Tips and Tricks of the Trade

Happy Halloween! Ready for some not-so-spooky tips and tricks?

The MLIS program at the iSchool is very theory-based, which has its upsides and downsides. You learn about the higher levels of thinking in the field, and you analyze how broad swathes of users gather, organize, and access information. On the other hand, you’re sometimes left scratching your head, wondering how these theories apply to the real-world tasks of a librarian.

Applications are there, however, best illustrated by some kind of on-the-job experience. Whether you decide to a do a directed field-work, volunteer at a library, or conduct some informational interviews with knowledgeable librarians, you’re learning how theory meets practice. We’ll continue to have more information about these opportunities.

In the meantime, take a look at this blog post about ten things you may not learn in library school but are super important on the job. How could you go about acquiring these tools? What do you think you want and/or need to learn before you become a librarian?


Full-Time School Librarians Make a Difference

Yes, folks, you heard right. According to School Library Journal, “Access to a full-time school librarian increases student test scores, closes the achievement gap, and improves writing skills, according to a new study of Pennsylvania public schools conducted by the Colorado-based RSL Research Group.”

But we already knew that, didn’t we? Hooray for all our present and future school librarians!!!!!

Read the whole story here.

Image “doisneau – information scolaire” by culture.culte, 2008. Used under Creative Commons Attribution license.



Grants, Grants, and More Grants, Oh My!

I spoke with a group of public librarians from around Washington State recently, and they all firmly underscored the vital need for a grant-writing course as a part of the library school curriculum. Until that happens, however, what should we as current students do to prepare ourselves to advocate for research and development funding?

To a certain extent, each grant has unique properties and requirements. But there are guides and courses available in-person and online, if you know where to look.

NSF (National Science Foundation) has a guide for proposal writing.

The Grantsmanship Center has a variety of different levels of courses, from an extensive training program to a 2-day workshop. 

The Foundation Center has a short course available online, which involves clicking through several informative web pages. 

The Evans School also has a grant-writing course, though information is a little difficult to find right now. Stay tuned, we’ll keep checking on this and update the post when we know more.

Do you know of any additional resources? Share your thoughts!