The problem with blogs is for them to be relevant, they need to be kept up-to-date.  Well, it’s been over a year since my last post.

My librarianship has been going pretty much as my systems admin position.  Not much has changed.  I have been put in charge of a monthly library faculty meeting.  I do not care much for this responsibility it does not excite me.  I have been put on the library’s reference desk for at least once a week.  This can be kind of scary because I want to do what’s best for the patron, if ever they stop by or call, but I am afraid that I do not have the skills needed.  I want to polish this search skills but then I do not go about doing so since it doesn’t excite me.

So what to do about my career? I have a sense that I should create a poster session or a presentation for a group.  I should be me involved with the school that I have been assigned as their liaison. Maybe a PhD, naw not ready for that.

Coronacropped15Coming up in less than a week is the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse across the U.S.A.  My son and I are planning to go to Lime, OR to stand in the Moon’s shadow.  It will be a trek up through Nevada on our way to Boise, ID then over to Lime and back home to Southern  California.  Here’s hoping the weather holds, the crowds are not too bad, there are no shortages of necessities, the truck holds up and we have a safe trip.


Digital Initiatives Symposium

usdDigitalI went to the Digital Initiatives Symposium on April 27-28 at the University of San Diego.  I’d like to say that I learned a lot but really I didn’t.  The symposium centered around the concept of Digital Humanities which according to Wikipedia “is an area of research and teaching at the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.”  Which is to say that DH is a broad category and difficult to define.  DH initiatives stretch from dissertations and thesis to 360° digital photography. Since Loma Linda University is a not known for its humanities, there were definitely aspects of the symposium that did not have direct parallels for LLU.  My main goals were to learn more about thesis and dissertations and the technical aspects for preservation.  Unfortunately there wasn’t enough focus for me on the technical side.

I attended a workshop on building DH capacity.  I didn’t know what to expect but out of the three offered, I picked this one because it was run by a person from Claremont.  It turned out to be similar to Gamifying a brainstorming session.  The attendees were grouped into teams and we brainstormed ideas on Post-It notes and poster board concerning  what a DH project would be and how to support it.  I was engaging and entertaining but I still do not think I came away with a concrete idea of what DH is.

I am sorry to say but the keynote speaker was not very engaging.  Either I drifted off being still asleep or tuned out but I don’t remember what he said.  He was a last minute substitute for the scheduled speaker who couldn’t make it.

The “Roles and Responsibilities” panel of library directors all came back with a common theme: get the dean or administration behind the digital humanities project.  The university represented were Santa Clara, Northern Iowa and Connecticut College.  They suggested the involvement of the university made the project more encompassing rather than just a library project.  This tended to get more involvement from the faculty.  Make the submission of dissertations into the IR mandatory and part of the process.  Create a sense of urgency to spark administration into action; “we are behind other universities.”

The “Credible Journal Criteria” was presented by Loyola Marymount.  It detailed their need to create a rubric to critically analyze Open Access Journals and give their faculty a means to judge the worthiness of these journals.  I.e. how to distinguish between predatory journals and credible journals.  The rubric was passed out and well received by the audience.  The audience wanted to know if Loyola’s scoring of OAJ would be shared at a latter time.  Parallels were made with Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers.

The “Library as Host” was presented by UNLV.  They went over their process of accepting to be the host of publications but leaving the publishing to the department.  This lets the library be the facilitator and consultant and not the designer and editor.  The request for a new journal goes through a proposal form which details the responsibility of each party.  There is no host fee.  The library may pass along BePress’s publishing fees to the publisher as more publishers request journals; right now it is too soon in the process.

I’d hoped the “Caltech, Digital Libraries of the Future”presentation would have been the most technical and it was but not technical enough to walk away with a plan for our archive.  Caltech uses: ArchiveSpace, ArchiveIt, ePADD, ePrints, Islandora and Invenio-TIND.  They are moving to a Fedora 4 – Islandora CLAW model and in the future moving everything to INVENIO.  Inventio was developed at CERN and is an open source digital library solution.  TIND is a vendor and host that specializes in Inventio.

The last presentation was the BePress user group meeting.  BePress featured advances coming in the digital dashboard and the percentile ranking method to compare each others digital output from previous years and each other.  Selected Works continues to grow.  Moving to include an Expert Finder feature for specialities in fields of study and eventually getting to Faculty Reporting of scholarship including ORCHID IDs.  New features for Digital Commons include: expanded dashboard, real time archive backup with Amazon S3 account, Responsive Re-design and author view dashboard in Selected Works.

The Digital Initiatives Symposium was very well organized and executed.  The facilities were good as well as the food provided.  It was a good value for the money spent.  Next year I would not need to do the workshop.

It’s Here, I’m Official

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got it, but I can now finally celebrate knowing that the actually paper degree has finally arrived. I am officially a Master of Library Information Science with the papers to prove it.  haha

Next up is the graduation ceremony at San Jose State University on March 28.  I am planning to attend so now I have to purchase a $100 cap and gown set.


At Internet Librarian as a Student

otterThis week I’ve been at Internet Librarian in Monterey California.  I have been to this conference many times but this is the first time as a SJSU student.  I’ve been learning a lot these few days.  Going back to work with plans to redesign the website, becoming more social media active and telling stories to guide users.  Too bad I missed the MOOC session with former professor Michael Stephenson.  I am thinking about an email I received them SJSU for a new upcoming class with Michael on WordPress for CMS.  I just hope that it is not too hard or would demand too much of my time.

Meanwhile, I am a little over halfway done with this semester classwork.  Finding time is definitely a factor and I have missed a few discussion questions during the semester.  But all in all the classes are going well.  I am glad that I have taken the cataloging class.

Tumbled into Tumblr

jernejk - flickrIn a previous blog post, I was debating if I should join Tumblr and in a broader sense, whether it was good or bad to sign up for every social network that’s out there (well maybe not every one).  Thoughts of wasting my time and security fill my doubts about the usefulness of spreading oneself too thin in the social soup.

Then Henry Mensch commented that it might be advisable to create an account even if it is just to claim it so no one else can come along and claim to be you.  This makes sense to me.  If I tried Tumblr and did not like it, I could put a message in Tumblr that says,  “Connect with me on Facebook.”  At least I am more findable.  (FYI – Don’t delete your Instagram account and try to re-enable it. Instagram clearly states that this is impossible and it is.  Just create a new account with a different username.)

exploreIn this week’s lecture, one of Michael’s slides and comments struck a chord.  “Willing to explore.”  This is a good manta.  It sparked me to at least giving Tumblr a look-see.  So without further ado, my Tumblr page: http://starnight71.tumblr.com.  So far I am just trying to learn what’s the big deal with Tumblr.  It’s a blogging site, like WordPress, but more stylized.  It looks more modern than WordPress.  Tumblr seems to connect with other social services easier.  The biggest difference is that Tumblr is a blog reader as well as a blog creator.  It’s like Instagram, Facebook and WordPress rolled into one.

EDIT NOTE:  Looking at WordPress.com’s admin bar, the “New Post” link takes me to a page that displays simplified options very much like Tumblr: Text, Images, Quotes, etc.  From that navigation, there is a “Reader” link where you can follow your favorite blogs.  It just doesn’t seem as obvious in WordPress than Tumblr.

So, I will continue to explore.  I recreated an Instagram account even though I still don’t see the big deal either.  I’ll probably create a Pinterest account next.   As a future librarian, it will be my duty to be able to connect with people where the people are at.  This takes learning new communication methods and enviably driving into new social media waters.

Digital Public Library of America

I come across this link from a reference in a ILS vendor’s newsletter.  I have not heard about the Digital Library of America project (http://dp.la/about/).  This sounds like an interesting approach to a national library of sorts.  Here’s a snippet from their About page,

The DPLA is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all.”


Be careful what you blog – you might get sued

“A university librarian who is being sued after writing a critical blog post about a scholarly publisher is finding support from professors and librarians around the world.” –Jake New

Full article:  http://chronicle.com/article/Librarians-Rally-Behind/137329/

Another article: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/02/litigation/press-sues-librarian-over-negative-evaluation/