering kit.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Big Huge Labs - Writer Text Editor

There is something to be said for simplicity. No bells or doo-dads to get in your way. Just a woman and her text editor. Text editor? Have I gone retro?

Writer Online Text Editor
Yes, I guess I have. For the moment anyway. I am not forsaking my word processing programs. But there are times when looking at a blank white screen is intimidating. I wander. I find things that I shouldn't be fooling with when I need to crank stuff out.

But for some reason gazing at a black screen with green type takes me back to the days when all I could do was type. And words starts to stream out of my left side of the brain.

Here are some of the advantages of using an on-line text editor:
  • You can use it anytime, anywhere that you are on the Internet.
  • For students it is a quick tool you can use to do research and copy citations and web addresses into the program.
  • It has a spell checker and a word counter.
  • Writer will allow you to save what you have written as a text file, or as a .pdf file. You can email it to yourself. I had a problem doing that. It never let me enter my email address.
  • It is free as in no cost to you. But if you really like it you can make a donation.
You can customize the type and the color. Green is not you thing, go old school Orange/Amber. So everything old is new again. Give it a try and see if it works for you.