This week, Deb the Librarian began the hour talking about the path she took to become a librarian at the University of Alaska Anchorage. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Business from Florida State University, and a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her path included experience at a variety of libraries.
Academic libraries she has worked at include: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Superior (as a volunteer), and University of Alaska Anchorage. She has also worked at public libraries, including the Duluth Public Library in Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Library (INFORM fee-based research service), and Anchorage Public Library (Branch Manager for Samson-Dimond Branch Library). And finally, she has also gained more online and varied research experience working in special libraries, including, James J. Hill Reference Library (privately funded business library open to the public), Teltech (fee-based research firm), and Minnegasco/Reliant Energy/Centerpoint Energy (the library at a gas company (that experienced name changes over the years).
What Lessons from this experience can she share with students?
As she reflected on her path from Florida to Wisconsin to Minnesota to Alaska, Deb shared the following with students (now in an expanded version):
Getting involved in the professional association student chapter in graduate school paid off. Being the Chair of the Special Libraries Association Student Chapter at University of Wisconsin-Madison helped her expand her leadership skills and build her resume. Lesson: Looking for opportunities to connect with professional groups, even as a student, can be beneficial.
Taking opportunities to volunteer or intern while looking for a full-time position provided helpful experience, and allowed Deb to develop relationships with others who could be mentors, and references. Lesson: While deciding what career path to follow or while looking for a job, consider volunteering or interning as a great way to build experience, network with people in the field, and explore that particular work environment to see if it is a good fit.
Focusing on the positive contribution helped Deb overcome fears. (This wasn’t mentioned on the show, but I’m mentioning it now.) Do you think Deb has experienced insecurities related to hosting a radio show? If you guessed yes, you are right! When taking on new challenge, Deb has developed the habit to take time to think about the positive outcome for that challenge, and, in the case of hosting the radio show, the contribution that she wants to make to the community. Lesson: When feeling shy, insecure, or incapable, rephrase the thoughts to be positive. I make a positive difference. My radio show is a success. I have a good memory, and can do well on this test. I am capable. I am a good student/librarian/presenter.
Tips for Studying
The majority of the Informania radio show on Monday, March 18, was spent discussing successful study habits, which Deb found in documents from Dartmouth College’s Academic Skills Center . The particular documents she shared information from include an Active Study Handout, which was adapted from: Ann Algier’s Everything You Need To Know About Learning. Topics covered in this handout include, the use of mnemonics, study cards, and effective strategies for memorization. There are also other helpful handouts on the Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center web page.
Deb shared two tips from another handout titled, How to Retain Information. The first part of the How to Retain Information handout talks about why we forget. Highlighted at number one is that a negative self concept impacts our ability to remember. Basically, “we think of ourselves as forgetting things.” Reading this reinforces my belief that it is important to think positively (and rephrase those self criticisms)! On this handout, I also found a discussion about changed cues helpful. What does this mean? When you have changed cues, it means that even though you memorize the wording from the textbook, when the information is presented differently on a test, it may be difficult to remember, because the cue (presentation of information) has changed. This Academic Skills Handout recommends that to remember material for a test, a person studying should rephrase the ideas in his/her own words to help them remember the information when it is stated in a different way on the test.
There are also video tutorials as well as handouts on this information-filled web site Dartmouth College web site. For those interested, the url is http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/study.html
The music played on Informania this week follows: Information, by Dredg; With a Little Help from my Friends, by the Beatles; The Long and Winding Road, by The Beatles; What’s on Your Mind, by Information Society; Learning to Fly, by Tom Petty, and That’s What Friends Are For, by Dionne Warwick (and Friends)