Linda's Professional Journey

A Librarian's experiences and notes

Reflecting on Book reviews

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I am currently back-reading ACLR CLR January 2019, and there is an article titled, “Scholarship as conversation: Using book reviews to think about scholarly communication.”by Hailley Fargo, Nicholas Rowland and Jeffrey Knapp.

In the article, there is mention that undergraduate or non scholarly people misunderstanding the idea of book reviews, thus using them as peer review sources. As a former academic reference librarian, I have explained in part that book reviews aren’t original research, and may be used as background research and may have some citation power if you’re trying to use it in a classroom form, but as a paper citation – it is not strong enough. There are also exclusion fields in research databases to omit book reviews.

The article did mention that for librarians, book reviews are used for collection development, or for writing samples for colleagues who won’t be able to read the entire book and need a summary. Over the years and as a professional, I would advocate reading it and even had goals of joining up with professional magazines as a book reviewer. I have used and written book reviews as a way to practice my writing, but also as a platform for promoting read a-likes.

There is a point to this article, because book reviews is used as a tool for scholarly conversation. Book reviews can be used to prove your point, very much like a read and response paper. This can elevate the information literary framework for “Scholarship as framework.” Of course this doesn’t help with the deluge of information overload, but done artfully and concisely, what’s to say that book reviews can’t be used as a citation in a discussion board prompt? I think about this as I remember my discussion board responses I made in my graduate level classes.

As always there’s a great deal of citations that this article uses to try and follow up with reading, but that is one of the many tasks I have to do, as I try to be a sponge and try to control myself in my Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb search.


Written by Linda

June 1, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Thoughts about Autism

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These past years, I have made it a point to be more mindful for specific disabilities that I thought about as a I grew up. Autism, and what the spectrum may entail. I remember my first recollection about reading this disability, from Ann M. Martin’s Kristy and the Secret of Susan. I also learned that she has published Rain Reign, a book recently about the same theme.

Recently I learned that Sesame Street is introducing  Julia, their first Muppet character with Autism. I also found this helpful from Sesame Street social initiatives to on the topic of Autism among young children.

There are much books and media available and I had read this book previously as a textbook for a class: The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum.

I also recently read about this conversation between Emily Brooks and Nicole Chung, that speaks about current education issues, and how having a disability is more challenging under the current government.

Mr. Dude writes a blog entry about working with students with autism in a library environment.


Written by Linda

March 23, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Trends/News

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Updating…2017 onward

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It has been a very long period since I have been on this blog. The last time I have updated was back in October, 2016. I am still in school, working on my second masters, which has been an interest of mine, as I go wade deeper into my chosen second degree program. I have come to some terms, and I still am continually improving my self. I will be looking to writing/publishing some more.

Written by Linda

March 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Plans

Publishing with Blogs @ Baruch

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Baruch has embraced blogs as an educational tool with students. So this panel featured Baruch faculty and students that have used blogging as a way to talk about what they do. These are notes that I took, with some links to the blogs that I saw that I thought was useful. Many of the blogs shown were actually only in house use, meaning that it is not public, so it it only course specific.

Wide range of publishing on this platform as case study

Google analytics is free

Micro mongraphs… Thru small repetitive tasks.. Are students allowed to do historian type work to learn.

Blog focused on. Written by students at Baruch

Value added to get readers to come back.

Deliver information

Creating engagement (contests)

Blog focused on. Originally a print magazine, that transition into a digital one.

Be ahead of technology in a user friendly way

Interactive mapping.

Can allow for more pre class work. (Inform students, of what is the agenda beforehand)

Can have a public and working blog.
Librarians at Baruch Reference has a blog. 10 years old

Reference question posts.. Allow students to help themselves…

Keep it open… So that way students can learn.

Alternative way for students to participate.

Make blogging part of the grade if blogging is used as a method in class.

Remedial assistant.

(Way to speak out against wasteful time vs. productive time.)

Online participate.. 80/20% rule.

Real time and not just a prescribe time…flexibility.

Written by Linda

April 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Events/Conferences

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Launching an online course

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For this presentation Elizabeth Gareis presented in person.


Presenting content
Student evaluations

Choosing a course

Obtain equipment and software

  • Desktop/laptop
  • Headset with mic
  • LMS
  • Screen casting software
  • Video production equipment

Choose a platform suitable for your needs (Presenter used a blackboard environment)

Design a syllabus



Pause and reflect slides in presentation.

Discussion boards

Online learning..  (Requires great discipline)

When planning, be prepare for changes.

Erin Eatough– headed up the second portion of this panel as a remote presenter.

Her agenda was this:

  • Quality matters
  • Best practice recs
  • Ex course

Written by Linda

April 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

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Blackboard Collaborate @ 17th Annual Teaching & Technology Conference

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Okay so this was the first panel I attended at this conference, and it was mostly a run down of how to use Blackboard, what features are there. This was a panel that was definitely targeted toward instructors who would be interested in learning new features of Blackboard which is a program that is used by CUNY. This was a panel presented by Kevin Wolff and Caroline Peppers from Baruch.

Agenda for this panel

  • Tools and features
  • How to create a session
  • Best practices q&a

What is Blackboard Collaborate?

  • Online learning and collaboration platform, designed specifically for learning.

*Always run audio setup wizard before any session*
Two options.. File window or from audio video panel

Graph showing that there’s more fear than excitement for faculty members vs. IT professionals.

Whenever you’re in a lecture panel.
-Unclick talk button when not speaking to allow for others to speak and lower chance of feedback or background noise. Be in an area that is quiet to minimize background noise.


  • Alert with video/audio issue
  • Can ask questions without interrupting the lecture
  • Send hyperlinks within chatbox

Whiteboard features and as moderators… you can control:

  • Manage pages
  • Interact or engage or not?
  • Powerpoint slides
  • Privileges

Have to use pointer or pen tool to specifically interact with white board.

Save whiteboard in .wbd or .wbf files to reuse in future.

Can share other programs opened and maximize on desktop

Good only for Apps like Office Suite and not streaming video

Web tour

  • Can bring students on a virtual field tour
  •  Follow me.. And there’s a timer.. So mention in class chat to be aware of time, as you pull the students back in.

Know Blackboard Technical support, there’s rich support.

Starting session

               Allow them to come in at least 15 mins in advance.

Practice makes purpose

Familarize yourself with interface

Faculitate studeny orientation to technology

Engage participants

Check frequently for understanding.

Written by Linda

April 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Events/Conferences

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Research and Grants @ PSCCUNY

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This was also an panel where it was packed with speakers within CUNY who has all received grants, and was giving a bit of their experience and answering questions.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Linda

April 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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Junior Faculty meeting @ PSCCuny

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This happened to be my first Union meeting, so I ended up taking a lot of notes, since I found it relevant to my career. I am only listing down the notes I jotted down, and while this may or may not be relevant, Also as I sat in the attendees, listening to a panel of 2 to four faculty, many of the notes I wrote down have overlapped, so I’ll be editing consciously. I’ll be posting a read more tag.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Linda

April 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Flood of meeting notes to come!

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On March 28, 2014 I was able to attend the 17th Annual Teaching and Technology Conference at Baruch College, where there were three hours of panels/presentations made. Following that, I attended two PSC CUNY Junior Faculty meetings. I took a lot of notes, and of course in the next following entries, I will be just updating blog entries with my notes.

This is mostly for my records, and by no means am I trying to dictate someone else’s experience. Read at your own peril, or draw up popcorn.

For Baruch’s conference I attended these panels:

Blackboard Collaborate: Teach Beyond the Classroom
Publishing with Blogs@Baruch
Launching an Online Course

PSCCuny: How to Survive &  Thrive in first seven years at CUNY 

Tenure Community College
Grants and Research

Written by Linda

March 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Publishing Rollercoaster ACRL Webinar

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Yesterday I was able to attend an ACRL webinar about publishing ups and downs over at Queensboro Community College. These are my notes as I took it down. They are incomplete and by no means is meant to tell your publishing journey. Statement in parenthesis are my own notes/observations.

Chris Hollister , Buffalo, NY
Angela Courtney, Bloomington, IL
Barbara Fister, St. Peter, MN
Melinda Dermody, Syracuse University

What general advice about writing can you impart?

  • Rejection is to be expected. (Still you can learn from rejections)
  • Select publication that is relevant for the paper that you are writing about.
  • Keep an eye on calls for paper from professional org

What do you find difficulty about writing? Strategies with research and writing.

  • Encountering ideas that are interesting and useful
  • Having time and energy
  • Practice practice practice.
  • Emulate styles of people who write well.
  • Partner with people who edit and write well.
  • Research partner doesn’t have to be colleague.. Partner either with faculty or partner up with a lot of people.
  • Getting first paragraph down is hard.
  • Drifting away from outlining, and better to outline.
  • Get in writing groups.

What are weakness recognize in LIS manuscripts? (709 papers) Suggest ways of addressing these weakness

  • Weakness in writing skills. Uncertainty.
  • Not caring…about the subject that they write about.. Consider the reader.
  • No original content? (Regurgitation)
  • Have to be careful with broad generalization… More important to back it up with facts.  Ex. Ref lib are frustrated with virtual ref… and that’s it… no other things to back it up.

-What do you see as most important qualities of great professional writing?

  • Be sure that you’re not hiding behind common phrases..
  • Good organization.
  • Be able to emulate in a voice that is appropriate for that genre of publication.
  • Clarity and precision
  • Avoid multiple words
  • Logical and consistent flow
  • Development of personal style
  • Have to care and be connected with what you’re writing about. Dedication to research.

-How can librarian find support… Financial time value for writing and pub endeavors

  • Depends on where you work… Institution and dept.
  • Make time.. and it is what it is mentality… Often outside of 9-5 time period.
  • Grants
  • Perseverance.. Push through… Librarians are a social bunch.
  • Choose something of personal interest
  • Surround yourself with a group of like minded people.
  • Manage your own calender..make it your job.

-What are useful ways to find venue for writing? What are best ways of matching a writing ideas to appropriate LIS publishers or publications?

  • Professional organizations, discussion lists
  • Take a look at organizations of the content you want to write for..
  • Poster sessions.. Helps you test waters.
  • Scholarship
  • Hang out where librarians hang out/talk to people/ twitter..webinars..discussion lists.. Find niches.. Open access journals.
  • Directory/publisher opportunities/subject wikis
  • Read journals of pub interests..looks at editorial boards..look at writing styles…consider how does journals treat their library…consider what your content is?

-What value do you see in nontraditional pub venues such as bloggging and online journals? Does this kind of writing have value for our professional?

  • Put things out in the world..
  • Library blogs.
  • Be sure to be distinctive in online publication.. Online or open access… Be something noteworthy for scholarship.
  • Be sure to be allow to know what is noteworthy and authoritative.. Not just in it for an agenda. … Warning about as a predatory print.

-Do you think librarians should be writing for general public or for scholarly publications in other academic disciplines?

  • Depends on library and type of work.. Academic libraries should be writing scholarly pub.. And yes to publications in other academic publications.
  • Depends on librarian’s own choice.. Tho warning to not just focusing on that.. Writing should be a constant practice.
  • Depends on what you want to write. Agree for more writing either way. Researcher has to be able to write for a public and not just being a scholar..

-As librarian can we support open access publications? What if the best journal for your research aren’t OA? How about if you are invited to pub in a journal not oa friendly?

  • Awareness that publishers are changing.
  • Cant fit a square peg into a round one. Have to seek journals.

Questions to panel

-How did Chris begin an open access journal?

  • Google Online journal system… Ojs.. Downloadable platform.
  • Make sure it has the right editorial board to properly watch, attract submissions and show authenticity.

How would you become an editor, would you have to be invited?

  • Very easy to write to existing editorial panels to volunteer about joining to be an editor.
  • Start off as a manuscript reviewer.. And with work.. Be promoted from within?

Recommended websites to check out for publication leads.

Open Access Workflows in Academic Libraries
A Library Writer’s Blog

Written by Linda

March 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Events/Conferences

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