Friday, March 15, 2013

PhD? Think twice before you make your decision

The current issue of the Chronicle of higher education has a very informative articles, titled, "Ph.D.'s Spend Big Bucks Hunting for Academic Jobs, With No Guaranteed Results" written by Stacy Patton.

In my opinion, it does not matter how well-educated you are or whether you are an experienced/inexperienced professional in the field. The bottom line of landing a job indeed depends on who you are, who you know and what are your valuable connections with "others". In other words, you need to "know" somebody to get a job.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Please do not ask me, "Where do you come from?"

One of my colleagues just returned from Special Library Association (SLA) leadership conference in Texas. During the few days in Texas, she had been asked many times, "Where do you come from?" Apparently, she felt very uncomfortable and debated whether she should answer the question. She also brought up a very good point: "I did not see any Caucasian librarians being asked the same question. “I agree with her. Why bother? Does it matter where she came from?

On the surface, this might be a very simple question when people gather together at the conference and/or meetings. But if we give this question a "deeper thought", you might not want to ask this question - the question itself implies/assumes that you know the person you are asking could not possibly be from “here” because of his/her appearance or the way he/she spoke. She or he must be from somewhere else. They are the outsiders. It automatically classified or raise a hostile situation immediately.

SO, next time when you go for a meeting and meet someone who is different from you (the appearance or the skin color), please think twice before you ask.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's about time - changing the doctoral curriculum

I am particularly blunt when I read, "changing the doctoral curriculum must involve Ph.D.'s who have left academia."

An article published on The Chronicle of Higher Education dated February 1, 2013.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

PhD holders make contributions outside academia

I have not heard the term/occupation of "independent scholar" until I read an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education (dated Janaury 21, 2013). According to the author, scholars chose to be an "independent scholar" for many reasons such as unable to land a tenure position after applying for more than 30 positions, Finished a PhD at the age of 47, family resposibilities etc.

Being an independent scholar sounds very attractive  - compared to tenure positions at universities, it has less stress, working full-time on research projects and/or writing books.

The title of the article is, "Some Ph.D.'s choose to work off the grid":

Article titled, "Drowning Books"

If you like "smelling books", you need to read this article.

If you like "folding" pages with your fingers, you cannot miss this article.

If you like highlighting books, you have to read this article."

AN articles published on The Chronicle of Highere Education, dated Janyary 21, 2013. Ilan Stavans, "Drowning books."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The library humor

This is one of the books that I read during my term break - titled, The Laughing Librarian: A History of American Library Humor.

I have a "high hope" of this book simply because Will Manley wrote an Introduction for this book. Yet, I finished this book with a disappointment - there is nothing about the "history" of library humor at all. 

The highlights of this book, in my view, are the cartoons/illusrtations that selected from varied cartoonists. Thise are indeed the "humor" of the entire book. 

The secret lives of librarian

I was attracted to the title of this book; but I finished the book with disappointment.

In this book, the writer caputred the "dramas" at a bracnh library in the State of Florida. Having served more than a decade at publi libraries, I have witnessed many similar dramas which depicted inthis book such as unethical library managers, weired behaviors of librarians, strange questions from library patrons, inappropriate behviors of library users, etc. My disappointment came from the ending of the book - the author indeed became one of public library's drams - he married a library staff.