Michigan Library Association Annual Conference Poster Session

A few days ago I attended the Michigan Library Association Annual Meeting as a poster presenter. I was there to showcase my special project as a Graduate Student Assistant at the Wayne State University Undergraduate Library. I am inventorying a large labor and union collection that was given to Wayne State 10-15 years ago by the Detroit Public Library who had originally received it from the John C. Crerar Library in Chicago.

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Standing by my poster before the presentation

I had the opportunity to talk to fellow students and alumni of the MLIS program at WSU and librarians from across the state of Michigan. It was thrilling to talk to so many interested individuals about what I’m doing as a graduate student at Wayne State and get feedback about how this could possibly influence my future career.
I arrived in the morning to set up and get a feel for the venue. MLA was held in downtown Grand Rapids this year, at the Amway Grand Plaza, where there were still pieces of the Grand Rapids ArtPrize exhibit installed.

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Poster Session Set Up

My poster was set up to look like a road map with two other posters, my supervisor’s poster was about the GSA projects and another GSA’s special project poster. The other GSA’s poster was originally on the other side of the room so, naturally, it had to be moved around to fit its original design.

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Before the move

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After the move; looks much better

The poster presenters had to be in the ballroom from 2-3pm on Wednesday to talk about their posters and give any handouts away that they had brought with them. I was a little nervous for the first person who came to talk to me, but quickly gained my footing. It was a short hour of talking to interested library professionals from the area, which gave me, confidence in my project. I had a few interested parties give suggestions and even more people ask about my use of the ancient card catalogs for trouble shooting the project. I also was able to spend some quality time with my supervisor and fellow GSA, talking about what was going on in our lives and trading ideas for our job searches. I had an enjoyable time both presenting and walking around at the MLA Annual Conference this year. If any of my fellow ALA@Wayne members have the opportunity to apply for presenting a poster session at any of the conferences they are interested in, I would highly recommend it!

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Why Join ALA@Wayne?

Why should you join the ALA@Wayne student organization? We are a student chapter of the American Library Association (ALA) and we encourage participation with ALA activities and their resources. Becoming part of our student group can help you get active in your library community. Maybe you have leadership skills, but you can always enhance them through involvement in our meetings and events. Could be you need technology skills or you are a Facebook and Tweeter whiz. We can accommodate both. Plus, museums and special libraries are even more fun when you visit them with a group, so consider spending some time with us.

Libraries are places thriving with diversity and so are we. As up and coming professionals “diversity” is mentioned quite often. Diversity is a big term, but think of it as working with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and geographic locations with different learning styles and ways of communicating. One of the most important skills you can learn is how to work collaboratively within a team and deal with various groups and individuals. This could be a great resume builder and conversation piece at your next interview. So, bring your high-speed Internet, and some humor, and we’ll provide the stream. Hope to see you at the next meeting.

MLA Annual Conference

ALA@Wayne visited the Michigan Library Association (MLA) Annual Conference on Wednesday, October 16th. It was truly a great event. We began the day by listening to the keynote speaker, Garry Goldman, who spoke about the future of librarians. After, the group dispersed into different sessions, which was very informative and full of relevant ideas. Some of the sessions were Open Data Imperative, Guns and the Library, Patron Personas and Visionary Decision Making, Stealth Programming, Flip Your Class, and Where is the Hospitality in Your Library? Other students presented their posters and many came back on Thursday and Friday.

We had a great time at the MLA conference and hope you can come to our next event. Next we will go to the Troy Public Library on Sunday, November 3rd at 11:00am. Hope to see you there!

Networking Information

Networking is extremely important. Many students will try to find a job by looking online or through a job listserv. However, in order to truly find a job, students need to talk and develop relationships from within the working force. De Janasz and Forret explain that the, “prevailing wisdom suggests that 70–80% of all professional jobs are not obtained through classified advertisements; rather, they are obtained through effective and consistent networking” (2008). Networking can increase your contacts, establish interviews, and cultivate mentors throughout your education and career. I believe that networking can establish your future profession, your income, and pave the way for your passionate career. Here are a few ways it can help you out.

Make the effort. In order to have networks and contacts, the most important endeavor is to spend time within libraries, archives, information agencies, companies, and so forth. If you are not willing to spend the time, then you will never begin to delve into different professional careers. This can occur through part-time jobs, volunteering, internships, conferences, and other functions. When you begin to talk with other professionals, you need to be succinct and clear about your career aspirations. It should be your “30 second commercial” or your elevator pitch (de Janasz & Forret, 2008). Many say that it is “branding” yourself, which I somewhat agree with. Thinking about what your future career will entail can improve future discussions. By thinking about and preparing for this first, you can have a much easier conversation.

Conversations are not networking. Networking is a constant dialogue with the contact individuals. After you speak about job availability or other, unpretentious banter, you need to get their business card and contact information. The most imperative aspect is writing a follow-up email stating that you enjoyed the conversation and the possibility of coming to the next event. Another way to demonstrate the relationship is by writing a snail-mail letter of the given subject. These are vital expressions by making sure that the individual remembers and becomes mindful of you and your interests. Likewise, Stevens asserts that there are strong networking ties as well as weak ties (2011). Strong ties “can get you more access to favors from those people.” Weak ties are usually, “a contact they met briefly at an event. That means the more people you meet and network with, the more likely you are to find new opportunities.” Both ties of networking are great for your career path. Choosing whom you want to talk to, how long, and establishment of the contact is the networking connection.

Finally, many of us are introverts whether we acknowledge ourselves or not. If you are an introvert and have a difficult time starting conversations, than there are other options. For introverted individuals try to form a networking experience, de Janasz and Forret state that, “Skill-building opportunities in how to approach other people and introduce themselves, as well as opportunities to learn how to engage in ‘small talk’ to help find areas of common interest can enhance individuals’ networking abilities” (2008). Think about your strengths and how you can enrich the conversation, also leave out weak subjects in order to stimulate the communication.

Networking will develop throughout your life. By talking and letting people know of your interests, people will want to help, assist, or possibly hire you based upon the simple connections (Muir, 2009). Next time you go out, remember to establish relationships with other people and ensure your contact interactions.

Please use the references below and look up networking experiences from different databases for a clearer understanding of the connections.

References

De Janasz, S. C., & Forret, M. L. (2008). Learning the art of networking: A critical skill for enhancing social capital and career success. Journal of Management Education, 32(5), 629-650. doi: 10.1177/1052562907307637

Muir, C. (2009). Rethinking job references: a networking challenge. Business Communication Quarterly, 72(3), 304-317. doi: 10.1177/1080569909340687

Stevens, C. K. (2011). Don’t discount the value of networking. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/docview/901016082?accountid=14925

Nerd Nite! Banned Books

ALA@Wayne had a great evening at Nerd Nite! On September 25th, Nerd Nite presented a Banned Books event, due to the American Librarian Association celebrating a week in September to commemorate those books that have been challenged or banned within a local community or national concerns. There were speakers who spoke about the historical incidences to deny books, stories from a rare bookshop, and the Wayne State publisher’s progressive designs about eBooks.

Overall, it was a wonderful night. More events are coming up soon and I hope to see you there.

Please also visit the Nerd Nite website for new events nationally and internationally. And, for more information about banned and challenged books, go to the ALA website to understand the restrictions and limitations of materials.

Nerd Nite's Banned Books event on September 25th.

Nerd Nite’s Banned Books event on September 25th.

Listening to a speaker who spoke about stories on rare books.

Listening to a speaker who spoke about stories on rare books.

 

Children’s Hospital of Michigan Project

For those of you who have not heard, the Wayne State SLIS Alumni Association is teaming up with Hip Hop Knit Shop in an effort to bring books, toys, blankets, and stories to the patients at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Here’s how you can get involved with this great cause:
-Drop off new toys or books to a bin at one of our participating libraries in the tri-county area (Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw) between November 1st and December 12th. A list of libraries and accepted items can be found here.
-Knit or purchase a blanket and send it to the address below. Blanket packages must be addressed clearly and correctly in order to be delivered.
Southfield Public Library
c/o Sherrie Savage
26300 Evergreen Road
Southfield, Michigan 48076
-Become a volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Application information and a list of volunteer opportunities, including storytelling, assisting in the library, and helping with the art cart, can be found here.

For more information, contact Eva Gogola, President of the WSU-SLISAA, at evagro@gmail.com.

2013 ALA Student-to-Staff Program

Attention all ALA@WSU Student Chapter Members!

Applications are now being accepted for participation in the ALA Student-to-Staff Program during the 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois (June 27-July 2). In exchange for working 16 hours (4 hours per day) at the conference, ALA will provide free conference registration, housing for five nights, and a per diem ($200 total). Applicants must be a student chapter member, as well as a current ALA member. Applicants must remain an ALA member through the ALA Annual Conference that he or she is nominated to participate in.
*More information about the program can be found at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/affiliates/chapters/student/resources/studenttostaffprogram.cfm

To apply, send the following information to Dr. Robert P. Holley, the faculty advisor of the ALA Student Chapter, at aa3805@wayne.edu by November 10, 2012 at noon:
-Your name
-ALA Membership Number
-Contact information
-Status in the program including number of hours completed and GPA
-A short statement of no more than 250 words about why you should be selected to represent Wayne State University

Don’t let this great opportunity slip away! Apply today!