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Library Citation Mad Libs!

One of the hardest parts about citing sources and acknowledging the work of others is first figuring out what the hell it is we even need to cite. For early academic career researchers, it can be confusing why you need to include things like author, title, publisher, etc, when you could just link to a URL. Identifying building block components of different formats and then organizing all of those pieces into a uniform and consistent style guide that is formatted differently for different disciplines is not intuitive. It doesn’t even make sense if you think about it… but we do it, and we expect our students to do it. This is a mad lib activity I put together to try to make this process a little more fun and a little more fundamental…. back to the basics of what goes in a citation. This whole worksheet is heavily inspired by Kate Angell, who said something about mad libs and citations on facebook earlier this week. 

For this activity,  I break the class into small groups and have them complete the worksheet. I then collect their citations and together, we figure out how to organize them into a Works Cited list (so, far, I’ve done this for MLA classes). 

In the future, I want to make mad libs for journal articles, and oh oh oh! I want to take it to higher ordered thinking, and figure out how to apply the mad lib treatment to the kind of BEAM information literacy teaching that Kate Ganski has been implementing. 

(also, I don’t know why this is about two ‘Kates’, but it is. I know people not named, ‘kate’, i promise.)

The winter fowl fly in formation echoing the ridge line of #thedacks . #bestcommuteever #lakechamplain #plattslife

The winter fowl fly in formation echoing the ridge line of #thedacks . #bestcommuteever #lakechamplain #plattslife

The Ever Elusive Entry-Level Library Job

Having moved to Vermont recently after completing my MSLIS, I can relate to the struggle and opportunity of looking for an ‘entry’ (2 years or less experience required) library job. Here’s some things things we already know:

  • The number of jobs for each state corresponded roughly to the state’s population
  • there simply aren’t many positions available for new graduates

The major revelation in Tewell’s research on the library job market, is that it confirms what we n00bs already know: that there are fewer jobs than there are applicants. Tewell does offer strategies to find job placement (being a librarian about your job search and researching those job listing sites), as well as discuss the value of internships and experiential education (hell, that’s what attracted me to the Palmer LIU… because it required an internship).

What’s most interesting is that the dwindling of entry-level jobs means that the jobs that are out there are increasingly specialized… so. it’s still worth the investment to pursue higher education and to network through experiential internships.

Telegeography is my new jam!


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