The Non-Traditional Library Practicum Experience

This post was written by Norm Barry, a second year library technician student studying at Langara College about a practicum placement outside of the library field.

An opportunity arose through the Library Tech Practicum program for me to work part-time at a Non-Traditional Library to complete a further 70 hours of practicum time in the Spring Semester of 2016, March through May.

The practicum was to be done with the Westbank (West Kelowna) Museum and Archives

Continue reading “The Non-Traditional Library Practicum Experience”


Interview with Diane Thompson

Diane Thompson, former Library Technician and current Chair of Langara College’s Library & Information Technology Program, kindly agreed to answer a few questions for LTAS readers. Continue reading “Interview with Diane Thompson”

Speed Mentoring Workshop at Langara College

On April 22, Langara College hosted its first speed mentoring workshop involving Library and Information Technology students and graduates.  The event  was organized and sponsored by the Langara Library and Information Technology department.

Eleven mentors were invited by department chair Diane Thompson to share their post-graduate experiences with about 30 Langara students.  Jennifer Reid from Langara Co-op Education was also on hand to answer questions about resumes and interviews.

Diane Thompson opened the event, and introduced the MC for the event, Ashley Van Dijk . Several tables were set up with about four chairs around each table.   Five minutes were alotted for each session.  Two or three students would be at one table at a time and ask questions of the mentors stationed there.  When the bell rang to indicate the end of the session, each student would move on to another table of their choosing.

The mentors represented various public, academic, and special libraries, and performed different tasks  at their work.  Some were more generalist in their duties, while others predominantly performed one task, such as cataloguing or reference work.  Students asked questions of the mentors pertaining to their work, their job search leading up to employment, and how their Langara education prepared them to enter the field

Students have provided very positive feedback to the Lib Tech department, and indicated that they appreciated the positive attitude and helpful advice of the mentors.  They would be happy to participate in a future speed-mentoring event.  It was great to see students at various levels participate, from newly-accepted to almost-graduated.  It was the first formal mentoring experience for several of the mentors.  They enjoyed it and recommend others participate in future.

Though LTAS provided some of the mentors and the MC, as well as advice regarding room setup, a huge thank you is due to Diane Thompson and Serenia Tam of the Langara Library and Information Technology department for doing most of the organizing for this event.  Hopefully, there will be many more such events in the future at Langara College.

With contributions from Heather Duff

My Typing Test Trepidation

Student Corner

I’m practically on my last lap on my Libtech program – only a month and a half left. What do you think would be weighing down heavily on my head – the finals, the endless research work, the often full of tension group projects or maybe the practicum? Well, you would be wrong.  What scares me the most is the required typing test. Continue reading “My Typing Test Trepidation”

Conversation at the Cove with Guy Robertson

Guy at The Cove

If you are a LibTech alumnus from Langara College or a current student, then you know Guy Robertson — the instructor who could give a lecture describing building evacuation techniques without putting students to sleep. Since 1993, Guy has taught library history, bibliography, and records management at Langara. He is a published author and writes articles about various topics including emergency preparedness, fraud prevention, information security, and records managements for Feliciter.

His relaxed and conversational teaching gives students a welcome reprieve from Marc 21 and bibliographic searching. I found myself looking forward to his lectures (even the one that ended at 9:30 pm).

Recently at the Cove, a popular pub in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, I spent a couple of hours with Guy. We talked about his work, life and passions.  Incidentally, the Cove happens to be one of his favourite pubs. He has frequented it since it opened in the 1970s. Guy is candid and amusing; he shared with me his passion for reading and for travelling in Britain.

Continue reading “Conversation at the Cove with Guy Robertson”

Doing your LibTech Program Requirement in Italy

Doing my homework
Doing my homework

Picture this — you are wearing your bathing suit, your journal and a pen (no, not a computer) in front of you.  You are sitting outside in a terrace, and while contemplating on what to write next, you look afar and admire the rows of cypress trees lining the road, the olive groves, the stone houses… Continue reading “Doing your LibTech Program Requirement in Italy”

Items of Interest

10 LinkedIn Tips to Boost your Job Search by Kristin Burnham on IT World Canada.
(thanks to the Internet News blog, though their post isn’t working now)


As LTAIG and BCLA work on getting members from all over the province involved, check out how SLA did virtual conference attendance this year.  SLA Conference 2011 – Virtual Component by Dawn Bassett, from the SLA Western Canada Chapter’s Wired West blog.  Would you be interested in that kind of conference experience?


What is a Coordinator of User Experience, and what are they doing in the Langara College library?  Interview with Joyce Wong, also from Wired West.


An interesting excerpt from an SLA Future Ready blog post:

But even with a definition of what this type of economy is, what are the practical applications of being part of the information/knowledge economy? Knowledge and information is put on a pedestal, but information centers and libraries are not acknowledged as the base of that pedestal. Instead, this observer has come to view the situation as a kind of the-emperor-has-no-clothes scenario: everyone values information, but no one wants to fully fund it.

Is This the Information/Knowledge Economy? by Eileen Davenport, Oct. 21, 2011.


Want to search with both Google and Bing to make sure you don’t miss anything?  Try Askboth.  But wait, there’s more!  It will also search Twitter.  Yes, that’s right: three searches in one.  Recommended by Internet News.


On the other hand, how much are the results at these search engines distorted by being tailored to you?  (well, who it thinks you are)  Great Ted talk by Eli Pariser: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles.”


Still Awesome after All These Years: Eight Excellent Free Downloads by PCWorld, via Internet News.


Swim the Digital Tsunami with these 5 Web Tools to Fix Information Overload by Saikat Basu on makeuseof.  Internet News recommended them, particularly for managing social media.


And, in closing, a fun fact: the seventh-most common search engine string that found this blog is Savage Chickens.