A real librarian!

I spent the day today updating the journal collection, entering the new journals on the catalogue and reshelving the old ones – felt like a real live librarian!  At least I felt I was being of some use since the SAG library is completely outside my experience – but I’m loving it!  I have long had an interest in genealogy and never knew until recently that this library existed.  I love to talk with the members who are each on their own search for their ancestors – all private detectives- or treasure hunters!  They are so dogged in their determined approach to delving into the past and so ecstatic when they discover something they have been looking for – its hard for their enthusiasm not to rub off!  I spoke a little about the running of the library with the lovely librarian Lorraine who, I can tell has a passion for the library and its patrons.  Her hands are somewhat tied when it comes to weeding the collection as the decisions like these are made by a board rather than herself.  I can see that she is keen to create a collection with the aim of providing unique information to the patrons of the library who are seeking local and family histories that they may not be able to find in larger libraries or online but as with all libraries there is little room for expansion and eventually some weeding has to occur.

I am looking forward, on Saturday to experiencing one of the libraries many seminars – this one on the pros and cons of creating a family tree online.  The library also conducts hands on workshops and webinars as part of there education programme and it will be interesting to go through the process myself.

Society of Australian Genealogists Library

I have spent two days at the SAG library for my professional placement and I’m still feeling more like the work experience girl.  The system is so different to any I have ever encountered! My first day was spent on a whirlwind tour of two separate sites madly trying to take it all in and then today the lovely librarian set me loose to research my own family history as she believes the best way to learn the system is to experience it for yourself.  I didn’t find anything very exciting but have become slightly more familiar with what services and information the library provides. As a not for profit organization there are not that many employees but there is a veritable army of wonderful volunteers who give up their time to help those in need (me). Tomorrow I will be exposed to more administrative duties – helping out accessioning new resources-hope I’m not totally useless!

E-portfolios for Librarians

Important additions to a Librarian’s portfolio taken from the articles:

  • Weathers-Parry, P. (2001), ‘The librarian’s portfolio’
  • Steffen, S.S., (2000) ‘The professional portfolio for librarians’
    Moody describes the professional portfolio as a “collection of examples of your work” which illustrate your skills and help in self reflection and preparation for job applications.  Weathers- Parry agrees but also includes performance appraisal as a potential purpose for portfolios and suggests that a print version be also available for potential employers to peruse.  Steffen places a greater emphasis on self reflection as an illustration of your professional development as a librarian, your personal philosophy and the way in which your practices as a librarian reflect and support that. Steffen’s recommendations for what to include in a portfolio are quite comprehensive and as such I think would be easier to maintain online.  I agree with Moody that this reduces the amount of paperwork and can be edited more easily to maintain relevance and currency.  A prospective employer would not want all of this information at the time of an interview but having access to it online would help you to pull out items relevant to a particular employer which may not be of interest to another.
    Here is my list of what a TL already employed at work in a school library should keep in an online portfolio, based on these three articles:
    1.  A short statement of personal philosophy. (Steffen)
    2.  A curriculum vitae or resume summarising your career experience.(Moody, Weathers-Parry)
    3.  A record of your ongoing Professional Development (Moody, Weathers-Parry, Steffen)
    4.  Examples of your work which illustrate your personal philosophy, your career experience and your professional development, including short reflections on each which clarify their relevance.(Moody, Weathers-Parry, Steffen)
    5. A short statement of your goals for future development. (Steffen)
    A professional portfolio such as this will change over time and publishing it online on a website or in a blog such as this one would be an easy way to maintain its relevance.  You could still print out a version of the portfolio that best serves either a performance review or a job interview if need be.


ETL507 Placement at last!

I have just received word that my placement has been confirmed which means I will be working for two weeks in the school holidays at the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) library in Kent St in the city.  My first impulse was to apply to the State library but reading the advice to “think outside the box” and “get out of my comfort zone” I decided to try something completely different!  I am interested in Genealogy and I’m curious as the resources the SAG library has to offer.  I’d love to get into the education side of the library as this is technically my field but I am also really curious as to how the documents and resources are stored and restored.  It’s all happening rather quickly but at least I’ll have one assignment out of the way in the first part of the year and one in the second as my study visit is not until August.  I have taken on some part time work teaching Yr 1/2 and as always, I find teaching all consuming both of my time and of my thoughts so I hope I will be able to stretch thin enough to cover all the bases!

I plan to use this blog as much as possible to record my experiences during my placement and hopefully this will help me keep my head straight!