Posts Tagged ‘SLIS’



Though only 50% of those taking the Fall 08 Comprehensive Exam passed on the written attempt, several more were able to present a successful oral defense, resulting in an overall pass rate of 86%.

[To be honest, I was hoping for a perfect score to be credited in part to my and Kirsten’s Comps guides ;-)
Kinda like I was hoping all the students in my Freshman Comp course would end the semester with an A or a B . . . .]


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  • Been pondering a new title for months. Think I’ve found one worth keeping (the high five from my fourteen-year-old at hearing my choice sealed the deal :-)
  • Been updating my About page (fishin’ for a professional position) and composing a Comps page for the future reference of other OU SLIS students who have decided to choose the same path.


  • The final nine days of my last SLIS class at OU is heavily packed with readings and assignments; happily, all will be completed by midnight July 28, 2008.


  • Executive Director of Libraries Search Committee assignments are at their height. Candidates are on campus, touring, interviewing, and making presentations. As taxing as committee duties can be, and as limiting as they are on the time I can devote to other duties, I’m still grateful to have been asked to serve. I’m getting to know some wonderful librarians (and a few deans and administrators, too ;-).

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One of my favorite people in all the world, Maggie Ryan
One of my favorite people in all the world, Maggie Ryan

Lots of sunshine at the Social Responsibility Roundtable Booth

NSU presenters left to right: Emily Brown, Jamie Holmes, Pamela Louderback, Linda Summers, Peggy Kaney

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Each year members of the OU SLIS faculty nominate graduate students who they believe “best reflect the scholarship, dedication, and professionalism of David Ross Boyd Professor Emerita Tomberlin.” To remain in contention, nominees must submit a one-page statement and vita.

Here’s the essay submitted by this year’s winner:

Tomberlin Scholarship Statement

My primary intention in becoming a member of the library profession is to serve those who seek knowledge and information; it truly is as simple as that.

My aspirations in becoming a library professional, on the other hand, are multifaceted and ever-evolving, much like the profession itself. For one thing, I am highly interested in mentoring and teaching because I truly believe the ability to share what one learns is one of the greatest gifts. Another of my aspirations is to enhance the information seeking process by performing research and sharing the results through publication. I would also like to publish works on life as it is in the library profession, both for those who work in the library profession as well as for those considering doing so. Another of my aspirations is to serve at both the state and national level library associations in order to work with those who enhance information access for all. Lastly, I am interested in serving as the head of a department or as the director of a library. To me, the prospect of listening to and leading a collective of highly intelligent information professionals is not only intriguing, but virtually limitless in the possibilities of what can be accomplished.

My association with libraries up to this point has been both personal and professional. The personal aspect, likely similar to that of other information professionals, includes many childhood summers spent searching the shelves of the small branch library near my home for adventures yet to be taken and information yet to be discovered. This childhood experience was followed years later by many adult summers spent sharing a similar experience with my children.

The professional aspect of my association with libraries includes several years serving as a volunteer at the elementary school near my home. The librarian at this school generously mentored and instructed me in virtually every aspect of maintaining a K-12 library. Ultimately, it was her aptitude, optimism, and encouragement that inspired me to return to school in order to enter the information profession.

My most recent professional affiliation with libraries began with an internship at an academic library that quickly evolved into a full-time paraprofessional position. Similar to my volunteer experience, my present position allows me to participate in multiple aspects of librarianship, from reference and instruction to acquisitions and outreach. Also as with my volunteer experience, I find that I am surrounded by generous and highly knowledgeable individuals who willingly teach, encourage, and inspire. Ultimately, it is when I serve with these professional mentors and teachers that I am most grateful I have chosen to become a member of the library profession.

Given my personal experience, a general definition of librarianship as I view it is a profession that ensures access to all kinds of information for all types of individuals, regardless of ability or affluence. Moreover, librarianship is about providing an atmosphere that is both welcoming and intellectually stimulating.

Thank you to all committee members for taking the time to consider me for such a prestigious award as the Irma Rayne Tomberlin Scholarship. To even be considered is truly an honor.

Here’s the award:

*[No one is more surprised (or humbled) than I.]

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As the image suggests, Dr. Andrew Dillon is quite passionate about the present and future of the library and information profession.
*As the image suggests, Dr. Andrew Dillon is quite passionate about the present and future of the library and information profession.

The following notes were taken during Dr. Dillon’s lecture, Challenges and Threats. As a pre-comps exercise, I’ve categorized the notes according to the Core Values of Librarianship.


  • The heart of librarianship is maintaining and managing the quality of information services.
  • Who are we serving in this world that is coming?
  • Library students should be required to perform service in the society that helps improve access to information – supervised by an external mentor (i.e. someone who has no affiliation with the library school).


  • This [library and information studies] is a field that’s willing to embrace diversity, but how do we do it?
  • The goal should be to have an information world that reflects the way people actually think and reason.
  • Cultural shifts are slow but that doesn’t mean they can’t be studied and understood.

Social Responsibility:

  • Being well-motivated is never enough. What you have to say has to be achievable.
  • Talking only to ourselves is not going to do anything. Library schools should teach students leadership and advocacy.
  • Things that change quickly attract our attention and detract us from the underlying slower pace reality that can’t be undone. For example, while we are distracted by the “fashion layer of technology”- the fast-changing layer that detracts from the more permanent changes of technology – scientists share information with each other and bypass the library, and students come to the library for coffee rather than information.
  • We must understand the politics, economics, and ethics of librarianship.

Education and Life-Long Learning

  • Half of all Americans have broadband access at home. One billion people world-wide use the Internet; by 2015 the number will reach two billion.
  • The majority of the world’s population doesn’t have access to the Internet yet but they soon will; and once they do, their influence will weigh heavily on future content and interface.
  • 40% of information seekers say the Internet is their primary source; 80% of these Internet information seekers say they check the resources of this information.
  • People are not stupid. We might like to think they’re stupid – so we’ll feel superior – but they’re not. Humans [Dr. Dillon detests the term “users”] want to be self-sufficient and they want access anytime, anywhere.


  • The theory is what will guide you when there is no obvious answer. People who can do that are extremely valuable.
  • Universities claim they cannot recruit the type of people they need to run the university library.


  • Practically all new information is created digitally. Curiously, we are now consuming more paper on this planet than any other time in history.
  • Books will outlive us all; if anything, because we know how to preserve them. We haven’t a clue how to preserve anything digital.


  • Ever since humans have had more information than they could look at in one go there’s been a need to organize it.
  • What makes a library a library is the people who organize it and provide access to it.
  • A question that should be asked of all library and information universities upon ALA accreditation: What are you doing to advance the access to information to all users?

Public Good

  • Getting an idea out there: think what that did for science; think what that did for society.
  • In reference to all the universities that are allowing Google to digitize their collections: It’s in confidence that resources paid for by taxpayers are being given to Google and no one has an answer for it.
  • Our culture shouldn’t just be driven by profit.

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Given that I’m scheduled to take a comprehensive exam on June 27th in order to graduate with an MLIS degree by August 1st, I’ve decided to make a specific effort each and every day towards the successful completion of this endeavor.

Today’s effort involved the acquisition of a new pair of running shoes (cardiovascular exercise is said to enhance memory) and the creation of a set of flash cards containing the six elements of the Library Bill of Rights.

For example, the front side of the card containing Right IV states “Librarians should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting ________ and ________.” The back side of this same card reveals the phrases that belong in these blanks: “abridgement of free expression” and “free access to ideas.”

The goal is to study these cards every day until I know the Library
Bill of Rights as if I’d written it myself.

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“A possibly apocryphal study from several years ago revealed that turnstile counts consistently show more patrons entering libraries than leaving.”
~ Dr. Danny P. Wallace

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