Saturday, March 28, 2009

Library Technician Dialog - When 2 LT's Blog

It is a good day when I find an active library technician/assistant blog. From Canada, Library Technician Dialog contains posts from two LT's, Brenda who has interests in professional development and Karen who works in a law firm library.

Library Technician Dialog Blog
I'm liking what I see here; Karen writes about adding value to her library job by showing her firm what a library assistant can really do for the firm. There is a joint post on how both of them apply that idea into reality.

There is a post on how Twitter can be more than just a time waste, it is a way to make or maintain contact with people in your profession. Brenda writes about the need for storytelling and public speaking skills (Yes, you do need them! No, you can't hide behind the stacks and hope people will go away.) She also writes about Wikis and a few Wiki options.

For those of you that asked for more relevant LT/LA information that matches what you are learning or what you might experience on the job, here you go. Make time to visit, it is worth it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ohio State University Cartoon Library and Museum

I do like cartoons. I like libraries. In a perfect world there would be a cartoon library. Fortunately, even in an imperfect world there is a cartoon library. The Ohio State University Cartoon Library and Museum has been in existence since 1977.

Ohio State University Cartoon Library
According the the About Us page its mission is to:
...develop a comprehensive research collection documenting American printed cartoon art, to organize the materials, and to provide access to these resources.
The scope of the collection includes:
  • editorial cartoons
  • comic strips
  • comic books
  • graphic novels
  • sports cartoons
  • magazine cartoons

There is a database to locate a certain artist or work:
OSU Cartoon DatabaseYou can search by creator, type of publication, type of market, the name of the cartoon or the format that the cartoon or graphic novel was published. Not all comics are represented but you do get to search for some of the early work in the topic.

You can view some of the collection online in galleries and albums:

Cartoon Artist Gallery
This is a great example of a specialized library and a library/museum partnerships.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Volunteer Opportunities at Pasadena (CA) Central Library

The main branch needs volunteer assistance with the Pasadena Community Calendar and the online database

What is involved:
  • Data entry,
  • Online research and verification,
  • Customer service.
Provides an opportunity to gain inside knowledge of the various facets of public libraries.

Required skills:
  • Effective computer skills: software, browser and typing;
  • Effective communication skills: telephone and e-mail.
Recommended preparation
  • Completion of: LIB 1, 10A, Bit25/CIS 1, LIB 102 (Reference) and LIB 105A (Cataloging)
  • 5 hours per week, Monday- Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm. Flexible schedule.
  • Minimum commitment of 4 months.
To apply, contact:

Aracely Sustaita
Technology & Information Systems
Pasadena Public Library / Glendale Public Library
626.744.4254 - phone
626.449.2165 - fax

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

COLT - Is It Too Late? Can We Offer Assistance?

I feel very odd about writing this. I've earned my certificate but I am unable to find a paraprofessional job that would provide for my living and continued educational expenses. In my day job I use some of my skills. My writing and other activities also draw upon all what I have learned in the program.

I haven't worked in a actual library in many years. I'd love too but no one could have predicted this financial insanity that is before us. I have kept the Counsel of Library Technicians Listserv active to keep an eye out for positions and to find out what folks are talking about in the profession.

Let me cut to the chase; there will not be a professional association if library workers, clerks and paraprofessionals and interested others don't step up and lend a hand. I think there are a number of things that could help the situation. But I am not a member.

It might not be appropriate for me to stick my two cents in but sometimes an outside perspective can help. I don't have magic up my sleeve. This is my opinion, not the LT program, the library or anyone associated with PCC.

This is a extract from a post:

It's great that you've been a member for over 10 years, but I must comment that this is the first time I've seen a posting from you. So - if the end result of the unwanted posting is to get people commenting, I find that a good thing.

The COLT web site is still active, but I just tried it also and couldn't connect. Possibly where it's being housed is down. The COLT Board will look into it. (It seems to be ok now.) I'm going to take this opportunity as a last communication before our July Board meeting to state COLT's needs.
Basically, we need a Board -
a.. Vice/President/ President
b.. Secretary
c.. Treasurer
d.. Members' Registrar
e.. & 5 Regional Directors
The current Board has stayed on for an extra year trying to work on things. We've asked for input from the membership and have received NOTHING. Tricia, that's was annoys me - the continual silence we've received. I can tell by your response that not hearing anything didn't sit well with you either. Yes - we've received messages about how it would be a shame for COLT to end, but it cannot keep going without members getting involved.

The current Board recognizes that for COLT to be viable, changes to its mission and way of doing things need restructuring. We need members who will take on the challenge. COLT will be holding a Board meeting in Chicago on July 10. ALA hasn't assigned our room yet, but when they do, we will post it to the list. This meeting is open to all. If you are going to be in Chicago, please attend and give us your ideas, your minds, your bodies!!! Keep posting to the list,

Jackie Lakatos
COLT Past President
Members' Registrar
I know how hard it is to find resources pertaining to library paraprofessionals and library workers. It is an old/new concept. From Pages, to Clerks to ??? who are we and what is our identity?

Many of us would like to be full time librarians but some of us would be happy pushing carts and sniffing book dust. What if we would like to just help out? Is there a place for us at COLT?

When I look at the listserve it is mainly job listings. I don't get a sense of community. Every once in a while a question will pop up or an announcement of interest but I don't know the members of COLT or have the same sense of community like I can get from the INFOLIT or FARLTR listservs. Those folks ask questions, pass on information and have wonderful discussions.

The community, not the technology sets that kind of engagement. Where is the Southern California library paraprofessional community? The national or international community? Outside of our LT program I don't know.

I do know about burnout. You can't keep asking the same people to pull the wagon and do the work without support. I've had that experience and it is not fun. Obligation will only take you so far.

What Can Be Done About It?

Yeah, I'd thought that might come up as a question. Well I'm going to take a risk here. I am going to ask a question on Twitter and some of the other social networking sites to see if there would be an interest in keeping COLT or being a part of it. I'm going to ask if there is or isn't a value could they drop a comment in the comments.

Not sure that I will get any responses. But if there are I'd like to know what they would want from an organization, what do they expect and what could the contribute? Not necessarily money.

I know one thing I'd change is the look of that COLT web site. No disrespect intended but it is so 1997 -ish. I bet it is hard to change information and have folks contribute if they don't know HTML. There are probably other constrictions as well.

I am bias, I think a monitored blog format works well for groups and it allows for updates when needed and not when the IT person can find the time to do them. A well designed web site could allow for easy uploading and changing of information as well.

Anyway, we'll see what does and does not happen. I certainly will pass on any comments to the organization. Feel free to put in your ideas as well.

Library Associates Companies (LAC) Needs Library Technicians

This is an re-post of an e-mail from Krista Goguen about two positions via Library Associates. Check out the details and prepare for action. Each position would be 20 hours per week. The Technician will provide library support services to clients located in Century City and/or Downtown Los Angeles.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Process and route mail;
  • Enter data into library integrated library system (ILS);
  • Label, barcode, shelve and process materials;
  • Perform filing as needed;
  • Process library invoices and claims;
  • Oversee Interlibrary loan;
  • Perform library maintenance including shelving, shifting, weeding; older collection as needed / directed;
  • Perform light and “ready reference” duties as needed.


  • Library Technician Certificate, plus one year of library experience OR three years of library experience mandatory;
  • Previous experience in a law library preferred;
  • Bachelor's degree strongly preferred;
  • Experience with mail sorting and maintenance strongly preferred;
  • Familiarity with ILS systems strongly preferred;
  • Excellent customer service and reliability, professional and friendly demeanor mandatory;
  • Must be able to maintain strong attention to detail over the course of a full workday;
  • Must be able to lift 25 - 30 pounds and move boxes and other materials on a regular basis;
To Apply
  • Please send resume and cover letter to, and please specify the location you are interested in or both.
  • Please use "Law Library Asst #1177" as the subject line of your email.
  • If applying for both positions, must have reliable means of transportation
If you would like more information or would like to check out the other opportunities available via Library Associates visit the web site at

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Save the Date - 4th Annual Interview and Job Search Clinic

All PCC Library Technology Program students and alumni are invited to attend:
Interview and Job Search Clinic
Saturday May 9, 2009
11:30a.m.-3 p.m.
Shatford Library Terrace Room.
The event will include a light lunch, speakers, resume review, information about types of jobs in various types of libraries and practice interview sessions.
More details and reservation information will be available in April.
Krista Goguen, Library Technology Program Coordinator

Monday, March 02, 2009

Track Library Jobs Using RSS and Google Reader

This is another way to subscribe to LISJobs via RSS but this time using Google Reader. The concept is the same as with Bloglines but for some folks it might be much easier. Or not.

Step 1 - Getting the RSS feed from LISJobs

You can move you mouse pointer on top of the hyperlink address. This link contains the actual code that you can copy into Google Reader or any RSS Reader.

LISJobs RSS Link

It looks like and you can see it at the bottom of your browser window. The RSS in the web address tells the RSS Reader where to find the RSS feed code for the website or blog.

Step 2 - Copy The RSS Feed Code

The next step is to copy the RSS Feed Code. For Windows and Linux users click your second mouse button to bring up the context menu. You want to select "Copy Link Location."

Copy Link Location Menu
Macintosh users, I confess it has been awhile since I've touched a Mac; I think you have something similar, either by mouse or a keyboard function.

Step 3 - Google Reader

Next, glide over to Google Reader. If you have a Google account you can go to your subscription page. At the top of the page is the Add A Subscription button.

Google Subscription

Step 4 - Add The Subscription

Click that button and you will see the image below. You can paste the code in the box. Now if the website or blog only has one feed you can type in the web address and Google Reader will find the RSS code for you.

Add Feed Area There are some websites that have multiple RSS feeds for various areas of interest. I think it is better just to get the feed that you want as oppose to having Google Reader ferret out a bunch of them.

The lamb has shaken his tail and this is what you should see:

Sucessfull Message
You now can track the job positions from a centralized place. You can customize Google Reader to show you the entire post or just show you the titles that will link back to the original site.

So it doesn't matter if you are at home, school or in the library you can track potential job listings from a number of sources. This can save you time and frustration. Good luck and on with the search!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Track Library Jobs Using RSS and Bloglines

We need work. What good is technology if it does not serve your immediate or long term needs? There are websites and blogs that list library jobs. You can visit each and everyone of them but there might be a better way.

RSS stand for Really Simple Syndication. If you done know about RSS check out my post with a captioned video "RSS in Plain English by Common Craft. It does are really good job of explaining what RSS is and how you can use it.

This is an example of how to subscribe to an RSS feed and have it show up in your Subscription list aka news aggregator or RSS Reader. Many of you are familiar with Bloglines, some of you use Google Reader or My Yahoo for your online aggregator. At home, I also use the RSS Reader that is included in my e-mail program, Thunderbird.

I don't care what you use so long as you have a means to subscribe to blogs, websites and other forms of online content. For this example, I'm using Bloglines because it is bone simple to use.

Step 1 - Subscribing To LISJobs

You can visit LISJobs and see the current job listings. Or, you can have those same listings come to you.

When you want to subscribe you are looking for an orange button with the letters "XML" or "RSS". It can also look like a broadcast symbol which you will see in the next photo. On other websites it does not have to be orange or have those letter but that is the most common way of indicating that this is a subscription feed. For this particular website, click the button.

Step 2 - Subscribe Options

You have options. If you use Live Bookmarks it will direct your feed there. If you subscribe via another service not listed or you have an RSS on your computer you can make that selection as well.

Subscription Page
I like Bloglines because I can access it at home or when I am at a conference or giving a demonstration. I moved my mouse pointer to Bloglines, and it will take me to the Bloglines web site.

Step 3 - Bloglines Subscription Page

Now you will probably have to log in to Bloglines before you get to this page. This is the screen where you confirm the site that you want to subscribe. You can customize how you want to see your listings. You have the option of just the titles or looking at the full post. You can also tell it to send it to your cell phone, PDA or iPhone.

Bloglines Subscription PageWhen you are ready click the subscribe button.

Step 4 - Added To Bloglines

Bloglines will add it to your list of blogs and websites that you are tracking. On the right is the titles of the posts.

Successful Addition to Bloglines
This is not the only way to subscribe to RSS feeds. If you know how you can copy and past the code directly into your RSS Reader. I'll show you how to do that in the next post.

Many websites and blogs have subscription button for Bloglines, Google Reader and dozens of other services. You just have to click the button of your choice and it will take you to your subscription page.

Now is not the time for techno wimps. We really do need to use all tools at our disposal. It is free and other job seekers are doing it. Shouldn't you?

UNT/CSUN Information Meeting At Pasadena Library

You might recall Jared gave a recap of his experience attending a information session about the University of North Texas conducting a School of Library and Information Science program on the campus of California State University, Northridge. Dr. Philip Turner will give the presentation.

This is a distance learning program. Most of the classes and communication will be conducted via the Internet. The classroom meetings and exams will take place on the campus of CSUN. This program is restricted to Los Angeles/Southern California area students who can attended the CSUN class sessions. You can view the program flyer for more details.

This is a reminder for those of you considering an online library school program that they will be a information meeting March 9, 2009 at Pasadena Central Library, Pasadena, CA at 3 p.m. The address is:

Pasadena Central Library
285 E. Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA

There will be also be an information meeting the same day Buena Vista Library in Burbank, CA. The starting time for the Burbank information meeting is 7 p.m.

Buena Vista Library
300 N. Buena Vista
Burbank, CA

For more information about the Los Angeles area specific distance learning program you can visit the University of North Texas information page. You can also visit the main library school program site.