Monday, November 5, 2007

All School Day - Final Session

Albi Assmann, SLIS student, provides us with the following commentary on the presentation of Beth Avery, Head of Research and Instructional Services at UNT:

Beth Avery talked about why assessment is essential to providing good service and gave examples of simple but effective questions when determining whether patrons' needs are being met. She recommended limiting the number of questions being asked and asking patrons contrasting questions about their visits such as, "What did you like best about being in the library today?" and "What did you like least?" Of the many good ideas she offered, I will probably use this series of questions again and again: what did I tell you that I didn't need to tell you; what did I tell you that surprised you; and what do you want to know more about. Beth also talked about the new design and traffic patterns for Willis Library.

Third All School Day Speaker

The third speaker at All School Day was Daniel Alemneh, Metadata Specialist for the Digital Projects Unit of the UNT Libraries. His topic for the day was "Emerging Trends and Innovative Uses of Digital Technologies. He spoke about how the Web is bringing together "contributions of millions of people and making them matter" and how the trend is not text documents in libraries anymore, digital libraries are now about multimedia content. Users want a "visualization of the information space instead of a ranked list of search results." They want to search systems with their own language and not worry about controlled vocabulary. They also like folksonomy and the ability to index their own content. Librarians should take advantage of users becoming information taggers and study their tags in order to design systems that meet the needs of these users' information behaviors.

Despite the changes that are taking place in the library field, Alemneh explained that Ranganathan's laws and other aspects of libraries remain timeless.

In answer to the changing library field, Almeneh sees the following trends:
1. Most conferences now address Web 2.0
2. Libraries must appeal to users in other ways than simply providing information because people can find so much information on the Web.
3. A new generation of OPAC is developing.
4. More repositories of various sizes and scope are being created.
5. There is a greater push for user-centered design and metadata access.

To finish up his presentation, Almeneh showed us a digital library for which he does work, Portal to Texas History. This UNT digital library provides both search and browsing functionality, with browsing areas in county, subject, collection, and contributor. Users may comment on content and even contribute their own images through this function.

Friday, November 2, 2007

All School Day - Session 2

Here we continue our report of last weekend's speakers.

Our second speaker was Edward Smith, Director of Member Services Development for Amigos Library Services and UNT alum, with his presentation: "Technology Is the Answer! What was the question again?" Smith attributes the creation of his lecture to the book The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age by Sven Birkerts and to his experience as a boy when a librarian handed him his first non-children's book, Treasure Island.

Smith supplied us with some statistics about librarians:

25% of library professionals decided they wanted to enter the career by age 20.

Most cited reason for people to choose the profession is a love of books and reading.

33% of librarians say it was a K-12 librarian in there schools that affected their decision to become a librarian.

Others chose librarianship because:

The career was a good fit.

The job opportunities available.

The intellectual aspects of the work.

The focus of his talk was about literacy by which he meant not only reading, but also analyzing what one reads. When someone asked a room full of librarians what they do to promote literacy, the surprise was that no one said "I read." Smith argues that technology can not cause nor prevent the death of literacy because literacy can die anytime that people stop reading.

Smith alluded to much literature during his presentation. He spoke of Goethe's Faust and his pact with the devil to exchange his soul for an infinite level of knowledge that could never possibly be obtained. He referenced Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and how you don't have to destroy books to get rid of their content, you just have to get people to stop reading them. He also spoke of Walker Percy's Lost In the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book which asks why does mankind always feel sad in the twentieth century when basic needs are met much better than in earlier times? We are cut off by technology, yet technology is meant only to be a tool to aid us in our endeavors, not the means to an end. Smith made allusions to Shakespeare's Hamlet, Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric," the plaque at Lincoln's monument, Tennyson's "Lotos-Eaters," and A Good Match: Library Career Opportunities for Graduates of Liberal Arts Colleges by Rebecca A. Watson-Boone.

Smith's presentation put our whole program on technology into perspective: Technology is only a tool. All technologies fade. Literacy is the key to keep libraries alive, so librarians should keep reading and share what they do with their patrons.

All School Day Review (Fall 2007)

All School Day was this past weekend, and we had a bunch of fun, learned some new things, and went home with too much stuff!
Some students were unable to attend because of distance or prior commitments, so we'll try to give you all an idea of what the speakers had to say.

First up we had Walter Betts, TCU systems librarian and TWU adjunct professor, speaking on the Future of Librarianship. He showed us part of an old video from 1947 called The Librarian that explains the librarian profession to potential new librarians. This film is available in the Prelinger Archives at, and may be viewed below.

Betts recommended we look at the Prelinger Collection, if we had not already, as a source of public domain, goofy educational videos created from (approximately) the 1940s to the 1970s. Betts also showed us the trailer to the recent film The Hollywood Librarian.

Betts went on to speak about an experiment/study he conducted on a class of his where he had his cataloging students participate in a reference interview as the patron. Although many students had rarely or never participated as the patron in a reference interview, they were reluctant to do so because they felt that as library students, they did not need professionals. Results showed that the students greatly benefited by using a librarian for help because doing so led them to useful sources they would not have otherwise know to use. Even librarians should use other librarians for help when they are researching a collection they are unfamiliar with, since the librarian that is familiar with the collection, will almost always be able to share ideas and resources that would otherwise be missed.

Betts believes that librarians remain relevant, but they must serve patron needs and make their resources and core services known. Librarians provide remote access to databases, Interlibrary Loan services, instruction in ESL and GED, supply computers and Internet connections, and provide quiet study areas. There is a great future for librarians.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

All School Day - Fall 2007

Yes, here it is again! All School Day will take place Saturday, October 27, 2007 from 9-3 pm at UNT's Research Park. Research Park is four miles from the main campus and is the location to which SLIS will soon be moving, so come to this event and get acquainted with this excellent facility! Click here for directions.

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The theme for the event is Technology in the Modern Library, and with speakers from SLIS, academic and public libraries, and Amigos, there will be something for everyone. Join us to learn something new and network with LIS professionals and students. We will be providing free breakfast and lunch, fun prizes, and an ice cream social to top everything off. Email with questions.

The following speakers have been confirmed:
Cindy Batman and Will Clark (UNT Dallas Library): virtual reference
Beth Avery (head of UNT reference)
Daniel Alemeneh and Mark Philips: emerging trends
Kerry McGeath (Southlake Public Library): systems
Walter Betts (TCU): collecting user behavior data
Edward Smith (Amigos): Technology is the Answer, What Was the Question?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

LISSA Kick-Off Party

The Kick-Off Party was awesome and so much fun!! We ate a bunch of food from burgers to really plump hot dogs to vegan burgers to some fancy chicken concoction that Shaneka made. Very fancy! We also talked a lot upon such subjects as: Harry Potter, national security at the borders, the effectiveness and morality of vaccinations, the beautiful dogs in attendance, and more I'm sure. What did you talk about at the picnic?

Needing Lazerow Volunteers

Hi everyone,
LISSA is assisting with the Lazerow Lecture event being held Thursday evening, October 4 at the UNT Denton campus. Thus, we are seeking volunteers to help. It's a great way to meet people, and the speaker, Dr. Dervin, is well known in the LIS world. Email us at if yout want to help with the following:

Volunteers needed:
1. pick up of speaker to and from all events October 3 and October 4- Dr. Dervin has difficulty walking and will need assistance. Prefers a car rather than pickup or SUV. She also needs a ride to Denton from the airport on Wednesday afternoon, October 3.

2. assist with set up of reception (nametags, anything Dervin needs) and lecture - I think she is bringing some literature and handouts from 4:00-5:30

3. assist with keeping reception food and drink supplied 5:30-6:30

4. clean up of reception food, dismantle 6:30-7:00

5. assist with afterwards to get everything back to car and to SLIS 9:00

There will be fun and education for all!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

First LISSA meeting--Fall 2007

Did you miss us at the Sweetwater dinner? If so, not only did you miss the fun of meeting with SLIS students and faculty. You missed our wonderful President Arta challenging a strange multi-layered tortilla chip:

Well, she won, and it was mighty tasty. Anyways...LISSA will be holding its first meeting on Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 7:00pm in ISB 202. We would love to see SLIS students there so we can meet you and eat snacks with you and plan for the semester with you. So please join us next week! If you can't make this meeting, keep checking the blog for future events. Don't forget the semester SLIS Kick-off party will be Saturday, September 15, and we will be barbecuing. We'll let you know the other details very soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dinner with LISSA

Hello SLIS Students!

We hope you all have had a lovely summer and are ready to get back to school! Well, if you are looking for a way to ease back into the new semester, join us for dinner this Saturday, August 25 at 7pm and talk with LISSA officers, other SLIS students, and faculty. We'll be meeting at the following location for dinner:

Sweetwater Grill and Tavern
115 South Elm Street
Denton, TX 76201

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This is a pay-your-own-way event, so don't forget your wallets. :)
Please join us for this great opportunity for networking and fun with your fellow students!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Join A LISSA Committee

SLIS students have the opportunity to participate on LISSA committees this 2007-2008 school year. Email us at to join!

All School Day Committee
Chair: Arta Kabashi & Melissa Place

Constitution Committee
Chair: Sean Fitzpatrick

Events Committee/SLIS/ Lazerow Lecture
Chair: Vanessa Taylir & Lauren Ko

Fundraising Committee
Chair: Sharon Cardwell

Let's Talk/Miksa Committee
Chair: Sean Fitzpatrick

Social Committee/LISSA
Chair: Amanda Rhodes & Emily Billings

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fall Fun

LISSA officers have been busy this summer planning events to be held this 2007-2008 school year. First off we are going to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester with a Kickoff Party on September 14. We are planning a fun cookout with lots of food, so we hope you will come, bring your families, and meet other SLIS people! We'll let you know the time and place soon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

LISSA Welcomes New Officers

Emily Billings and Melissa Place are LISSA's new members-at-large for the 2007-2008 school year. Sean Fitzpatrick has been elected sergeant-at-arms. Meet them at LISSA's Fall Kick-Off Party in September!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Seeking Members-at-Large!!

The North Texas LISSA in the DFW area is looking for two members-at-large. Members-at-large will chair committees and help plan LISSA events. The North Texas LISSA is a group of dynamic individuals looking to enrich SLIS students' lives through social interaction, informational meetings, and educational events. Please nominate anyone that you think would be suitable for this position by sending an email to (you may nominate yourself).

Come be an integral part of this exciting group by responding ASAP!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hollywood Librarian Premier

The documentary film The Hollywood Librarian will premier at the upcoming ALA annual conference in Washington DC.

View the ALA Announcement.

View the movie trailer:

Facebook group:

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

LISSA Totebags

The new LISSA Totebags are now available for purchase! Bags are big, sturdy, and won't show stains! What else could you really want?

Buy one for $12.00 or two for $20.00! Come and get one at our next LISSA meeting or email us at to schedule a pickup or shipping!

New Lissa Officers

Congratulations to the Denton LISSA officers of 2007-2008!

President: Arta Kabashi

Vice President: Mandie Rhodes

Secretary: Lauren Ko

Treasurer: Vanessa Taylir

Members-at-Large: Jennifer Lafleur and Sharon Cardwell

Be sure to watch for updates on what LISSA will be doing next year, and
thank you for your support!

Sarah Nelson

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spring 2007 All School Day

We held All School Day last Saturday, April 21!

This All School Day's theme was Playing the Field--Different Kinds of Libraries, and it was organized into different sessions with panel discussions. Session topics included Academic Libraries, School Libraries, Public Libraries, Special Libraries, and Transitioning Between Libraries. The speakers had a lot to tell us about their experiences in libraries and were excited to engage in discussion with interested students. Panelists gave us insight into their specific types of libraries, made suggestions about what to do while still in school, gave us tips for obtaining jobs, answered several of our questions, and even quelled some of our fears.

Thank you to our planners and volunteers: Regina Burgess, Sharon Cardwell, Sean Fitzpatrick, Andrea Gillin, Adrianne Jones, Lauren Ko, Jennifer LaFleur, Sarah Nelson, Elena Vassilieva, Delo White

Additional thanks go to Charlotte Thomas, John Pipes, Jurhee Curtis, and Dr. Yvonne Chandler for making All School Day possible!

We enjoyed the company of the following speakers:

Lea Bailey, Director of Learning Resources for Irving I.S.D. (School Libraries Session)
Gale Harris, Chief Librarian of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Libraries (Special Libraries and Transitioning Between Libraries Sessions)
Norman Howden, Assistant Dean of El Centro College Library (Academic Libraries Session)
Connie Moss , Assistant Library Director of William T. Cozby Public Library, Coppell, TX (Public Libraries Session)
Sue Ridnour, Youth Services Manager of Flower Mound Public Library (Public Libraries Session, and Transitioning Between Libraries Sessions)
Vanessa Perez, Managing Librarian of American Heart Association National Center Library, Dallas, TX (Special Libraries and Transitioning Between Libraries Sessions)
David Schuster, Library Technology Coordinator for Plano I.S.D. (School Libraries Session)
Linda Snow, Head of Reference Services for University of Texas, Dallas (Academic Libraries Session)

Vanessa Perez, librarian for the American Heart Association and speaker at the recent All School Day, has provided us with the bibliography she brought to the event. This bibliography contains resources pertaining to transitioning between different types of libraries and on health/science librarianship. She was an excellent speaker, so check out the list!!

A Brief Bibliography on Select Topics Relating to Librarianship Careers
Compiled April 12, 2007
Vanessa Perez, Librarian
American Heart Association National Center Library

Career Transition

Leaving the Academic Library By Jeff Luzius and Allyson Ard. Journal of Academic Librarianship; Nov 2006, Vol. 32 Issue 6, p593-598.

The Journey from Corporate to Academic Librarian By Susan M. Klopper. Online; Sep/Oct 2006, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p14-20.

From SLA to Parkland PL By Richard Andrew Albanese. Library Journal; November 15, 2004, Vol. 129 Issue 19, p33.

Making It to the Major Leagues: Career Movement between Library and Archival Professions and from Small College to Large University Libraries By Timothy Johnson. Library Trends; Spring 2002, Vol. 50, Issue 4, p614 – 630.

The Competitive Intelligence Opportunity By Norman Oder. Library Journal; March 1, 2001, Vol. 126 Issue 4, p42+.

Moving Up and Out By Leslie J. Zampetti. Information Outlook; Nov 2000, Vol. 4 Issue 11, p24+.

Health/Science Librarianship

I Am Not a Specialist: Why We All Need to be Worrying About Medical Information By Catherine Arnott Smith. Journal of Education for Library & Information Science; Spring 2006, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p96-105.

The increasing globalization of health librarianship: a brief survey of international trends and activities By Bruce Madge and Scott Plutchak. Health Information & Libraries Journal; September 2005 Supplement 1, Vol. 22, p20-30.

Emerging roles of health sciences librarians: academic library centrality By Sarah Barbara Watstein. Reference Services Review; 2004, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p13-15.

Medicine's Library Lifeline By Jean Shipman and Michael Homan. Library Journal; April 1,2003, Vol. 128 Issue 6, p49.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

All School Day Update

Hi everyone!

We've been working hard on All School Day so here's the latest information:

Date: April 21; 9-3:30
Theme: Playing the field - different kinds of libraries
Place: tentatively we're in the business building on the UNT Denton campus, but keep an eye out for updates. Once everything's settled we'll post all the info.

If you can help we still need volunteers to help with registration & set up, which would be on 4-21. We also need someone who could ask around campus (or wherever) for donations of pencils, pens, and a door prize or two. If you're able to help please email Sarah at

We'll post more updates as we get them, so please keep checking here and in the Village. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007


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