Monthly Archives: February 2009

Interview with an MLIS Student: Natalie Pantoja

We interviewed Natalie Pantoja, a library student at Queens College, about her experiences in training, her thoughts on the future of the profession, and where technology fits into everything.

What role do you think technology is playing in your education and how will it impact your career?

Technology is the focus of all of my courses. Library education is structured around how we utilize technology to store, access, and use information. For my career, it is important that I learn to be flexible and knowledgeable about technology because certain aspects of it are always changing. The evolution of print to digital is the next frontier in the profession and I have to be prepared to be a middle woman between people and information.

Do you feel your education is adequately preparing you to enter the field?

I think the graduate program at Queens is probably like other programs in that it is what you make of it and so I’m going to try to learn everything I can about the field. Like any wide-eyed graduate student, I want to make my contribution and be innovative. So far, I have been learning how to catalog books and perform reference interviews.

The approaches librarians take to figure out what library users mean when they ask for a book/periodical/thing, is adapting to online reference tools. Google is the 21st century reference librarian, so we have to make technology better assist people in their searches. You have to instruct library users how to use reference sources and show them that there are resources beyond Google and Wikipedia.

How do you think the role of a librarian is changing and what part do you feel technology is playing in that? How is it staying the same.

I think that if you got your degree fifteen years ago you were probably learning different skills then you would be today. One thing that hasn’t changed about the profession is the importance of being able to help people access information. You have to teach people how to use technology to get what they want. This is difficult now because people are overwhelmed with information. Some of it false. Technology has also changed the way we keep bibliographic records and enhanced convenience for library users. Renewing books and ILL are easy to do online. Librarians are adapting to changes that are inevitable in the field. Google’s book digitization project has been in the news a lot lately, as has the Kindle. I think this is making librarianship more complex and it is really interesting to study what this will mean for libraries and archives.

Langer Misprint

Jamie Sunnycalb at Charlotte Law School called in to inform us of an error. “Langer on Practical International Tax Planning” release # 16 from October has a misprint in the filing instructions.

The pink pages tells users to file 72-1 to 73-13, pages that weren’t included. The instructions should have read:

Remove pages
73-1 to 73-13

Insert new pages
73-1 to 73-13

Thank you, Jamie, for bringing it to our attention!

NY Times Article About the Changing Role of Librarians

Sunday’s New York Times has an article about the changing role of librarians in this new digital age. While the article has a focus on school media specialists, it is an interesting read, and a great bit of visibility for the profession.

It also discusses some of the challenges that librarians face today; balancing an ever-shrinking budget with an ever-expanding amount of information, and the need for a trained professional to filter out the relevant content.

(It’s also the second most emailed article of the day!)

Article here.

PC World: The 25 Worst Tech Products

PC World has an interesting list of “The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.” Librarians being the charge leaders in this new age of technology and gadgets, I thought you might find it interesting to take a look back at those technological advances that almost made it but, for whatever reason, didn’t quite get off the ground.

Article here.