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Library Information Technology

Program Newsletter

 

Library Information Technology

Program Newsletter
Volume 3
Fall 2020

"Enrolling in MCTC’s Library Information & Technology (LIBT) program was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I had decided to make a career change, but could not afford the high cost of graduate school. I found the LIBT program to be academically rigorous and the instructors to be engaged and committed to their students. The flexibility of the online class structure allowed me to find a healthy balance between school, work, and family life. When I was halfway through the program, I was hired for a library-related job that I love!"

-S.L., Public & Technical Information Services Certificates, 2012

We publish our newsletter 2-3 times per year (Fall, Spring, sometimes Summer) and would love your suggestions and contributions for future content. Please share this newsletter and invite others to subscribe. We hope you enjoy!

Greetings...


This past year certainly has proved to be challenging. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protests over racial injustice, and a contentious election campaign, we have all experienced a heightened degree of stress and anxiety. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Minneapolis College moved most of its courses online, and it appears that this will remain in place for the foreseeable future. While the impact to our online Library Information Technology program has been minimal, the move to have most employees work from home has greatly impacted the library faculty and staff. We now work virtually from home and are juggling family and work responsibilities just like our students. While this has been a challenge, it has resulted in much creativity and enhancements to our services that we plan to continue when we get back to campus.

The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other African American brothers and sisters at the hands of police, and the movement of Black Lives Matters, resulted in the library faculty reviewing our LIT curriculum. The result has been the development of new Topics classes and professional workshops and panel discussion addressing racial inequality in the library profession. We also reviewed our entire LIT curriculum and integrated units addressing racial and economic inequality into courses across the curriculum. Libraries are vital community resources and it is the duty of library educators and educational programs to provide future library workers with the knowledge and tools they need to serve all members of their communities equitably. The Minneapolis College Library Information Technology Program and the Minneapolis College Library will continue to develop curriculum and programing to support racial and economic equity to better serve our community.

While the challenges facing us continue, we do our best to support each other and work for positive social change. The Library Information Technology faculty are committed to supporting your educational goals and providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a diverse and richly complex world . – Tom Eland, LIT Program Faculty

Fall 2020 Events


This Fall, LIT focused its programming on anti-racism in library science, and career development.
 

Anti-racism in Library Science and Librarianship: A Panel Discussion | Saturday, October 10th

This event was organized first and foremost for the students enrolled in LIBT 1100: Information Agencies. But, thanks to the panelists generous offer to expand the audience, we shared the invitation with local, regional, state and even national audiences, and were pleased to see 120 people from across the country register for the webinar within less than a week's notification of the event! 

The panelists shared difficult, authentic, and inspiring perspectives as they have observed and experienced racism, as well as their strategies of sustaining anti-racist work in library science and librarianship. Resources were shared (see the list of links below) and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of our community, especially those who can better help us see what we cannot, to further these critical conversations within our educational and professional contexts. 

Webinar Recording: Anti-racism in Library Science and Librarianship: A Panel Discussion and Slides 


Panelists

Honee Jam Collins
(she/her)
Associate Librarian, Hennepin County Library

 

Alexis Haley-Brown
(she/her)
SCOPE Intern, Librarian, Hennepin County Library

 

Tami Lee
(she/hers)
Children's Librarian II, Ramsey County Library

 

Tasha Nins
(she/her)
Children's Librarian, Middle Grade, Ramsey County Library

 

Resources shared/mentioned

"I really appreciate the sincerity and honesty of the panel and their responses to the questions. Hearing their perspective was eye opening and it helps me see the world through a different lens and stretches me as a person to consider more actively what I can do in response to this new knowledge. For sure one of the first steps would be to become more educated on anti-racism and anti-racism work." - LIBT 1100 Student
 

Resume Round Up | Thursday, November 5th

Minneapolis College Career Services offered a virtual session from 10am-12pm to help students with their resumes, as well as other questions related to career prep! If you missed this session but wish to connect, please contact Career Services for more information and to schedule an appointment. 

Library Visits | Saturday, November 7th

We conducted a virtual visit of East Side Freedom Library with Peter Rachleff and Clarence White. Earlier that day, students participated in a Living Room Conversation focused on Hope.

"Saturday's class reinforced in my mind that I am on the right path. The panel with Peter and Clarence was very interesting; their commitment to their work and their ethics is inspirational. The Living Room Conversation allowed me to see some similarities between my classmates and myself beyond the specific things that brought us together in this program. I don't think I am imagining that community building is the goal of these classes in general and the Living Room Conversations in specific; community is exactly what I am looking for and I am happy that these classes are happening for that reason." - LIBT 1100 Student


"Reflecting on (our) whiteness in library science and librarianship" Zoom Webinar with Ray Lockman | Tuesday, December 15th, 10-11am 

 
jenny sippel will host Ray Lockman (they/them) in a conversation to explore questions, struggles, and emotions that have come up for us (and probably other white library workers) engaging in anti-racist work. Register here to join us for the live webinar. The webinar will be recorded and shared via our LIT blog and Spring 2021 newsletter! 

 

Spring 2021 Events


Due to the unpredictable nature of the global pandemic, we don't have our Spring 2021 events scheduled yet. Please watch the LIT blog for updates, or contact Jennifer.Sippel@minneapolis.edu with event ideas and collaboration requests.

NEW Topics Course: Critical Self Reflection


jenny sippel will teach a new, 1-credit topics course during Spring 2021: 1410-01 Topics in Library and Information Technology: Critical Self Reflection

  • In this course, students will explore what it means to be critically self reflective in a library or information agency. You will explore themes such as bias, activism, neutrality, anti-racism, and taking a strengths based approach to working in library and information agency contexts.

Meet our Faculty: jenny sippel (she/her)


hello! My name is jenny sippel (lower case is intentional--there is a story there I am happy to share if you ask), and I am a white librarian, currently residing in South Minneapolis with my partner Jon, our kiddo Dylan, and our cat Katie.

I spent the first 18 years of my life growing up in Austin, MN--a small(ish) rural community that is probably most famous for being the corporate headquarters of Hormel, makers of SPAM, and breakers of Unions. I did not like meat growing up, and ultimately became a vegetarian. I enjoy making and listening to music, appreciating art, and spending time in nature! My body craves being active, and being outdoors as much as possible. As often as I can, I go outside for walks, runs, bike rides... and my vacations often include activities like camping, hiking, and canoeing. I also enjoy learning about and practicing mindfulness and yoga. I have a fiery personality, am susceptible to harsh self-criticism, and sometimes feel anxious or depressed, so mindfulness practice helps support my overall health and well being, as well as improves my interactions with others. 
 
I often listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I'm out moving about. Some recent favorites include: Scene on Radio (Seasons 2-4: Seeing White, MEN, The Land That Never Has Been Yet), Forgotten: Women of JuárezNice White ParentsThis American Life, Throughlines (esp James Baldwin's Fire and The Litter Myth episodes), and White Lies. I am currently listening to season 2 of Buried Truths, and just picked up a new series, LibVoices. One podcast I enjoyed that brought together my love of Ireland (I have Irish ancestors and have been to Ireland 3 times with hopes of returning again) and true crime was West Cork. A friend recently recommended Song Exploder, and I have enjoyed dozens of episodes of that one as well. Audiobooks I have listened to lately include My Grandmother’s HandsI’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, and Becoming. Up next I am starting An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States and Caste: The origins of our discontents. I have watched a few episodes of The Next Question online, which I recommend, and I also got a lot out of the panel discussion Call to Mind: Spotlight on Black Trauma and Policing, which features the author of the book My Grandmother’s Hands I mentioned earlier. I could go on and on here, but I think you get the idea :)  If you have favorite podcasts or audiobooks, send me a recommendation, please!

This pandemic has been challenging for me as I am usually very social and enjoy getting together with groups or going to crowded places to hear music concerts and festivals, visit museums, sing at karaoke bars, dance at clubs. All of that is to say, in non-pandemic times I am the opposite of a homebody, so all of this staying at home business has inspired me to examine some things in my life that I was previously ignoring. The extra time with myself and my family at home has been both wonderful and challenging. I love my family and enjoy spending time with them, but the times of pandemic and global uprisings in our community have been tiring and difficult. Also, I miss seeing other people in real life. And yet, this has also been an opportunity for us to reflect and connect with ourselves and each other in new ways. All in all, I remind myself that everything and every moment is my teacher, as I am a student of my own existence. I am the result of everything that came before this moment (including ancestors and events that preceded my birth), and my personal growth and change will continue during this pandemic and beyond. 

Hobbies I have enjoyed over the years include gaming, cross stitch, baking, knitting, and sewing. Another experience that brought me joy was accidentally climbing a 14er during a solo trip to CO last summer to celebrate my birthday with a concert at the Red Rock Amphitheatre. Picture me at the summit of Mt Evans--how did this happen?

I have an abundance of enthusiasm for many things. More things than I have time or energy or resources to explore. This can be both a strength and a struggle. Because I am so curious (about practically everything) and excited (about possibilities) and passionate (about whatever I am doing) I can be quite busy with my time. After nearly burning out last Spring, I took the summer off and set an intention to pull back on some of my commitments this fall. But old habits die hard, as I ended up enrolling in the OPI (Online Pedagogy Institute) course and the anti-racist pedagogy teaching circle during Fall semester. 

Since joining Minneapolis College in 2007, I have served as Coordinator of Library Operations and the Information Studies department, and as Programming Consultant for the Center for Teaching and Learning. My 2016 sabbatical focused on contemplative pedagogy in higher education, and since that time I have continued to explore intersections of mindfulness and equity, in part through MN State Innovation grant funded projects themed, "A Mindful Path Toward Equity."

I feel incredibly grateful to have found my way to Minneapolis College. The colleagues I work with mentor and teach me, the students I work with inspire and humble me, and the friends I have made support me and challenge me. I feel very fortunate to have had an opportunity to share a tiny slice of myself with you here. Thanks for reading! 

Email me to connect: Jennifer.Sippel@minneapolis.edu 

Featured Student Project: Libguides

by Ashley Martinez


Hello, I'm Ashley. I am twenty-six and currently working on my internship for my associate's in applied science. I was born and raised in Illinois and came to Minnesota six years ago. I've been attending Minneapolis College for a little over three years and I can finally see the finish line.

How has COVID-19 affected my internship?

Due to Covid-19, everything is different this year including internships. The typical internship would allow you to immerse yourself in the work or career environment you're looking for, but due to Covid-19, the safest environment is our home. Internships are hard to find. I'm lucky enough to have an internship through the Minneapolis College Library. I was provided with several options for my internship, and I decided to focus on creating Libguides for our library system.

What is a Libguide?

The best explanation I can give is that it is a library guide that is custom-made. It focuses on specific and certain needs; such as coursework or a particular subject of interest. The guides are like a cheat sheet for researchers and will show you reliable resources available at your library or on the open web. Before attending Minneapolis College, research papers were a weak point for me. I would either have a lack of information, or an abundance of irrelevant materials to sort through. Gathering materials for research papers has become much simpler since taking my Library Information and Technology classes, and the Libguides are an excellent tool that can support the research process for students.

Why did I Choose Libguides?

The concept of creating the guide excited me and I do some of my best work when I'm excited or passionate about it. When I discovered that I can create this Libguide on any topic/subject, I decided it had to be on a historical figure. I'm passionate about historical figures being portrayed accurately. This was my chance to create something as accurate as possible with the resources we have at our library. Before starting my project I did some research on other libraries' websites. I realized that if they had a history category for their Libguides, the historical figures in those guides tended to be current. I found guides on Oprah, Malcolm X, Buddha, Gandhi, and Teddy Roosevelt. I wanted to go back to the fourteenth and fifteenth hundreds and create one about King Henry the 8th.

Was it hard to do?

It can be hard to start, but luckily our school website, along with plenty of others, provides tutorials and recorded videos that are free. I used several of these videos to prepare for my first guide and it was very helpful. On top of that, my internship coordinator went through the whole website with me and was always available if I had questions. This is a time-consuming project, but once you get a basic understanding of the mechanics, it becomes easier. Plus, there are plenty of available resources to help you out when you're stuck.
 
In the end, I would recommend making a Libguide at least once. Creating one will show you a lot about the library you’re working at, the materials you have available, and how you manage time. It might even show you some weak points in your library's collection. I would also recommend that if you do create a guide make it on the subject that you're passionate about. Passion is a secret ingredient to life, as Love is a secret ingredient to all Grandma's best cooking.
 

Learning with Rene!


On Monday, November 9th at 10am, Rene Niemczyk, LIT intern at Janesville Public Library, sat down for a Zoom interview with jenny sippel to share her experiences as a student concurrently enrolled in UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies Continuing Education course focused on Children's Literature called "What's New in Children's Books." (For a link to a recording of the interview, please contact Jennifer.Sippel@minneapolis.edu)  

Rene was excited to share the list of resources students were given as a tool to explore diverse children's books and discussions, mentioning her favorites are the CCBC website, Publisher's Weekly On Sale Calendar and the We Need Diverse Books. "Time flies when browsing any of these websites!"
 
Resources for finding books
What's New in Children's Books 2020

Rene will graduate from MCTC Spring of 2021 with AAS degree in Library Tech Services. She is currently interning at Janesville Public Library, a small community library, where she is assisting the library's supervisor with various tasks. She is also coordinating a virtual story hour once a week to reach families of young children who cannot visit the library due to the Covid pandemic.

Game Changer: Recommended for Professional Development

 

Just Like Me: Picture Book with Beautiful Poetry

 

When Aidan Became a Brother: Picture Book about Gender Identity

 

The Undefeated: Picture Book, Inspirational

 
 
Q&A with Rene

How did you learn about this course, and why did you want to take it?

I took this class last year and had a very positive experience with researching new books for babies, preschool and early readers. The class introduced us to diverse books with a concentration on racial and ethnic books to add to the library. I am very much interested in bringing literacy to the young children and families in our community and I thought this class would be a great introduction into diversity for them.

What is the course like?

We are assigned nine to ten books to read every week including board books, picture books, early chapter books, middle grade chapter books and graphic novels.

How is instruction delivered?

The class in an online class presented through the UW-Madison Continuing Ed program. The instructor has sent out a list of books prior to the class along with a suggested list of professional books to research. 

How long is the course?

The class is four weeks long.

What are the assignments?

We are assigned nine to ten books to read and then we enter our reviews and comments into a discussion forum with the others taking the class

Who else is in the class?

There are approximately 20-22 people taking the class. They are from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, one woman from Kentucky who works out of a bookmobile and one woman taking the class from Yokosuka, Japan, and me, of course.

Do you work alone or with others?

All of the work is done on our own.

What types of learning resources are required or recommended?

Other than our assigned books, we are encouraged to interact with others in the class about their patrons' reactions to different books or positive or negative responses from the children who have read the books. There are also numerous websites and online resources suggested to help with researching books or resources on our own. These are very helpful in locating helpful and useful additional information to help with accessing other diverse books which we currently do not have in our selections.     

What are some of the highlights of your learning?

The interaction during our discussion posts has been very educational for me. Hearing how other librarians from large, medium and small libraries continue to expand their collections is great for me. I love the suggestions of other books to read from librarians across the country. I have learned to be way more sensitive to diverse books dealing with culture, race, ethnicity, books dealing with BIPOC and the LGBTQ communities. I have learned that we need diverse books in our libraries even though some of these issues are not necessarily in our comfort zone. 

Any challenges or things you wish were different about the course?

There really is nothing I don’t like about this class and I would recommend this class to others who are looking to increase their knowledge of diverse ideas or cultures         

What children’s books are you learning about that you would like to amplify or showcase?

There are several that come to mind. The first two books I would recommend are books which were assigned as professional reading. The first is entitled, "Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids”. This book was written by two middle school teachers and they advocate how and why it is important to see that all children have access to many books all the time! They give numerous suggestions on how to achieve their lofty goals. I loved, loved this book. The other book I would recommend is “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People”. I found this book to be an eye opener when it comes to the concept of white settlers coming to the North American continent and thinking they were entitled to conquer the American Indians because they were savages and had no culture when, in fact, theirs was a vast network of culturally diverse peoples who lived in harmony with the land and animals. My grandmother was Ojibwe and we have always been proud of our heritage and it was sad to realize that the US history is so pro-white with very little regard for the contributions of the indigenous civilizations.

Several children’s books come to mind. First of all, I am not a fan of graphic novels but I did enjoy “Crush” by Svetlana Chmakova. Great graphic novel about the trials and tribulations of middle schoolers. I thought the author did a wonderful job of presenting the woes of middle school dynamics among friends and non friends. I also fell in love with “Ways to Make Sunshine” by Renee Watson. Great story of a fourth grade Black girl whose family needs to move due to her father losing his job at the post office. Such great real life characters and the plot was also true to life. Both of these books featured Black students and were good reads about middle school life.

Would you recommend this course to others? Why or why not?

I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in expanding their collection of diverse books for their younger readers. It has really helped me understand that diversity, even in a small community, is important to our young children. Their world is expanding and we need to help them gain an understanding that not everyone is just like them, but that we all have value no matter our ethnicity, color, religion or sexual identity.

Catching up with Greg Opstad during Covid



Hi! My name is Greg – I’m a library tech at Century College. I’ve been here since early 2019, and I love every moment. Since starting, I’ve gone from ‘new guy’ to ‘Greg can do it!’ whenever something comes up that needs doing. Because of this, I get to perform a variety of jobs that make each day interesting. Currently, I manage ILLs; maintain the physical collection by doing regular inventory, assisting with weeding/deleting/deaccession of old or outdated materials; entering new materials into Alma (our ILS); helping come up with and implementing ideas for how to navigate the complexities of providing our services while maintaining COVID safety protocols; and generally just getting the things done that need to get done. My background in machine/mechanical repair and my life-long interest in computer maintenance has also proven to be quite useful for addressing the odd little technical issues that pop up from time to time.

How are you doing and how has Covid-19 impacted you and/or your library?

Overall, I think I’m doing pretty good - I enjoy being able to go to work every single day. I like the company of my coworkers, and I no longer have that sense of ‘am I even doing this right?’ Oddly, I feel like COVID has been beneficial in this respect; I have had an opportunity to learn things about my job at a slower pace, with less pressure and more room for making and correcting mistakes.

On a larger scale, as with everything else in the world, COVID has made a huge impact on our library. We still offer all our normal services, but most of them have migrated to exclusively online - our physical services have been greatly reduced. We have temporarily transformed into a ‘closed stack’ library; staff will retrieve materials for our students or faculty, but no one is allowed to physically browse the collection. We’ve removed all of our computers and study space, apart from one small section where we can easily monitor someone who needs to physically handle items from our closed reserves. Our hours are limited to only a few a day. But we are still here five days a week, responding to emails, Ask chats, taking phone calls, reference by appointment, etc.

Managing ILLs has been …interesting as well, due to COVID. For a few months over the summer, virtually no library in the country was supplying physical materials, but there was a steady stream of requests for scanned-in chapters and articles. I am still trying to resolve problems around ‘lost’ materials that were loaned out as ILLs between January and March that have yet to be returned for one reason or another.

Despite the low-grade existential dread 2020 has smothered us with, life at Century Library is pretty nice. I even recently got a desk with a window!

What attracted you to Minneapolis College’s Library Information Technology Program?

I initially had no idea that one went to school in order to work in a library – I had applied for a few positions, and even got an interview at one point, but was essentially told ‘you’re a good candidate but…’ After asking the interviewer what I needed to do to improve my chances, they suggested I go to school! I looked up places where I could get the education that I needed to land that perfect job – MCTC (as it was known at the time) was an ideal fit for me. I could take all of my classes online, which was important to me as I worked full time, and the program received positive ratings from past students. The fact that the instructors were all excellent (and pretty dang cool) was a delightful bonus!

What projects (past/present/future) are you excited to be working on?

I really like maintaining the physical inventory. Especially now that we are ‘closed stack’ – I get my little mobile work station (really just a squeaky cart, a laptop, and a barcode scanner), put my headphones in and open Spotify (there is something subversively glorious about listening to thrashingly loud heavy metal in a library, I tell you), and start scanning.

Every. Book. In. The. Library.

The resulting reports tell me which books are misshelved - or worse, missing. After I’m finished with a stack, everything is in place; the spines are all even and flush against the shelf edge, the books are all right where they should be. It is a calming, Zen-like activity; there is very little stress involved, resulting in little bit of order in an otherwise chaotic world*, which is kind of nice now and then.

The best part about inventory is that it is never-ending; not a ‘one and done’ kind of activity. When I’ve scanned the last stack, I trundle my cart back across the aisle from ‘Z’ (Bibliography, Publishing, Library Science) to ‘A’ (Reference, Encyclopedias, Almanacs) and start anew! Some people may think this is a dull, mundane task - one that is maybe beneath them somehow. Believe me, all too often the world can be overwhelming, and taking an hour or two out of your week to appreciate the simple tasks can help realign one’s energy and spirit. Bonus: you get to find so many books you want to read.

(* Lest anyone think I am an orderly, neat person, I am not: I revel in chaos. I am mercurial, prone to flights of fancy and following whims. I frequently ignore rules. I endlessly annoy my wife due to my near complete disregard for following or making plans. BUT! Disorder in a library is NOT A GOOD THING.)

What do you see for yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully in a library! 😉

What advice do you have for prospective or new students in the program?

The most important piece of advice I have is this: Volunteer! It may be difficult to find places who will take on volunteers during the pandemic, but if you can find a place, jump on that opportunity. Especially if it’s at a public library; you will see and learn so much about how the work ebbs and flows throughout the course of a day, week, etc. By doing whatever they ask you to do, you begin to learn all of the basic - but important and necessary - tasks that make a library work smoothly; whether it’s shelving, processing materials, shifting, pulling requests, assisting patrons or staff; whatever they ask, do it. Then, when your given task is complete, ask if there’s anything else you can do. Not only will you learn these basic but important skills, you will also start building a network of people you can reach out to for potential job information, advice, and those oh-so-crucial resume references. But most important of all, you will make friends - it sounds cheesy, but it’s true; library people are some of the nicest, weirdest, coolest cats out there. I’m glad to know a whole bunch of them and count them as friends.

An Informational Interview with Scott Rosales

by Ashley Martinez


Meet Scott Rosales! He decided to join Minneapolis College in 2010 to pursue a career in Library and Information Technology (LIT). Scott graduated and went on to pursue his Bachelor's in History at Metro State, and then continued his studies to receive his Master's degree in Library & Information Science (MLIS) through a program called the distance program at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He explained to me he only had to go to Milwaukee once for the orientation, and the rest of his degree was done online.

Scott has worked at the Minneapolis College Library, Macalester College Library, and is currently working at the MN Historical Society (MNHS) as an archivist. According to Scott, he is a newspaper digitization assistant, and he mainly works on digitizing microfilm of old newspapers to preserve historical material. When asked what he enjoys about his job, Scott replied that he loves to see timelines develop, noting how interesting it is to see the perspective of those "back in the day." Scott recalled, "I remember one time I stumbled across a newspaper that said no one died on the Titanic, which I found very interesting." Working at the Historical Society has given Scott some great opportunities too, such as the time he gave a presentation at the Library of Congress about MNHS's newspaper digitization program.  
 
When asked about the impact that COVID-19 has had on his job, Scott went into detail about the hardships. To start off, according to Scott, everyone had to work from home. He would go to the History Center once a week to gather up everything he would need and would then work from home for the rest of the week. The problem with this system was that even though he was able to access all the things he needed, his home Wi-Fi wasn't up to the standards of the History Center's network. Eventually, Scott and most of the other Historical Society workers were furloughed without pay for six weeks before being allowed to come back to work. He considers himself lucky to be able to come back at all because a lot of people working for the Historical Society were laid off. Scott explained that the Historical Society is partially dependent on state and sales taxes, and thanks to the pandemic, sales, and state taxes have gone down and the Historical Society is losing funding. Scott still works from home, but he is happy to be back at the Historical Society.

Scott has two pieces of advice to give to those seeking employment in information and Library science. The first piece of advice was not to undervalue your retail or sales experience. Your sales experience will be very helpful to you in your day-to-day life as a librarian in understanding how to assist the public. The second piece of advice he gave is to foster a spirit of curiosity. Scott believes that having a curiosity for knowing how things work is very valuable and will keep you driven. He could not stress enough how important a spirit of curiosity was not only to be driven in your career but to excel in it.   

Recommended Resources

by Ashley Martinez


“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”- Anne Herbert (American journalist and author)

During these tough times, when finances are low and options are limited it’s easy to feel like we have no resources but the truth is libraries have spent centuries adapting methods to ensure that our access to information and materials are always available. Here are three recommended resources provided by our school library that can help you get through these tough times.


EBooks: The most common of the three resources would be eBooks almost everyone has worked with them. EBooks are especially helpful nowadays because you can find the material you need/want without leaving your home or worrying about cross-contamination. The library website has several resources for eBooks. The best way to find what you're looking for is to use the find by format option. I would recommend using the ABC-CLIO Greenwood eBook link due to its wide range of topics. However, there are plenty of resource links available such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and open textbook Library.

Flipster: The next recommended resource is called Flipster. You can find Flipster in the A to Z database or the find by format tab. This database is a collection of digital copies of popular magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vogue, Discovery, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. The database has an impressive collection of magazines on a diverse category of subjects. If you're a health nut looking for some new recipes I would recommend the magazine EATING CLEAN which can be found under our food and cooking category. If you're looking for your inner Zen the magazine MINDFULNESS can be found in our health and wellness category. Whether you want to catch up on a favorite magazine or you're looking for a new one this resource provides you with an abundance of choices to explore.

Swank: The last recommended resource is called Swank. Swank is a digital database with a collection of cinematic materials made available through the library's website, you can locate swank in the A-Z Database. Swank was purchased this past summer, in partnership with the Cinema Department. Swank is somewhat in response to the pandemic and provides patrons with video options from the comfort of home. The costs and decision responsibilities are shared between the two departments but they can be made independently. Currently, swank has forty titles including three that were selected for the Critical Viewing program: Scream, Carrie, and Get Out. Swank is easy to navigate and holds copies of some of the classics that you may not be able to access other resources. This is a good resource for those looking for a good quality copy of a movie for free.

For more information on these and other resources, visit Minneapolis College Library's A-Z List of Databases 

LIBT 1100 Student Recommends: 

"When Antiracist Reading Lists Aren't Enough"


"I saw Dr. Nicole Cooke’s webinar advertised while exploring the ALA website/Twitter and decided to give it a watch because of the discussions and readings going on in our INFS and LIBT classes. She discusses how we can improve our allyship beyond antiracist reading lists and how to keep the conversations going when the subject of anti-racism starts to fade. I thought this was very useful, and during our class discussions it made me contemplate how best to start/keep the conversation going in rural white communities/libraries." -Noelle Robertson, Library Information Technology AAS student (who’s contemplating pursuing a MLIS in the future.)

Metronet Series: Real Life Librarianship


This fall, Metronet (one of seven state-funded multitype library networks) launched a series of webinars, featuring panels and interviews of Real Life Librarianship! You can check the recordings out on Metronet's YouTube channel. The series is still going, so visit the Metronet website for more information. 

jenny also recommends you sign up for MetroBriefs, a Metronet and MELSA collaboration to keep Twin Cities library staff up-to-date on library news and activities, staff news, continuing education opportunities, and more. 

What Our LIT Students are Saying... 


“I want to make a difference for the better if I am given a chance. I want all people in this country to have the right to information and diverse books.” - Tonya Goettl
 
“I was drawn to the LIT program because working in this field is a great way to help the community, spread information, and create resources to those who otherwise may not have access.” - Shelby Gunderson
 
“We need to look at how libraries have failed certain communities. What systems are in place to ensure the dominance of white people in the field and how can those systems be dismantled? If I am going to work in a library, I need to understand what barriers may exist and figure out how to remove them to be the best of my ability.” - Kelsey Henderson
 
"It is imperative that we educate our young people that they are a part of a global community and not just living in their own little world. We can do this as librarians by promoting diversity through good, positive, enlightening literature. This is what I see as our responsibility to our communities." - Rene Niemczyk
 
“Libraries shine as the heart and soul of a community, but it is not practical nor prudent for libraries to be expected to solve society’s social challenges for the homeless, newly immigrated, and those in need. These services should be FUNDED and delivered by social service agencies with the library working in partnership.” - KZ
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