Greetings (Take Two!)

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Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:41 pm

Hello LibIt'ers!

(I made one post..and it disappeared into the void, so here is an abbreviated take two!)

My name is Karen Hogan, and I am the InterLibrary Loan/Course Reserves/Serials Coordinator at Augsburg College Lindell Library. I have worked at Augsburg for almost 20 years, and the job I started out with is not quite the job I have now! So much shifting, and morphing and changing in the library world.

The other library hat I wear is a member, volunteer, and former Board President of the Quatrefoil Library. (www dot qlibrary dot org). Quatrefoil is an all-volunteer, member supported LGBT library. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary, and I have been involved for almost as long. I started at Quatrefoil doing a desk shift, then served on the Operations committee. As I met more librarians, and became less than enchanted with my retail bookstore job, I knew I wanted to become more involved with libraries. I saw an ad in the paper (yes--does that date me!) for a library that didn't require an MLIS. My retail skills, Q Library skills, and recommendations from other librarian volunteers helped me land the Serials Coordinator job.

As i worked at Augsburg, I gained more skills to bring to Quatrefoil. I was encouraged to run for the Quatrefoil Board of Directors for a 3 year term. Since the library has no paid staff, the Board is in effect the executive directors of the library--setting policy, organizing committees, fundraising, managing volunteers, publicity and marketing. After one term on the Board, I knew I needed to know more! I had plenty of day-to-day skills in working in a library, but I wanted to know more "big picture" stuff--ethics, values, culture, the library world's "reason for being". I was encouraged to run for Board President and knew I needed more skills, so off for the MLIS I went! I wanted a traditional classroom experience, so I chose St Catherine's over an online program. I managed to work some project for Quatrefoil into every class in grad school : wrote a strategic plan & budget for Q in Management class, wrote a policy paper on "pornography at the library" for another class, did an independent study project on creating an automated Circulation system for Q. (No more stamps and checkout cards) But first I had to put barcodes on 20,000 books!

I served 3 years a Q Board President, then another 3 years as Vice-President, before term-limiting myself out. I took 5 years to get through graduate school! I am still at Augsburg, taking on more ILL duties, and working to do more teaching and instruction. I love bringing groups in to Quatrefoil to help with research projects. I was also an URGO/McNair (Undergraduate Research) library mentor for a dozen students. I loved seeing their summer projects from first wobbly idea, to completed project.

Ask away! And welcome to the library world

KarenHogan

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by dski on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:58 pm

Hello, Karen
My name is Deb and I love the vision you evoked with projects from first wobbly idea to completed project. I felt wobbly more that a few times this semester. I know how it is to wear more than one hat. I work as a librarian and a newspaper reporter and now student. Sometimes neither hat stays on because my head is spinning so fast. What has been some of your most satisfying moments in the last 20 years? Deb

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:52 pm

There have been many! At Augsburg, helping the undergrad research students--coaching them through an enormous project. Being a "research therapist"--you are not the only one stuck on this assignment, research is hard and messy for everyone. "Non-traditional" students are my people. I am a first-gen college student, and went back to grad school in my 40's, so I feel a special kinship with those returning to school after a long absence. It is fun seeing former students come back 10-15 years later as Augsburg instructors.

There is the everyday satisfaction of finding that obscure document, tracking down a citation, or that 75th Annual Conference Proceedings of the Blah Blah Blah, or sweet talking that library into lending out that 6 volume historical newspaper set on microfilm so my student can finish their research on progressive co-operatives of the 19th century.

At Quatrefoil, I was doing a "Research Skills Workshop" and dug up an interview I had given in 2007 about "The Future of Quatrefoil". So many of the initiatives we were working on then did came true by 2016--a move into a bigger building, more programming, an automated circulation system. I was so proud to be a part of it, and feel like even though I am not on the Board anymore, I left it in good hands, and it continues to thrive.

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by NatureArt29 on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:56 pm

Hey Karen, what's up! Thanks for chatting with us. I think its very cool how you were able to work your way up in the library field. My current goal is to some day become a Library Assistant at a public or University Library. In my current situation I don't have much money to spend on library education. I'm currently volunteering at my local neighborhood library and I was also blessed with the opportunity to briefly (for about a month and a half) work as a library aide at that library, filling in for the regular library aide who was recovering from surgery. As far as library courses, I'm currently taking a 'Library Technical Information Services' class and an 'Information Agencies' class, both of which I LOVE!! Realistically, I can probably afford to take 1 or 2 more courses. I've already decided one of the courses will definitely be a course on cataloging. So here's my question. Will all of this being part of my resume, how good are my chances of landing a job at a library and what could I do (without going into debt) to improve my chances of lading a job at a library? Thanks!

-Dylan

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Hello Karen!

Post by sjarroyomiller on Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:58 am

Hi Karen! Thanks for taking time to speak with our class!

Thank you also for your service at Quatrefoil. I grew up in Minneapolis but I actually never heard of it until this year... I went for the first time last week and it was honestly life-changing. I got a membership immediately and I'm so grateful that it exists.

How you balance your workloads, take time for yourself, and avoid burn-out? I'm really interested in the library-by-day service-by-night lifestyle but I am also concerned about biting off more than I can chew.

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by Iglarpok on Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:44 pm

Hi Karen,

Thank you for being here with us. I have a simple question. You stated that you wrote a policy paper on pornography in the library. We recently had to read the ALA's Freedom to Read statement and the Library Bill of Rights.

With these in mind, what is your take on "pornography" in the library and how it relates to freedom to read?

Thank you,

Isaac

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by dski on Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:48 pm

If all the jobs you've done, which has been the most rewarding and which has been the hardest?

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:50 am

NatureArt29 wrote:Hey Karen, what's up!  Thanks for chatting with us.  I think its very cool how you were able to work your way up in the library field.  My current goal is to some day become a Library Assistant at a public or University Library.  In my current situation I don't have much money to spend on library education.  I'm currently volunteering at my local neighborhood library and I was also blessed with the opportunity to briefly (for about a month and a half) work as a library aide at that library, filling in for the regular library aide who was recovering from surgery.  As far as library courses, I'm currently taking  a 'Library Technical Information Services' class and an 'Information Agencies' class, both of which I LOVE!!  Realistically, I can probably afford to take 1 or 2 more courses.  I've already decided one of the courses will definitely be a course on cataloging.  So here's my question.  Will all of this being part of my resume, how good are my chances of landing a job at a library and what could I do (without going into debt) to improve my chances of lading a job at a library?  Thanks!

             -Dylan

Hi Dylan
Volunteering is always a Good Thing (See also :Quatrefoil Library). If you don't have tons of money to spend on college, my advice would be to go to all the library conferences you can while you can take advantage of the student rates or scholarships. There are many local ones: Minnesota Library Association, LibTech, ACRL Day, DASHCamp (Digital Arts Sciences and Humanities). Go, learn, present volunteer, schmooze, network. It is all valuable. And yay cataloging! Learn all you can about metadata, RDA, BIBFRAME. Learn coding if you can. See the fun projects New York Public Library is working on. https://www DOT nypl DOT org/collections/labs#2. Read blogs and papers and zines and (yes) listservs :In the Library With The Lead Pipe, code4lib, and even comics like Unshelved, and goofy things like Awful Library Books. (forumotion doesn't like me posting outside urls. Use your new skillz--look it up)

And as if you didn't already know, the library job market in the cities is is *extremely* competitive. My colleagues who are free to move elsewhere (small towns, out-of-state, Botswana) are the ones who have had the most success landing a job. After many volunteer stints, unpaid internships, cobbles together substitute jobs and part-time work, they are making a go of it here. I loved grad school, but don't recommend going into debt. I did the one-class-per-semester and was able to pay as I go and take out a much smaller loan.

KarenHogan

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by NatureArt29 on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:03 am

Thanks Karen! moving to work at a small rural library is definitely feasible for me, never been a fan of the big city life, so I'm glad to hear the employment success rate is higher outside of the city.

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Burnout!

Post by KarenHogan on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:05 am

sjarroyomiller wrote:Hi Karen! Thanks for taking time to speak with our class!

Thank you also for your service at Quatrefoil. I grew up in Minneapolis but I actually never heard of it until this year... I went for the first time last week and it was honestly life-changing. I got a membership immediately and I'm so grateful that it exists.

How you balance your workloads, take time for yourself, and avoid burn-out? I'm really interested in the library-by-day service-by-night lifestyle but I am also concerned about biting off more than I can chew.

Hi there!

How do I balance my workload? Threats work well for me. When my spouse threatened divorce if I took on another year as Board President? #KiddingNotKidding .Knowing when to step up, and when to step back is tough! But after 5 years of grad school and 9 years of Board service, I knew I was DONE.

But hey, you are just at the starting gate. Realize it will be crazy-times for a few years. You will never feel caught up, you will never feel finished with anything. Housework & your other hobbies & exercise, reading for fun, etc etc etc will fall by the wayside. Lean on your classmates, talk to your instructors if everything seems too overwhelming---BEFORE it becomes a crisis. A little procrastination is good. Go for a walk when you get stuck writing. Try to combine as much of your "day job" life into your school life. Anything in class that you're learning about spark anything about "hey how can I apply this to my life" at work? Make everything do double duty. Present at a conference and see if your employer will sponsor you for the conference fee--or part of it, then come back and do a "here's what I learned" session for your co-workers. They look at you funny? Geek out with your classmates. Get ready!

And and hey! Congratulations on finding Quatrefoil! We have been waiting for you. Get involved. Ask me how.

KarenHogan

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:08 am

Iglarpok wrote:Hi Karen,

Thank you for being here with us. I have a simple question. You stated that you wrote a policy paper on pornography in the library. We recently had to read the ALA's Freedom to Read statement and the Library Bill of Rights.

With these in mind, what is your take on "pornography" in the library and how it relates to freedom to read?

Thank you,

Isaac

Hi Issac,

Yes--"Freedom To Read" and (freedom to view) was the backbone of my paper. Let me look for it, and I can send it to you if you are interested. If you use RefWorks (zotero? Some kind of citation manager program? If you are continuing on in school, it is a MUST! Ask the librarians at MCTC if you need advice.) I can send you my bibliography too.

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Porn@yourLibrary

Post by KarenHogan on Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Still searching through my files for the paper, but here is a brief statement for the Board in 2013.

“A good library has something in it to offend everyone”


Erotic DVD Collection Statement
“Quatrefoil Library offers as wide a range of materials as possible to be as inclusive as possible for all GLBT people. This may include items which may make some people feel uncomfortable.”
Part of the vilification of gay people has focused on their actual sexuality and sexual activity. Often over the years, non-GLBTQ people have identified as allies or been courted as such when they could be directed to the gay person as a "whole” person, which sometimes meant ironically leaving out the sex which was considered distasteful. Pornographic and erotic collections serve to attest to the fact that this aspect of the lives of people is also valuable and not something sick to be discarded, destroyed, or hidden.
The erotic collection at Quatrefoil was started with a donation of VHS tapes and $10,000 from the estate of Peter Hengel who wanted to make sure that the library provided this service to the GLBT community. Over time all the original tapes were replaced by DVDs, but just as with the tapes, all current erotic DVDs have been donated; the library has never spent money to purchase them. Coupled with this, the library asks for a $2.00 donation each time a DVD is taken out. This has proven to be a badly-needed money-making proposition for the library. Quatrefoil never rents erotica to anyone under the age of 18.
Currently the library has one case of shelves dedicated to the collection of erotica, and do plan to ever increase the capacity of that space. Although we may choose to keep some titles on the shelves for historical purposes, we will weed and deaccession titles that are older and not being used. With the advent of the Library World check-out system, we will be able to keep tabs on which titles are getting checked out and weed appropriately. If future demand for erotica goes down, the library will reduce the number of DVDs held, allowing additional space for other materials."

The Leather Archives and Museum had this statement regarding their collection
The LA&M neither approves nor disapproves the views expressed in materials included in the collection.  The inclusion of an item is not to be considered an endorsement, official or otherwise, by the LA&M.
http://www.leatherarchives.org/about/collect.htm

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by alexisharrison on Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:51 pm

Hello, Karen ! Thanks for speaking with us and thank you for your work at Quatrefoil !
I am curious as to what first sparked your interest for working in the library field and what you love most about it. I am very impressed by what you have accomplished and your passion for library work !

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by Iglarpok on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:05 pm

Karen, thank you for your answer.

I would be interested to read your paper. My email is iglarpok@gmail.com

Thank your for your time this week!

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:53 pm

alexisharrison wrote:Hello, Karen ! Thanks for speaking with us and thank you for your work at Quatrefoil !
I am curious as to what first sparked your interest for working in the library field and what you love most about it. I am very impressed by what you have accomplished and your passion for library work !

My library story is probably common to most---loved going to the public library as a young one. As a latchkey kid, it was my home away from home. One of my first real jobs was as a "page" at the public library while I was in high school. (Bonus point to anyone who can describe the duties of a library Page.) My experience in the public library in high school made it an easy transition to student worker in my undergraduate library. After college I worked in other jobs, before working in Big Retail Chain Bookstore. I was there for ten years. There was a lot of overlap between bookstore work and library work. I loved talking about books, selling books, shelving and merchandising. I knew so many people were coming to the wrong place though. Our information counter was not the Reference desk. I couldn't help them with their homework, how to find a job, their book report, their research paper, and in the pre-Internet days all I could do was direct them down the street to the big Southdale Library and away from the mall.

In short I wanted to be able to do more.

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:07 pm

dski wrote:If all the jobs you've done, which has been the most rewarding and which has been the hardest?

Quatrefoil Library. Long messy meetings, stress of running an underfunded, all-volunteer organization....but then when someone has the "lighbulb" life changing moment because of the Q, it makes it all worth it.


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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by sjarroyomiller on Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:39 am

KarenHogan wrote:
Hi there!

How do I balance my workload? Threats work well for me. When my spouse threatened divorce if I took on another year as Board President? #KiddingNotKidding .Knowing when to step up, and when to step back is tough! But after 5 years of grad school and 9 years of Board service, I knew I was DONE.

But hey, you are just at the starting gate. Realize it will be crazy-times for a few years. You will never feel caught up, you will never feel finished with anything. Housework & your other hobbies & exercise, reading for fun, etc etc etc will fall by the wayside. Lean on your classmates, talk to your instructors if everything seems too overwhelming---BEFORE it becomes a crisis. A little procrastination is good. Go for a walk when you get stuck writing. Try to combine as much of your "day job" life into your school life. Anything in class that you're learning about spark anything about "hey how can I apply this to my life" at work? Make everything do double duty. Present at a conference and see if your employer will sponsor you for the conference fee--or part of it, then come back and do a "here's what I learned" session for your co-workers. They look at you funny? Geek out with your classmates. Get ready!

And and hey! Congratulations on finding Quatrefoil! We have been waiting for you. Get involved. Ask me how.

Thank you for your advice! I've been thinking about it all week. I appreciate your honesty. Smile

How do I get involved with Quatrefoil? My email is sjarroyomiller@gmail.com and I want to learn more!

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welcome!

Post by ramerson on Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:39 pm

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Karen!
I also have worked my way up in the library starting as a shelver, now working at a desk assisting patrons and hoping to someday be a reference staff. What have been the biggest adjustments you've faced working in the library with technology? Did you have to do all 20 books alone?! Where do you hope to be once you're out of school? Have you run into any positions that just weren't a good fit for you?

-Rakeem

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Re: Greetings (Take Two!)

Post by KarenHogan on Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:56 pm

ramerson wrote:Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Karen!
I also have worked my way up in the library starting as a shelver, now working at a desk assisting patrons and hoping to someday be a reference staff. What have been the biggest adjustments you've faced working in the library with technology? Did you have to do all 20 books alone?! Where do you hope to be once you're out of school? Have you run into any positions that just weren't a good fit for you?

-Rakeem

Did I barcode all 20,000 books by myself? Oh no--I had a lot of help. I had a crew from your LIBT1100 class, a crew of Augsburg students, Q volunteers, U of M Pride group, a high school GSA or two.

Many positions were not a good fit--mainly for geographic reasons. I have a house and family in Minneapolis, and was not about to relocate out of state or face a long commute.

Karen

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