Dusting off the Cob Webs…

*Cough* *Cough* *Dusts off keyboard*

Oh boy, has it been a while since this blog has seen any action! I have to be honest, since the announcement of The Burgeoning Bibliothec vlog I have been struggling with the idea of recording myself and putting it out there for all the world to see. As an extroverted introvert I often find myself in dilemmas like these. On one end I am so excited to improve my public speaking abilities and to learn effective communication through presentations. However, on the other end I am also nervous about creating interesting content that might help MLS students like myself. In other words, I want to do something new yet I’m scared to do it.

Since beginning my MLS program; however, I made a pact with myself that I would overcome those fears and do what I had an excitement for. For example, instead of telling myself “That’s cool, I want to do that!” I’ve switched gears into “That’s cool, how can I make this happen?” Thankfully this fresh mindset has certainly paid off in more ways than I could have ever imagined. So, after reflecting heavily on my vlog and blog goals for the past month here’s my working plan that will help me get started with this new medium:

The ‘Let’s Make it Happen Plan’

Step 1: Get those jitters out

Up until this past summer I tended to reflect heavily on all of the things I haven’t accomplished which is a major no-no if you’re trying to move forward. While a lot of this has to do with my ADHD, I’ve dedicated a lot of time and efforts in halting the negative mindset and shifting gears towards a much clearer and positive mindset. So first thing’s first let’s get those jitters out by remembering the things that you’ve made come to fruition. For my personal future reference here’s a list of a few of my proudest moments in the library field:

  • Getting into grad school
  • Becoming the 16′ – 17′ GLISA President
  • Becoming an ALA Student to Staffer
  • Attending various LLAMA board meetings during the Conference
  • Becoming a LLAMA New Professionals Section Chair
  • Applying for and getting the Circ Assistant Position at UT!

Step 2: Pen to Paper, Timer to Task.

As you can tell from my blog, I am a list maker! With my ADHD I have found that lists have easily become the format I can understand and process information easily, effectively, and efficiently. Now, I tend to hyper focus when it comes to planning which can easily derail my other tasks and goals of the day. To subdue my hyper focus I think it would be best to do this in 15-30 minute phases:

  • Phase 1: Create a list with the following sections: Questions, timeline, important resources (potential experts, websites, and more), time sensitive to-dos, and future goals.
  • Phase 2: Create your questions list and if you have an idea for any other section just list it briefly. NO RESEARCH IS TO BE CONDUCTED YET!
  • Phase 3: Begin to answer your questions through research. During this time you might come across important resources and time sensitive to-dos that you can list easily. Be sure to only spend two 30 minute sessions on this with a 15 minute break in between.
  • Phase 4: Create your timeline with deadlines.
  • Phase 5: Wrap up any loose ends on the to-dos.

After spending this time on the planning you’re ready to get started on implementation! Also don’t forget to follow your deadlines and to-dos.

Step 3: Reflect on the why

After going through the extensive planning process I tend to become tired and start to question whether or not carrying out the idea is worth it. Nine times out of ten I find that an idea is worth pursuing so I wanted to integrate this step to help alleviate some of that uncertainty.

  • Remember your initial enthusiasm for the project.
  • Review your future goals.
  • Write about it or share it on The Burgeoning Bibliothec to make it official.

While many people might believe that I’m a little crazy for putting this much work to help me overcome a fear and tackle a project, I’ve found that this system not only coincides with my quirks but it also coincides with the way my brain processes information. If you have any suggestions on how to overcome that initial fear of beginning something new I’m all ears!

 

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New Announcement…

Hello Everyone!

Boy has it been an exciting summer! Not only have I experienced the notorious ALA Conference back in June but I’ve signed on for even more exciting endeavors including but not limited to a new leadership position, a newly created program, and a new job!

When it comes to TBB front I’ve decided to start a new method of chronicling my library adventures and that is through a vlog!

So, why a vlog? To make a long story short please refer to my handy dandy list explaining why:

  1. To improve my user experience
  2. To try something new
  3. To gain new skills in media and marketing
  4. To improve my verbal communication
  5. TO HAVE FUN OF COURSE!

Although it’s a little frightening I can’t wait to dive right in with this medium! For all of you experienced vloggers out there, do you have any tips you can give a starter like me? Also for those who watch vlogs what are some things that you like or don’t like?

That’s a Wrap! – An overview of my first year as a LIS student

Me

What can I say? I don’t think I could have had a better year as a LIS grad student. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount through my Professors and course content, but I also engaged in many priceless, meaningful experiences – and at a distance too!

I must admit, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more empowered, confident, and persistent as I do completing the first year of my MLS program. In the past school has always been important to me but due to unfortunate family circumstances and some deficiencies I never felt as if I met my full potential, that is until now.

Accomplishments:

  • 2016 – 2017 ALA GLISA President
  • Hosted a webinar series for my TWU SLIS peers
  • Networked like CRAZY! (My collaboration with ALA President Julie Todaro will forever be one of my favorite moments in the library field)
  • 2017 ALA Student to Staff Winner
  • 2017 COPE Student Award for Outstanding Service to Students
  • 2017 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges
  • 4.0 GPA in the Fall (still awaiting grades for the Spring)
  • Received two (that’s right, two!) positions as a One Person Librarian

Goals:

  • Stay active in library leadership!
  • Network with current and potential library leaders
  • Apply for scholarships
  • Apply for mentorships
    • LLAMA Mentorship here I come!
  • Master time management and organization
  • Improve the number of posts on The Burgeoning Bibliothec and begin forming your expertise.

Taking the leap and getting my Master’s was initially one of the most intimidating things I’ve ever signed up for and although I spent a year with little sleep and time for personal activities there was still an unwavering excitement to take on a new challenge. Cheers to completing the first year of grad school, I can’t wait to see what the next academic year will bring!

“It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stay with problems longer” – Albert Einstein

 

2017 Goals

Hello Everyone,

Tuesday marked the first day of my second semester as a SLIS student and I must say, I think I’m actually getting the hang of this!  Now that I’ve caught my bearings on the new year and new semester here are my 2017 goals:

TWU SLIS Program

  • Continue my streak of a 4.0!
  • Track all modules, assignments, and other information thoroughly via OneDrive and OneNote.
  • Create a thorough checklist and score report for each course throughout the semester.
  • Go to UT Austin to carry out a few projects.
    • While there make some connections and inquire about their programs, deanship, ICT and more.
  • Provide more comments on classmate’s work via the BB discussion boards.

GLISA

  • Create a manual for the association to use for years to come.
  • Complete our first webinar series
    • Will require to learn the ins-and outs of BB collaborate
  • Only allow yourself 30 minutes to an hour to work on GLISA items daily.
    • Hopefully this strategy will provide more balance with the amount of GLISA work to be done.
  • Allow yourself to have fun!
    • This past year has been full of hard work to get the program up and running. Now it’s time to enjoy the hard work!

Career Preparations

  • Continue to build relationships in the library world!
    • Have coffee, enjoy the S2S program, reach out to other Student to Staffers
  • Make a kick-ass video diary for the ALA Student to Staff program!
  • Gain a better understanding of what it takes to be a University Library Dean by reaching out and interviewing them!
  • Stick with the one blog post per month, but aim for one blog post per week!
  • Inquire about next steps in the education department.
    • 2nd Master’s? Ph.D.? We’ll see!

Personal 

  • Continue goal of home and school organization.
    • You did an impeccable job beginning this journey late last year, keep going!
  • Do more research on your ADHD and methods to make life just a little easier.
    • Mini Goal: Learn how to tell a verbal story effectively!
  • Continue with your health journey by improving on consistency.
    • Instead of 3 workouts per week aim for 4-6 and add more plant based meals throughout the week.

My 2016 Recap in the Library World

Hello Everyone!

It has been such a busy end of the year, but certainly one to remember! I am proud to share that 2016 was a year full of wonderful experiences and one in which I put myself out there and created a path for my career. Without further ado, here’s a list of my 2016 experiences in the library world :

March – June

  • Started volunteering at the St. John’s Library in Austin
  • Applied for the TWU SLIS program and got in!
  • Created The Burgeoning Bibliothec blog to chronicle my adventures

July

  • Received my first official library job at CPC
    • Full time position and given a lot of responsibility as the second in command of the library.

August

  • Started my SLIS program at TWU and loved every moment of it!
    • Classes included:
      • LS 5043-Information & Communication Technology
      • LS 5083-Foundations of Library and Information Studies
      • LS 5263-Information Sources and Services

September – October

  • Closing of Career Point College and an end to my position as a Library Assistant
  • Decision made to have a focus in academic librarian and to become the Dean of a large university library.
  • Joined the American Library Association

 November

  • Signed on as the ALA Student Chapter, Graduate Library and Information Studies Association (GLISA) President
    • Opportunity to work with other great GLISA officers and full revamping of program.
  • Met new library professionals and made decision to go for a second masters in
  • Received my second library position as the Learning Resources Center Assistant at Strayer University
    • Independently run the LRC as a librarian, career specialist, and research guru.
    • Introducing new ICT, given a ton of special projects, management opportunities, and leadership experience.
  • Nominated and received a spot in the ALA Student-to-Staff Program!

December

  • Completed my first semester and received all A’s!!!
  • Given more responsibility at Strayer:
    • Asked to share experience and give advice to other LRCA’s
    • Provide training materials
    • Collaborated with the Director of the campus to create the first ever North Austin campus series of virtual orientations. This included many forms of ICT and a ton of testing on my part!
  • Revving up for the Winter semester.

I hope everyone enjoys their New Year’s Eve. Cheers!

A Quick Post to Say What’s Up!

Hello Everyone!

I hope y’all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break and got to eat as much food as I did! Like all of you there are MANY things I have to be thankful for and particularly for me, many new things to be thankful for came to me around November. (Don’t you just love when life lines up like that sometimes?)

So without further ado here are the new and fun adventures I’ve signed up for in the past month or two:

GLISA President:

GLISA stands for the Graduate Library and Information Studies Association which is the student American Library Association chapter at Texas Woman’s University. While I kept my eye on GLISA since hearing about it in September, I finally took the plunge and signed up for the officer role in late October after I lost my job. Although it requires an incredible amount of work, it has already been such a rewarding experience.

Since signing up in late October the team and I have already revamped the entire program with a webinar series, a new blog/platform, crazy nice flyers, and we’ve made key decisions that will hopefully boost our membership numbers. In the coming months I plan to collaborate with other library professionals to gain speakers for our new webinar series and within the next week I hope to apply for an amazing opportunity provided by the ALA, the Student-to-Staff program where they provide a good chunk of funding for a student to attend the ALA conference in June 2017. Now, I can go on and on about the new improvements of GLISA, but overall GLISA has already created wonderful opportunities for me to take on a leadership role early in my field of study.

LRC Assistant at Strayer University:

After going through quite a few phone interviews and then an in-person interview I was offered a position as the Learning Resource Center Assistant at Strayer University! Although this position is labeled as an assistant position I am proud to say that I am completely in charge of the LRC at the Strayer North Austin campus. That’s right people, I actually run my own library, plus more!

I just started the position on Monday and I’m already loving how much Strayer values their employees and their students. I am truly looking forward to implementing new programs and assisting both Distance Learners and students in person throughout my time at Strayer.

Meeting New Library Professionals:

An assignment for my Reference and Information Services class involved us observing a reference librarian for three hours to get a better insight into this avenue of the field. By chance really, I was able to shadow a superb and passionate reference librarian at the Cypress Creek-Austin Community College. From the moment I reached out via phone until the very last second I was heading out the door, the ACC head librarian and reference librarian were the epitome of what librarians should strive for. I learned so much from my visit to ACC and by meeting such passionate, caring, driven, and considerate individuals it gave me another chip on my shoulder as it reaffirmed my decision to become a librarian.

Surprisingly even though these new adventures have taken up a lot of time and was at times overwhelming I can’t help but look forward to all of the things to come in the library realm!

 

The Ending of a Job and the Formation of a Personal Philosophy

Although it’s officially been 5 days since hearing the news, I am still in disbelief – I no longer work for Career Point College. On Monday, I received a call from my boss informing me that the Department of Education rightfully shut down the College and while I was in shock at the time I can’t say that I’m completely surprised. 

About a month into my job I noticed many improvements that needed to be made and many red flags such as no dedicated library budget, dwindling resources, and increased student complaints about administration. With all of these factors in the back of my mind I was certainly suspicious and already looking into other positions in fear of something going wrong, but I was hesitant since I had only started the position and didn’t want future employers to view me as disloyal or inconsistent. Needless to say, CPC beat me to the punch and locked its doors leaving all students and employees without degrees, without their personal belongings, without their last paycheck, without a description of further steps, and of course jobless. 

Based on this horrible experience, I’ve come to form my own personal librarian philosophy, expectations, and ethics I will hold, embody, and add onto when I one day become the Dean of a University library.

  • Treat all entities within the campus community with respect, kindness, and consideration. 
  • Never fail to provide freedom of knowledge. 
  • Always be honest regardless of the outcome and reward honesty from others.
  • Understand that there’s always room for improvement and never cease to improve for the sake of student and community growth. 
  • Always listen and serve the community regardless of the possible difficulties behind it because once we stop listening and serving them we’ve failed. 
  • Always provide, encourage, and train others in impeccable and considerate communication skills.

I’m sure this personal philosophy will increase and improve over time so consider it a starting point I may reference throughout my library career. 

Even though I am bummed out about being unemployed at the moment and saddened by the situation this puts the students who attended CPC in, I must admit that I am happy to see that these students now have the opportunity to be treated with the proper level of care, respect, professionalism and intelligence they’ve deserved throughout their entire educational career. 

It was certainly an honor getting to know so many hardworking, strong, and driven students and I am so grateful for them allowing me to teach them something knew and cheer them on throughout their CPC endeavors. While many of them shared how much I’ve impacted them I can only hope they fully understand how they’ve impacted my life in such a profound way.  

There are so many more things I want to say to the students I’ve come to know, help, and learn from as well as so many feelings I wish to share with the community who have also lost their jobs, but I’ll conclude this post with some quotes that capture my sentiments better than I can express them: 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” -Albert Einstein

“To move the world we must move ourselves” – Socrates

Some Saturday Sillies After the Big Week

Hello Everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted and a lot of it has to do with the Grad School journey, but on the upside it’s been a week full of intriguing assignments! To stay motivated after a busy couple of weeks I thought I’d share some silly Saturday posts you can find on my Pinterest board. Without further ado, let’s get silly!

The Saturday Sillies Presents…

The Noodla!

spaghetti-free-zone

Oh the signs that Librarians have to make. Imagine all of the treasures we would find if a Library sign catalog existed?

A moment with Philoso-raptor…

philoso-raptor-cardigans

*Slow clap*

Well done my friend, well done.

Skills that are Multiplyin’!

skills

How I feel after every lesson I read.

Pulp Fiction

lieberry

I’m sorry Mr. Jackson! I am for real!!!

(I know, lamest of  all the lame jokes in Lameland, but #SorryImNotSorry)

Click.

ebook-or-book

It’s okay Book and E-Reader. I promise there’s plenty of love to go around.

Patch Appendix

appendix

When you lookin’ fly and people don’t know why…

Shout Out or Get Out?

shout-out

HAHAHAHA- oh wait, I mean hehehehehehe….

Still Here…

relax-buddie

Whoa buddy, don’t fret. You’re still relevant. Promise.

Sound Schrute

schrute-right-or-naw

The one time I didn’t eye roll this beet loving genius.

The Decimator!

dewey-decimate-you

The feels after dealing with the Difficults.

This may be a cheat post, but I hope this post brings as many delirious laughs to you as it does me!

 

Worries and Solutions-Reflection on My First Week as a Grad Student

I know I risk sounding like a seasoned Mom, but I don’t mind sharing my disbelief in the first week of grad school flying by along with the reminiscence of my grad school application jitters. Even though I did a great job of accounting for all of my course work last week still left me feeling very nervous and flustered by all of the due dates. Thus to get out most of those nerves I went back to the drawing board to work out a few kinks. Here are my worries, solutions, and reminders to help me tackle my time as a grad student:

The Worries

Throughout the MLS program:

  • Getting a 4.0 and carrying it throughout the LIS program.
  • Forming long-lasting relationships with TWU students, faculty, and staff.
  • Becoming prepared not only educationally but professionally so I may move onto a position that will propel me on the track to becoming a university library Dean.
  • Finding ways to stay energized while juggling both grad school and working full-time.

During the Fall 2016 Semester:

  • Keeping up with ALL of my assignments.
  • Getting the most out of my assignments.
  • Providing valuable feedback for others.
  • Building relationships with Librarians while carrying out some of my Fall Semester projects.

The Solutions and the Reminders

  • The 4.0-Yes, it would be incredible to carry a 4.0 throughout the LIS program and know that YOU CAN DO IT, but if you want it that badly you will need to continue putting in the time and effort.
    • Helpful Tip: Try applying your knowledge at CPC. By doing so you will be more prone to remembering that lesson since you’ve created an experience with that lesson in mind.
  • Long-lasting Relationships- Even though you’re a Distance Learner, you can make solid connections. Typically you’re a shy person, but since grad school is about challenging yourself like you’ve never done before be sure to get out of your comfort zone and invest time in other students, faculty, and staff.
    • Helpful Tip: An easy way to begin the process of building relationships is to read more about your classmates in the Blackboard discussion introductions. Also see if there are some classmates nearby and arrange a lunch with them if time allows. Additionally, be sure to reach out to your professors to learn about their journey in the library world.
  • Educational and Professional Preparation-This worry is a little silly since you’ve already experienced and are deeply appreciative of the level of engagement and course work required by TWU SLIS. Take a load off and enjoy your time as a TWU Pioneer!
  • Staying Energized- This is going to be challenging no matter which endeavor you’re tackling, but know that you will find balance again. You got this!
    • Helpful Tip: Refer to your schedule below if you’re falling off track during the day.

screenshot_2016-09-09-15-40-44-1

  • Keeping Up- If you adhere to your hourly schedule you will have plenty of time for school work, sleep, exercise, and work.
    • Helpful Tip: If you can get ahead in readings and projects don’t hesitate to do so.
  • Getting the Most Out of it All- If you’re ever feeling lazy remember the following:
    • You have worked so hard to get here – don’t get lazy now!
    • You will never be in an MLS program again. As sad as that is it’s true, so savor the moment my friend.
    • See each assignment, reading, and discussion as a new opportunity to potentially help someone out there in the real world.
  • Valuable Feedback-
    • Helpful Tips:
      • Give yourself enough time to post something meaningful.
      • Always provide links and resources in your discussions.
      • Refer to “Getting the Most Out of it All” and you’ll quickly be reminded to stay motivated.
  • Building Relationships- Remember all of your Annual Fund training? Yup, it’s going to come into play right here.
    • Build that rapport!
    • As exciting as it is to meet someone who has loads of experience, put that excitement aside and absorb all of the advice they offer.
    • Have some back-up questions just in case.
    • Show them gratitude for taking some time to meet with you.
    • If appropriate, send a handwritten thank you note.
  • Efficient Learning System- You’ve already put in enough time into getting prepared through planning and organizing all of your classes so relax and follow the program:
    • Helpful Tip: Make a project/assignment sheet with all due dates (listed in order), formatting information, etc. See example below.

screenshot_2016-09-09-16-00-53-1

This officially concludes my reflection on the first week of grad school! Although I’m still a bit nervous I cannot escape the thrill and excitement to be learning so much from a wonderful University. Stay tuned for the next post tackling my school supplies!

For all you librarians or master’s students out there, do you have any tips on how you survived grad school?

How to Recover from the Difficults in the Library Realm

It’s only been two months of working in a small academic library and like any job I’ve already had to deal with the Difficults. I know you might be wondering what are the “Difficults” and allow me to explain. The “Difficults” are not a what, but rather who. The Difficults can be anyone at any given time, but at CPC they are the library patrons who make my job extremely difficult primarily due to a large entitlement complex. You know, the patrons who not only completely ignore the posted library policies but also take pride in doing the opposite of said policies all while disrupting everyone else around them. Ultimately they are chalked up as the inconsiderate patron.

After many days sprinkled with a Difficult here and there I slowly started to realize their sub-par behavior was starting to get to me. Just last Saturday, after dealing with a Difficult I was surprised to find myself reverting back to an old bad habit of grinding my teeth when I was upset or anxious. If you’ve read my TWU letter of intent you’d understand my background. I came from humble beginnings and grew up in a rough neighborhood, but even though my life was often chaos our Mom was adamant about the value and power of respect, consideration, and kindness regardless of how we look, where we came from, and any other differences we as a society may possess.

With that lesson forever embedded into my heart that’s how I approach every person I encounter-with respect, consideration, and kindness. Unfortunately, even though I take this lesson with me not everyone else does which has led me to take action and research some ways to deal with the Difficults after a long hard day at work. So in the meantime here’s some strategies to help ease the headaches, the teeth grinding, and the exhaustion the Difficults may bring to us Librarians.

While a Difficult is being difficult

Even though at the moment the patron may be odious do the following:

  1. Listen: Yes, they’re upset and taking it out on you, but be sure to listen to their request and try to solve the problem. Not only will this show that you hear them, understand them, and genuinely want to help them, but it will also get the overall issue resolved.
  2. Remind yourself it’s probably not you they’re upset at: Like in tele-fundraising know that if a person is upset with you for things outside of your control or something extremely small know that it’s most likely not you they’re upset at, it’s probably the system, policy, or something going on in their lives. At CPC Austin we have LVN and RN students who are EXTREMELY hard working. Many of them have multiple kids, work a full time job-sometimes two jobs, and are also going to school with that, know that they are under a ton of stress. So if someone is projecting their frustration on you remind yourself they might have other obstacles in front of them.
  3.  Stand Your Ground: For some reason there are many students who think being a librarian means I am their assistant-there to tend to any request they have whether it’s making copies, watching their items, or delivering stuff to their classrooms (I know, ridiculous, right?). While sometimes it would be less of a headache to just give into their request remind yourself that if you do give in you are setting a bad precedent for the future. So, if they start trying to make you feel bad for not “helping” them remind yourself that not only are you showing them the true nature of your job, but you are also helping them understand the idea of responsibility and accountability.

After a Difficult has calmed down or left the library:

  1. Breathe: For me specifically I need to take slow and steady breaths with my mouth open so I won’t grind my teeth. Do 3 repetitions of 10 breaths.
  2. Quietly crank that calming music (oxymoron I know): For me there’s nothing more calming than classical lullabies such as those from Chopin, Mozart, and Liszt. Here’s a great playlist from Halidon Music if you’re feeling a little stressed.
  3. Try not to rant: Somewhere along the way I learned that although it is tempting, try your best to limit or eliminate venting to your significant other. I know you’re probably thinking, why? Isn’t that kind of the deal when in a relationship? While support is a HUGE part of a relationship I’ve found that when I unload the day’s frustrations the following happen:
    • I relive the frustrations all over again.
    • I’ve created a bad habit where I’ll want to share my frustrations after every little encounter with a Difficult.
    • I end up wasting the small amount of precious time I have with my significant other on being upset and worked up.
    • I’m allowing the simple frustration to grow and evolve into a major problem.
  4. If you must rant then write: Once I got into grad school I bought a beautiful travel by sea themed, Julia Rothman Journal and made it my written form of The Burgeoning Bibliothec. I knew that librarianship was going to be a huge journey for me so I wanted to begin right away in chronicling all of my questions, schedules, frustrations, moments of awesome and so much more. So, if you must vent and rant I suggest doing so in writing. For me, when I’m worked up writing helps slow me down just long enough to make sense of everything, put things into perspective, and ultimately it tires me out enough to let whatever happened go.

Helpful Links:

After a quick Google search I found a few good articles that may help you while encountering a Difficult:

Wikihow-Deal with Rude People: Helpful when encountering a rude person which is bound to happen to all of us.

How Emotional Intelligent People Handle Toxic People: A great article helping you move forward after a tough situation in addition to shedding great light on the effects of stress.

10 Smart ways to Deal with Rude People: This article helped me a bit more empathetic to Difficults in addition to put my frustrations into perspective.

Overall I’m very happy that I got this out of my system and set-up a nice routine to follow when I’m feeling stressed about work. As someone who has proudly been a library patron since my adolescence I often hold onto that feeling of perfection  and admiration every library offered. However, now being on the other end of the circulation desk I also need to remind myself that like a sailor whom will encounter stormy and dangerous nights my library journey will also encounter the enchanting, blissful, calm seas that would make anyone cry of pure joy.