The Accidental Librarian

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Are you doing the job of a librarian without the advantage of a library degree or professional experience? Do you wonder what you might have missed in formal library education, how highly trained librarians stay on top of their game, or what skills and qualities library directors look for?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, this is the book for you. Pamela H. MacKellar-a 25-year library veteran who has mentored "accidental" librarians in all types of ...

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Are you doing the job of a librarian without the advantage of a library degree or professional experience? Do you wonder what you might have missed in formal library education, how highly trained librarians stay on top of their game, or what skills and qualities library directors look for?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, this is the book for you. Pamela H. MacKellar-a 25-year library veteran who has mentored "accidental" librarians in all types of settings-covers library principles, practices, and tools of the trade. She offers tips, examples, and simple exercises to increase your understanding.

Whether you are seeking a thorough grounding in library fundamentals or simply looking for ways to serve more effectively in your current role, The Accidental Librarian is a great place to start.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573873383
  • Publisher: Information Today, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/13/2008
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables xiii

Foreword Karen Strege xv

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Website xix

Introduction xxi

Part I Basic Library Principles

Chapter 1 What Is a Librarian? 3

Why We Become Librarians 3

How We Become Librarians 4

Library School Education 5

Kinds of Librarians 7

What Is an Accidental Librarian? 8

Sidebar: How I Discovered That Not All Librarians Have MLS Degrees 9

Sidebar: Linda Hardy Dydo, Los Gatos (CA) Public Library 10

The Facts About Accidental Librarians 11

What Makes a Librarian? 16

Sidebar: Eileen Gilbert, Boscawen (NH) Public Library 16

What Do Librarians Do? 17

What Else Do Librarians Do? 19

Sidebar: What Do Librarians Need to Know? 21

What Skills Do Librarians Need? 21

What Are the Characteristics of Librarians? 22

Chapter 2 What Are Libraries? 27

Types of Libraries 29

Who Uses Libraries? 30

Library Standards 31

The Future of Libraries 32

Libraries as Community Centers 35

Chapter 3 The People Libraries Serve 39

Who Does Your Library Serve? 39

Your Community's Profile 41

Chapter 4 Determining the Needs of the People Libraries Serve 51

Community Needs Assessment 51

Decide What You Want to Know 52

Assessment Tools 54

Customer Satisfaction Surveys vs. Needs Assessments 58

Analyzing the Data and Sharing the Results 59

Using the Results in Library Planning 60

Sidebar: Tamara Sandia, Jemez Pueblo (NM) Community Library 60

Chapter 5 Letting Your Vision, Mission, and Plan Be Your Guides 65

Does Your Library Have a Real Vision, Mission, and Plan? 66

Common Reasons Why Libraries Don't Have a Vision, Mission, or Plan 69

The Vision Statement 70

The Mission Statement 72

Sidebar: Do You Need Both a Vision Statement and a Mission Statement? 75

The Library Plan 76

Part II Basic Library Practice

Chapter 6 Developing the Library's Collection 83

Performing a Collection Assessment or Collection Evaluation 83

Creating or Updating Your Collection Development Policy 85

Selection 87

Donations 92

Weeding 94

Preservation 98

Chapter 7 Acquiring Information for the Library 101

Automated Acquisitions 102

Steps in the Acquisitions Process 102

Sidebar: Cathy Butterfield, The Community Library, Ketchum, Idaho 110

Approval Plans 113

Electronic Products 114

Acquisitions Budgets 116

Chapter 8 Organizing the Library's Information 117

The Importance of Cataloging and Classification 117

Library Catalogs 118

Providing Access to Information 118

Cataloging 119

Classification 122

Copy Cataloging 124

Authority Control 128

Sidebar: Finding Sean Combs Using Authority Headings 129

The Price of Saving Money 130

How Is Your Library Doing? 131

Cataloging Is Not Dead 132

Chapter 9 Retrieving and Disseminating Information 137

The Library Collection 137

Knowing Your Library's Collection 137

Information Retrieval Defined 139

Online Catalogs 140

Databases and Electronic Resources 143

Determining the Best Resource 145

Making It Easy for Others to Retrieve Information 146

Disseminating Information 146

Chapter 10 Library Services 153

Customer Service 153

The Library Building 154

Online and Computer Access to Information 155

Reference Service 156

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) 159

Readers' Advisory 161

Children's Programs 163

Young Adult Services 164

Sidebar: Lita Slaggle, Baylor County (TX) Free Library 166

Adult Programs 168

Services for the Underserved 169

Sidebar: Jessica Fenster-Sparber, Passages Academy 170

Chapter 11 Library Policies 173

Purpose of Library Policies 173

The Four Tests 174

Fair and Equitable Service 175

What Is the Big Deal About Policies? 175

How Does This Happen? 177

Policies Every Library Needs 179

Tips to Get You Started 181

How to Write a Library Policy 182

Policy Changes 184

Chapter 12 Library Management Essentials 185

What a Library Manager Does 186

Sidebar: Patti Newell, Sullivan Free Library 188

Personnel 189

Communication 197

Governing Boards 200

Sidebar: Diana Lorton, Camino Nuevo Correctional Center 201

Local Government 204

Friends of the Library 205

Budgets 206

Volunteers 207

Are You a Micromanager? 211

Chapter 13 Library Marketing 213

Marketing Plan 213

Branding 214

Your Library's Public Image 215

Communicating to the People You Serve 219

Events and Themes 221

Sidebar: Seven Things You Can Do Now to Market Your Library 223

Staying Connected to the Larger Organization 223

Social Software 224

Chapter 14 Removing Barriers 225

Barrier 1: Your Library Is Disadvantaged 225

Barrier 2: Things Are Fine Just the Way They Are 226

Barrier 3: You Know All There Is to Know About Librarianship 227

Barrier 4: You Know All There Is to Know About Your Community 228

Barrier 5: Your Library Is Different 228

Removing Barriers 228

Sidebar: Martha Liebert, Martha Liebert Public Library 229

Part III Technology and the Library

Chapter 15 Public Access Computers 237

What Makes a Computer a PAC? 239

Software for PACs 240

Security, Maintenance, and Management 240

Sidebar: What Is Malware and What Can You Do About It? 243

The "Look" and Location of PACs 246

Selecting PACs 248

What PAC Support Staff Must Know 250

What PAC Users Need to Know 251

Internet Connectivity 252

Technology Planning and PACs 252

Computer Use Policies 253

Chapter 16 Automated Catalogs 255

To Automate or Not to Automate 256

Integrated Library Systems 257

Selecting Automation Software 260

Selecting a User-Friendly OPAC 264

Chapter 17 Online Reference Tools 267

Online Reference Resources 267

Electronic Reference Tools 270

Knowledgeable Reference Staff 271

How Has the Internet Changed Reference Service? 272

Chapter 18 Library 2.0 279

What Is Library 2.0? 280

What Does Library 2.0 Mean for You? 282

What Can You Do to 2.0 Your Library? 283

Library 2.0 Technology Tools 285

Library 2.0 Nontechnology Tools 291

Planning, Promoting, and Educating 291

Part IV Career Development

Chapter 19 Getting Connected and Finding Support 295

Your Own Library 295

State and Regional Library Associations 296

Library Systems and Consortia 297

Online Communities 297

National Library Associations 303

Sidebar: Evelyn Pockrass, Indianapolis (IN) Hebrew Congregation 303

Publications 306

Chapter 20 Librarian Certification 309

Public Librarian Certification 309

Sidebar: Michele Haytko, Perkiomen Valley Library 310

Library Practitioner Certificate Program 312

School Librarian Certification 312

Academic and Special Librarian Certification 313

Certified Public Library Administrator 313

Chapter 21 Continuing Education, Distance Education, and Degree Programs 315

Colleges, Universities, and Postsecondary Institutions 315

Sidebar: Felicia Cheney, Edgartown (MA) Free Public Library 316

Library Associations 316

Other Associations 317

Conferences 317

State Library Continuing Education Departments 319

Library Membership Organizations and Cooperatives 319

Free Web-Based Training and Tutorials 320

Appendix A Sample Library Policies 323

Appendix B LIS Education Resources 335

Appendix C Library Issues and Legislation 345

Recommended Reading 363

Websites 379

About the Author 395

Index 397

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013


    a must for a librarian to be or someone who wishes to know more about the workings of this field.

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