The ballad of the sad instruction librarian

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The ballad of the sad instruction librariancommunity college libraries, instruction, librarianship

by Meredith Farkas on 10/11/2017 with 17 comments

It’s been a busy Fall term so far and I haven’t had much time to spend on Twitter, but I usually check it first thing every morning. When I did one day last week, this thread caught my eye: Sitting in a FB thread of professors complaining (nicely) about unqualified librarians doing shitty instruction sessions. …

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Whose rights matter more?

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Whose rights matter more?ALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 9/1/2017 with 13 comments

My dad recently shared with me a book, written by a distant cousin who is a professor in Israel, about her grandmother’s immigrant experience and her relatives. Her grandmother just happened to be my grandmother’s first cousin, so my grandmother, great-grand-parents, and great-great-grandmother figure in the book. Given that I knew next to nothing about …

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Framework Freakout presentation and Questions Answered

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Framework Freakout presentation and Questions Answeredcommunity college libraries, instruction, librarianship

by Meredith Farkas on 6/6/2017 with 0 comment

Last week, I gave an online presentation about the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for the ACRL Student Learning & Information Literacy Committee. It was entitled Framework Freakout: How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Live with the Framework. Way more people attended than I’d expected (you know how webinars go) and it ended up being …

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The dangers of the backchannel: my observations from the #ACRL2017 hashtag

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The dangers of the backchannel: my observations from the #ACRL2017 hashtaglibrarianship, libraries, social software, speaking, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 3/30/2017 with 9 comments

When I took my current job at PCC almost three years ago, I gained so many things: work I love, amazing engaged colleagues, a mission I identify with, terrific students, and great faculty collaborators. One of the things I lost was sufficient professional development funding. I haven’t attended an out-of-state conference in almost three years, and while …

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Holding to our values during difficult times

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Holding to our values during difficult timesALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries, open access, our digital future

by Meredith Farkas on 1/3/2017 with 0 comment

I write a lot in my American Libraries column about library values, particularly those around access and privacy. My latest column (Jan/Feb 17), which should be out soon online just also came out this morning, is a love letter to critical librarianship in which I share my conviction (shared by many) that libraries are not …

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Is the Framework Elitist? Is ACRL?

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Is the Framework Elitist? Is ACRL?ALA, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries, online education, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 10/18/2016 with 21 comments

Many of you who read my blog already know that I came to librarianship from social work, where I was a child and family psychotherapist. As a therapist, one of our major guiding documents (whether we liked it or not) was the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The DSM determined what things …

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Choose your own professional involvement adventure

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Choose your own professional involvement adventurelibrarianship, speaking, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 9/6/2016 with 2 comments

Last month, I had lunch with two friends who are also in academia. We talked a lot about professional ambitions and “extracurricular” professional involvement. One of them is starting a new book and the other is thinking about doing consulting as a side-job. In every job I’ve had (even before librarianship), I’ve been focused on …

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Appreciate your speakers

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Appreciate your speakersfree the information!, librarianship, speaking

by Meredith Farkas on 3/16/2016 with 3 comments

I have been very fortunate to address librarians nationally and internationally as a speaker. I love sharing my ideas, experiences, and things I’ve learned and meeting other librarians. I have gotten research ideas, column ideas, and made friends through my travels. I have visited places I’d always wanted to visit. I am not nearly as …

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week post

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week postabout me, libraries, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 1/19/2016 with 12 comments

I know a lot of librarians who’ve suffered with depression or anxiety, take psychotropics, or who go to therapy. It makes me wonder if people with mental illness are drawn to librarianship in greater numbers than other professions. I was very happy — and a little trepidatious — when I saw that two fantastic librarians …

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Reputation is everything: On problematic editing and sponsored content

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Reputation is everything: On problematic editing and sponsored contentALA, american libraries, librarianship, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 1/5/2016 with 6 comments

First, full disclosure: I am a columnist for American Libraries. They pay me to write columns every other month in which I state my opinion on various things relating somewhat to technology. What I’m writing here is my own opinion and represents me alone. As a professional librarian and a writer, I take my credibility …

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?about me, career, free the information!, job search, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 11/9/2015 with 13 comments

I felt really sad when I read Kyle Shockey’s post on the Librarian Burnout blog about feeling burnout after library school and being in the midst of the job hunt. By all indications, he is one of those rare recent grads who followed the advice so many of us give to LIS students — don’t …

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The Next Librarian of Congress?

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The Next Librarian of Congress?ALA, free the information!, intellectual freedom, librarianship, libraries, management, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 10/6/2015 with 0 comment

Late last week, I received an email from the culture editor at the New Republic about writing an article on the next Librarian of Congress. It was the first offer I’ve ever had to write for a non-library-centric publication and the New Republic has a political bent I really respect, so it was an offer …

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplace

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplacelibrarianship, libraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 9/28/2015 with 12 comments

Organizational culture is a very real and a very powerful force in every organization. I have worked in a variety of different organizations and each had had its own rituals, norms, values, and assumptions that influenced the way people worked together, shared information, and got things done. Culture is this weird, powerful, unspoken thing that both impacts …

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Are online MLIS degree-holders “less than?”

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Are online MLIS degree-holders “less than?”library school, online education, our digital future, tech trends

by Meredith Farkas on 6/22/2015 with 42 comments

When I graduated from library school, I worried about anti-online-degree bias. I worried that people would think my degree was somehow “less than” because I’d done it fully online. I remember being asked some questions about it at one interview that made the search committee’s biases pretty clear, but the people who eventually hired me …

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You could learn a lot from us: community college librarians at ACRL

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You could learn a lot from us: community college librarians at ACRLassessment, community college libraries, community colleges, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries, open access

by Meredith Farkas on 4/9/2015 with 8 comments

ACRL was ridiculously amazing this year. I feel energized, affirmed, and hopeful (and completely exhausted and sick since it ended). The programming was so high-quality and relevant that, in most cases, I had at least four options in every time slot on my planner that I wanted to attend. Luckily, ACRL records all the sessions …

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Framework? Standards? I’m keeping it local.

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Framework? Standards? I’m keeping it local.assessment, free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries

by Meredith Farkas on 2/4/2015 with 8 comments

I’m sure most of you have already heard that the ACRL Board has decided to adopt the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. What I think is more interesting is that they deferred action on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, choosing instead to take a wait-and-see approach. I think this is a …

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