E303 – Hacking the Librarian: Evolving Personal and Career Development #CILDC 1:30-2:30pm 4/9/2014

Program Description:

Jennifer Koerber, Web Services Librarian, Boston Public Library

It’s old news that librarianship is changing as a profession, and we understand that library professionals need to change with it. But how? How do you learn to see yourself 5, 10, or 20 years down the line when we have no idea what’s coming next spring? Learn from someone who has bootstrapped herself from a tech-nervous newbie to a code-savvy web librarian over the last 20 years, and brainstorm ways to evolve all your strengths, skills and interests into your next big thing.


Evolving Yourself
Renew, Reuse, Reinvent
Surrounded by geeks
Self taught
Learned by playing around.

Expect Change–
— Staying in the same job/role forever
— The Accidental … series
— What’s the alternative? Rachel Singer Gordon

Stay Informed
– social media
– popular magazines and websites
– Geek news outlets
– major news sources
– Tech conferences
– thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/01/04/10-must-attend-tech-conferences-2014/
Our lives are fully integrated with tech.
We are more than our fears.
Be realistic.
-skills and strengths
-Stay aware of other parts

Engage of all of your interests.
It’s never too late.
Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.


This session hit a very personal cord with me. I have had to reinvent myself several times during my 3 decades as a librarian. Usually it was in the same place of employment. The most recent occurrance was 2 years go when the job I had in a community college ended. For almost a year before the last day I worked there I spent looking for other library positions. I then saw my present job advertised. I now work in a USAF research and technical library as a contract librarian. That means my company that hired me has the contract for that position at the library. I had to unlearn and learn many things. It has not been easy but it certainly has been extremely interesting. In my current position, I use every skill I learned and developed over the many years I was in academic libraries.

I do original cataloging, copy cataloging, manage e-resources, maintain website on Sharepoint, write newletters and documentation, perform high level literature searches in many different engineering and science databases on a daily basis, manage and develop our physical and online collection of books and journals, supervise library staff, and more. No day is the same as the day before.

All of my computer and web skills are self taught. I am a life long learner and will continue to “hack” myself.

One thought on “E303 – Hacking the Librarian: Evolving Personal and Career Development #CILDC 1:30-2:30pm 4/9/2014”

  1. Thanks, Bill, and thanks for coming up afterwards to say hello.
    Reinventing ourselves is the newish normal – we’ve always had it as part of our options, but I think now it’s just going to be more and more frequent and expected. It’s hard, it’s scary, and it’s necessary to keep moving forward. I’m sorry for the stressful moments, and huzzah for keeping moving on it all!
    FYI – I’ve put the slides up at my site: http://www.jenniferkoerber.com/2014/04/computers-in-libraries-2014/

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Bill Drew

Sometime curmudgeon, full time husband and father and librarian and artist.

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