2017 ALA Student-to-Staff Reflections: A Guest Post by Emily Higgs

The ALA Student-to-Staff Program: My Experience

by Emily Higgs

Each year every ALA student chapter is encouraged to nominate one student to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program, which provides the opportunity for 40 library students to attend the annual ALA conference at reduced cost and work behind-the-scenes with ALA staff. I was chosen by the previous UT ALA/TLA co-directors to participate in the Student-to-Staff Program for the June 2017 ALA conference in Chicago, and I was paired with ALCTS, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, for my work assignment.

Getting to work behind-the-scenes with ALCTS was a very positive experience that I would highly recommend. Most of my work hours were spent helping set up events and welcoming or signing in attendees, a position that allowed me to network and meet people I may not have approached otherwise. I met many wonderful technical services librarians, catalogers, and metadata specialists who were happy to answer my questions about their jobs and give me advice as someone interested in those careers. As a Student-to-Staff participant, I got to know ALCTS much better as a division as well as the internal structure of ALA. Working with ALCTS also afforded me the opportunity to also attend some of their pre-conference programming, which I found to be an extremely valuable experience. In the “Cataloging and Metadata for the Web” program, for example, I learned from Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of the Library at Montana State University, about how to enhance search engine optimization for library webpages and collections by establishing semantic web identity.

When Student-to-Staffers aren’t working at their assigned posts (a commitment of around 4 hours per day), they are free to attend whatever events and sessions they want. Some of my favorites included the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section’s public services discussion group, which provided valuable insights on exhibits that helped me curate my own this summer at Southwestern University Special Collections, as well as the “Giving Voice to Diverse Collections Through Digitization” panel, which highlighted amazing digital projects that feature marginalized voices in cultural heritage institutions. I also spent more time than I expected in the Exhibits Hall, where I got to see some cool tech (I took a booklet on new image capture machines home to my supervisor) and meet vendors. As a book lover, it was difficult not to take advantage of the deals that happen on the exhibit floor; here’s just a small sample of the goodies I brought home:

The Student-to-Staff participants were a unique group of library students with whom I enjoyed exploring Chicago. We had happy hours and dinners frequently and got to discuss the events of the day, share insights, and generally get to know each other. Many of these students are definitely going to be the next movers and shakers in the library world, and I’m very lucky to have been able to get to know them in this context.


Overall, I would encourage any current UT iSchool students to strongly consider the Student-to-Staff Program as an educational, social, and professional development opportunity.

Working in Special Collections: An Interview with Katie Rojas

This summer, I did an internship in collections management at the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC), a museum at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s HemisFair Park campus. While I spent most of my summer working within the museum’s collections department, I also had the opportunity before I left to visit with Katie Rojas, an archivist in UTSA Libraries Special Collections, which also has facilities in the ITC building. Since many ALA/TLA members (myself included) have an interest in both libraries and archives, whether that’s because we want to keep our career options open or because we just love learning everything about everything, Katie was gracious enough to share some thoughts on what it’s like to be an archivist in a special collections library.

1. Can you briefly describe your past education and work experiences?

I have a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Art History from UT Austin (2008). During college, I mostly worked service industry jobs (waitress, grocery store). After graduation, I got my teaching certificate and began teaching history at the high school level in San Antonio. During that time, I took a couple library courses at the community college and did an internship in an elementary school library. This was a helpful primer for graduate school, which I completed entirely online through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I graduated in May 2015 with my MLIS (with a transcript-designated concentration in archives).

During grad school I did fieldwork at the City of San Antonio Municipal Archives, which turned into my first paid archives job. I was an archives assistant there and was eventually promoted to archivist. I’m currently the Manuscripts Archivist at The University of Texas Libraries Special Collections (UTSA). My heart has always been in academia, and I have a great boss and coworkers, so I feel lucky to be where I am!

2. You work in a library that is affiliated with both an academic institution and a museum. What makes that setting unique?

There is an ever-present need to clarify archives vs. museums vs. libraries, and being connected to the Institute of Texan Cultures is definitely a catalyst for that conversation. Our organizational structure is such that UTSA Special Collections is a department within the Library. The Library is a completely separate operation from the ITC. However, they share a parent organization, UTSA. UTSA’s main campus and ITC are located about 19 miles away from each other.

Here’s the tricky part: the ITC used to have its own small library, vertical files, and photograph collections. Those components were absorbed into Special Collections in 2009. However, these components are still physically located at ITC, so people often forget or don’t realize that it’s not actually part of the museum, operations-wise. The photographs do get used for ITC exhibits fairly frequently because of their physical proximity and the history they share with the museum component.

Because of the 2009 integration, Special Collections has a physical footprint at ITC. We have a reading room and stacks at main campus, but we also have a reading room, stacks, and work room at ITC. A lot of our Special Collections staff bounce back and forth between working at main campus and at ITC, and two of our staff members are at ITC 100% of the time. It can get pesky when supplies are delivered to the wrong location, or when you are trying to figure out where the best place is to store a new collection, or when you could really use a student worker’s help on a collection that is located at ITC but they live on main campus and don’t have a car. In general, though, I think our situation is actually fairly common – archives everywhere need space and often have stacks/storage (and sometimes work areas) in multiple buildings.

3. What are some of the most and least interesting things in UTSA’s Special Collections?

When asked this question some people highlight the things in their archives that don’t actually belong in archives, like museum objects. For example, we have a pair of chairs that were designed especially for HemisFair, the 1968 World’s Fair held in San Antonio. Personally, I’d file the chairs under “least interesting.”

As an archivist, I really value context. So, in my opinion, some of the most interesting things aren’t oddball one-off items, they’re whole collections. A favorite collection of mine that we have at UTSA is the Sterling Houston Papers. He was an African American playwright, actor, musician, and prose writer who often used these mediums to explore black narratives and LGBTQ identity. His collection is rich with examples of work and photos from throughout his life. It’s the kind of collection that allows you to get an intimate sense of what an amazing person he was. Really, the most interesting things aren’t really the things, but the people who created the things. Good collections allow those people to shine through.

4. We have quite a few students who are interested in both libraries and archives. What skills do you think are the most transferable between those areas?

The basic librarianship and information studies courses will help you to think about information in a way that is applicable to both libraries and archives. Concepts of information organization, information retrieval & information retrieval systems, research methods, linked data, and user experience are broadly applicable in the LIS professions. More specifically, however, I think the following skills are shared pretty heavily between librarians and archivists:

• Experience working with patrons and conducting reference interviews
• Experience with and understanding of content management systems and databases
• Knowledge of controlled vocabularies, how they work, and how they should be used
• Understanding of metadata standards, and best practices for metadata creation
• Knowledge of XML. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should be comfortable with it.
• Pick one: PHP, Perl, Python, MySQL – I probably see Python being used the most. You may or may not use these a lot depending on how positions in your institution are structured. UTSA has a Library Systems department and I don’t actually need to do any scripting in my position. But there have been times I wished I could! And I know other people with similar job titles who do use these. Plus, knowledge of these languages will make you more attractive to hiring committees and give you greater job flexibility.

5. If someone is particularly interested in librarianship and can only take a course or two about archives, what kinds of archives courses do you think would be the most beneficial?

I would take the basic intro to archives course offered by your school. It should cover all the foundational archives concepts: original order, provenance, appraisal & types of value, arrangement & description, finding aids, helping researchers, donor relations, and outreach & advocacy. If your school doesn’t offer archives courses, or you can’t fit it into your schedule, look into other options. See if your school will allow a course or two from another institution to be counted towards your credits. You can also look for postgraduate certificate programs and courses offered by the Society of American Archivists.

6. You had a good experience getting an online degree. What would you advise UT students to look for if they’re looking to choose an online class or two to supplement their in-person education?

If you’re looking outside of your own school for a course to take, try to find something that covers a topic that you are interested in that your school doesn’t offer. Also, look for a professor who is seasoned in online instruction. Teaching online is very different from teaching in-person. Some professors are great at it, but others do better teaching in a classroom setting (same goes for students).

Taking a course online can give you more flexibility in your schedule, but it won’t necessarily give you more free time. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it will be easier because it’s online. It might actually be harder because you really need to be disciplined with your study time and take the initiative to engage with your professor and classmates. If you can be self-disciplined and proactive, I recommend it.

7. Austin residents sometimes seem to forget that San Antonio is so close. What professional opportunities around the San Antonio area would you suggest that UT students might also consider looking into?

I recommend attending the Society of Southwest Archivists annual conference, which is being held in San Antonio in May 2018. Registration for students in past years has been under $100, and there are scholarship opportunities as well. We also have the San Antonio Regional Archivists, which is a semi-informal group of local archivists that meets about 2-3 times a year. We have a Google group and a Facebook group that we use for announcements and questions.

As an Austin-to-San Antonio transplant, I also used to forget that San Antonio was so close and didn’t realize that there was so much to do here. San Antonio has some really wonderful libraries, archives, and museums! The San Antonio Museum of Art is my favorite museum in town, hands-down. Their antiquities collection is quite impressive, and their location on the San Antonio Riverwalk near restaurants and coffee and Tiff’s Treats doesn’t hurt either! I also recommend the McNay Art Museum, the Witte Museum (natural history), and the San Antonio Public Library Main Branch (downtown) to see the Chihuly sculptures and visit the Texana/Genealogy department. And of course, if you ever want to visit UTSA’s Special Collections just shoot me an email!

Make the Most of Your Summer!

School’s Out for Summer!

Greetings, library students! Maybe some of you are at the ALA Annual Conference right now. If so, I hope you’re having a great time, learning a ton, and making notes of things to share with the rest of your iSchool cohorts when you get back! However, some of you, like me, were not able to attend. Fear not! There are a number of other things you can do to make the most of the extra time you have during the summer to maximize your professional development. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas:

1. Attend Local Conferences and Events

TLA’s Annual Assembly will be held on July 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency on Barton Springs. This event will offer sessions on everything from copyright to reading lists to webmastering to school library standards, so be sure to check it out!

If you’re interested in academic or school librarianship, be sure to check out the upcoming ACRL Intersections Roadshow. It’s going to be held on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos on July 14, but you have to register by July 1 (that’s next Saturday!), so take a look now! The focus is on the “Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy.”

The American Association of Law Libraries  is also having their upcoming conference in Austin, from July 15-18. This would be a great time to check them out if this is a field you’re interested in.

2. Plan for the Next Big Conference

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about attending a conference when you’ve got a million other things on your plate, so use your summer to look over upcoming conferences during the year and to prioritize which ones you hope to try to work in attendance to over the course of the next year. Making an early commitment can keep you from procrastinating so much on registration that you never end up going at all (who wants to pay those late fees, right?), and by thinking ahead about the year to come, you maybe even realize that you have a potential presentation you want to submit! Here is a selection of dates to look forward to, with a special focus on conferences occurring nearby:

American Association for State and Local History: Austin, September 6-9, 2017
American Association of School Librarians: Phoenix, November 9-11, 2017
Library and Information Technology Association: Denver, November 9-12, 2017
Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education: Austin, February 1-3, 2018
American Library Association: Denver, February 9-13, 2018; New Orleans, June 21-26, 2018
Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association: Kansas City, March 16-19, 2018
Texas Library Association: Dallas, April 10-13, 2018
Medical Library Association: Atlanta, May 18-23, 2018

3. Get More Involved with TLA

There’s no better way to network locally than to get involved with TLA. Plan to attend the District 3 Fall Meeting on October 6 at Austin Community College, sign up for one of the many special interest groups within TLA, apply for the New Member Round Table Career Mentoring Program, and be sure to follow District 3 on Facebook. If you plan to stay in Texas but you’re interested in a career outside of the Austin area, look into one of the other TLA districts and travel to their events if you have time, especially if you’re planning a trip to a nearby hometown anyway.

4. Professionalize Your Social Media

Chances are that in some point in the past year of your studies (and maybe even in the course of reading this blog post), you’ve heard about a new library association or related group that you didn’t know existed before or discovered a place where you might love to work someday. Summer is a great time to look all those groups and places up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that you can continue to get connected to new information that interests you.

5. Read Your E-mails

When you’re in the midst of working and taking classes at the same time and have more than one final paper deadline looming, all the e-mails that come your way from the iSchool, ALA/TLA, SAA, AMIA, ASIS&T/AWIT, SASI, and whatever other professional groups you belong to can seem like just one more thing you can’t take the time for. But guess what? They really are informative, and taking the time to read your e-mails in more detail when you’re a little less busy can expose you to opportunities you might not have otherwise considered. For example, I was able to volunteer to read and review abstracts for an upcoming conference.

6. And Of Course, Have Fun at Your Local Library

Take the time to explore your local library from the patrons’ side of the desk. I’ve been enjoying the Summer Reading Club at my library and hope to find the time one of these days to check out their genealogy meetings. Joining members of your community in a shared endeavor won’t just give you new insight and ideas that you can tuck away for your future career; it will help remind you why you wanted to do this in the first place.


Immediate Action: #SaveIMLS for the Future of the Library

The Long Room, Trinity College Dublin

On March 2, the Harry Ransom Center hosted Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist of Trinity College Dublin, for a talk entitled “The Library of the Future; the Future of the Library.” Shenton expounded on many of the services libraries are beginning to offer that have not traditionally been expected. More university libraries are adopting learning commons: flexibly-structured spaces in which scholars can meet informally to plan projects, borrow equipment for their creative efforts, and consult with expert staff on how to use resources. Both academic and public libraries have started creating entrepreneurship hubs where visitors can easily access information about local businesses or apply for a patent on a new idea. Maker spaces offering tools such as 3D printers and video editing software are showing a greater presence in libraries, including UT’s own Foundry, which opened last fall in the Fine Arts Library. Libraries like Harvard, Yale, and Emory allow students to check out therapy dogs; students at the University of Connecticut can check out bicycles. By all accounts, the “library of the future” sounds vibrant, innovative, adaptable, and exciting.

The point in Shenton’s talk that struck me the most, however, was an anecdote she told about giving a TED talk on the future of the library. She followed a charismatic engineer who opened his talk by saying, “I’m going to go to Mars.” When Shenton had a chance to speak to the engineer after her talk, he told her, “I never use libraries.” His statement was fortunately proven false many months later, when Shenton saw him again–in her own library. But it echoes a problem that plagues the library of today and threatens the library of the future: the public perception of what libraries are and what they can offer is largely stuck in the past.

This has never been more apparent than two weeks ago, when President Trump released a 2018 budget proposal that would eliminate, along with 18 other agencies, the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The ALA’s statement on this action seems to presume that a common misconception about libraries is part of the rationale for this decision, stating that “libraries are not piles of archived books.” The necessity to take immediate steps to prevent this action is tremendous; the deadline to contact your member of Congress about this issue is April 3. However, the future of the library is not just in the hands of our government. It is also in helping members of the public understand how the face of libraries is changing, and why they need the library to be a part of their life. This two-pronged approach is important not just to save IMLS now, but to make sure that members of our communities are aware of and able to enjoy all of the benefits their local libraries have to offer. Here are some things you can do right now to take action:

1.  Contact your local members of Congress and tell them that you oppose the elimination of the Institute for Museum and Library Services. ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) provides sample scripts that you can use; just change parts of the script that say “as a member/supporter of the Reference and User Services Association” to say “as a member/supporter of the American Library Association and Texas Library Association.”

To call:

John Cornyn: (202) 224-2934

Ted Cruz: (202) 224-5922

Michael T. McCaul (Congressional District 10): (202) 225-2401

Bill Flores (Congressional District 17): (202) 225-6105

Lamar Smith (Congressional District 21): (202) 225-4236

Roger Williams (Congressional District 25): (202) 225-9896

John Carter (Congressional District 31): (202) 225-3864

Lloyd Doggett (Congressional District 35): (202) 225-4865

To e-mail:

John Cornyn: https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact

Ted Cruz: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=form&id=16

Michael T. McCaul: https://mccaul.house.gov/contact/email-me

Bill Flores: http://flores.house.gov/contact/

Lamar Smith: http://lamarsmith.house.gov/contact/email-lamar

Roger Williams: https://williams.house.gov/contact/email-me

John Carter: https://carter.house.gov/email-john2/

Lloyd Doggett: https://doggett.house.gov/contact

To tweet:

John Cornyn: @JohnCornyn

Ted Cruz: @sentedcruz

Michael T. McCaul: @RepMcCaul

Bill Flores: @RepBillFlores

Lamar Smith: @LamarSmithTX21

Roger Williams: @RepRWilliams

John Carter: @RepJohnCarter

Lloyd Doggett: @RepLloydDoggett

To post a Facebook message:

John Cornyn: https://www.facebook.com/SenJohnCornyn/

Ted Cruz: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorTedCruz/

Michael T. McCaul: https://www.facebook.com/michaeltmccaul/

Bill Flores: https://www.facebook.com/RepBillFlores/

Lamar Smith: https://www.facebook.com/LamarSmithTX21/

Roger Williams: https://www.facebook.com/RepRogerWilliams/

John Carter: https://www.facebook.com/judgecarter/

Lloyd Doggett: https://www.facebook.com/lloyddoggett/

2.  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association provides a sample letter that you can adapt.

Austin American-Statesman: http://www.statesman.com/opinion/letters/form/

Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/2017/02/09/submit-letter-editor

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/

Houston Chronicle: e-mail viewspoints@chronicle.com (Include your name, Twitter handle if you have one, address, and daytime and evening phone numbers).

San Antonio Express News: e-mail letters@express-news.net (Include your name, address, and daytime phone number).

3. Sign EveryLibrary’s online petition.

4. Register for Virtual Library Legislative Day.

5. Register with ALA’s District Dispatch to receive further information on how you can make a difference.

6. Change your profile picture on social media to show your support for IMLS.

7. Have personal conversations with people you know about why you care about this issue. Social media is a great place to start, but the best way you can motivate others is to find out what they already use their library for, figure out what they could be using their library for, and show them on a personal level what the library can do for them.

8. Continue watching for further information from ALA/TLA about collective actions we can take to support IMLS and other agencies that are being threatened by these budget proposals. Links to our Facebook and Twitter pages are above.

Reading the Right Things

In Megyn Kelly’s book Settle for More, she describes a time that her future husband was watching her write in her diary and told her to stop because, as he put it, she was “writing the wrong things.” Sometimes, I can’t help but feel that I’m reading the wrong things.

This probably goes back to my childhood, when I would eagerly circle all the titles I wanted from the Scholastic Book Club only to be told by my parents that they would only buy the “classics,” but different iterations of guilt have followed me throughout my adult reading life. I majored in foreign languages but read almost no literature of the cultures I was studying because I was more interested in linguistics, and now I’m a French teacher who hasn’t read Les Misérables. I never managed to catch on to the adult fixation on YA, so even though I spend all day with teenagers, I’ve never finished the Harry Potter series. I happen to love the classics, but I recently spent five months plodding through Dickens’ Sketches by Boz and absolutely hated it, torn between wishing I had DNF’d the book and feeling like I had completely missed something after reading one positive review after another on LibraryThing. When I do finally get around to a book that has long been on my TBR list, something inevitably comes up to supplant my feeling of accomplishment; I didn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird until about three years ago, and in almost no time, there was suddenly another Harper Lee book on the market. . . which, you guessed it, I still haven’t found the time to tackle. Even when I try to branch out and read beyond the Western canon, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something. Am I doing Japanese literature a disservice by reading too many works of magical realism? Have I devoted too much attention to Nigerian authors in my quest to read more African literature? Why do I still seem to have so many more books my male authors on my shelf? How can I tell if the latest popular read will really be worth my time? And worst of all, WHAT KIND OF LIBRARIAN WILL I BE IF I HAVEN’T READ (insert book here _____)?

Sometimes I just have to calm down and remind myself that guilt of this type can be a positive thing, because it’s a sign that you still want to keep improving yourself personally and professionally. As I make my way in the iSchool and get to know others, I find that I’m not at all alone in these types of feelings. At our first ALA/TLA meeting of the semester, we asked as an icebreaker question, “What book do you feel most guilty about not having read?” The responses I heard helped me gain some perspective; it’s absolutely impossible to read everything, and we all have to make choices. We just don’t all happen to make the same choices in the same order.

However, as an aspiring librarian, I couldn’t help but wonder how the reading choices I make would impact me professionally, especially in terms of doing readers’ advisory. After doing some research, though, I found that the assumption that readers’ advisory is predominantly about recommending what you have personally read can be one of the biggest mistakes librarians make on the job. While reading broadly is certainly a helpful part of performing this important task, it is by no means as important as figuring out what your patrons want and knowing where to go to find the right kind of information to guide them to a next read.

So, in the name of “reading the right things” to help you be better at the job you’re preparing for, here are some great links to consider on the topic of improving your skills at readers’ advisory:

  1. Mary K. Chelton’s LibraryJournal article Readers’ Advisory 101 outlines problems that library students experienced when they were asked to go to a local library and ask for a book recommendation, as well as how librarians can avoid making the same mistakes.
  2. Rebecca Vnuk’s Public Libraries Online article Jack of All Trades Readers’ Advisory: How to Learn a Little About a Lot discusses how to go beyond your own reading history to do readers’ advisory better, including resources for recommendations and major genre authors that you should know.
  3. In American Libraries, Terra Dankowski’s article Improving Readers’ Advisory with Data and Research explores the possibilities for using technology to find patterns that can help make more informed recommendations.
  4. Lest we forget non-fiction, NPR’s Lynn Neary offers some encouragement for our weary political climate in her article One Way to Bridge the Political Divide: Read the Book That’s Not for You.

Do you have any great resources about readers’ advisory to share, recommendations from your own experience, or just some reading-related guilt you want to get off your chest? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Meet Your New Co-directors

Hello from your new ALA/TLA co-directors! We wanted to introduce ourselves so you could get to know us a little bit better.

Megan Martinsen

megan bio pic

Megan is a proud graduate of Georgetown University in Washington DC. She received her B.A. in History, with minors in Art History and Classics, in May 2013. She is interested in research libraries and dreams of one day becoming a rare books librarian. She has previously worked as a GRA in the UT Library system and she is currently a TA for Children’s Literature. In her free time she enjoys crafting, binge watching TV, shopping, and, of course, reading.  She wants ALA/TLA to be a place for professional growth and friendship, as well as excellent snacks!

Jeremy Selvidge

jeremey bio pic

Jeremy is a proud former student of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in English in May 2013. He plans to pursue a career in academic librarianship upon completing his MSIS, with goals of one day teaching at a college or university. Jeremy can most often be found at the iSchool, purple-shirting in the lab or reading a book in the Tocker Lounge. His goals for ALA/TLA this year are to promote networking and development through involvement in these two professional organizations and camaraderie among iSchool students through social gatherings.

Laura Fry

laura bio pic

Laura got her Bachelors from Transylvania University with a double major in Biology and Spanish.  She moved to Austin to serve in AmeriCorps teaching after school Science programs.  This led her to get certified to teach.  She taught middle school Math and Science in AISD for four years before returning to graduate school.  She is interested in Health Information Technology and is working as a GRA on Health Informatics Research while at UT and volunteering in the medical library at Dell Children’s Hospital.  She hopes to bring attention to the special libraries as an ALA/TLA co-director.

Gretchen LeCheminant

gretchen bio pic

Gretchen received her undergraduate degree from BYU-Idaho, where she studied neuropsychology. She grew up all over the US, living in Utah, Virginia, and New Mexico. (She spent some time in Canada as well, but will only talk about that when pressed.) She moved to Austin to enable her breakfast taco addiction. Because she is obsessed with words, she has recently taken up calligraphy as a hobby.  Gretchen plans to use her time at the iSchool to become well-versed in the art of youth services librarianship. She runs the social media accounts for the ALA/TLA student group and would gladly welcome any and all interesting articles about librarianship so she can talk about them on twitter.

Also, don’t forget that the first ALA/TLA meeting will be held this Tuesday, February 4th at 5:30 PM! The location is 1.506A and there will be treats, as well as a discussion of the awesome events that we have planned for this semester.


Re-cap: our year as co-directors

The semester is coming to a close, and we are looking for new co-directors to fill our shoes for the next year! If you’d like to apply for one of the open spots simply send an email to us at alatlastudent@gmail.com with “Co-Director Nomination” in the subject line. Include your name, email address, and expected graduation date and then describe in 100 to 200 words why you want to be an ALA/TLA co-director. Email us your application by next Thursday, November 14th! Once all the nominations are in, we’ll put together a survey that will allow iSchoolers to read your blurbs and vote for the four people they believe should take over this student organization.
Meanwhile, here’s a re-cap of what we did this year!

January 8, 2013: We gave a tour of UTA for new students and went bowling at the Union.

January 14. 2013: We provided free cocoa and cookies in the student lounge. It was great to meet new students!

January 17, 2013: We held a volunteer panel where students could learn how to get involved in volunteer positions. We hosted a happy hour afterwards at the Dog and Duck.

January 23-27, 2013: We attended ALA Mid-Winter and helped Dr. Immroth with her campaign. We live tweeted panels at the conference.

February 2, 2013: Book Club! We discussed All the Pretty Horses while chowing down at Hyde Park Bar and Grill.

February 24, 2013: We hosted a book drive and then volunteered with Inside Books to provide reading materials to incarcerated peoples in Texas.

March 2, 2013: We skyped (!!!) with Printz winning author John Corey Whaley to discuss his book Where Things Come Back.

March 4, 2013: We hosted our bi-annual bake sale!

March 27, 2013: We toured UpHaus library, a beautiful early reader center.

April 1, 2013: We enjoyed prohibition-era cocktails at ALA/TLA Happy Hour at Peche.

April 6, 2013: Book club! We enjoyed brunch at Russel’s while discussing The Night Circus.

April 18, 2013: Martin Middle School Literacy Night. We collaborated with the librarian at Martin Middle School to provide story telling stations for the family and friends of the middle schoolers.

April 24, 2013: We attended the TLA annual conference. We live tweeted panels at the conference.

Welcome Week!! We teamed with SASI to provide a number of fun welcome week activities including the bats at Congress bridge, two-stepping, and happy hours.

September 9, 2013: We provided ice cream in the student lounge to welcome the new students.

September 21, 2013: Book Club! We drove out to Lake Travis to enjoy the view and discuss Reboot.

September 29, 2013: Hosted a banned books photoshoot! It was a great success. See post below for the photos.

October 8, 2013: Bi-annual bake sale!

October 19, 2013: Book Club! We enjoyed high tea and discussed The Paris Wife.

October 26, 2013: Lit Crawl! We attended the Texas Book Fest lit crawl and events such as Drunk Literary History, where our very our Grace got to meet Derek Waters and perform onstage!

November 8, 2013: Our co-director Harry Ostlund got an award for being the TA of month!

November 12, 2013: Yesterday, we hosted a career panel with several librarians to give advice on how to get hired in the field.

In between all of that, we’ve hosted bi-weekly and then monthly general meetings. We also improved traffic on the Facebook page, got 30 new page likes and reached an all time high of 940 views on our Banned Books photoshoot.

Phew, it’s been a busy year! Thanks for having us!