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Page history last edited by Megan 13 years ago

Just a thought:


Speaking from experience: I'm not only a new librarian, but i'm also a new manager.  A space "support group" of some kind for us could be a godsend!


An advice column (like an Ann Landers kinda deal) could be fun and more importantly anonymous! I think new librarians can sometimes be reluctant to admit they have no idea what they're doing (myself included!). 


Ways, tips, events, that librarians can get involved with who don't have any PD funds!


There are so many job sites out there, Could we create an aggregator for them?


"ask a stupid question" (or something like that, where any and all questions are encouraged! Quick and brief responses)


I know these are kind of specific, and considering paperwork still needs to be figured out...but thought I'd get them out of my head and on paper, so to speak.


Big Sky Ideas: 


Just thinking off the top of my head, it would nice to have a group that is focused specifically on the challenges facing academic librarians, but which has a broader relationship with other groups, i.e new public librarians, new special librarians, etc. There might be some ideas to borrow/steal from the SLA's efforts with their "First Five Years" program. 


One thing I'd like to see improve now though, is to somehow have a broader base to engage new academic librarians -- something like what the Ning space was trying to achieve but with more interaction/activity on it (If nobody takes over the Ning space, it dies at the end of the calendar year).

I'm not sure how to make this happen, of course! It just seems that there is so much interest from people to join Re:gen throughout the year, but of course we're a small group and people can't always commit to a formal committee role. I'm thinking of a place where people can connect with potential research/conference session partners, post good reads, discuss practical challenges. As well, it would be nice if we could get the listserv situation figured out, though I have no idea how we'd go about doing that. 


Other things to consider in terms of structure: How will we relate to other "newbie" groups? There is a pre-existing New Information Professionals group within CLA. There are also student chapters, and the possibility of creating city/region-based chapters too (i.e. CLA-Vancouver, CLA-Montreal, etc.). There are lots of ways that networks will/might sprout up. 


From Megan F.:

There are so many online communities out there from which I already benefit enormously in terms of bouncing around ideas, sharing news, and getting advice. For me, then, I'm not really interested in creating another social network/community via a CLA network. If we tried to do that, what would be different, besides a geographic definition? Also, there are other associations that have so much to offer, e.g., SLA, ALA, and provincial orgs. What can this network bring that's different??? <---- Megan, I definitely take your point on this. We're not going to beat the big guys (i.e. ALA, SLA) at their own game. However I'm somehow wedded to the idea of an open, digital hub, where we can organise ourselves... Foster research partnerships, post old webinars, host discussions... You know? Maybe it's just the librarian in me that wants things "findable and refindable"... organised, centralised, and categorised. :-) It wouldn't have to be fancy, it'd just have to work. (From Meg)


Although its membership included mostly new and newish librarians, the Re:Generations committee, focused on services FOR new librarians, like the resume review service, outreach visits to LIS schools, and more recently, conference sessions on relevant topics. I would love to see this type of "service" activity continue and expand in this new network. I think the point here is that we're part of an association that has projects and some sort structure for getting activities accomplished, hopefully with support from the larger org. I think we also have a great opportunity to use the network to further in-person connections, again through conferences or (even better) unconferences. 


From Michael Steeleworthy:

I am seconding Megan F's concerns here.   We must be careful that we don't try to become "everything to everyone" with this Network.  We know there will be many other CLA Networks that we can lean on, let alone all the other association and association divisions available to us, too.  My own ideas for this network include the development of a space for new/newish info.pros to meet, to exchange ideas, and to serve as a place for their voices to be heard by others within CLA;  I think that some of these ideas resonate with what others are saying, too.       Regardless, what matters right now is finding those common threads amoung us and focusing them into strong statements that can be our mission, goals, etc.  How we implement and achieve our aims can be determined a little later in the process, once we've got this planning part settled and have reached a consensus on those very aims..


Meg says: What about mentors? What about not-new people who want to be engaged with the next-gen of librar*? Just a thought that came up over dinner last night. I'd love to have more mid-career/senior admin. people  (Hi Mike Ridley!) in the same space as new info-pro's providing perspective, mentorship, etc. 



Down in the weeds: 


Some things I think would be useful for newbs that aren't really acknowledged by CLA/CACUL right now: 


  • A really introductory/low-level webinar on Canadian copyright. We can call it "Copyright: WTF." (What're The Facts) :D:D:D:D:D. Because I have had to sit through so many copyright discussions, and I still have No. Idea. Whatsoever. I'm invisioning some copyright wonk who knows this stuff, and liasing with them to create a sufficiently simplified preso on the topic. 


  • Better outreach to the Library Schools (MS, MF) - There is A LOT of discontent at the library schools re interaction with CLA itself.  Let's make a point to interact effectively with our upcoming grads.  More Social and PD events, more communication, more opportunities to share..
  • Homegrown PD (MS, ME, KS) - We have a lot of knowledge to offer one another, and we already have the tools to share it.  Let's use some IT to do online professional development.  yes, Webinars
  • LibraryCamp (MS, MF!! ME-natch) - Why limit outselves to a few mere sessions at every CLA.  Let's hold a real unconference that run concurrently with CLA.  You know you love this idea.
  • Space to share research ideas -  Have an idea, but no time to start yet? Have time, but no where to start? The best research comes from brainstorming and collaboration. Let's have a space where people can come together with ideas and people power to get some amazing legit research done.
  •  Resume review service Currently offered by Re:generations, but an important one, I think, to offer across the profession -- a resume and a c.v. are so different. This might be a useful place to tap into a mentorship network, i.e. having a more seasoned librarian reviewing your resume. 
  • Practical outreach activities to the LIS schools Again, something Re:gen does (as do many other groups) but which has the potential to be a stronger, richer offering from this networks


Knowledge Community


My wish is that this group and this space (and its extensions) would become a prototype of the knowledge community that CLA needs to become. Leverage people and technology to create a dynamic, interactive and productive community. Emphasis on the productive because I think we need to demonstrate that participating is enriching and valuable (not just chatter).


I am a tad concerned that this initiative is about new academic librarianship and not just new librarianship more generally. I hope we invite everyone to join with us and feel comfortable contributing. Some of the best academic librarians I know were once public or special librarians. Also, the issues across the profession are more similar than different. My 2 cents.<---- This issue is coming up a lot on Facebook. Maybe we should expand the scope of this space to accommodate other areas of library land. (From Meg). I agree as well, from issues around 'I'm not working yet, can I still join' to 'I'm not specifically an academic librarian' these issues come up all of the time and ultimately, we're all librarians. And we're all new (at least some of us, and we're not going to be discriminatory). We have new ideas. <--- My 2 cents (From Kim). Boom. Done. We're now for ALL new info-pros. Now all's we need to do is get some non-academic librarians on here and we're golden! (from Meg).  


And, yeah, I wish someone would explain copyright to me too! 


Technology / Web tools available to Networks?


From Mike S. : Does anyone know what kinds of tech that CLA can make available to networks?  The Re:Gen community had the WordPres blog, I know, but what more can we do there?  If Wordpress was allowed, could use BuddyPress (an online social community) or message boards?  This software is open source just like WordPress, and they run on MySQL and PHP just like Wordpress does, i.e., it should be technically feasible.  I raise this question because I'm interested in developing better online communications for this group than I was used to seeing in the old CLA.     In short, there are a lot of mature web apps we can take advantage of, especially when it comes to online networking or PD: I'm curious to know what our limits are and how far we can push them, so to speak.  


The last update from the CLA prez mentioned that they will be looking into the IT situation, but from what was said at the conference town hall meeting, I expect that it will be a while before there is any support at all from the association. I think for the time being it's "whatever." The Re:Gen blog is on WordPress, but it's actually hosted on a CLA server. Not sure how this will continue. -Megan F.  Catherine Steeves (on Council and an AUL at Guelph) is looking into IT for CLA. A big issue is some of the core business systems (e.g. membership) that are quite old. On the larger issue of collaborative tools, I know Catherine is very keen on a open systems approach to tools and purpose (i.e. this group will find an ally with her). My sense is that we have to focus on mandate and suggest an IT approach that can be quickly and pervasively implemented (lots of options; a number have already been mentioned and many are freely available). - Mike R. 


Collaboration w/other Networks

I'm excited about the possibilities CLA Networks will bring but have concerns about duplication of efforts, fragmentation of funding and diffusion of social capital. Wondering if there is a centralized area for all networks to see each other. - Erica --> Just realized that Kate J's job networkin' Google group is full of young professionals helping each other out with advice. It's a great, informal email based grp. Promoted this site to the grp in the hopes of gaining more momentum. Group email: job-networkin@googlegroups.com

Comments (4)

Michael Steeleworthy said

at 9:41 am on Jun 4, 2011

FWIW, I'm all for pushing this beyond the academic scope. I think it's best for all of us (and for the CLA, really) to include all professional "categories". We're an umbrella organization and I'd like to see everyone be a part of this network. I think that the original language which emphasized the academic side of things was borne from the fact that some of us were linked to Re:Gen, which sat under CACUL. (n.b. I was not a member of Re:Gen, so this is only my opinion.). Re:Gen could give us a framework to work from, but ultimately, once we're organized, I'd like to see involvement from all parts of the information profession.

Am I an academic librarian? Well sure I am because I'm employed by one. But ultimately, I'm a librarian/info.professional, full stop. The adjectives only modify the noun. In short: We're librarians first and foremost. Let's define ourselves by our profession as opposed to our trade.

Janet Hempstead said

at 11:31 am on Jun 4, 2011

I think it would be a great idea to include all areas of librarianship. Even within Re:Gen, there was a focus on reference librarianship as opposed to other areas of academic librarianship and I felt this from time to time because my success as a reference librarian does depend on the efforts of people from other roles. Besides, what I know about other kinds of librarianship comes from courses taken, and not from experience of these ways of being.

Having said that, I was at an academic institution for a very long time before I became a librarian and I do feel an affiliation with academic institutions and academia as well. I hope that this would be a place where this could be explored as well -- from a librarian's point of view.

Janet Hempstead said

at 11:44 am on Jun 4, 2011

I would like to find out about librarians' attitudes toward publishing. It's a requirement for many academic librarians. I remember it being stated in my public libraries class that not many public librarians publish and I wonder why. I have heard it said that LIS as a discipline lacks a corpus of literature. But what does that mean? There is lots written -- perhaps this has to do with what we write about at present? What do librarians think about this? I think that surveying librarians about their literature might be an interesting thing to do as part of this new network.

Kate Petch said

at 10:24 pm on Jun 25, 2011

So... just looking this and the "Organize" and "Terms of Reference" pages, and summing it up (since input seems to have slowed) as follows:

- a national network composed of predominantly new (and perhaps a few established?) librarians with the goal of establishing continuity between generations of librarians, and ensuring that new librarian voices are not lost in the shuffle of CLA.
- a digital hub to facilitate discussion (of issues faced as they arrive, as well as larger topics regarding the direction of the profession), and the provision of services such as (but not limited to) resume review, conference sessions of targeted content, virtual and physical events, and mentoring
- outreach to library schools, in the forms of presentations and/or visits, and other engagement methods.

Ermmm.... I think that's it. Feedback? Critical forgotten bits? Unnecessary inclusions?

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