Brittany Baum to Present at ALISE

School of Information (iSchool) doctoral candidate Brittany Baum will be presenting a paper and two panels at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).

“One of the things I’m the most excited about is having the chance to discuss some of our findings from the youth services focus groups,” Baum said. “This particular librarian demographic has been historically understudied, but particularly when it comes to exploring social services in public libraries, and I’m happy we’re able to bring their voices into the conversation through our research.”

For the past year, Baum has been working as an RA on an IMLS-funded research project alongside Dr. Melissa Gross and Dr. Don Latham exploring social services in public libraries. They recently completed the first of two phases, which was conducted with public library administrators and public adult/youth services librarians. The findings will be presented in two panels and a paper at ALISE, happening from October 14-17.

The first panel is titled “Preparing Students for the Workplace: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. Baum’s contribution to the panel will explore public library administrators’ and librarians’ thoughts on how they might be better prepared for the realities of working with the public, and an emphasis on how to best prepare students to provide social services in public libraries.

The second is panel titled “Navigating the Modern Libraryscape: The Changing Roles, Labor, and Education of Public Librarians”. Baum’s contribution to the panel will focuse on exploring how librarians currently see the professional scope of librarianship, their visions for how to best respond to the social service needs of their communities, and the implications for preservice education, continuing education, and the future of librarianship.

The paper Baum will be presenting alongside Dr. Gross and Dr. Latham is titled “Drawing the Line between Social Work and Librarianship: Public Library Administrators Talk”. This will discuss findings which indicate that librarians want to help but may be stretched beyond their training, and that the placement of social workers in libraries to help serve social services information needs is a more complex solution than it may sound.