Friday, January 29, 2010

27 Questions (lifted from ALA Learning)

Because I know you want to know more about me! I was just reading Librarian In Black's post about contributing to ALA Learning and saw these 27 questions and wanted to answer them.

1. Your 1 Sentence Bio

Anna Lynn Martino, giggling, baking, crafting, ride-or-die librarian.

2. Do you blog? If yes, how did you come up with your blog name?

Yes. I was thinking about how much time I spend flipping through pages of books, magazines, the internet and how I also just get "lost" in the process. Time passes me by and the next second I look up and 2-3 hours have passed or I'm finished with a book or I've become lost in a recipe. Originally, I was going to call it "Lost in the Stacks" but it was already taken.

3. What is your professional background?

I studied art history at UCSC then I was adrift for a while because, like a lot of people, I did not want to go straight into graduate school not knowing what to do and also did not want to spend all the money without having some purpose. I know a lot of people who went to graduate school and then decided they did not like it...I did not really have the means to do that so I waited and tried to figure it out first. I ended up working as a receptionist, bartender, a Circulation supervisor, a cataloger and an archivist. And for the past 3+ years, I've been a school librarian, which I really did not expect to be doing after graduating but it's been pretty challenging, amazing, interesting and fun. (ssshhh I'm also a reference librarian at the public library)

4. What training do you do? staff? patrons? types of classes?

I am lucky enough to have a position where the librarians teach a year long class. My patrons are middle schoolers, faculty, administration, and parents. Our class is called Library and Technology 7 and we prepare our students for the next 6 years of there time at our school as well as beyond. Also, if they transfer, we hopefully, give them skills to use throughout their school careers and life.

5. What training do you think is most important to libraries right now?

As a school librarian, I think, one of the most important things we can teach our students is being media savvy (this includes print and online). We want them to be smart and safe users and to think about what they are doing whether it is written out or posted somewhere. Literacy in all aspects whether it is offline or online is key.

6. Where do you get your training?

I take it from everyone and everything. I read a lot, I take web classes when I can, I attend conference, I interact with other librarians in the same specialization, I watch web seminars if they are relevant and available. This career is always changing and transforming and it's difficult to keep on top of everything out there but I pick and choose and I am lucky to have found a lot of amazing people online who are much more savvy and up to speed than I am and am so glad they post and tweet and hold webinars and conferences and everything else they do. So, thank you!!!

7. How do you keep up?

I follow a lot of people!!! Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed...I try to find them and then I follow them :)

8. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing libraries right now?

School libraries are 1 of the first things to go in times of economic hardship. They are not viewed as being relevant when teachers and curriculum take priority whether it's because they have to keep up with standards and NCLB or there just isn't a budget for a library. Those schools that have libraries still are very lucky, librarians can work with teachers to develop a great research collection but those that do not have libraries are at a disadvantage. I work at both a school library and a public library and the disparity between the two is noticable. Also, I work at a pretty well-funded public library but kids are not getting the same research skills that they would get at well-used, respected and appreciated school library.

9. What are the biggest challenges for trainers?

Well, things are not all sunshine and lollipops at a school library, and sometimes it's difficult to put on paper what it is we are contributing to the community. I think, one of the challenges is proving that you are still relevant when you cannot sit and point at something that is really tangible. Some things you have to see and experience over a certain period of time. Also, because it's the library and not a specific "core" course, at times people do not see it as important as other established courses. So, one has to continually assess what is happening in the library to prove that we are still important to the school community.

10. What exciting things are you doing training wise?

Well, we have included a new unit on Web 2.0 tools (is it still Web 2.0?) and are introducing students to new ways of collaborating online. Students use these things already but we also include discussions on safety and ethics. It is really interesting seeing what students find important to share with their classmates and you also get to learn something new that they find and that you were not necessarily aware of. Also, there are those AHA moments with kids that always make me smile and makes me feel that I'm doing a proper job.

11. What do you wish you were doing?

I am doing a lot of what I want but I would like to be more tech savvy. I am always in awe of those people who always seem ahead of the do they do that? Do they ever sleep? Also, how can I incorporate some crafting time into my! that would be pretty awesome! Sometimes I wish I could teach a home ec class during the summer.

12. What would you do with a badger?

Like the animal?!? The funny thing about this question is that I am A BADGER!! It's the "house" I'm in at school!! Pretty fierce creatures. Maybe I can have it taste test all my baking experiments...

13. What's your favorite food?

Pretty much all food. I love eating. Right now, I'm on a ramen hunt..and also searching for the best sandwiches in L.A.

14. If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you want with you?

The pack of letters from my dad. I think those would keep me hopeful for someone to come and save me and also remind me to not sit on my booty and figure out a way to survive.

15. Do you know what happens when a grasshopper kicks all the seeds out of a pickle?

Pickles have seeds? Sorry I don't like pickles so I have no idea...

16. Post it notes or the back of your hand?

The back of my hand...I'd lose post it notes.

17. Windows or Mac?

As long as I can get online I'm happy.

18. Talk about one training moment you'd like to forget

I think I already forgot what it was...

19. What's your take on handshakes?

The creepiest thing is a limp, soft handshake. Those give me the whillies! Should be firm but not enough to break my hand. Let's just do the terrorist fist bump!

20. Global warming: yes or no?


21. How did you get into this line of work?

The story is that I started volunteering at my elementary school library and just never could get myself out of libraries. So there..I tried doing other things but the pull was too strong.

22. What is the best part of your job?

All the kids I get to help and their AHA moments and the laughter at work. We are always laughing even when we are having a "bad" day.

23. Why should someone else follow in your shoes?

There needs to be more school librarians! Not volunteers or parents who are just thrown into the job but people who are trained and know the issues. I can't believe how many schools have random people working in the school library without training. Schools should pay those people to be trained if they are going to do that...We need to prepare our kids to be lifelong learners and the place where that happens in their early years in school!

24. Sushi or hamburger


25. LSW or ALA

ALA. I don't know what LSW is. Sorry, should I know this?

26. What one person in the world do you want to have lunch with and why?

I'd like to meet Secretary of State Clinton. Just because...we've been talking about her at work and I'd like to pick her brain.

27. What cell phone do you have and why?

I have an enV2. It seems a bit old and outdated now and I've only had it for less that a year. Phones seems so advanced. I want to get the MyTouch though. It's quite impressive..a mini computer in the palm of your hand.


michelle said...

I loved reading this. Thanks, Anna. It is interesting how we perceive ourselves. I see you as tech savvy, so it was interesting to hear that you wish you were more so. You do a lot.

Anna M. said...

Thanks Shell. There is so much out there and I just feel like it's so difficult to find all the time to keep up. Sometimes I just want to watch what all these super techy librarians approach all this information. You do a lot too!

Guinevere said...

I'm a first-time visitor to your blog (thanks for stopping by mine!) and it was nice to read this post as an introduction. :)

Like you, I tend to get lost in my reading. I may not notice what time it is, what I was supposed to be doing before I picked up a book and flipped it open (something I cannot resist) or if someone is talking to me. Until they become insistent, that is. But then, that's why I love reading so much!