#dayofDH, libraryland-style

amy posted this April 8th, 2013 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me! | Tags: | no comments »

i’m dayofDH-ing over here today, if that interests ya!

what is day of DH? well i’ll swipe it directly from the site

A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is an open community publication project that will bring together scholars interested in the digital humanities from around the world to document what they do on one day.  This year, Day of DH will take place on April 8th. The goal of the project is to create a web site that weaves together a picture of the participant’s activities on the day which answers the question, “Just what do digital humanists really do?”

(i think the answer to that question is “a metric tonne” but i’m biased)


fun thing: six links worthy of your attention

amy posted this January 19th, 2013 | filed under: discovery, innovation, inspire me! | no comments »

i frequently find myself drowning in libraryland/academic blogs. so much to read. so much echo. so much of the rest of the world that i’m ignoring.

thank jeebus for the  weekly “six links worthy of your attention” post. it collects the recommendations of some seriously awesome folk (yes, two of them spoke at Access2012 this year. yes, they rocked. yes, you shoulda been there.) in terms of what is good and great to read on the tubes each week.

 

[ya they are all montrealers. i might be biased. if you lived here, you would be too.]

 

 


wonder if they’ll let me do it again

amy posted this August 13th, 2012 | filed under: conference-y, discovery, general, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, presenting, ranting | Tags: , , | no comments »

it’s the time of year where everyone is pimping out their SXSWi presentations. so…

HI I’D LIKE TO GO TO SXSWi AGAIN!

actually, this year i’ve got two proposals in the hopper. (yes folks, that’s how much i love bbq, beer, and bats.)

the first is We Build Online Communities. Really, We Do with Michael Porter (Library Renewal) and David Lee King (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library).

What can libraries, one of the original community-centered, non-profit organizations, teach others about building online communities?
What can libraries learn from online communities that were built for other goals?
How do you build an online community when you have few resources?
If I am online using social media, various search engines, and commercial services to get my e-content, why do I even need the library in the coming years?
What can I do to make sure my local library is a relevant, practical resource for me?

the other is Collective Conscious for Gathering Information with Tinamarie Vella (CUNY Graduate School of Journalism) and Marsha Iverson (King County Library System).

What kind of tech tools can be used to gather reliable information?
What are some of the ways to train individuals to strengthen gathering skills?
Where do you turn for reliable information?
What do you see as the main value of information institutions: journalism, libraries and post-secondary education?
How can journalists, librarians, and educators combine their help our communities learn how to find better information?

so please mosey over to the panel picker and vote. be sure to check out all the #sxswLAM proposals!


wow. that worked.

amy posted this March 13th, 2012 | filed under: conference-y, discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, presenting, revolution | Tags: , | no comments »

speaking of doing things that scare me


cc licensed flickr photo shared by jambina

it worked. people came to the session. people asked questions at the end. people followed us out into the hallway to keep talking to us.

i’m not going to go into how awesome it was to present with Char Booth, Nate Hill, and Michael Porter, but, wow, possibly my favouritest panel ever.

here’s the full slidedeck for perusing. i challenge all of you out there in libraryland to submit a proposal to SXSWi next year.

UPDATE
now with audio!


librarylanders invading sxswi

amy posted this August 30th, 2011 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, moi, presenting | Tags: | no comments »

a bunch of librarylanders have proposed sessions for sxsw interactive. talking to non-librarylanders about libraries – [insert sarcastic voice here] what a novel concept! i think it’s great that so many librarians are getting the word out about we do, especially in an environment like sxswi (which just seems like a natural fit for libraries, really. innovacation + community + information = libraries!)

i’m involved in a session titled “Making” stories: Libraries & community publishing with Michael Porter and Nate Hill.

Good libraries are community-minded, technologically-aware, devoted to increasing access to information, and interested in preserving the local cultural heritage. Good newspapers aggregate and curate information for their readers, prioritize the local population, and are the record of a place, a time, a citizenry. Both believe they must tell stories for everyone, not just themselves. Libraries have experience with media production, and are already a known community resource. Supporting communication within their community falls within the library’s mandate to increase access to information. Building on the “maker” ethic, how can libraries help their communities make their own news, write their own stories, publish their own histories?

voting closes this friday, september 2, so go register an account and start voting!


the talk i meant to give

amy posted this June 26th, 2011 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, moi, presenting, ranting | 13 comments »

whoa. that was intense. while i’m not happy with my presentation at TEDxLibrarians, i am happy that i accepted the challenge (doing things that scare me n’all). such a learning experience. rock.
the event, however, was wonderful. many thanks to the organizers for a such a thought-provoking day. shelley and fiacre – you guys are the best.

here is the talk i meant to give.

 

so when thinking about this talk, i started thinking about things i do everyday
i use and evaluate new technologies – from high speed book scanners to the semantic web
i educate my community – from finding accurate authoritative information to author rights
i design new service and spaces – both in meatspace and cyberspace
and where do i do all of this?


i almost never refer to this as the place where i work. because the library is a building, and what we do, what librarians do, is more than just what can be found in a building. in fact, the very reason most of us do what we do, is because we want to bring the library to the community, and not vice versa.
when people ask where i work, i typically say…


i like this term. this is what i’m passionate about. it’s… vast. it represents all the different kinds of librarians out there – public, academic, special.
it means more than just books on shelves in buildings. it’s more than bunheads and shelvers.
it’s a community of people who believe that helping people find and do things is what makes the world a better place.
it is everyone who wants to provide access to information, because…


because access to information is a human right. i believe this. librarylanders believe this.
we see this as a driving force for what we do and why for many of us, this is a vocation, not a job. i’m not a librarian for the bling. i’m a librarian because i fundamentally believe that i can help make society a better place to live by figuring out ways to provide better access to information. so when i’m having a bad day, and stressed about budgets, and policies, and workplace shenanigans, i remember: THIS IS WHY I DO IT.


librarians as thought leaders is a killer concept.
being a librarian, i know that there are many definitions of thought leader – from business literature, HR blogs, philosophy texts, and various talks given by people held at airport hotels on a saturday morning.
but when i think of librarians as thought leaders, i think of…


revolutionaries.
believing in access to information as a human right means fighting for our communities. fighting to make sure the digital divide continues to shrink. fighting for privacy for our users. fighting against the entire concept of censorship. and lately, fighting for libraries.
so this is my call to arms. librarians are revolutionaries, and society needs us. and no i don’t mean killing all the things with fire.
true thought leaders, true revolutionaries, are willing to overthrow the system, or join it, if that’s what works best for their community.


there is a long list of things that are worth fighting for, and worrying about.
but there are also things that i am not worried about:
the end of print books
the end of libraries
students using wikipedia
google replacing librarians (my brain beats a google algorithm in any street fight. please note: i fight dirty).
there are things that we should worry about – and as librarians are uniquely placed to fight for.


the scholarly communication system needs a complete overhaul.
scholarship has moved online, publishers need to adapt and change.
librarians are uniquely positioned to help fix scholarly publishing. we support research and publishing on a daily basis. allowing publishers to then charge us ridiculous sums of money to make this research, which we helped produce, available to our communities, is ludicrous. as one of my favourite librarians recently said “we don’t owe publishers a living”.
and as a librarian if you are not supporting the open access movement, ask yourself if you really believe that access to information is a human right.


another issue that we can help fix –
access to electronic content has been taken over by large corporations who ultimately care more about the bottom line, than the community. Harry Potter is coming to the ebook format. but only available through the publisher’s website, not through the library. this despite the fact libraries have build entire reading programs for kids around Harry Potter and are, i would argue, responsible for much of the success of the series.
and there is more, there’s always more. the fight for net neutrality – that is our fight.
it’s time for a renewal, and, okay, i’m going to say it… CHANGE?


there is lots to be fixed. revolutionaries are doers, not sayers. revolutionaries don’t make provocative statements, they take radical action.
they are always looking for ways to make society better. they don’t shake their heads and say “but this is how we’ve always done it”.
they…


challenge legacy processes.
all of them.
often.
it’s a kickass time to be a librarian. so many opportunities to make society better. and that’s why we do this, right? we aren’t becoming millionaires. we aren’t going to rule the world (ok, maybe we will). so what are we?


we are educators (if you don’t think you are because you don’t do officially do “instruction”, just ask your friends. i guarantee you are the person that they go to with questions on a regular basis)
we are ninjas (no one sees us coming, and then POW we smackdown a school board who wants to ban a kids book about growing up in a gay family)
we are curious (that old adage about curiosity killing the cat? think about how curious librarians are. then think about librarians and cats. no killing happening there ; )
we are community-minded (you can’t have a properly informed citizenry without a library. point final.)
and we inspire each other.


this. everyday i aim for two things:
1. care about my community
2. do that well

Peter Brantley of the Internet Archive had a great post last year about leadership in libraries, and how we can’t let just those at the top determine the future for us. in it he quotes Faulkner’s “Them that’s going, get in the goddamn wagon. Them that ain’t, get out the goddamn way.”
so i guess what i’m trying to say today, is that on those days when this gig feels a bit too paper-pushy / reprimand-y / WAY TOO MANY MEETINGS ZOMG… remember: librarians are able to start revolutions, and that is a powerful thing. we can build the future of libraryland together and show the world just how awesome it is to call yourself a librarian. it’s not going to be easy, but it is right, and as crazy as it sounds, it will make the world a better place.


join me in the revolution. you won’t regret it.


i <3 larry lessig

amy posted this April 21st, 2011 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, inspire me!, ranting | no comments »

for many reasons – but this is currently #1.
get comfortable and get ready to get your learn on.

The Architecture of Access to Scientific Knowledge from lessig on Vimeo.


hey, common sense, where you at?

amy posted this March 2nd, 2011 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, moi | 3 comments »

the beauty of being a librarian (or perhaps the horror, depending on the day) is that you are always a librarian – no matter what you are chatting about, you always come back to similar themes: access, authority, and service.

awhile ago a little chat on friendfeed (which likely started nowhere near what it became) evolved into david developing a bit of a “manifesto” for what he calls (and i love) “common sense librarianship“.

go and read it. my favourite is the first:

The world of information has always been in a constant state of flux. As technology continues to changes the world of information, it is preferable for information professionals and the institutions they serve to adapt rather than perish.

and this is the thing, as much as i rant about how slow change is in libraryland, we are capable of doing it. think of the changes in libraries over the past 100 years!

  • open stacks
  • telephone reference
  • the automation of the library
  • electronic holdings
  • chat reference
  • online information literacy tutorials
  • (note these are not in a real order)…

our track record indicates that we are able to adapt and change, we just have to stop being scared to do it.


leaders, women, and why it’s okay to be awesome

amy posted this January 31st, 2011 | filed under: discovery, innovation, inspire me!, ranting | 1 comment »

last week there was a shitastic infographic making the rounds to help women determine what type of techy broad they are. my response (on ye olde twitter and facebook machines):

dear women in tech, i love you. i do not care about your hair, your purse, or who your dream man is. let’s take over the world. now.

and i meant it. we need to move forward, now.

to remedy my disgust, i recently watched Sheryl Sandberg‘s TED talk. she has three pieces of advice that i think everyone, even those of us in a “women’s profession” can benefit from.

  1. sit at the table
  2. make your partner a real partner
  3. don’t leave before you leave

i think it’s worth 15 mins of your time.

so let’s all do ourselves a favour, and just be awesome. the world can handle it.


why you can’t trust the machines

amy posted this January 26th, 2011 | filed under: discovery, headdesk, ilovemyjob, ranting | no comments »

the lovely laurax posted a pic of a worldcat search to friendfeed this evening. let me show you it.

ZOMG YES THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT!  thanks worldcat, good catch.

this is exactly why the world needs librarians. no matter how good your algorithms are, sometimes they just, ummm, don’t work.

gotta run! mumumelon is having a big sale on koga pants.

*and with this post, i have initiated a new category for this blog – “headdesk”