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STL LIS Job Roundup: Public November 26, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Library Stuff.
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Adult Services Provider–Reference
St. Louis Public Library

Assistant Branch Manager
St. Louis Public Library

Youth Services Librarian
St. Louis Public Library

Manager of Acquisitions and Collection Development
St. Louis Public Library

Reference Librarian – Part Time
University City Public Library


MLNC/MOBIUS Merger Update: On to the next stage! November 21, 2008

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On November 10, 2008 the MLNC/MOBIUS Merger Exploration Task Force officially recommended to the respective boards that they proceed to the next stage and form a task force to determine the feasibility of a merger.

Since that time, the MLNC board has decided to move forward to the feasibility study stage and MOBIUS is currently polling their members for feedback.

The Librarian & Classroom Involvement Efficacy November 21, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Innovation in Libraries, Library Stuff.
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Have you ever wondered how well those one-shot bibliographic sessions really work with students? Wouldn’t it be better to teach multiple sessions or even (gasp!) co-teach a course? Well, a recent article in Reference Services Review seeks to answer just those questions. Be sure to check out the entire article, written by Meagan Bowler and Kori Street, for a more detailed explanation, but I’m going to summarize below.

Essentially, the librarians at Mount Royal College embedded themselves in specific courses with graduated levels of involvement.

  • Level One:  librarian taught a one-shot 60 minute information literacy course to students
  • Level Two:  librarian taught two instruction sessions focused on the research necessary to answer problem-based learning (PBL) assignments
  • Level Three:  the class was divided up into five PBL teams and one librarian was assigned to each PBL team
  • Level Four:  librarian co-taught the course and was identified as an information literacy expert
  • Level Five:  librarian co-taught the course and was not necessarily identified as an information literacy expert

To determine the efficacy of each level, librarians evaluated the improvement of information literacy (IL) skills. This was done by measuring the ability of students to locate, retrieve, evaluate and incorporate sources into their written and PBL assignments over the length of the course.  Results for the research component of assignments were as followed:

  • Level One:  12.9% improvement on written assignments; 9% improvement on PBL assignments
  • Level Two:  8.4% improvement on written assignments; 10.6% improvement on PBL assignments
  • Level Three:  4.9% improvement on written assignments; 21% improvement on PBL assignments
  • Level Four:  18% improvement on written assignments; 12.5% improvement on PBL assignments
  • Level Five:  <1% improvement on written assignments; >1% improvement on PBL assignments

The Level Five results are most surprising. The authors believe this low improvement score is directly related to the seamless integration of the librarian into the course. They find that perhaps it might be necessary to teach information literacy skills separate from subject specific knowledge.

Bowler and Street found that the most successful level of involvement for the research component of both the written and PBL assignments was Level Three.  It was also at this level that the greatest number of students self-reported that their IL skills had improved. Unfortunately, this level of involvement also required the greatest level of librarian participation and the cost is believed to be unsustainable.

Bowler, M. & Street, K. (2008) “Investigating the efficacy of embedment: experiments in information literacy integration”. Reference Services Review. 36(4), 438-449.

A Black Tie Affair November 19, 2008

Posted by sezed in Fun Stuff.
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You may be interested in an event on December 6th, 2008 at the St Louis Public Library.   The first is the Winter White Gala to benefit the Library’s Children’s programming.  This black tie event includes dinner, valet parking, cocktails, entertainment and the after party for $250/ticket.   

The After Party goes from 10-1 and includes valet parking, open bar, DJ Andrew, snacks and desserts.  Tickets for this event are $75. but if you enter the promotional code literati1301 you can get $25/off each ticket.


Tickets are orderable through www.ticketmaster.com, keyword Winter White.


Please consider attending this event since it is for a good cause, or let someone else know about it.  Thanks


LL Chat: Cassandra Stokes November 13, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Fun Stuff, Library Stuff, Local Librarians.
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Recently, I sat down to talk with Cassandra Stokes, the Digital Projects Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, to learn what digital projects the office is currently working on and what she does in a days’ time.

What is a typical day like for you?

Urban Books website created by Digital Library Services at Washington University

Urban Books website created by Digital Library Services at Washington University

My days are really varied and my focus shifts every couple of months from one area to another. There are always emails to answer, library related events to attend, and committee and collection work. Other than developing digital projects I serve on a number of library committees, mostly related to usability and increased access to electronic resources. One I’m currently working on is the Next Generation Catalog Overlay Committee in which we have been reviewing products such as Aquabrowser, Primo, and Endeca. We will be implementing one of these products shortly.

In my position I also have the opportunity to attend many non-library related conferences, such as Digital Humanities, TEI Members’ Meeting, and the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science. I found the Digital Humanities conference to be especially good because it brings together librarians, faculty, and students involved in Humanities Computing projects.

What digital projects are you working on?

We have many projects under development, but one that I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately is the Urban Books project. We partnered with a faculty member at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts who teaches a course on Urban Books. They had previously received a grant to develop an artists’ books collection and we’ve been helping them create a digital version of the original books along with artist supplied tags or keywords. The digital collection includes graphic novels for the students to use in their study as well as student created books that are a final project of the course. The collection currently includes 187 items and growing.

What do you find to be the most interesting part of your job?

I like that the digital library field and consequently, my job is fluid. There’s so much to learn which can be daunting at times but very exciting. Though no digital collection is ever complete, because there are always improvements that can be made, we regularly work with the university and library community to develop new projects and promote standards.

What types of skills do you find necessary to work in your field?

It’s helpful if you are technically inclined, and since you are working with technology you must also be open to making mistakes. Instead of getting frustrated when things don’t work out the first time, be sure to learn from the experience and use it to your advantage by applying those lessons learned to future projects. The digital library field is still in its infancy, so there’s always some new and exciting technology that is being developed by the larger community that you in turn must be aware of to stay current.

STL LIS Job Roundup – Academic November 13, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Job Stuff, Library Stuff.
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Please find the list below! I’ve included new and ongoing searches.

Library Coordinator of Technical Services
Harris-Stowe State University

Catalog and Metadata Librarian

Circulation Assistant
St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Circulation Manager
Stephens College

Head, Undergraduate Library
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Government Documents Librarian
University of Missouri, Columbia

Library Information Assistant
University of Missouri, Columbia

Clinical Librarian
Washington University in St. Louis

Interlibrary Loan Supervisor
Washington University in St. Louis

More Opportunities

MyTRACS: Teens, Research and the Public Library November 6, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Innovation in Libraries, Library Stuff.
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While at the MLA conference in early October many STL LIS individuals had the opportunity to learn of a great program called MyTRACS sponsored by the St. Louis Public Library.  Since there was only a quick overview of the program at the MLA conference, Carrie Dietz (cdietz<at>slpl.org), Young Adult Librarian at SLPL and an organizer of the program, was available to answer some questions and fill us in on the specifics.

1.  What is the MyTRACS program? (inception, goals, target audience, purpose, structure, etc)

Carrie Deitz, SLPL Youth Librarian, working with MyTracs Intern

Carrie Dietz, SLPL Young Adult Librarian, working with MyTRACS Intern

The idea for the MyTRACS (My Teens Research and Create Stories) project began in the summer of 2007 when the Technology Services and Teen Services departments at the St. Louis Public Library discussed the possibility of having teens develop a Wiki to highlight library resources. St. Louis Public Library submitted a LSTA Cooperation Project Partnership Grant Program application to the Missouri State Library. The Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the MyTRACS project, which officially started on November 1, 2007.

We wanted to strengthen our partnerships with schools in the city of St. Louis by recruiting teens and developing a tool to assist other students with their school assignments. We worked with the St. Louis Science Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Webster University, St. Louis Public Schools, Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, St. John the Baptist High School and Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Middle/High School.We held regular meetings with our community partners to help us evaluate and improve the MyTRACS project.

Upon receipt of the grant, I worked closely with 9 middle/high schools to identify 22 students, age 14-18 with strong reading, writing, technology or leadership skills. These were schools that I visited on a regular basis as part of my outreach to teens.

We wanted to make a long lasting impact on the teens involved in the MyTRACS project by meeting many of the 40 Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute. The opportunity for employment, the skills gained by working with subject specialist librarians, and the experience of creating a Wiki by teens for teens all worked together to address several of the core needs. Research, writing instruction, and public speaking were practical tools to help the teens improve their skills.

2.  What were the results of the MyTRACS program? (any feedback from participants?)

MyTRACS logo developed by MyTRACS Interns

MyTRACS logo developed by MyTRACS Interns

The most unexpected benefit was to the Central Library staff. Word about the success of the MyTRACS project spread between Librarians and they were eager to work with the interns in their department. Librarians told the interns how impressed they were with their enthusiasm, interest in their collection and research skills. It was evident to the Librarians that the interns enjoyed selecting and researching their topic information. The more time spent in the Library, the less intimidating the research process seemed to be.
We had two evaluations through the course of the project. Here are some of the comments made by the interns.

  • “I like the use of technology. It’s fun to evaluate sources and post them on the web.I learned how to find reliable info for reports and research. I also like bonding with my coworkers.”
  • “I have been learning even more than other kids at my school because of this program.”
  • “It’s given me the opportunity to experience job life and what it’s like to have your own money that you worked for.”
  • “I really love this program because it helped enable potential I thought I’ve never had.”

We are pleased with the results of the MyTRACS program and the positive effects on the interns after the programs completion. Several interns asked when MyTRACS would continue because they were interested in working as a Team Leader. I continue to receive email from interns and I often see them at their school during outreach visits. One intern wrote, “I just wanted to say hi because I miss you and the other fellow instructors.” Another wrote, “Since MyTRACS is over I’ve wanted to get a job and I figured since I interned at the library maybe I could try to get a job there. P.S. Have you heard anything about continuing MyTRACS yet?” A third said, “I will never be too busy to help out at MyTRACS or the library if you ever need me.” We are currently planning a MyTRACS reunion this fall.

3.  What all was involved in setting up this program? (activities, field trips, etc)

The MyTRACS interns were paid with LSTA funds. The middle/high schools selected the students. I sent the school faculty information about the program, work permits and a contact information form. Each teen received a letter in the mail with the start date, information about what identification to bring on the first day and directions to the Library. Starting December 1, 2007 we met almost everyday Saturday in our Gates Computer Lab for 4 hours from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. until July 26, 2008. The interns researched topics at Central Library and created Wiki pages. They also received job skills training and participated in writing workshops with both locally and nationally know authors. In addition, they worked with a photographer and learned how to take photos using a digital camera. The interns took the majority of photos posted on the Wiki.

A MyTRACS instructor, Janie Henderson, was hired to assist Barb Knotts and myself to develop research and writing activities to be used with the MyTRACS interns. I facilitated the job skills training, worked with the guest presenters and keep in close contact with our community partners. Barb instructed the interns on how to use the databases, find good Internet sources and enter information into the Wiki. We had an agenda for each week but did not necessarily create lesson plans. We developed a vision of how we wanted the Saturday sessions to run. Barb used her years of experience with electronic resources and I relied on my experience working with teens. Janie worked with the interns on things like citing your source, plagiarism, and editing. The three of us worked every Saturday with the interns. We did meet on a weekly basic to plan ahead and we evaluated the program each Saturday after the interns had left.

4.  Do you have any tips for others thinking about setting up a similar program?

Develop collaborative relationships with community partners; it will make the project stronger. Set aside enough funds to pay the teens for their work. Bring in experts to speak on different topics. Keep a balance between work and fun – they are teens after all. If you have to hire staff, find people who enjoy working with teens.

5.  Do you plan on hosting this program in the future?

St. Louis Public Library has received a donation of $3000 from a private donor for a second year of MyTRACS. We are currently seeking other funding sources. We hope to recruit a new group of Interns and re-hire four of the 2007/2008 Interns to serve as team leaders.

6.  Is there anything else you would like to share about this program?

Make sure to check out the Wiki http://mytracs.slpl.org. Please feel free to contact me with questions.

MLNC/MOBIUS Merger Update: Town Hall Mtg Minutes November 5, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Library Stuff.
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The minutes from last Friday’s town hall meeting have been released on the MLNC/MOBIUS blog.  Be sure to read the entire minutes for the full recap.  One of the more interesting parts included a vote of all attendees on whether or not to proceed to the feasibility stage of the MLNC/MOBIUS merger.  The results from the various town hall meeting sites were as followed (two meeting site results were not included in the minutes):

Daniel Boone Regional Library: 19 yes, 4 abstain
Kirksville TCRC:  6 yes, 1 abstain
MLNC Office: No results reported
Springfield-Greene County Library: No results reported

As previously stated, the task force will make their recommendation to the MLNC and MOBIUS boards on October 10.

Job Posting: St. Louis College of Pharmacy November 5, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Job Stuff, Library Stuff.
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General Description : St. Louis College of Pharmacy is seeking qualified applicants for a part-time, evening Circulation Assistant in our Library. The Circulation Assistant position enables the library to have a staff member at the desk during evening hours and on Sundays. It provides a continuous flow of staff coverage at the Circulation Desk. This position is responsible for managing student workers as well as performing paraprofessional tasks. It gives the professional librarians a chance to engage in reference questions while leaving the circulation desk in capable hands. This position typically works two evenings and every other Sunday.

Responsibility : •Provide Library services for patrons by supervising the operations of the Circulation Desk, with the assistance of other staff or student employees. •Assist patrons with ready reference questions. •Instruct patrons in basic use of various library resources, including the online library catalog and electronic databases and journals. •Train and supervise student library assistants. •Assist with maintaining Reserves collection, including adding and deleting items. •Assist with maintenance of newspaper collection. •Responsible for updating loose-leaf publications. •Ensure patrons have a clean and quiet environment in which to study and conduct research. •Other duties as assigned.

Education : Qualified applicants will have a minimum of two years related library experience and are preferred to have a Bachelor of Arts or Science. Leadership skills in this position are required to effectively deal with student workers and the college community. The successful candidate must be able to relate well to others due to the public service aspect of the position. The ability to adapt to changing situations and differing personalities is also required. Must be able to type on a keyboard, reach top library shelf, lift up to 35 pounds of books in the course of shelving or shifting stacks, and be able to bend and move quickly while shelving books and journals. Reliability and dependability are essential.

Application Instructions : Qualified candidates should submit a resume to St. Louis College of Pharmacy, 4588 Parkview Place St. Louis MO 63110. Electronic applications are encouraged and may be completed through the College’s website http://www.stlcop.edu at About StLCoP/Employment. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. EOE

LIS Events Calendar: November November 5, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Fun Stuff, Library Stuff, Student Stuff.
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Below is a list of events relating to LIS that are coming up in November.  If you have any additions please feel free to add them in the comments or post them!

LISGSA – First Friday Happy Hour
Date: Friday, November 7th
When: 6:00 p.m.
Where: Llywelyn’s Pub in Webster Groves, 17 Moody, Webster Groves, MO 63119 (www.llywelynspub.com)

SLA – Annual Business Meeting
Date: Monday, November 10th
When: 5:30 pm
Where: Seven Gables Inn
Cost: Members: $22 // Students/SLA Retiree Members: $18 // Non-members: $26

LISGSA – Practicum Chat – Find out all you need to know about doing your practicum
Date: Wednesday, November 12th
When: 6:00 pm
Where: Nadoz in Brentwood, #12 The Boulevard, St. Louis, MO

LISGSA – St. Louis Saturday – Tour of the Missouri Botantical Garden Library
Date: Saturday, November 22nd
When: 10:00 am
Where: Missouri Botanical Garden Library,  4500 Shaw Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63110 (http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/molib/)