A Long Overdue Update

It’s been almost a year since my blog post. A lot has happened in my professional life during that time. 

I ended my term as editor for Urban Library Journal. I  have passed the banner to Anne Hays and Angel Falcon and am looking forward to their future work on the journal!

My term as technical editor the RUSA Voices blog has also come to an end. It was a great experience developing the blog for the RUSA community, and to have a platform for reference librarians to share their experiences.

I have also been elected LACUNY President for the 2016-2017 academic year. We have the upcoming LACUNY Institute in May. The theme is the future of libraries, and I am enthusiastic to hear  others’ perspectives on the profession.

Since Designing for Digital, I have given numerous presentations and published various articles and book chapters. I have written an article for the Journal of Web Librarianship, which highlighted a year long usability study on our redesign library website here at City Tech. I have also contributed book chapters to the Leadership, Entrepreneurship & Technology: A LITA Guide, and to Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning.

I’ve also taught the most one-short instruction courses that I’ve ever taught in my 11 years as a librarian this past year. Since the election, I have found that it has been difficult talking about depending information in the “post-truth” era. I used to tell students that you can generally trust information from .gov sites, but with the Trump administration taking down portions of the White House site that includes data on climate change, I’m not so sure anymore.

Being an information worker/consumer/broker in this new administration is filled with all kinds of challenges. Librarians have strategized on what they can do, created whole conferences that focus on fake news, created LibGuides to assist students in recognizing fake news, and teach students how to recognize good journalism. However, it’s very difficult to try and encapsulate these ideas in a hour and half information literacy session AND instruct users how to use the discovery tool, find full-text articles, and where to find citation resources.

One of the reasons why becoming a librarian has appealed to me, is that it’s a job that helps ensure that people get the information they need to make rational, informed decisions. I watched my mother do this when she was a helping others at the reference desk in our small town in Kentucky. However, I feel like it’s harder now since there’s so much misleading information through social media.

It’s more difficult as there is legislation that is taking funding away from the arts and humanities, which is robbing students of essential critical thinking skills. It makes me wonder how effective I can be trying to assist others in being sensible information consumers when there’s a lot of noise and monetary obstacles to do such things.

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