Library Streams and Privacy Schemes

Kerry, Linda and I went into the 504 section today for what we're calling “First Friday Q&A” – something we did informally last semester but are now doing under the banner of the student council.  The idea is to give students a chance to ask any and all questions they might have after they've had a week of classes as well as some time to absorb all the info that was thrown at them during Orientation (and to get answers that are from the POV of a fellow student rather than the “official” answers that come from the department.) 

After an intiial silence, the class opened up and we were there for forty minutes answering questions related to classes, co-op, adminstrative policies and more.  Later, the three of us realised that many of these questions are the same ones that we asked upper-level students in January and the same ones that the new students asked us when we did our First Friday session in May.  So we've decided to try and compile an FAQ and post it on the student council web site (and I'll likely post it here too for the usual reason) once it's complete.  We're doing a second session for the other section of 504 tomorrow morning then everybody – new and upper level students as well as profs and staff – have been invited to the Grad Club for a more informal visit and to celebrate the end of the first week of classes. 

One of the questions asked today was whether it was useful (or even possible) to follow the streams that are outlined on the FIMS web site suggesting classes to take if you want to be a public, academic, special or government librarian.  We told them that it's probably not possible since not every recommended class will be offered in a way that will fit their schedules over the coming semesters.  But this also made me realise that, even though I'm extremely interested in working in public libraries, how valuable it has been to at least get a taste of the other main areas of librarianship – namely via my “Collection Development in Academic Libraries” course last semester and now the “Management of Special Libraries” course I'm taking this semester (we only had our first session tonight but based on what I heard from students who took it last semester, it'll be great.  “It's everything 506 – Management should've been” is how one person described it.) 

What else?  I've been thinking about the issue of privacy on this blog, well, pretty much since I started it.  I've tried to be sensitive for the most part to the fact that I'll be writing about classmates (and occasionally posting pictures as well) and I don't want to post anything the person wouldn't want to see written about themselves.  I haven't been very consistent (especially in the early days) but I also try not to mention classmates by their full name anymore – only their first name and although it's never happened, I'm more than willing to edit/remove any entry that a person had a problem with.  Nothing specific happened to make me bring this up now although I did recently have a conversation with a classmate where they (half-jokingly…I hope!) began by saying “Don't post this on your blog!” 

A couple links I've come across recently that may be of interest:
– my mentee's very funny rant about Frosh Week
– Toronto is the first major city in Canada to have citywide WIFI available, provided by Toronto Hydro Telecom and free for the first six months (er, “citywide” being the downtown core for the time being).

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