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Library Technician to Librarian: My Experience OALT Conference May 2009 Panel Session: Master of Information Studies: Is It For Me? Presented by: Jennifer.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Technician to Librarian: My Experience OALT Conference May 2009 Panel Session: Master of Information Studies: Is It For Me? Presented by: Jennifer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library Technician to Librarian: My Experience OALT Conference May 2009 Panel Session: Master of Information Studies: Is It For Me? Presented by: Jennifer Peters-Lise Digital Services Librarian Seneca College

2 Education background Journalism – Durham College English Literature – Trent University Library Technician Accelerated – Seneca College Master of Information Studies – U of Toronto

3 My Library Technician Career

4 5 years Circulation – 4 years Reference – 1 year (maternity leave) Daily tasks – Signing books in/out, collecting fines, sending out late notices, processing reserves, processing holds, reference questions, virtual reference, fixing library machines, filling library machines with paper, quick cataloguing paperbacks, creating labels, creating signs and displays, answering phones, photocopying Special projects – college support staff PD committee, e- reserves research, marketing committee

5 My Library Technician Career Positives Enjoy busy work and physical tasks Satisfaction in starting and finishing work in a day or two No public speaking Work stayed at work Negatives Not much autonomy Sometimes felt chained to the desk Didnt always feel challenged by the work Sometimes felt like I did all the work while others got all the credit

6 Deciding to Become a Librarian I wanted: More money (financial security) More vacation More perks More autonomy More ownership over my work Was told there might be a metadata/digital services librarian position coming up at Seneca

7 My Degree Experience

8 Master of Information Studies Enrolled in September 2003 Part-time studies; worked full-time as a Library Technician Sacrificed choice for speed and took any course I could Completed the degree in 3 years 8 straight semesters

9 Timetable First year – 2 night courses Second and Third year – 1 afternoon course (1-4), 1 night course (6:30-9:30) on the same day Less commuting One less late night 2.5 hours between classes to do homework (or go shopping) Manager allowed me to leave work 4 hours early and make up hours on other days

10 Course Focus Main subject focus: Metadata, Cataloguing, Digital Services Subjects to round out my knowledge: Business research, Legal Issues (Copyright, Privacy), along with core and required courses Filler courses: Readers Advisory, 2 Youth Services Courses, Advocacy, Government Information

11 The assignments The MIS is a lot of work Group work, Presentations, Papers Averaged 16 hours of homework on weekends Sample assignments Major paper - History of Fantastic Fiction Technology - Relational Database Presentation & Paper - Folksonomies

12 Take courses during the day and at night Take courses in the summer Wait for the courses you really want to take Try to connect with other part-time students Ask your employer if they reimburse tuition, offer incentives and/or time off for courses Lessons Learned:

13 My Degree Experience

14 My Librarian Career

15 3.5 years Daily Tasks: e-reserves maintenance, reference twice a week, meetings Special Projects: Research and Development, chair of several committees, liaise with several faculty for specific research projects, implementation of systems and software, develop metadata profiles, perform user testing, college faculty PD committee, marketing committee, promote new projects to Deans & Chairs, speak at conferences and write articles based on my research, teach faculty workshops, Editor for OCULA

16 Two Careers Compared Library TechnicianLibrarian Daily tasks – Signing books in/out, collecting fines, sending out late notices, processing reserves, processing holds, reference questions, virtual reference, fixing library machines, filling library machines with paper, quick cataloguing paperbacks, creating labels, creating signs and displays, answering phones, photocopying Special projects – college support staff PD committee, e-reserves research, marketing committee Daily Tasks: e-reserves maintenance, reference twice a week, meetings Special Projects: Research and Development, chair of several committees, liaise with several faculty for specific research projects, implementation of systems and software, develop metadata profiles, perform user testing, college faculty PD committee, marketing committee, promote new projects to Deans & Chairs, speak at conferences and write articles based on my research, teach faculty workshops, Editor for OCULA

17 My Librarian Career Positives Love the work – feel challenged every day More autonomy My voice is heard now Get credit for my work More perks – immediate $15,000 raise, 6 weeks more vacation Negatives Public speaking Take my work home with me, and on vacation No physical work, sitting at a computer all day Dealing with politics Projects can drag on for months or years without being completed

18 For those on the fence Really consider the type of work you are doing as a technician and the type you will be doing as a librarian Perks are a big part of the decision but, in the long run, job satisfaction will be the most important Weigh the pros and cons: More perks may equal more politics More autonomy = more chances to screw up Do you want to answer questions/deal with situations on your Mexican vacation? Do you want to have similar tasks everyday or do you want to work on long term research projects? Do you want to speak at conferences, teach, write articles/books?

19 Slides: Website: Contact: Yahoo and IM: senlibjenn x2070 Questions?


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