Are We Burying Our Heads In the Sand?



Are We Burying Our Heads In the Sand?

A realistic reflection on the future of the library profession

Elise Y. Wong

Since the economic recession hit in 2008, library workers around the country have been hearing devastating stories about the impact on hiring freezes, layoffs, budget cuts, furloughs. Articles such as Forbes’s “The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees for Jobs” and “Come to Library School! Just Don’t Expect a Job!” by Library Journal’s columnist Annoyed Librarian are especially disheartening to read. I started my first professional librarian position in December 2009, about six months after graduation. Based on what I have heard from fellow MLIS graduates, some of them have either stayed at their current paraprofessional jobs, or relocated after finding a librarian job out of town. Many of them are still looking for library professional jobs that are comparable to their expectations. Having been at my job for…

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It's a digitally manipulated James Joyce... get it?

As library students, we’re all aware of how deeply digital tools have transformed out field, but sometimes we forget that those same tools are impacting other fields as well, fields with which our own work may eventually intersect. In the academic world, scholars are pulling computational techniques into the traditionally low-tech humanities, and finding that it offers exciting new approaches to subjects like literature, classical studies, and history. That is to say, our users and patrons are thinking of new ways to engage with information, and wherever that’s happening, there’s a place for a librarian.

Lindsay Skay Whitacre is a librarian at Boston College where she’s the go-to woman for scholars who want to start using these tools and techniques in their own work.  She agreed to answer a few questions about her role at the BC library so that those of us who are considering a similar path can…

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Sssssoooorrryyyyy about the lack of updates. Life has been busy last semester, and I wasn’t happy with how much time I spent for just one class. Ugh, never again.

So I visited the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau library during a break from work. Like a lot of libraries, it has a ready reference section, a general circulating collection, periodicals (some relating to legislation), newspapers, and legislative documents (e.g. Hawaii Revised Statutes and Acts). A lot of the books comes from other state agencies (many which are required to send their materials by law) and legislatures from other states.

I briefly looked the newspaper clipping files, which has clippings relating to the legislature. There’s even a cabinet with clippings of current legislators.

A reference librarian there said every day she spends 2 hours at the reference desk and performs collection development in the backroom. There is even a cataloger who catalogs legislative materials.

The library is only one part of the LRB as it also has the Public Access Room, a room for the public to do legislative business or to learn about the legislature, and the research section with researchers (many are lawyers) writing bills and researching for legislators.

There are other LRBs in other state legislatures. For my job, when researching state legislators in the military, I contacted a few LRBs, and while they couldn’t answer my inquiry, they at least forwarded me to the appropriate sources (e.g. legislative research offices).

Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau Library

More English-language Hawaii papers to be searchable online! 2012.



The UH Manoa Library has received $265,018 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize and upload the predecessor newspapers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on the Chronicling America website.  The publications are:
Pacific Commercial Advertiser (1856-1921)
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1917-1922)

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Ending My Work in the Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project


I wrote about hula performances on the U.S. mainland in the early 1900s.

Hi all, wow it has been a while. I’ve been working full time at the library this summer. However, starting this week, I will be working half time. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue working in the library in the next academic year.

I was surprised to see people actually visit this blog :/ Especially since the last time I updated was 2 months ago. I’m happy that there are people who actually want to learn more about me by reading my blog and looking at my accounts at other sites (e.g. LinkedIn). I’ve been Google searched!

Unfortunately, in the second week of August, I will stop working for the library’s Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project. That project was my main duty and also the funnest. Now, it looks like my position will focus more on digitizing materials and creating their respective metadata for the electronic records. However, I may continue to assist with writing grant proposals in the future.

I’ve added a whole bunch of historical feature articles:

Please take a looksie there. I will probably write a few more before my participation in the project ends.



Librarianship is a quickly changing field. Thanks to computers and the internet, it has undergone a tremendous metamorphosis over the last two decades. In light of these changes, we’re kicking off a new series in which we talk about the many emerging careers in librarianship. Today’s inaugural issue talks about the emerging field of data curation.

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