Riding the "Long Tail": Leveraging a Niche to Build a Network

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Your Name and Title: John Jackson, Library Supervisor Library


School, or Organization Name: University of Southern California 


Co-Presenter Name(s):

  • Young Lee
  • Nicole Pagowsky
  • Daniel Ransom
  • Micah Vandegrift 


Area of the World from Which You Will Present: California, United States 


Language in Which You Will Present: English 


Target Audience(s): Young Professionals 


Short Session Description: A panel discussion with the creative forces behind niche networks of professional librarians. 


Full Session Description: 

Historically, resources and opportunities for professional growth have been limited to a handful of offerings from a select few. However, the advent of the Web and the widespread adoption of social media tools have led to a renaissance of grassroots activism, allowing anyone--including those with previously marginalized, niche interests--to find each other, form communities, and flourish. In crafting their own solutions, librarian-creators go beyond just catering to the interests of librarianship's "long tail" to addressing the greater needs of the profession itself. 

In a moderated panel, the forces behind HackLibSchool, Librarian Wardrobe, San Francisco Bay Area-based Information Amateurs Social Club, and the California Library Association's Student Interest Group workshops will discuss their respective projects, the essentials of community building, the growth of peer-sourced solutions, and the future of professional development.


  • Daniel Ransom is the librarian for Outreach, Digitization and Electronic Resources at Holy Names University and the founder of the Information Amateurs Social Club in San Francisco.
  • Micah Vandegrift is the founder, lead blogger and editor of HackLibSchool, a group blog focused on the issues, required competencies and daily life of library, archive and museum studies students.
  • Nicole Pagowsky is an academic librarian, a 2011 ALA Emerging Leader, and the creator of Librarian Wardrobe, a website dedicated to how information professional dress for work and work-related activities.
  • Young Lee is a reference and electronic resources librarian at the University of La Verne College of Law Library and the current chair of CLA’s Student Interest Group, for which he’s coordinated professional development workshops, in addition to helping co-lead the unconference at ALA Annual 2011. 

Moderator: John Jackson is a library supervisor at the University of Southern California and a final-semester MLIS student at San Jose State University. 


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:


More About Our Panelists

Nicole Pagowsky recently started her new position as Instructional Services Librarian with the University of Arizona; she was previously a community college librarian in Texas. As a 2011 ALA Emerging Leader, Nicole developed best practices in videogame collection development with her team and is also a volunteer + administrator for Radical Reference. Keep up with Nicole on Twitter at @pumpedlibrarian.


Daniel Ransom is the Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. Daniel provides reference and research services and co-coordinates the university’s information literacy program. Daniel also serves on the committee for the California Academic and Research Libraries’ Ilene F. Rockman Scholarship, an annual award for library school students. He co-founded the Information Amateurs Social Club with Greg Borman after graduating from San José State University’s School of Library and Information Science in December of 2009. The goal was to create an informal online and in-person venue for early-career information professionals to stay in contact with their peers and share job-seeking skills and ideas.


Micah Vandegrift graduated with his MLIS from Florida State University's School of Library and Information Studies in April 2011. His particular areas of interest are digital humanities, scholarly communications and emerging technologies. Micah founded and is managing editor of Hack Library School, an award-winning blog dedicated to being an active resource by, for and about students in library school. He also is co-writing a chapter to the forthcoming book from Neal-Schuman titled "Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian: A LITA Guide." Micah is currently works as the Scholarly Communications Project Manager at Florida State University, and was recently instrumental in passing an Open Access Policy in Florida State's Faculty Senate.

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Oh, I love this!  Great stuff.



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