- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Information Today, Inc.; Second edition (October 15, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573874531
- ISBN-13: 978-1573874533
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,814,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Accidental Systems Librarian, Second Edition Second Edition
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"This new second edition of The Accidental Systems Librarian delivers a practical and perceptive guide to the ever growing career niche where technology blends into the work of library professionals. Nicole C. Engard gives a thorough accounting of the tasks involved with this kind of work sprinkled with helpful personal insights. As a one who accidentally fell into the profession myself, I recommend Nicole's book anyone considering-or already involved-with this corner of the profession."
-Marshall Breeding, independent consultant, author, and creator of Library Technology Guides.
"The focus on open source software and the importance of networking for systems librarians are powerful additions to this new edition of The Accidental Systems Librarian ... Very well done. ... an instant classic that every systems librarian will want." --Edward Iglesias, author, An Overview of the Changing Role of the Systems Librarian
"A great resource for those of us in this role by accident or choice. If you need new ideas on how to manage and master new technologies, acquire new skill sets, and use life lessons to solve problems and achieve career goals, this is the book for you." --Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis, archives & digital librarian, NSU Archives, Nova Southeastern University (Florida)
"Nicole C. Engard has written a well-rounded introduction to the trials, tribulations, treasures, and treats of systems librarianship. With this guide in hand, accidental (and new) systems librarians will be prepared to handle almost anything the job throws at them." --Ruth Kneale, intentional systems librarian and author, You Don't Look Like a Librarian
About the Author
Engard's interest in library technology started at the Jenkins Law Library in Philadelphia, where she worked as the web manager, metadata librarian, and librarian trainer. In 2007, she was named one of Library Journal's Movers & Shakers for her innovative uses of technology in libraries.
Engard received her BA in Literary Studies and Computer Programming from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and her MLIS from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is an active member of the Special Libraries Association and is on the committee that is spearheading the switch to WordPress for all chapter and division websites.
Some of Engard's previous publications include articles in Computers in Libraries, ONLINE Magazine, and the Journal of Hospital Librarianship. She has also written chapters for Thinking Outside the Book: Essays for Innovative Librarians (McFarland, 2008) and Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook, (American Library Association, 2010) both edited by Carol Smallwood. Most recently, she was the editor of Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data (Information Today, Inc., 2009) and Practical Open Source Software for Libraries (Chandos, 2010).
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Brian, and her two shelties, Coda and Beau.
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Top Customer Reviews
Over the last few decades, technology has become indispensable to libraries. We rely on technology to complete the majority of our job duties, so when it breaks, misbehaves, becomes outdated, or no longer meets our needs, we depend on Systems Librarians to come to the rescue. But what happens when one falls into the role without specific training? What should they know to be successful and maintain a healthy Systems department?
As the title suggests, The Accidental Systems Librarian is geared towards Librarians and Library staff that have been thrown into the role of Systems Librarian without much training. The first chapter details not only why this role is so important to the library, but also how to form the foundation of a Systems department. In addition, the authors compiled numerous resources needed to establish competencies for staff as well as the computer systems. The front matter notes there is a website associated with the book which updates the information regarding the links in text (see: http://tasl.web2learning.net/). The reader can email Engard directly, too, if they discover broken links or outdated information and it will be updated on the website, thus extending the relevance of the published book a while longer.
This book is divided into twelve chapters, three appendices, and a conclusion. The first four chapters are arranged as general guides on broad topics (e.g., "Systems Librarians as Change Agents," as well as critical desktop and web-based applications), with the remaining eight chapters focusing on specific topics such as networking, researching techniques, and independent study opportunities, to name a few. Each chapter is also further divided into sections which give more detailed explanations and lists resources to consult.
As someone not employed as a Systems Librarian, this reviewer thought the text was quite informative. There were several sections with information that, at first glance, seemed obvious until one asks: "Would I have thought to address that institution-wide?" These "obvious" points then become great reminders. For instance, Engard discusses the increased popularity of mobile computing and goes on to explain how to accommodate users by making the library's catalog and website mobile friendly. She also provides great advice on how one can learn to troubleshoot computer issues and what to do with old machines. The appendices are also fantastic resources. In particular, Appendix A provides the survey Engard used, Appendix B lists recommended readings, and Appendix C collates useful websites.
There were a few portions in the book that felt unfinished--for instance the section on web browsers. Engard details the benefits and drawbacks of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox but only writes a few sentences about Google Chrome. This reviewer also wishes Engard had discussed how Internet Explorer and Firefox have issues complying with current W3C web standards (see: http://www.w3.org/standards/) which can cause numerous websites to not load within those browsers. It would also have been wise to recommend libraries have at least two of the three standard browsers available on public PCs.
On the whole however, The Accidental Systems Librarian (2nd edition) is proving to be a great resource. This reviewer has already recommended it to several colleagues and friends who are interested, yet unfamiliar, with the topic and/or field of systems librarianship. I plan to keep this book handy and to look into the resources Engard has collected. While I have yet to actively search the website associated with the book, from what I have seen thus far it is a useful resource as well. I would especially recommend this book to librarians who are working in smaller libraries that don't necessarily have a systems department.
Nicole covers chapter by chapter what types of duties that a systems librarian may deal with on a daily basis, from managing the website to managing the ILS to continuing your education. While none of the chapters are in depth, Nicole covers them well enough to give a reader an understanding of what they're doing and provide additional resources to further their education. The extensive appendices and additional readings and resources are worth the cost of the book alone. And as an even greater bonus each chapter features quotes and stories from current librarians that provide a wealth of information.
This is a great resource for any librarian just entering the systems world and looking for information on how to get started. Older more experienced systems librarians will enjoy checking out the additional resources or chapters on information they maybe less familiar with in order to continue furthering their education. Overall a solid well written book and worth a spot on any librarians shelf.