Responsibilities Update

Over the last 6th months I have gradually gained more responsibilities and completed a few small projects to help out my fellow librarians: Reference - Every week I do approximately 10 hours per week on the reference desk. General reference is very challenging. I enjoy just about every humanities and social science question, can adeptly handle most questions about sciences, but frequently feel out of my depth when confronted by business questions (especially those doing background research into a company). Instruction  - 20-30 instruction sessions per semester of all types (English, Communications, Criminal Justice, etc). I thrive on instruction sessions, referred to Research Skills Instruction rather than Library or Bibliographic Instruction. Overall I have fewer instruction sessions per semester than I did at the University of Maryland Libraries, but offering discipline based instruction sessions in so many different subjects is a rewarding challenge. Collection Development - I

New Job! Instruction & User Services Librarian

On December 31st, I left my position at the University of Maryland Libraries. This was a very hard decision. I loved my work and had a wonderful group of colleagues in Special Collections, however I was not able to afford to live in MD on an interim position. My coworkers understood this and encouraged me to seek out full-time, permanent employment which would provide a livable salary, benefits, and a retirement plan. Fortunately, I was offered a full-time, tenure-track position as the Instruction & User Services Librarian at the University Library of California State University, Stanislaus . I am very excited to start this new position (today). I will be moving out of my comfort zone of Special Collections and into the larger arena of  academic librarianship. This new job is in a much smaller library than the University of Maryland Libraries and so I will have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything: reference, instruction, collection development, outreach, etc. I

Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & Microsoft Excel, Part 2

As you now know I began my tenure as the interim Curator for Literature and Rare Books by trying to get more familiar with cataloged items in Rare Books and Special Collections by creating a spreadsheet that would give me an overview of the collection as a whole. Technical Services provided me with a MARC file containing the complete MARC records for every item in these collections and pointed me to MARCedit to be able to create a customized report about the collections. Previously I explained how I used MARCedit in Revealing La Revolution: The EnvironmentalScan & MARCedit, Part 1 . Now I’m going to share how I imported and set up my data in Microsoft Excel so that it revealed the contents of Rare Books and Special Collections to me. I began by opening a new workbook in Microsoft Excel and went to the “Data” Menu Ribbon. Excel Data Menu - Import from Text File In the furthest left column I choose to import my data “from text” and directed the request box to the corr

Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1

As the interim Curator of Literature and Rare Books I am writing the Environmental Scan for the French Pamphlet Project. Two tools I have found very useful to help with this are MARCedit and Microsoft Excel (I sort of love spreadsheets). I became familiar with MARCedit over the summer as I attempted to gain intellectual control over my expanded collection responsibilities and learned a new (to me) feature of Microsoft Excel which has proved very useful for putting together this report. So I wanted to tell you a little about what I’ve learned. After I was appointed interim Curator for Literature and Rare Books in May, I requested a report from Technical Services of all catalogued items in Rare Books and Special Collections. I already had a comfortable grasp of the literary manuscript collections but had not had an opportunity to really get to know the Rare Books and Special Collections volumes. In an effort to become better acquainted with these collections, I asked Technical Serv

New Page: Research

I've added a new page to this website! It is titled " Research " and has a summary of the my current research project available on it. I've spent the last year thinking about Digital Teaching Collections. Last summer I undertook some background research about what Digital Teaching Collections would look like on behalf of the Education & Outreach Coordinator in Special Collections and the Digital Programs & Initiatives Manager in Digital Stewardship at the University Libraries. In the spring of 2013, I completed a literature review for Digital Teaching Collections and an IRB to survey UMD humanities and social science faculty about the use of digital resources for instructional purposes as an independent study project. Over the summer I sent out my survey to UMD faculty and compiled the responses. I am currently editing the final draft of my report for University Libraries about what Digital Teaching Collections should be and how they can be implemented into Un

Computers in Libraries 2013 Write Up

Best quote of the conference: Great Technology is Invisible!  Last week I attended the Computers in Libraries 2013 conference. I really enjoyed the conference and think I was able to walk away with some information that I will be able to apply immediately in my work at the University of Maryland Libraries as well as in the future. For now I'll tell you which sessions I attended and provide a link to the notes that I took during the conference, but I'll try to post individual sessions over the next few weeks.  My Agenda: Monday April 8 th : Track B, Web Presence 15 Web Trends for 2013 David Lee King Digital Services Director, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and and Publisher Seven Deadly Sins of Websites Casey Schacher , Resource Discovery Librarian, University of Wiscosin - Madison, Memorial Library Paige Mano , Web Communications and Social Media Coordinator, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Library Tony Aponte , Science & Engineering L

Who's My Audience?

This week in ENGL 888D: I found Lukens and DiSalvo’s definition of technological fluency incredibly appealing. Fluency, in contrast to literacy, affords creativity. If I am literate in a language, I can read, write, and speak it, but if I am fluent in a language I can write poetry or a novel or use the language in ways the literate cannot. Technological fluency is the ability to be creative with technology;... What drew me in most was how Lukens and DiSalvo used this definition to advocate for a constructivist pedagogical approach in technological education for the Humanities. To an outsider like myself, it seems that frequently university level Humanities instructors only want to educate about their content and expect students to learn the technology and methodology outside of their classroom (either in another discipline or at the previous education level). Utilizing speculative design in coursework moves away from this mentality. Likewise I appreciate that speculative desig