On Wednesday, October 26, eight members of the SALA visited four libraries in Providence, which was part of the organizations 3rd Annual SALA Library Crawl. The libraries included the Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Providence Athenaeum, the Rockefeller Library at Brown, and the John Hay Library, which houses Browns Special Collections.
“The Library Crawl is a GSLIS and SALA tradition that energizes and inspires students and professional librarians,” said SALA President Sam Simas. “It is an opportunity to connect to the Rhode Island library community, see friendly faces in the program, and learn, hands-on, about new and interesting facets of librarianship.”
At the Fleet Library, students explored the main library, visited with special collections librarians and had a look at RISD’s very diverse art materials collection. The tour included a trip to the Visual and Material Resource Center, where students could touch and feel hundreds of different materials that RISD students utilize for classroom projects.
With their next stop at the Providence Athenaeum, the group learned about the organizations history, walked through various rooms, and viewed a few of the rare books the library had in its possession.
After the students had lunch with five librarians from Brown University, they toured the Center for Digital Scholarship within the Rockefeller Library and discovered how the institution is providing many services for its student body. The also included a trip to the Bindery and Repair Unit, where students spent time engaging with staff from the preservation department.
The Library Crawl closed with an expedition across the street to the John Hay Library where students had a behind-the-scenes look at the Lincoln and Napoleon Collection, and the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, which featured thousands of miniature lead soldier models.
Simas noted that the SALA Library Crawl is a great way to meet several professional librarians in an informal setting, and his attendance at the event has proved to be an invaluable experience.
“Many students, myself included, have made professional relationships that have led to PFEs and even job opportunities,” said Simas. “It is a must-do as a part of your graduate experience; luckily, it happens every Fall!”
A handful of us at SALA took a trip to New Haven, CT today for our 2nd SALA Library Crawl! We were lucky enough to explore some incredible libraries including Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library and Classic’s Library, the New Haven Free Public Library, and the Haas Arts Library.
Not only are these crawls a great way to get familiar with all kinds of libraries, but it is also a great way to network and to meet some amazing people in our field!
Stay tuned for future SALA library crawls & join us next time!
Here are some of our favorite photos of the day:
Imparting enduring values with changing instruction models
At ALA, we know that the future relevance of libraries and library professionals will depend on what we do for people rather than what we have for people. What isn’t entirely clear is what this evolution means for library education. A 2014 paper from Deloitte LLP’s Deloitte University Press, “The Lifetime Learner,”(PDF) offers a revealing look at higher education that may help us find some answers. It describes a new landscape in which individuals must weigh the increasing costs of a traditional education against the uncertainty of a future payoff; and the emergence of “a rich ecosystem of semistructured, unorthodox learning providers” to meet the “disparate needs and expectations of individual learners.” Is it worth it, they ask, to achieve a four-year, campus-based degree when technological advancements reduce the lifespan of specific skills and the globalized, automated workforce must constantly learn and retrain?