Web Reviews: Blogs for Library School Students

by Sam Leif

Whether you're new to Library School, just about to graduate, or recently graduated, there are a number of blogs and guides out there to offer tips, tricks and insights. The following sites are great places to spend a few minutes a week reviewing.

Hack Library School

The Hack Library School blog was begun by Micah Vandegrift who wrote an article for
In the Library with the Lead Pipe blog on the struggles of students who felt unprepared upon graduation. The joy of the blog is that it is entirely group based blogging, with all content generated by groups of people. This isn't just one person's blog, but a shared outpouring of support and ideas from the community with the goal being to help students feel more prepared. This blog started in December, and is already a useful tool for library students.

This blog focuses on library school and providing tips, insights, challenges, definitions and any other type of hack that a current or future student might benefit from. Remember, these posts are written from the point of view of students, or recent graduates. The articles are timely, and important, covering everything from book reviews to ways to experience LIS through volunteering and internships. They have categories for practicality and professional life. Two Minute Insights which is a quick-shot semi-regular podcast. Some examples from this miniseries include conducting independent research, presenting at conferences and getting involved with student organizations while in school.

This blog is a great read for library school students or recent grads, and an excellent opportunity to volunteer to share some knowledge. Even small observations or tips you have employed would be useful to share with your fellow students.

What I Wasn't Taught in Library School

This review is actually of a category in the Association for Library Service to Children blog, but it is quite useful. There are just tons of posts with all kinds of useful tips like wearing machine washable clothes when you are working as a children's librarian. However, their insights aren't just useful for children, or even public librarianship they offer information that is relevant no matter what field you plan to go into.

Some examples include "The Importance of Great Customer Service", "Library 911" and "Teamsters drive trucks, they don't unload them". Although this blog isn't updated often, the posts are written in a fun tone and really do offer those insights that make you nod your head while you read and think "Wow, I'm glad someone told me!"

Librarian by Day

If you are not already following this blog, you are missing out on an amazing resource. This blog does NOT deal with library school hacks, tips or tricks. Instead, it gives us an amazingly frank look at just what we will be doing once we have that degree. While a good number of students have worked in a library, an equally good number of students have not. For either group it can be difficult to ascertain just want a person does in any given position.

Library Day in the Life project was begun by Librarian by Day in 2008 as a way to showcase what a librarian actually does. It takes place twice a year and volunteers sign up to explain either daily or weekly what they are doing with their time. Librarians from all different kinds of libraries and positions participate, allowing all of us a glimpse into the many different hats a librarian can wear.

The sheer amount of posts in this blog means that any question on your mind has probably been discussed. The conference tips are a godsend to someone attending their first conference. The popular posts link at the top allows you to scan some of the most popular topics to help narrow down a search.

Sam Leif is a student in the Masters of Library and Information Science program at San Jose State University, graduating in December 2011. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and aspires to be an instruction librarian. You can contact her at (sam.a.leif@gmail.com) or (facebook.com/samleif).