Insights from Banned Book Reading Nite

We just finished up Banned Books Week across the country and the ALA is alive with all of the various lists of banned books now and over time (http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek). ALA@Wayne joined forces with Always Brewing Detroit to have a Banned Books Reading Night. Due to a small turnout, this event quickly turned into a roundtable discussion, and several members of a book club joined us, which regularly meet at Always Brewing, as well as, a lawyer and her young daughter, whom had her own thoughts about banned books and is also was an avid reader.

We brought in Looking for Alaska, which regularly makes the list for smoking, drinking, and sexuality; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for its trippy nature; and The Boy Who Lost His Face, for including the occult and some incredibly brief sexuality. From banned books, we discussed the teaching of literature, i.e. having discussions about difficult subject matter and how to help students value the written word. We talked about what makes books good, or have value. Does it depend on your emotional reaction or attachment to the story? Is it okay to just like something even though it’s something you read before bed and it’s not a dense novel that you can pick apart with others?

What gives something literary merit—is it how it’s written vs. subject? It’s definitely important for librarians to consider all of these factors when recommending books to people, and there is not just one area of the United States that bans books. It’s happens all over. Do your part—even if you don’t engage in conversation with others about a banned book, pick one up and read it. Consider why it was banned and if that holds true for you. Lists can be found in the above link.

Thanks to Amanda Brewington and Always Brewing Detroit for hosting us and to those who attended.

Elissa Zimmer, President
ALA@Wayne

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Highlights of the 2014 ALA Student-to-Staff Program

I just returned from the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Student-to-Staff (S2S) Program at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The S2S program gave me an opportunity to work with the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO). The S2S program requires a lot of energy and a “can do” customer service attitude. I was assigned to the IRO Registration area, where I helped international librarians register for the conference. I also worked in the IRO Visitor Center and distributed conference resources to the international registrants. I enjoy helping others, so my IRO assignment was a pleasure to perform.

The conference was jam-packed with events for every type of librarian and paraprofessional. The main conference sessions and exhibits were a buzz with the glitz and showmanship for which Vegas is known. I could not have imagined there would be 700+ exhibitors on hand including book vendors of all types, not to mention software and furniture retailers, and LIS graduate schools. There were so many exhibits to visit and Elvis had not left the building when I arrived, so I took a picture with him. Plus, I unexpectedly connected with a few colleagues in the exhibit hall.

Roxanne and Elvis Impersonator

Our own WSU SLIS graduate program was on hand displaying our program materials. Networking was the biggest perk of the 2014 S2S and Annual Conference. There was an Alumni Reunion sponsored by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), and they also provided a shared booth for the LIS graduate schools that were exhibiting. I got a chance to meet some WSU alumni who graduated in 2003 and 2009. They shared some of their experiences finding their first job after graduate school, along with their progression in the profession. This event also gave me an opportunity to meet and chat with our WSU SLIS Associate Dean, our Academic Advisor and a previous ALA@Wayne colleague at the reunion. These are the types of social interactions and experiences that conferences support. As a distance student, I would not have met my WSU and other future LIS colleagues, without my attendance and participation at this year’s ALA S2S program.

Check out the other experiences I gained through the 2014 ALA S2S program at the Annual Conference on the SLIS blog.

Roxanne Brazell
Webmaster

Getting Ready to Attend the ALA Annual Student-to-Staff Program

This month I will be traveling to the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas to participate in the ALA Student-to-Staff program (S2S). Each year LIS schools nominate a student to represent their school at the conference. Forty out of the 60 schools are represented at the conference, as there are only 40 positions available each year. Wayne State University students can apply for the S2S program between late October and November through our LIS program.

The S2S program provides us with an opportunity to work with ALA staff and students from other LIS schools during the conference. We will work 16 hours and may volunteer for more hours over the course of six days. Plus, we get to attend some events at the conference. It’s a great way to attend my first ALA conference and network with staff, students, and professionals in our profession.

I will be working in the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO) with several other students. I am excited to work with the IRO as I have an interest in international librarianship. I look forward to getting a glimpse of the IRO’s goals and responsibilities and how the unit functions. I will share my experiences here in mid-July.

Join us to get the most out of your LIS studies.

Roxanne Brazell
Webmaster

Welcome to our New Officers

Our new officers for the 2014-15 academic year are:

President – Elissa Zimmer
Vice President – Analise Johnson
Distance Liaison – Susan Gotthelf

We have two leadership opportunities available. We are seeking a secretary and treasurer. Please checkout our WSU SLIS Organization page, if you are interested in either one of these positions email our Webmaster.

We have some exciting work ahead of us.

Get the Most Out of Internships and Practicums

As one semester ends another is just beginning for many of us. The spring and summer terms are a great time for internships and practicums. During this time, internship and practicum supervisors generally have more time to mentor us, and provide engaging opportunities to help us develop and enhance our skills. The trick here is to take a light load of courses. Sometimes an internship or a practicum may have a steep learning curve, if you are new to an area of the field. To get the most out of these experiences give them your full attention.

Make sure you actively participate in the assigned activities and go above and beyond, where possible. Remember you’re actually on a three-month interview. You maybe offered a position before the end of your leave date or an opportunity to join them when you graduate. Even if this is not the case, your internship or practicum supervisor can serve as a reference for you for other positions. You also want to use the internship and practicum to build your professional network. It’s a great place to connect with librarians and information professionals that you do not have direct working relationships with, too.

Check out Amy Musser’s guest post, “Advocate for Yourself and Your Education to get the Most Out of Your Practicum Experience” on the ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) blog site.

The ALA’s ALSC hosted a helpful webinar on how you can get the most out of an internship or practicum. You can link to the archive, Internships/Practicums Student Sessions here.

If you’re looking for a challenge then consider a LIS summer research project.

Celebrate National Library Week (April 13-19th)

National Library Week will be here in two weeks and it would be nice if we celebrated it every day, since libraries change peoples lives on a daily basis. As a young child my grandmother took me to our local library every week and let me select books that she would check out and read to me. Our visits taught me the importance of our library community. My fondness for reading and visiting libraries in every city I visit is an extension of my early library experiences.

To my WSU Warrior Librarians, you make all the difference in our community. The WSU Library has been invaluable to my many research papers and short projects. I can’t keep track of the number of times a librarian or a future colleague in the making has helped me find a resource that I didn’t know existed. Plus, I love that I can obtain library assistance by phone, email, and chat.

So, take time from April 13 – 19th to let your local librarians know that you appreciate their commitment and the services they provide.

They’d love to hear how the library has changed your life. So send out a tweet using the hashtag #LivesChange and #NLW14. Not a tweeter or need more than 140 characters, then share your library story at “You belong @ your library”. If your library uses Flickr, then join the “Lives change @ your library group” and post some great pictures in support of your local libraries. Let them know they are making a difference in your life.