Monday, November 23, 2015

Information Professionals Panel with SLA

Getting an MLIS doesn't mean you have to work in a public, academic, or school library. Come meet librarians and information professionals working in government, health systems, nonprofit, digital media and other non-traditional settings at this panel joint-hosted by SLA and ALA. Panelists include:
  • Mary Wittenbreer or Jennifer Feeken (Regions Hospital)
  • Robert Nicholl (American Swedish Institute)
  • Sarah Quimby (MN Historical Society)
  • Phil Seibel (Aldis Systems)
  • Jean Anderson (Minnesota State Law Library)
The panel will be held Monday, November 30th, starting at 6pm in CdC 20. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Student-to-Staff 2015 Recap Post

Well, it has been a few months since ALA Annual in San Francisco, but I finally have a chance to write up a bit about my experiences. Better late than never?

Student-to-Staff: Work with ODLOS

As part of the Student-to-Staff program, you are assigned to an ALA unit to help out for 16 hours during the conference. I received my unit assignment in March--the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) which became the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) by the time of ALA. All Student-to-Staff participants take a survey about their goals and interests prior to assignment, and I was very pleased with my. ODLOS matched my interests in librarianship really well.

Jacqueline Woodson accepting the
Coretta Scott King Book Award

During my time with ODLOS, I mainly helped out at different events around the conference, including the Bookmobile Saturday Author Luncheon, the Diversity & Outreach Fair, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast,  the Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture (featuring Dr. Carla D. Hayden of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore) and Stonewall Book Awards.

In general, I helped set up and take down from events. I also took tickets at some events, helped direct foot traffic at others, and moved a lot of books to a different building for the Stonewall Book Awards (P.S. the Stonewall Book Awards are free to attend and some of the publishers send along free copies of the winners or nominees). For many of the events I helped out with, I usually got to attend at least part of them (the Coretta Scott King Book Awards were my favorite).

It was really neat to meet people from within ALA and outside ALA. I knew that ALA was a large conference, but helping out ODLOS, visiting the ALA office areas, and watching my unit try to balance prep for all their programs really helped me appreciate how large an undertaking the ALA Annual Conference really is.

Student-to-Staff: Other Stuff

A few other Student-to-Staff members at dinner on our first night

Besides the work, another aspect of the Student-to-Staff program is the social aspect. There are a total of forty people in the program. Early on, everyone is added to a secret Facebook group and a mailing list, so we have a chance to communicate prior to and during the conference. The group traditionally meets for dinner on the first night, and then smaller groups often get together other nights of the conference. They also pair us up as roommates. It was really neat to meet students from other programs and find some familiar faces at the conference.


Slides from a session on true storytelling programming
It was sometimes challenging to fit regular sessions into my schedule around everything else going on. However, I did get to attend a few interesting ones:
  • From Maker to Make-HER: Leveling the STEM Playing Field for Girls. Sunnyvale Library's runs maker programming for girls to encourage interest in STEM. One thing I liked about this program was that the programming included important females in the young girls' lives, so that the adults around them also felt empowered to explore further with the girls.  We also got to try making a simple light-up jewel for our name badges using paper circuits! If the program sounds interesting, check out the Make-HER blog.   
  • Lady Liberty at the Library: Immigrant Integration and a New Role for Librarians. I was only able to attend part of this session, but the main idea was that a library staff member can going through training and become accredited by the Bureau of Immigrant Appeals (BIA). This would allow the staff member to assist immigrants with confusing paperwork and online forms.
  • What do LIS Students Really Think About Their Education? Earlier this year, a group of students who created and planned the 2015 Symposium on Library and Information Science (LIS) Education led a discussion on LIS education from a student perspective. It was fascinating to hear from other schools. It also highlighted how students in many programs are facing similar challenges, but how hard it is to connect across schools to talk about these issues or work together to create change.
  • Naked Truth: connect.create.contribute. The Mill Valley Public Library in California runs this really neat live true storytelling program (think This American Life, StoryCorps or The Moth). There are three parts: evening performances by local professional storytellers, live storytelling workshops, and digital storytelling workshops. They also brought along one of their professional storytellers to share a bit of the event. Here's the Naked Truth website and their toolkit for other libraries.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Apply for Student-to-Staff

Apply Today for ALA Student-to-Staff

Applications for ALA's Student-to-Staff program are now open! The Student-to-Staff program is an opportunity for 40 ALA student chapter members from across the country to attend the ALA annual conference for free. St. Kate's ALA student chapter, via our faculty advisor, can nominate one person for the program. In exchange for working four hours a day (or a total of 20 hours), students in the program receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses (students are responsible for transportation to/from the conference) at the 2016 ALA National Conference in Orlando.

Who is eligible?

Any student who applies for the nomination from St. Kate's should be:
  • An active member of the St. Kate's ALA student chapter
  • A student member of ALA nationally (you can sign up online) through the conference;
  • Available to secure transportation to and attend the full conference, June 23-28, 2016 in Orlando, FL; and
  • Willing to write up your experience on the ALA student chapter blog

How do I apply?

Application is made by short essay, emailed to the ALA student chapter faculty advisor, Sarah Park Dahlen ( The essay should be approximately 250 words (one page) and address the following:
  • Your active participation in the ALA student chapter at St. Kate's;
  • Your demonstrated leadership skills;
  • A clear picture of what you hope to achieve by attending the conference, particularly in the volunteer activities; and
  • How you will use your participation to promote and improve St. Kate's MLIS program.
Deadline to apply: Friday, November 6th at 5pm

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

5 Ways to Make MLA Work for You (as a Student)

We had a great time learning about the Minnesota Library Association from Maggie Snow. Since I know not everyone can attend, I wanted to share some of the ways you might get involved with MLA as a student.

1) Join.
Membership is heavily discounted while you are a student. Join MLA for $25/year or even better, join ALA and MLA for $38/year.
2) Sign up for the annual conference.
There's still time to register for the annual conference, one of the best opportunities you'll have to meet library professionals from around the state. Bonus: it's in St. Paul this year. You can register online through October 2nd. Don't forget you can get reimbursed from the Student Governance Organization.

3) Volunteer at conference.
Registration too high? Want a chance to help out at the conference and meet library professionals? There are spots for library students to volunteer in exchange for half off the registration costs.

4) Join a committee or subunit.
If you really want to strengthen your MLA game, library students are welcome to join a subunit or committee. Take a look at the current subunits and committees and email them directly if you are interested.

5) Attend a subgroup event or webinar
Some subunits and committees offer events for you to attend throughout the year. Like Readers' Advisory? Attend a Tomes on Tap. Want to learn more about academic libraries? Academic and Research Library Division offers an ARLD Day every spring. Watch the MLA calendar for upcoming events that fit your interests.

This isn't everything you can do. Other ideas we talked about included present at a conference, applying for a leadership development program like MILE or Emerging Leaders, or get involved with advocacy/library legislative day.

Thanks, again, to Maggie Snow for joining us. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, October 13th from 5-5:45pm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An Evening with Andrew Smith

Thanks to a partnership with Addendum Books, we have a chance to co-host a YA author event. Join us in CdC 17 at 7pm this Thursday, September 24th, for An Evening with Andrew Smith.

Andrew Smith is the author Winger, Grasshopper Jungle, and more. Please share with anyone who might be interested.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall 2015 Meeting Dates

Here are our meeting dates for the fall! We're meeting from 5:00-5:45pm in CdC 18 (except for one meeting):
  • September 15th: Interest meeting

  • September 22nd: Meeting in CdC 20. Visit from MLA President, Maggie Snow
  • October 13th
October 27th
November 10th 

  • November 24th

  • December 8th 
We hope to see you there! If you are unable to attend, you can keep up with the group through our email list. Feel free to contact us at if you would like to be added.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Announcing 2015-2016 Leadership

I happy to introduce our new Executive Committee for 2015-2016.
  • Chair: Tasha McLachlan
  • Co-Chair: Katherine Warde
  • Secretary: Ann-Marie Begnaud
  • Treasurer: Kaia Sievert 
Special thanks to Tasha, Katherine, and Ann-Marie for stepping up and taking on a leadership role with the ALASC!

2014-2015: A Year in Review

2014-2015 was an exciting year for ALASC! Here's are some of the highlights:

Volunteering at the Alphabet Forest

St. Kate MLIS Volunteers
Photo Credit: Alphabet Forest
Before the school year began, ALASC members were out and about promoting literacy by helping out at the Alphabet Forest at the Minnesota State Fair.

Helping with the Highland Park Re-Opening

In October and November, several ALASC members got to take a look behind the scenes at the work going into renovating a library. It was exciting to help the Highland Park branch of Saint Paul Public Library get ready for their big re-opening.

A Day in the Life: Panel with Recent Graduates in Non-Traditional Libraries

A Day in the Life panel speakers
Our wonderful panel members (from left to right):
Andrew Crow, Margit Wilson, Kathryn Zielski,
and Amelia Snetting
At the beginning of the year, several ALASC members mentioned being interested in talking with recent alumni who had found jobs while others mentioned interest in non-traditional library positions. As a result, we co-sponsored A Day in the Life: Panel with Recent Graduates in Non-Traditional Libraries with the Special Libraries Association student chapter.

After snow postponed the fall panel, we had a great discussion in March with Andrew Crow, Knowledge Consultant Librarian at Allina Health; Amelia Snetting, Content Librarian at ShopperWorks; Margit Wilson, Assistant Librarian at the Walker Art Center; and Kathryn Zielski, Community Engagement Librarian at Third Iron.

Native People in the Information Profession Panel

In April, we worked with our faculty advisor, Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, to help sponsor a second panel on Native People in the Information Profession. We had a wonderful set of speakers: Debbie Reese, author of American Indians in Children’s Literature; Jody Gray, Diversity Outreach Librarian and the Department of American Indian Studies liaison at the University of Minnesota Libraries; and Edwin Schenk, a current MLIS student and Library Director at North Central University. We talked about issues and challenges with Native representation in children's literature and what steps librarians can take to help, the role of librarians in serving an American Indian Studies department as well as reaching out to Native students on campus, and Native people in the information profession.

Visit from Courtney Young, ALA President

Courtney Young
Photo Credit: Katherine Warde

Our final and biggest event of the year was bringing the 2015-2016 ALA President, Courtney Young, to campus in April. We partnered with a lot of other groups to make this possible, including the American Library Association (ALA), the MLIS department, the Student Governance Organization (SGO), and the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA).

First, Courtney was our featured speaker at the MLIS Summit, where she spoke about advocacy, diversity, and leadership as well as answered many questions from the crowd.

ALASC students with Courtney Young

After the MLIS Summit, we wanted a chance to talk with Ms. Young with just students, so we all went out for Ice Cream at Izzy's and chatted about everything from getting involved in ALA to our favorite books.

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2014-2015 a great year! We're looking forward to seeing you all again this fall.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ice Cream with Courtney Young at Izzy's

Do like ice cream? Want a chance to talk with American Library Association President Courtney Young in an informal setting?

Ms. Young will be speaking at our MLIS Summit on Monday, April 27th. The St. Kate’s ALA Student Chapter would like to invite MLIS students to a students-only event that will give you the chance to mingle with Ms. Young in a relaxed and fun setting. This meet up will take place directly after the Summit at Izzy’s Ice Cream from 8:30pm-10:00pm.

The reserved room has limited space. Please register by Wednesday, April 13th if you would like to attend. Please note that registration indicates a commitment to attend.

Also, all students will be responsible for purchasing their own ice cream. Don't forget your wallet!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ALASC Leadership Positions for 2015-2016

It's time to think about finding new leadership for the 2015-2016 school year. A student leadership position will allow you to strengthen your leadership and event planning skills, get involved in the program, and network with LIS professionals. We have two formal positions open. We hope you'll consider applying! Here's what you need to know:


Both the Chair and the Co-Chair help plan events and activities for the group during the year. In addition, each position has individual responsibilities.

You run the ALASC meetings and act as the representative and liaison with ALA headquarters. You oversee ALASC and executive committee, shaping the group for the year and moving it forward.

You take over for the Chair in times when they cannot be present. You also take charge of publicizing the time for meetings using email and social media. You liaison with SGO and let them know about any business affecting ALASC.

You can find full position descriptions in the ALASC Constitution: Section 3

Nominations Process

We are now accepting nominations for both chair and co-chair. To nominate yourself for a position, please email Alicia AuBuchon with your name, whether you are running for Chair or Co-Chair, and 2-3 sentences on what you hope to accomplish in the position. If you'd like to nominate someone else, please send their name, email address, and which position, and then we will email them to accept or deny the nomination. Please send the nominations by Tuesday, April 21.

New Leadership and Election Schedule

  • Nominations due: 4/21
  • Voting opens: 4/27
  • Voting ends: 5/8
  • New leaders announced via email: 5/11
  • New leaders and current leaders co-lead last meeting: 5/20
If you have any questions about this process, please contact Alicia AuBuchon, Kaia Sievert, or Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Advocacy, Diversity & Leadership: 2015 MLIS Summit Featuring Courtney Young

Come to the 2015 MLIS Summit on April 27, 2015 from 5-8 pm in the Rauenhorst Ballroom (Coeur de Catherine, 3rd Floor).

Library advocacy is growing responsibility for libraries and library workers of all types. Courtney Young, ALA President, will be presenting "Advocacy, Diversity & Leadership" at our annual St. Catherine University MLIS Summit. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the library and information science community are all invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

This event is open to everyone, so please share with people you know may be interested.

Space is limited, so please fill out this short registration form by April 6th (deadline may be extended).

This event is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), the St. Catherine University Master of Library and Information Science Program (MLIS), the American Library Association (ALA) Student Chapter, the Student Governance Organization (SGO) and the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Native People in the Information Profession

Native People in the Information Profession Panel
Tuesday, April 7
6:00 pm in Mendel 106

Come hear from a panel of three Native American speakers working in the library and information science profession. Their stories, views, and advice are invaluable not just to those planning on going into library science, but to anyone working in information fields, be it marketing, communication, journalism, or information/knowledge management. Panelists include:
  • Edwin Schenk (Lakota/Ojibwa): St. Kate's student, Master of Library and Information Science, Library Director at North Central University.

    Edwin will give a brief history of Native Americans in LIS and explain how LIS is relevant to Native communities. He will then discuss how Native perspectives are represented/not represented in LIS education, and conclude by sharing some of his experience as a Lakota/Ojibwa in the MLIS program at St. Kate’s.
  • Jody Gray (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe): Diversity Outreach Librarian and liaison to the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota

    The Department of American Indian Studies at UMN was the first  of its kind originating in 1969.  It has been a leader in language revitalization and sovereignty issues.  Jody will present the major issues to consider when providing library services to an academic department in a university.  What impact does the state and University’s history play in the development of curriculum and student success?  What role can libraries play? 

  • Debbie Reese (Tribally enrolled at Nambe Pueblo): author, researcher, and publisher of American Indians in Children's Literature

    America loves to love Indians, but the Indians they love are more fiction than fact. In her presentation, Debbie will provide tips of how to tell the difference between materials that accurately portray Native peoples in the U.S. and Canada. With this information, you will be better able to make informed choices in selecting book for your library or classroom and weeding materials. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Save the Date: Courtney Young Visiting for the MLIS Summit

Save the Date!

ALASC is helping bring Courtney Young, ALA President, to campus to present on advocacy at our annual MLIS Program Summit.

Please join us Monday, April 27th from 5-8pm in the Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine (3rd Floor).

Refreshments will be served.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Day in the Life: Panel with Recent Graduates in Non-Traditional Libraries

Poster for A Day in the Life

On Monday, March 16th, please join the St. Kate’s ALASC and SLA student groups to hear a panel of recent alumni talk about their work in special libraries and non-traditional fields. They will share how they found their current positions, what a typical day involves for them, and which of their student experiences benefited them most as they entered the job market. Panelists include:

  • Andrew Crow, Knowledge Consultant Librarian, Allina Health
  • Amelia Snetting, Content Librarian, ShopperWorks
  • Margit Wilson, Assistant Librarian, Walker Art Center
  • Kathryn Zielski, Community Engagement Librarian, Third Iron

The program will be held in CdC 20, beginning at 6:00pm. Snacks will be served!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meeting Dates and ALASC Events: Spring 2015

We're looking forward to another great semester. We'll be meeting from 5-5:45 pm in CdC 19 on the following dates:

  • February 11 (with PLG)
  • February 25
  • March 11  (with PLG)
  • March 25
  • April 8 (with PLG)
  • April 15 (tentatively, if needed to prepare for summit)
  • April 22
  • May 6 (with PLG) 
  • May 20
In addition, we have the following events planned:
  • A Day in the Life: Panel with Recent Graduates in Non-Traditional Libraries on March 16th at 6pm in CdC 20
  • Native Americans in LIS Panel: Tuesday, April 7th
  • A Visit from ALA President Courtney Young: Monday, April 27th (MLIS Summit and potential event for students)
We hope to see you there! If you are unable to attend, you can keep up with the group on our wiki or through our email list. Feel free to contact us at if you would like to be added to our list.