I think it’s outrageously appropriate to be writing this post and I leave SJSU to start my official career as a card-holding librarian. When I think back to 4 years ago when I left my undergrad, I had a small idea of where I wanted to go, and I had no idea that I would end up here.

I love teaching. I love researching and learning and teaching others and being taught. I’m a pro at being in school. My goal, when I started my first MA, was to get a PhD in religion and become a professor. About a year into my MA, I realized that this would be a little more difficult to achieve that I anticipated. Not only would it require at least 4-5 more years of school, it would be expensive, and then I would probably struggle for years to find a job that would leave me in a financially stable situation. Sadly, academia rarely pays the bills for religion professors. But, I learned through my mentor at the School of Theology I was working at, that I could still help people and be in a school environment by working in the library. I had taken on a position at the school library while I fit in classes around work and really fell in love with the job. I started at circulation and then worked my way “down” (to the basement) into the cataloging department. My boss there, also my Buddhism in Pop Culture professor, became someone invaluable in my life. He encouraged me to pursue the MLIS from SJSU and pushed me to apply for local cataloging jobs.

He actually sent me the posting for my current position! Seriously, he’s a great mentor. He also taught me to see how librarianship can be just as rewarding, if not even more rewarding, than academia. He also taught me that I can still pursue my interests in religion and pop culture while working as a librarian. I was also extremely interested in, and wrote my MA thesis on religious influences in public schools and holiday celebrations. I studied the legalities of these traditions and how religion and public education have intersected since the inception of public schooling. I was able to transfer this knowledge and fascination into my interview for my current job which is at a law school. They loved that I not only had cataloging experience but also that I was interested in studying the law. Looking back at it, I just wanted any job that was full time and came with benefits, but having a job that helped me to continue my passion for studying while also cataloging was a dream come true! I was very lucky, and am still lucky, to have found this position.

Once working and settled, we started changing things around the library and making plans for the future. We know there is a lot of work to do, limited resources, and students that need our help, so we are working to make our library the best possible space for that. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by encouraging and forward-thinking librarians that have demonstrated how to work as a team and help me remember that our ultimate purpose is the help out our patrons. The student is never the enemy and we encourage a trusting environment in our library. Hopefully, in the next few years, we can grow to serve our community better fulfill our duty to make knowledge accessible for all. Our school would be nothing if we didn’t help our students, professors, and alumni to succeed, and I hope we never forget that as a library.


Virtual Symposium:

For my Virtual Symposium I tried out a new-to-me presentation program called Haiku Deck. View my presentation here.

I hope you enjoy!


In taking time to reflect and reread my blog posts and assignments from this semester, I’m amazed at how much I have learned in such a short amount of time.Each of these slides represents some of my favorite takeaways from this class.

Here is a quick list of the new set of rules I’m going to take into my librarianship career:

  1. Be flexible.
  2. Reflect! And then grow.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.
  4. Sometimes plans fail, but it’s okay!
  5. Listen to patrons.
  6. Technology is our friend!

I’d imagine these slides would be used in a job interview if they asked me to demonstrate my philosophies as a librarian and some new ideas I had for technology and programming within the library. As seen throughout our class, HyperLib jobs are very popular in that most libraries are looking for innovative and energetic people to join their staff.

One of the top things I’ll take away from this class is that sometimes new projects won’t work out as planned or details may fall through the cracks. But going back to fix a program that isn’t working for our library and patrons is so much better than wasting resources and time when changes need to be made. I think the farther we can get away from “Plan, Implement, Forget” the better we will be. Plan, implement, evaluate, and adjust should be our new library motto!

I find it quite appropriate that I leave SJSU and the MLIS program on such a high note and with an eager attitude to get to work in my library to transform it into the best space it can be for our patrons. I’ve learned that this transformation can involve physical space, materials, technology, and even staff roles.

Overall, HyperLib has thought me in three-ish months that it’s important to be constantly evolving as a librarian and as a library. I’m ready to introduce new programming, change up our space, and reaffirm my decision to become a librarian in the first place – so that I can help people to the fullest.

Director’s Brief: ScanMarker Program

I chose to propose the purchase and use of ScanMarkers for our law students. Given that most textbooks are only available in print and extremely expensive, I propose our library keep textbooks on hand for students that we implement the use of ScanMarkers for our students use. The brief outlines the many tools available with the ScanMarker and the video below also gives a quick demonstration of the features of this technology. This plan not only helps to integrate research onto personal laptops and smartphones, but also reduces student costs and makes information more accessible to them.

Access the Brief here: Directors_Brief_Mellott 2

Library as Classroom

Utilizing the library as classroom makes loads of sense. Rather than the library consisting as a place for solely study or a place where you check out books and leave, the library can act as a place for patrons to learn within and throughout. As discussed in the lectures and readings, emphasizing spaces where learning can take place, innovation can thrive, and encouraging not just new thoughts but also thought processes can transform the library space into a classroom space.

One hot topic in this transformation is rethinking and reimagining the role of reference librarians. Rather than acting as a strictly a librarian that will answer general information queries, the future of reference includes teaching, leading tutorials, and exploring new technologies with patrons. As Brian Kenney writes, “They [patrons] want help doing things, rather than finding things.” Kenney’s article highlights something that can be really scary for a lot of librarians and libraries. There are a lot of monetary issues, institutional barriers, and access issues that can prevent libraries from launching new projects or transforming the role of their reference librarians. Embracing this small change, rethinking the way people vacuum versus rethinking the vacuum can be terrifying. I appreciate what Professor Stephens highlights in his lecture encouraging people to bring three solutions to the meeting rather than coming to the meeting hard set on shutting a program down. I think that’s a good way to start innovation at the starting phases.

After reading “Create Connect Circulate Collaborate” the notes about just putting computers in classrooms rather than teaching students how to use the computers made me think, again, about resources and technologies that libraries purchase for patrons, but fail to demonstrate how to use them. The teaching role of the reference librarian can take place in person, it could involve online tutorials or meetings, and it could also be collaborative. While librarians cannot and should not be expected to know how to do everything, incorporating teaching sessions into the role of the reference librarian could involve connecting with experts from outside the library as well.

The transformation of the library into a classroom doesn’t have to rest on the shoulders of reference librarians only. Circulation and technical services employees can also contribute to this evolution. By training circulation assistants and pages on how to utilize technologies, new resources, and trends, they can help patrons learn through their basic interactions. I think often, patrons do not care what role an employee has and expects to be helped or pushed into the direction of help by all employees. I worked at a library once where circulation clerks were not allowed to answer reference questions even as simple as, can you show me how to download eBooks. All too often, the patron would simply turn and leave rather than going to the “Ask Here” desk for their tutorial. By simulating the Google method of limiting clicks, if we can limit the amount of time and interactions it takes for people to get help, they will leave the library with more knowledge and a better feeling about the library. I find it hard to imagine that those who were directed to the other desk after asking for help and simply left instead of seeking help felt like they had a positive experience at the library. This small change in how we treat patrons and considering their needs can dramatically change our roles as well as their usage of the library and it’s resources.

Library as classroom seems like a no-brainer. With the evolution of what libraries do and how they exist in society today, these changes need to be made! I’m feeling, again, fired up about transforming services and transforming how we think about our abilities in the future.

New Models – not just for Paris Fashion Week

The New Models modules really captured my attention. I’ve written before about physical space being a huge problem at our library. The reading and lecture have really inspired me to propose that we do more than just change the way the stacks are organized and how the chairs feel. We need to have a Phoenix-type rising from the ashes attitude. We should just hatch from an egg like a chicken, although chickens are very beautiful and useful in our world/ecosystem, but I mean to say that we need to try to do this really well! We need to take careful consideration of not only what is missing from our library, but also what we could be.

Looking to others for examples I’m inspired by comfort. The concept of hygge, as discussed in the lecture and the readings really is helping me to flush out my ideas. After reading more about hygge in Professor Stephens’ article, I’m starting to imagine a library where we encourage conversations and ideas to emerge. Given that we are an educational institution specifically for law students, I’m trying to imagine a world where lawyers do not talk to each other. We should be encouraging collaboration rather than competition in our library. We should be helping teach our young lawyers what it is like to articulate an argument clearly while also listening and respecting the opinion of someone you might not agree with. The law is rooted in conversing with others and seeking second opinions. You have to argue and convince, but you also have to be civil. We can absolutely use the hygge mentality to create an “unclassroom-like” space to foster this growth. Rather than having four white walls with florescent lighting, we can create open spaces for discussion, discovery, and critical thinking. Rather than just imaging our space as somewhere comfortable to sit for 12 hours to memorize legal terms, we can encourage community and togetherness through our space. This concept is really exciting to me and makes me want to go back to the drawing board on our remodel proposal. I think we would be making a mistake to do this now with merely study space in mind. We need to have hygge on our minds!

I think we really need to read “Think Like a Startup” and the follow up from three years after together as a library staff. Once we have reviewed exactly what Brian Mathews is encouraging us to do, to change our mindset, I think we will start to see our library differently. We have become a little stagnant in our programming and services. I think we rely too much on outside vendors and databases to do the fun stuff when we could totally find the time and resources to do it ourselves. As a “low on the totem pole” employee, Mathews second article, “Think Like a Startup: Three Years Later” is encouraging. His advice: “Find something small that no one cares about. Spend time learning about whatever that thing is and improve it. Low cost. Low risk. Low political value. Minimal time commitment. That’s what you want.” I have been contemplating things that no one cares about and I think I want to do a DVD overhaul at our library. It’s a small collection, only about 300 DVDs, but it is outrageously underused mostly because it’s hidden in a room. I wonder which digital platforms we could utilize rather than using up our time and space housing these unused DVDs. By giving access to some sort of streaming service for our students, I think there would be many benefits. First, I do not think many of our students have a way to play DVDs anymore. New laptops rarely have a CD/DVD drive, and a DVD player/gaming system is probably low on the priority list for a law students. Having a streaming service makes these materials more accessible, possibly, costs less than individually buying DVDs for our collection.

This article offers a great layout of the different options for steaming for libraries, outlines the positive and negative sides to different services, and also explains how different libraries are utilizing services for streaming videos. Our library would have a lot to talk about and should not take this decision lightly. Along with our physical remodel, I think this would be a great step in the right direction to get going on our collection remodel that is also in desperate need of attention. By thinking about how we can adapt to what is normal and expected from our patrons, I think we have a great chance to improve our relevancy in their education. They do need us for somethings, but I think we should work to be an encouraging, open, collaborative, current, and comfortable space for them to study, grow, and relax. By overhauling our physical space and our services, we can strive to be so much more for them rather than just maintaining our standards of merely functioning.  



Stephens, M. (2016). The Hygge State of Mind.

Mathews, B. (2015). Think Like A Startup: 3 Years Later.

Streaming Video in Academic Libraries

BYOD – Apps for Legal Research

Emerging Technology Planning:

As found in one study concerning, “Apps-based access to library materials and programs: 35% of Americans ages 16 and older would “very likely” use that service and another 28% say they would be “somewhat likely” to do so.” BYOD (Bring YourOwn Device) sessions are increasing in popularity as shown in the 2016 Horizon Report. Studies have found that, “While BYOD policies have been shown to reduce overall technology spending, they are gaining traction more so because they reflect the contemporary lifestyle and way of working” (Horizon, p.  2016) BYOD programming in which the lifestyle and communication customs of the patron are considered are proving to be a new path forward for libraries. It can also be seen that, “This development is ultimately less about the devices and more about the content that can be loaded onto them; BYOD enables students and educators to leverage the tools that make them most efficient, including location-based services, social networks, and video streaming” (Horizon, 2016).


The goal of this project is to launch a program in which the research librarians are able to teach students, at the beginning of each semester, about how they can now access legal databases on their mobile phones.

By encouraging students to utilize these technologies, the librarians are learning how the applications for these three, main, legal databases can revolutionize how and when students are conducting their research. HeinOnline, WestLaw, and Lexis Advance are three massive legal databases that have an equally large price tag. Our library pays for these databases so that our students can have access to the most up to date legal information, however, sometimes students and professors are unfamiliar or unaware of all they have available through these databases. By integrating them into their phones, there is possibly a higher chance that students will start their researching in the database apps rather than just googling their query. The main objective of this project is to show patrons how to research in the apps, explore the interesting and helpful tools in each app, and to simultaneously create connections between the students and professors with the librarians.


As stated previously, these databases are expensive. They are competitors in the legal research world, but all have something unique to offer. Due to the limited time that students will have access to all of these databases, it is important to teach them how to research in all three databases so that they are prepared for their future as legal researchers. Many law firms can only afford one of these legal databases, which makes knowing how to research in all three databases imperative and beneficial for their future endeavors. Student will not be the only ones benefiting from this training as professors will also be invited to learn how to integrate their researching onto their mobile phones. Professors tend to be the first ones to contact research librarians before they start their own cursory researching (meaning they depend heavily on the librarians to conduct research for them). By teaching them how to use these mobile apps to conduct research, it might empower them to start their research on their phones before contacting the research librarians for help. While it is always a good thing that the research librarians are still needed and utilized, it can be a bit overwhelming for them when they are trying to balance the research needs of both students and professors.

Lastly, due to the nature of this particular library, being a private law school, the audience for this program can only be law students and professors. Given the high cost of these databases, only law students enrolled and professors working at this law school will have access to these databases on their computers and mobile devices.

Action Brief Statement:

Convince law students and professors that by using legal research database phone apps they will be able to conduct their research from anywhere which will enhance their accessibility to information because not only are these databases expensive and often underused, they are amazing free resources!

Evidence and Resources:

This article was pretty helpful as it not only addresses emerging trends in technology for libraries, but specifically addresses the needs of academic libraries. Accessibility was one trend addressed in in this article that seemed relevant for this project. Jack Suess talks about an app called Access for All that saves settings across all programs and apps. Given that not all third party apps will work with certain smartphone settings, Suess argues that it’s important for libraries to encourage vendors to adhere to the Access for All technologies so that their services allow for equal access to materials and information, which is the core of the purpose of libraries.

Many smartphones today allow for font sizes to be enlarged for those that may have visual impairments. These settings will often also apply to third party apps making searching in these apps easier for those that may have trouble seeing. Similarly voice to text capabilities for searching and taking notes within these apps make them easier to use and navigate through for those with varying barriers of accessibility. There are also many settings and applications available to smartphone users that can help those with hearing, physical/and or motor skill disabilities. Features like “Speak Screen” on the iPhone can also help a user hear what is written in an article on an app simply by saying the command to Siri. When it comes to accessibility, smartphone are increasing their technologies can capabilities every day, making their integration into library programming and services a tool to increase the libraries accessibility. This integration of technology and education about various tools available to those with accessibility issues make them a fantastic tool for libraries.

With attention given to integration mobile devices into library programming in general, Bryan Alexander writes, “growing use of mobile for off-campus work (home, community involvement, study abroad, research, etc.)…  possible realization that underserved populations use mobile more than the typical college audience; we could see more mobile-first design to meet that group.” Due to the reality that research is occurring more and more outside of the library walls, such a program would draw students and professors into the library to teach them how to continue their research in a way that they might be more comfortable with. All of these legal database apps allow for proxy access which lessens the amount of logging in that professors and students would have to do while on campus or at home. Many people may have a smartphone or mobile device as their main tool for researching if the cost of a laptop is too high. For many students, this is often the case. By catering to these realities, libraries can work to meet their patrons where they are.

Again, Jack Suess says, “In focus groups we did with students in early 2015, we heard students ask us why our services aren’t mobile-friendly when everything else is. We have to make the transition to a mobile-first strategy… I believe by providing compelling content and tools we will see more faculty accept mobile devices in their classroom.” By providing this program for both professors and students, the goal is also to encourage professors to promote these apps once they become familiar and comfortable with the researching capabilities available.

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy:

The mission of this programming is to encourage users to integrate their legal research into their everyday life and to utilize these resources in the best way possible for their needs. By keeping this the main focus of this programming, in 5-10 years when technologies may have changed drastically, it allows for this programming to constantly be evaluated and measured against the needs of the users. Libraries can already see how often their databases are used, so it makes sense to track their usage statistics of these three legal databases to see whether or not this programming ups their usage statistics. If nothing changes, or worse, if their usage statistics go down, it might be time to not only deeply consider this programming but also the helpfulness of these legal databases.

As far as involvement for policies, it would be smart to seek the advice of all of the library staff, initially, given that they might offer different insights into what users might need from this program. The systems librarian could provide insight into how to integrate these apps into the OPAC as well as how to keep users connected from within and outside of the library walls. The collection development librarian knows the ins and outs of the services offered by each database and could help the research and instruction librarians uncover hidden resources within the databases. From there, I think letting the instruction librarians experiment with the apps before their programming begins and seeking the input of a few current student users is a great place to continue the development. Once the programming is over, as can be seen by numerous libraries experimenting with apps ( Launching Library Apps), evaluation is the key to keeping this program relevant and useful to users. Seeking and taking seriously the experiences and reflections from the first group of attendees will allow for the program to grow and transform as technology and the needs of patrons evolve. Hopefully, these apps will also change over time. Staying up to date with need tools and capabilities within these apps can allow for a program like this one to stay helpful.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

Considering that these databases are already being paid for from the library budget and downloading the apps is free, the only costs associated with this programming would be advertising, staff time, and snacks. Advertising would not take up too much money due to the resources available to the library through the university. Posters can be made with minimal money from the library budget, email blasts to students and online newsletters are virtually free (minus the staff time it takes to create them), and reserving space and technology (a computer and projector for presenting the information, chairs, tables, etc) can all be arranged for free through the university. One thing I have learned by working with law students is that the best way to draw them in is to advertise free food. It sounds cliche, but telling someone there will be free pizza at an event is almost a sure fire way to draw them into the room. Given that there a are around 300 students at this law school, only 100 of which are new law students, and classrooms can hold a maximum of 75 students, these sessions will need pizza for $75 students. By ordering through on campus catering, a pizza costs about $15 and has 8 slices. If each student gets 2 slices of pizza, (150 slices needed) 18.75 (call if 19) pizzas are needed. Therefore, $285 is needed for pizza. By allotting $15 for napkins and plates, a total of $300 is needed for food. (Pizza math is my favorite kind of math!)

So, as long as there is built in time for staff and librarians to work on this project, this is a relatively low budget programming initiative. This program is also a low cost way to gauge whether or not a custom built library app would be worth the time and cost needed to build. Before jumping into such an endeavor, that, by the time it is created could be irrelevant or go unused, a program in which we track and examine how third party apps are used with library services provides a great opportunity to make this decision.   

Action Steps & Timeline:

I think the timeline for this project can be relatively quick considering most of the work needs to be done on the library end. Explore these apps and the best ways to use them as well as fun features they offer is going to be the most time consuming part. This could definitely be a summer project, given that summer school is not as popular in law school as it may be in other academic settings, starting with the research and development stage happening right after school ends in May. Taking June as the time to explore what resources professors are assigning, projects they have coming up for the semester, and what they want to see students to be able to do is a good jumping off place. From there, the librarians can decide how to best meet the needs of the professors. They can also see what research needs the professors have for their own research.

Next, I think developing a presentation or video that explains how these apps work is a good step forward in developing the program. Once that presentation is done and rehearsed, it is time to get advertising materials created and organized. Having this program occur at the beginning of each semester, possibly during orientation, give students the chance to learn about these tools before they might need them. Similarly, it introduces students to the law research librarians at the first chance they can meet. Advertising materials could include fliers that can be posted around campus, postcard sized descriptions of the apps to be placed in orientation packets, and emails with hyperlinks to guides and videos that could be helpful (see below). Also- it is key to have the time, date, and free pizza details included on each of these pieces of advertisement! While we want to avoid bombarding them with too much information, this is a key time to hook them into the library and get them talking with fellow students as well as the research librarians. The key players in this programming are the research librarians. Ensuring that they have the time and energy to implement such a program, given their hefty schedules, is imperative for this program’s success. A timeline of three months, possibly less, to research and design this program is necessary.

After the programming is over, a survey should be sent out to attendees to see how they thought the session went and to gain an insights into improvements that can be made for future sessions. This survey can be put together before the program is offered, in the summer when the librarians have a lighter load due to students and professors taking vacations and classes being suspended. Two months after the programming, it would be wise to start to monitor the usage statistics of the databases to see if the programming helped improve usage of each database. By evaluating now, tweaks can be made to the program before spring orientation starts in the next year. This cycle can be repeated each semester with summer sessions reserved for major overhauls and changes to be made to the program if necessary.  






Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service: (Is this a new service that requires staff? Where will staff (or other) hours come from? Brainstorm some creative, outside-the-box ideas for generating hours.)

This is a new service that will require some staff time from everyone. Everyone on staff will need to offer some sort of input into how the project should be run, the research librarians will need to create the project, and the director will need to approve the project. The administrative assistant will be in charge of ordering food, supplies, and the room/technology needed for the program. Given that the bulk of this planning will be done during the summer when the tasks of all of the library can be lessened, this is the perfect time to create this program without burning out staff or needed to generate extra time/money for staff. Summer project that evaluate all aspects of the library can be reduced, and one team can be assigned to craft this program rather than evaluating the physical collection or the WebPAC (two common summer committees at this library). To keep it fun, it could also be a good idea to reach out to other local law libraries that may have already integrated these apps into their library programming. In doing so, our staff could learn some new ideas for how to start this project or see if anyone from other libraries would be interested in designing the program with our library.

Training for this Technology or Service:  

I think all library staff should view the training programming before it is presented to students and faculty. In doing so, they might be able to offer feedback about strong and weak parts of the presentation. The research librarians will be charged with designing the training. Keep the program itself to only an hour (at max) allows for those training to stay alert and concentrated while also keeping the viewers only for a limited amount of time. Having these sessions take place around lunchtime, so students can refuel while learning about apps and using their phones allows for this program to be physically and mentally nourishing. If this session is occurring during the school year, this is also the time when there are breaks in classes, so more students and professors will be able to attend the sessions. By having all library staff trained, they can also help students when they need it. Often students will see a staff person and, while it may not be their area of expertise, they will ask them a question about research. By having each staff person trained, they can all get students going in the right direction and can also help connect them with others on staff that can assist them further.

Promotion & Marketing:

Along with internal school promotions, it think it would be a great idea to reach out to these vendors to see if they have more ideas, tools, or free stuff to give away to promote their services. Students love free stuff! Highlighters and sticky notes are two of the most coveted resources of many law students given that they help them with their researching. By having these tools imprinted with the WestLaw App or the HeinOnline App, they may be reminded of the tool each time they go to take notes in class or in their text book. Communicating with librarians outside of our institution will also allow us to market this program to eventually be used in other schools or open to more than just our students. Lawyers that need continuing education credits could be invited to learn about emerging technologies in the legal field that can help them do their job better by doing more efficient researching on their phones.  


Accessibility features:


Boyington, B. (2014).

Horizon Report (2016):

Kelly, R (2016).

Zickuhr, K., Rainie, L., & Purcell, K. (2013). Library Services in the Digital Age. Pew Internet & American Life Project.


Making room for makerspaces

I’m choosing to focus on the hyperlinked academic library, but specifically, the law library and it’s changing landscapes. Much of the literature we have been reading pertains to changing the space of the library as the materials users are needing and wanting also evolves. In law specifically, the print materials quickly become out of date at the law changes, literally every day. Due to this, digital resources are often the surest and quickest way to get the most accurate answer to a query about a specific legal matter. This trend is not specific to law libraries, but it does mean that a majority of our collection is unnecessary for a good portion of our users. As Keith Webster writes, “We need to rethink our business model for the digital age and redesign our model of interaction with the research community” (Webster, 2017). I think this also means we need to rethink the physical space and how we use it in our libraries.

One idea that has caught my eye throughout my research about changing physical spaces is the idea of makerspaces. One review of the possibilities of makerspaces explains, “a makerspace is an area where people can come together to create things, experiment and learn together” (Jones, 2013). In this model, the library allows for space for patrons to collaborate as well as utilize the library in the traditionally solitary and quiet way. By allowing for more spaces in which our law students can study together, respectively and calmly debate, and bounce idea off of each other, a makerspace encourages learning in which you are not alone. In reality, when our law students graduate and many go on to be lawyers, it rarely is a solitary work environment. Collaboration is outrageously common given the many practice areas of law and the inter-connectedness of such specialties. For instance, if a lawyer is practicing family law, they will likely encounter tax law as well as estate law.

An idea I’ve had for our library is to withdraw and discard many of the out of date and unused materials that we are currently paying for to be kept untouched and air conditioned. By doing this, the shelves that line the library wall to wall can be eliminated making space for more collaboration spaces with soft seating, conference tables, charging stations and the like. I enjoy Antony Groves ideas about a pop-up makerspace that does not have to be permanent. By providing a space where new technologies can be discovered, explained, and tested, our students will not only be drawn back into the library, but our graduates may have the upper hand when it comes to knowing about emerging technologies. Having a space for a reference librarian to explain a new database or tool connects students with the librarians, brings them back physically, and helps them to stay up to date on top technologies and researching tools. This could also be a space where students learn new formulas for drafting different documents or learn new procedures. By keeping the space available for collaboration and learning, where students can make something together and with help, the makerspace allows for successes and failures to occur without grading consequences. This experimental space could help students gain confidence in their work and abilities as well. As change and adaptability continue to be the focus of the library, while the the user is always first and foremost priority, makerspaces help law students and in turn will help the school.


Antony Groves:

Keith Webster:

Darren Jones:


Just a rambling…

I was just thinking about how happy I am to be taking a class like this in my last semester of library school. I remember registering and being nervous that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a class while I was also writing my ePortfolio, but this class is getting me energized for my future in libraries. With each reading and book review post I’ve read I’m learning new ideas and feeling inspired to bring these ideas back to my library. Maybe when I’m done with school I’ll have enough time to implement these ideas. After May, it’ll be the first time in my life that I won’t be in school and I think I’ll miss all the critical thinking we do. I was writing about diversity in the legal profession (mainly that it’s predominantly white) and how law libraries can work to provide resources and programming to change those statistics. I hope keep reading and discovering when I’m not told to do so for school. I’m sure it’ll be nice to have a small hiatus from all the connecting and discovering, but hopefully I can find things to inspire me on my own.

End ramble.


Book Review- Everything is Miscellaneous – David Weinberger

Everything is Miscellaneous:

The Power of the New Digital Disorder

The text, Everything is Miscellaneous, by David Weinberger explores the history of how information has been classified, organized, and conceived in an easily understandable method. The author touches on different systems that have been developed to help with this organization such as the Dewey Decimal System, the evolution of encyclopedias, and how the internet has transformed access and classification of information. Focusing on Weinberger’s writings on how the internet has transformed who, what, when, and how people access information, the following are my reflections on the highlights of Everything is Miscellaneous.  

Most relevant to our class discussions and readings was Weinberger’s insights on the evolution of Wikapedia. What was most striking about his analysis was his comparison to the way that the Encyclopedia Britannica is compiled, edited, and distributed. Unlike the Britannica, Wikipedia is constantly being updated, edited, and improved by some who do not have any claim of expertise over what they are writing. Weinberger writes, “By announcing weaknesses without hesitation, Wikipedia simultaneously gives up on being an Oz-like authority and helps us better decide what to believe” (Weinberger, p. 140, 2007). With a different approach to how  information  is published, users are taught to question what they read. As Weinberger so plainly explains, “The trust we place in the Britannica enables us to be passive knowers: You merely have to look a topic up to find out about it. But Wikipedia provides the metadata surrounding an article—edits, discussions, warnings, links to other edits by the contributors—because it expects the reader to be actively involved, alert to the signs… (Weinberger, 2007, p. 142). The wild success and accuracy of Wikipedia proves to show that information truly is being approached differently and has a brave new platform provided by the world wide web.In Library 2.0, we saw how the wiki can be used to allow for collaboration within a community online and “builds a knowledge base that other technicians can draw upon” (Casey & Savastinuk, p. 86).  Wikipedia definitely proves to be an space where individuals can remain anonymous, ask questions, and find answers. There is something about giving the power to learn and contribute back to the people that really makes a librarian smile.

Weinberger speaks of how we try to wrangle and control information in a dynamically changing world. The “digital disorder” that has developed as technologies change literally everyday brings up new issues for keeping track of information. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is working to give each book in their database an identifier which helps, if all of the books in the world are added to their database (Weignberger, 2007, p. 119) . Self-published or rare texts might not exist in their database which is where individual librarians, much like how Wikipedia is formed, are allowed to contribute their own records to the database. There is one problem with this method though, in that often there are multiple OCLC records for a title with varying levels of quality. Also like the editors on Wikipedia, OCLC can go in and delete poor records if they want keeping some of the integrity of the database. Both Wikipedia and OCLC exist to keep information in order, accessible, findable, and reliable for their viewers. Not everyone can contribute to OCLC like they can to Wikipedia, but everyone can view the information in OCLC through Worldcat. Having Worldcat as a place to create an interlinked catalog between libraries globally is such an amazing too see. 

Both of these example allow for user contribution as well as provide better access to information for the average user. You do not have to own a whole set of encyclopedias anymore to gain knowledge and, thanks to libraries, you can access that knowledge for little to no cost. I found this video to sum up more of what Weinberger discusses about Wikipedia in his text as well as a longer history of the site from the founder. Overall, knowledge is becoming more free and we are trying to organize it in different ways everyday. 

Overall, knowledge is becoming more free and we are trying to organize it in different ways everyday. 


Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: a guide to participatory library service. Information Today, Inc.

TEDGlobal. (2005). “Jimmy Wales: The birth of Wikipedia.” Retrieved from: 

Weinberger, D. (2007). Everything is miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder. Macmillan.


After reading the foundational texts over the last two weeks, I’m feeling fired up! I have been increasingly frustrated with the slow paced and almost non-existent change at my library. For background, I work in a law library where students rely heavily on the content the library provides whether it is in print or digitally. Legal materials are outrageously expensive and our students have to learn a whole new way of researching when they enter law school. Due to this, the role of librarians and the library materials is extremely important. We’ve adapted to the students needs, but so far I feel like we have been tweaking the vacuum rather than rethinking how vacuuming should happen (Matthews, p.1, 2012). I feel like we spend a lot of time talking about where we can improve our materials and access rather than rethinking our role in the law school as a whole.

Casey’s “Plan, Implement, Forget,” comes to mind when thinking about our library (Casey & Savastinuk, p. 39, 2007). We are functioning too slowly to keep up with the legal databases that are popping up left and right to provide our students with easy and quick access to their research. Due to the law changing literally every day, our print resources rapidly become outdated, so we need to find better ways to get our students online access to this information. It’s also the way they are used to finding answers. They’ve grown up with Google where they can find answers almost instantaneously. I doubt we’ll ever be able to provide Google-like answers, but, as Matthews points out, we can provide a Google like platform that combines online, print, and other ways for them to find the answers to their questions.

What stuck with the most from these readings is that we need to change the way we think about libraries, but also about ourselves! As librarians, we need to be constantly thinking of what could be done differently, not remembering how it’s always been done. Buckland points out 5 responses to library services and the last one I find most pertinent: “The allocation of resources to and within library services responds to preferences and perceptions by those who have resources to allocate. The actual allocation determines in detail the provision of library services” (Buckland, p. 23, 1992). While this article is almost 25 years old, this statement rings true with me as a cataloger. I am the person responsible for predicting what a user will type into the search bar find a resource. No pressure! Staying in tune with how people are researching and constantly considering how their perspective is different from mine is something I must always consider.

The idea of change should not be something on the backburner that we only address during the summer break months. Change should needs to be constantly considered. We survey our students about once a year, which I feel is far too little. I understand we don’t want to bombard them with surveys, but to keep in touch with students and their needs, it is imperative that we continuously seek their feedback. “Think Like a Startup” provides the perfect model, “Take your initial concept and develop it into a shareable format. Test it and analyze the reaction. You then use this insight to build a better prototype” (Matthews, p. 6, 2012). Far too often we don’t go back to build a better prototype until the whole project is outdated and useless for our patrons. By keeping change at the core of our mission as a service institution for our students, we can retrain our minds and transform our relevancy. Librarians must become change agents and break out of our boxes to implement this change.


Buckland, M. K., Gorman, M., & Gorman, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: a manifesto. Chicago, IL: American library association.

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: a guide to participatory library service. Information Today, Inc.

Mathews, B. (2012). Think like a startup: A white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism.


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