Student Andrew Carlos Presents at Conferences to Share Technology Ideas

Student Andrew Carlos is on a mission to bring new technologies into librarianship. He presents at conferences including California Library Association, HandHeld Librarian, and Internet Librarian, to encourage information professionals to embrace the changes digital technology brings to the field.

“We’re moving toward a world where technology is going to be the focus in librarianship,” said Carlos. “You often hear complaints that e-Books are destroying libraries, or Google is destroying libraries, but the important thing is to learn how to work with this technology that’s now part of our world.”

Carlos attended the annual California Library Association (CLA) conference in November 2010 to present a poster on mobile tools for education and information-seeking. He highlighted several mobile applications that enable students to find and organize information, including EverNote, a note-taking application that syncs data across different devices.

“We’ve been focusing on using smart phones for personal entertainment and social networking, but we also need to find out how people use this technology to find information,” Carlos said. He related his session to his own use of mobile applications to give conference attendees an idea of their practical real-world application and benefits.

Carlos, who has a BA in Sociology and a BS in Mathematics from UCLA, enrolled at SJSU in Fall 2008 and structured his MLIS coursework around emerging technologies. “I want to know what’s going on now, what’s coming in the future, and what I can do to encourage innovation in library science,” he explained. He is focused on topics like web design, database management, Second Life, and Library 2.0.

Carlos began presenting at professional conferences in 2010, starting with an interdisciplinary graduate seminar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I discovered it was so much fun to go to a conference, meet like-minded people, and share your ideas,” he said. “It’s also a great way to build professional experience and get my name out there.”

Carlos presented a session on pathfinders at a 2010 teachers’ conference and one on digital etiquette at the 2010 Internet Librarian conference. He gave another poster session on mobile applications at the online HandHeld Librarian conference in February 2011, and is currently working on proposals for Internet Librarian 2011.

Carlos shares his presentation materials on his website, Info Glut and recently wrote about his experiences in the January 2011 SLIS Descriptor, a newsletter published by our School’s student chapter of the American Library Association.

Since conference attendance can be an expensive undertaking for students and new professionals, Carlos has found creative ways to be involved in as many events as he can. He explained that conference registration is often free or discounted to presenters, and that virtual conferences are a great place to network and learn from other professionals without travel costs. He also advises students who work in a library setting to ask their employers about professional development funding.

“You have to be willing to take risks and put yourself out there in professional settings,” Carlos said. “At CLA I walked around with a big QR code and my name tag on my chest, and it got a lot of people to stop and talk with me.” (QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that act as physical hyperlinks from objects to websites, photos, and other data).

Carlos currently works as a Library Clerk at the Harker School in San Jose, California. He’s interested in a career as an educational technology specialist, looking at how educators can adapt new technologies for classroom use. Carlos plans to graduate from SLIS in Spring 2011.