Immerse Yourself in New Ways to Learn

Career Blog

Published: May 31, 2019 by Greta Snyder

This summer, take the plunge into new approaches to learning! There is no reason to limit where and how you learn, so take a break from Canvas and explore. And what better way than to close your eyes, recline by the pool, and pop in your headphones with some brilliant LIS advice for company? Luxuriate poolside, hike a new trail, go for a road trip, or enjoy an extra popsicle while you keep building your career and expanding your perspectives with podcasts: summer’s most portable learning tool.

My previous posts linked to the newly launched SJSU iSchool Career Podcasts. This week, I am excited to take a deep dive into these episodes, share highlights, and recommend some additional LIS podcasts to check out this summer. If you have any favorite LIS podcasts not featured here, your own podcast (way to go rock-star), or are interested in starting one, please email me or comment below.

SJSU iSchool New LIS Career Podcast

iSchool Career Consultant Kim Dority, an alternative library career expert, hosts lively conversations in the recently launched iSchool Career Podcast Series. This series provides such an amazing opportunity to keep learning this summer with innovators in the field, both on your own time and for free. These 20 to 30-minute interviews showcase Kim’s incredible insights into the field and offer SJSU iSchool students and graduates invaluable advice from highly respected LIS practitioners.

Enjoy these currently available episodes:

I luckily had the chance to listen to them while basking in the sunshine on my patio: it is so nice to unwind while learning at the same time! Kim made the analogy of how listening to these podcasts is like having the chance (and confidence) to pull these luminaries in the field aside at a conference and steal a few minutes of their valuable time; I couldn’t agree more! I’ll share a few of my major takeaways, and I’d love to hear what really jumped out to you!

Episode 1

  • Buzzy emphasizes that the field is still a people profession: can you demonstrate “an excellent track record for dealing with people” – both internal and external customers?
  • Buzzy comments about what remains salient over his time in the field is relationships: ask yourself how well do I build relationships, identify needs and build rapport?
  • Kim emphasizes that a very valuable skill is “thinking on your feet.”

Episode 2

  • Dee shares trials and tribulations of fluctuating job markets and how “losing a job led me to a rather engaging experience.”
  • Sometimes you take risks and try new things, as demonstrating vision, ingenuity and adaptability are crucial.
  • Dee emphasizes the need to be open to how you position your gifts, skills and experience: “Put your strengths together in a unique way” and “think broadly.”
  • Check out Dee on LinkedIn – updating her profile led to unexpected opportunities.
  • As Kim incisively observes, you have to “put yourself out there – become visible.”

Episode 3

  • Scott highlights the value of online learning resources such as to hone distinctive skills like writing headlines or storytelling.
  • Scott shares that cultivating communication skill to “really understand the effectiveness and persuasiveness” to “drive the impact” of information sharing.
  • Kim emphasize the importance of taking on tasks or roles that scare you: “The challenge is energizing.”
  • Scott advises students still in grad school to “think about what you bring to the table that is unique in valuable” in career, course work and interests.
  • Both Scott and Kim agree that people in the profession are excited to share learning, so start being curious, reaching out and making connections.

Look forward to more career podcasts coming out soon! Keep an eye out for the upcoming podcast with User Experience and Information Architect Christine Coughlan, who walks students through the specifics of her job and what students need to master to pursue this career path.

Did you know there are even more SJSU iSchool Podcasts?

SJSU iSchool has a whole series of awesome options available through iTunes or on YouTube you can even find an amazing mix of both audio and video resources! Summer playlist on repeat anyone?

Interesting LIS Podcasts to Check Out

American Libraries Dewey Decibel PodcastAmerican Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart shares a wide variety of conversations with librarians, authors and thinkers.

Recommended episodes:

  • Episode 15 – “Podcasting about Your Library” – Why not DIY? So cool to hear first-hand  how librarians in the field are sharing experiences through podcasts.
  • Episode 37 – “AI in Academic Libraries” – a prescient emerging technology conversation.

Available free on iTunes, SoundCloud, and American Libraries Magazine.

The Librarian is InThe New York Public Library (NYPL) discusses literature, what to read next, culture events and diverse public library programs and projects.

Recommended episodes:

  • Episode 12 – “Bonus Episode – Frankenstein our Dark Mirror” – as a huge fan of this novel and an English MA student who studied the emergence of the sci-fi and horror genres, this was very fun and inspired me to consider podcasting!
  • Episode 4 – “Reading Stonewall” – an intriguing look at the library’s historical role in the LGBTQ civil rights movement and involves some yoga breathing – so perfect for summer.

Available free on iTunes, Spotify, Google and NYPL.

Lost in the Stacks – Librarians and archivists from Georgia Tech Library share music, interviews and library talk. As a huge music lover with an interest in archives I love this podcast’s creative approach.

Recommended episodes:

  • Episode 424 – “An Archive of Planet Earth” – Deep dive into questions about archives and preservation while listening to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” along the way.
  • Episode 418 – “Peer Review and The Cold War” – Love the deep cut here from an interesting Cold War artifact band The MonksComplicated and the discussion of archival files documenting the complexities of the era.

Available free on iTunes, PodBean and Lost in the Stacks.

Beyond the Stacks – conversations about innovative library and information science careers. Ended in 2018, but worth exploring the archives for some gems.

Recommended episodes:

  • Episode 24 – “Kim Dority, Alternative LIS Career Paths” – don’t miss this chance to hear SJSU iSchool’s own insightful and pioneering Career Podcast host in the hot seat.
  • Episode 21 – “Taylor Kirsh, Lead Librarian at Pandora Media” – an interesting discussion of digital collection management, metadata and archiving.

Available free on iTunes.

Final Thoughts

Internships are another excellent way to pursue creative learning this summer: check out SJSU iStudent Blogger Havilah Steinman’s awesome post on internships to SJSU iSchool’s Medium Blog.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on even more creative ways to learn this summer: virtual conferences or webinars (both recorded and upcoming), free MOOCs, taking specific skill-focused classes or training online, reading LIS books, writing and submitting papers to academic journals or online publications, and blogging.

Another thing you can do right now is use this self-assessment sheet, created by Jill Klees, to zoom in on your professional future and check out these additional SJSU iSchool Career Assessment resources.

Let’s make this summer of unexpected learning and endless engagement!

Upcoming Career Development Opportunities

Jobs in Handshake (requires login to Handshake)

Interviewing 101

One of the best ways to stay on top of your interviewing activities is to create a file of practice questions, your answers, and tips you learn along the way. Check out “11 Tips for Interviewing Success” to see how else your interviewing file can up your interview smarts.


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