Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Semester

Classes started at my institution yesterday, and it was so busy.

Between dealing with reserves, training new student employees, and pointing people to the bathrooms and the computer labs all day, I didn't even have a second of down time.

I've always loved the beginning of a new semester, but it's kind of strange this year since I'm not going to class or doing homework or living in the dorms. I'm a working professional now. I mean, I will be a student, but doing an online program is going to be totally different. I really have no idea what it's going to be like, but I'm certain it won't really feel like being in a class. I probably won't feel like a student. And that's kind of sad to me today. School has always been what I'm good at. It's part of my identity. If I'm not a student, I don't really know what I am. It's very strange.

I didn't go through this strange sadness last semester for some reason. Maybe because I graduated in December, and spring was all learning my job and getting used to working full time.

I'm sure I'll get used to it. My life will take on new rhythms, and soon I won't even remember what it was like to go to class all day every day. But for now, I'm still kind of missing it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Update

Over the weekend, I

  • Bought Christmas lights at an estate sale.

  • Worked the Library booth at New Student Orientation and talked to a TON of new students. So fun!

  • Had my car broken into overnight. Luckily the thieves didn't steal anything important.

  • Got added to the UW MLIS listservs. Already getting emails from fellow students. Getting excited for my trip to Seattle and for starting classes.

  • Played Nintendo 64.

  • Saw Breakfast at Tiffany's at the outdoor movie theater.

It was a great last weekend before school starts.

Classes actually start tomorrow, but the library is crawling with students today getting everything squared away for the new semester. Yay!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Copyright Fun

At my library, we've been learning about copyright all summer. Would you believe we didn't have a university copyright policy, or hardly any information available regarding copyright? So we're making a push to educate faculty so there's no more slightly-illegal reader-copying going on that could get us in trouble!

The more I looked into it (and watched that video), the more I realized how strange and nuanced (and kind of silly) the laws really are. For example, one of the things I'm in charge of is e-Reserves, which means I scan material into a PDF, and add it to our catalog for students to access online. This is OK and considered fair use, as long as it only remains available for one semester. However, if a professor were to do essentially the same thing--scan it and make it available on eClass--that would be the equivalent of making copies and handing them out to the class, which is NOT OK. Even though it seems the same, one is considered fair use, and the other is not.

It's been rather challenging to learn all the details, and even more challenging trying to explain them to professors who don't understand why they can't just make a copy of an article. But it's definitely an important thing to get a hold on. Maybe even more so because of how many are unaware of how the law works. You're liable whether you know it or not!

I'm really glad our library is taking the reigns and educating people about this. It'd be the worst to have a huge lawsuit slapped on you when you didn't know you were doing anything wrong! Check out the LibGuide one of our librarians made. It has a lot of useful information.

Is your library heading up a copyright crusade? What techniques have you used to make your campus copyright-friendly?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Obligatory First Post

They (whoever they are) say you simply cannot start library school without a blog, so here I am. Blogging all professional-like. Establishing a web presence. Nevermind that I'm what's called a digital native--I was typing 90wpm right out of the womb--and have been blogging in some capacity for about ten years (yikes). But I suppose a real, grown-up blog is in order if I'm going to be a real, grown-up librarian. Because, you know... if a tree falls in a forest, and doesn't blog about it, does it make a sound?

I hope you'll stick around to read about what I learn and what I intend to do with it. I plan to provide some semi-interesting content so you aren't bored to tears with chronicles of group projects and the joys of cataloging. At the very least, I'm sure you'll see some kitten videos from YouTube.

Don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email! I'm generally pretty friendly, and I'd love to meet other librarians and librarians-to-be (if only just digitally).