day four of #libday8

amy posted this February 2nd, 2012 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, meme, moi | Tags: | no comments »

well today was much better than yesterday, thank jeebus.

headed into work a bit early to triage some email prior to a morning spent with a jobtalk and interviewing a candidate for an gig chez moi.

had a meeting that ran extra long so missed a conference call for SLA Eastern Canada (i’m president-elect) which bummed me out since it was my first thinger in an official capacity. grrrr.

inhaled lunch prior to the selection committee resuming to discuss the morning’s candidate. our committee is made up of folks from all around the library, so it’s always interesting to hear other opinions and figure out what is important to people. sometimes i agree, sometimes i don’t, but the insight is hella valuable.

spent a chunk of the afternoon reviewing the schedules for the 7 students i hired last week. coordinating it with the two digitization projects they are working on, as well as making sure no work station is double-booked… well, let’s just say i’m a big-picture person so will have one of my team members have a look at it and make sure i didn’t monkey any of it. (i probably did.)

met with ed to further develop the workplan for digital initiatives. we’ve built a plan that will take us to september. i think ed calls it “optimistically ambitious” – which means we’re planning to get way too much stuff done by the end of the summer, but that’s kinda how we roll. we seem to be pretty good at getting things done in a miraculous fashion, except when we don’t.

answered a bunch of copyright questions, set up some meetings for a few digital projects we’re working on, and iced my ankle a few times.

towards the end of the afternoon, collections services brought me a few rare books to have digitized as part of an islamic manuscript collection. we chatted about next steps and planned a meeting for tomorrow. the books were just sitting on my desk and so i started wondering about them. looked them up in the catalogue – all three were over 350 years old.

yikes.

now, those of you who know me know that i’m the reason we can’t have nice things. i lose favourite pieces of jewellery, dribble food on fancy clothing, and cause sparks to fly out of expensive machinery.

so i decided it was best to call it a day and get the hell outta my office before i tried to take a swig of water out of my sippy cup, only to have the lid explode off the top, somehow hitting a sprinkler on the ceiling, breaking that little doohickey that if you break it (say, by hanging your clothes from it on a cruise ship because they need to dry and there’s no other place to hang things from since you’re living in a 6’x8′ cabin for 7 months – or so i’m told) sets off the water, thereby drowning my office, and these precious and unique books.

 

 


day three of #libday8

amy posted this February 2nd, 2012 | filed under: ilovemyjob, meme, moi | Tags: | no comments »

freezing rain + me in a hurry = ouch.

leaving the house this morning i wiped out, but good. slipped on the 2nd step down from my apartment and rode the rest of the stairs down on my ass (manoeuvring the curve in the stairs, thank you very much) and totally crunching my ankle at the bottom on the sidewalk.

so i did some work from home while lying prone and taking a few muscle relaxants cuz my back was not at all happy with the slip n’slide.

not much to report cuz the meds made me a bit loopy so i kept napping… read some blogs. sorted some emails. mind-mapped my job to try and get all the pieces to fit together into a cohesive picture.

hopeful that i’ll feel good enough to go into work tomorrow. i’m on the selection committee for a bunch of librarian positions, and there’s an interview & job talk tomorrow that i do not want to miss.

 


day two of #libday8

amy posted this January 31st, 2012 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, meme, moi | Tags: | no comments »

fell asleep early last night (so. much. indian. food.) so i woke up hyper early (well, for me). caught up on the blogosphere while listening to cbc. (i haven’t owned a television for over 10 years, so my life revolves around cbc radio.) (and i don’t not own one because i’m a hipster, i don’t own one because when i moved to bc 10 years ago it wasn’t worth shipping our gargantuan console tv.)

cbc is still talking about the horrific Shafia trial. (please don’t follow the links unless you want to be saddened, and likely read some crazytalk by some anti-immigration folks.) having worked in the newsroom of a daily newspaper, i understand the media, and the importance of discussing current events. that being said, i’m up before 8am and so i switch to the top 40 channel and just listen to the weather, cuz my brain is only kinda ready for this stuff.

meet with a faculty member to discuss collaborating on grants together. being tenure-track faculty at mpow, i can apply for all kinds o’research things. that being said, i still have a 9-5 job throughout the year, so it’s not like i’m a regular prof. BUT i know the library has a crucial role to play in many of the fun things happening at mcgill, and i’ll be damned if posted work hours stop me from doing things i truly enjoy and that will place the library as the hub of awesome that it is.

2nd meeting of the day is with my practicum student from the library school. she is looking at what actually makes an IR “successful” (because i don’t think that just having lotsa stuff in it = success. if it ain’t used, it ain’t successful.) she is wicked smart, asks the right questions, and is so interested in repositories that, well, i feel like the library school has come a loooong way since when i was there.

the rest of the day was me locked in my office, with breaks for coffee with ed:

  • finalizing the setup of the room for the retrospective digitization project (and by this i mean actually moving tables, and liaising with the movers)
  • updating various faculty on repository/digitization projects
  • setting meetings about digital collection sites
  • sending in bio and info for the ABQLA conference in May 2012 (battledecks, yo)
  • yelling at people on the internet (pretty standard for me)
  • sorting out some travel issues for CiL2012
  • looking at some metadata for a collection we are contributing to a promising linked data initiative with Library & Archives Canada
  • setting up a lot of meetings for the coming week and a half. a lot.
  • finalizing the coordination of having a friend talk at the library school. i like being able to do this for the school, because students should talk to librarylanders as often as possible, and i know some pretty awesome librarylanders.
  • reading some books for that thing i have to go to. ouf. it’s gonna be tough. (reading, not going to the thing.)
  • evaluating some other grants for a meeting that my partner-in-crime (prof @ the library school) and i want to hold next year
  • dealing with more emails
  • chatting with a team member who totally scored and found 2 large format scanners that had been “retired” but are still very functional, so we’re gonna set them up
  • telling a friend about my conference plan for june and july. his response “good gawd woman.” he was right. re-planning.
  • meeting two colleagues for drinks after work. we have a bunch of branches, so i don’t get to see a lot of my favourite people regularly. i consider this essential and part of my workday.
  • finally getting home and started poking at some sxsw stuff. we present in 6 weeks (WHUT WHUT?) and i’m psyched, but have also dropped the ball re: group prep so i’m working on that.
    also i ate a bucket of roasted rapini. that has nothing to do with being a librarian, but much to do with my happiness in life.
i like these libday things. i still get asked weekly what i do all day. it’s nice having a semi-recording of it. thanks Bobbi!

 

 


day one of #libday8

amy posted this January 31st, 2012 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, meme, moi | Tags: | 1 comment »

i hate mondays. i especially hate mondays after i’ve been out of the office, because then my inbox is bananas, there are messages on my phone (people, please, don’t bother phoning me), and my whiteboard gives me the stinkeye as though it’s saying “what have you done for me lately?”

today was one of those mondays.

since i am still sans-boss (BE MY BOSS) i attend the senior management meeting first thing in the morning to rep for my department. despite the early hour – okay, it’s not that early, but me and mornings have never liked each other very much – i genuinely enjoy these meetings. it’s great insight into big issues in the organization, and i get to learn from the dean and associate directors. also, there is free coffee, and usually some kinda cookie thing. BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.

we’ve got a number of digitization projects on the go, including a mega-retrospective dissertation project (the first 12,000 dissertations from mcgill – which will all be made publicly available), so i spend an hour interviewing some students for the gig. in between the interviews i start hacking away at my inbox. i also grab a quick coffee (yes, more coffee) with ed to set up our week and figure out if there are any fires that we need to put out, or start, by friday.

more interviews.

grab lunch in the cafeteria. they’ve started carrying some zaatar-type pitas with spinach and feta and YUM. also you can eat them while running between meetings. (i never eat in the library. nope. not never.) today i don’t have to run to another meeting for 45mins so i eat (inhale) the pita while reading some leadership books that were sent to me to prep for a leadership institute i’m going to in a few weeks. homework, yay! also, i don’t really read, uh, books, like, ever, so this is proving to be quite a learning experience.

look at to-do list and kinda freak out. get more coffee with ed.

see a question on a listserv (LIBRARYLAND LISTERVS 4EVA) about copyright which basically demonstrates how ignorant some librarians are when it comes to this (yes i know very confusing) topic. rant to ed (who gets to see RAMBINA in action more times than anyone should), rant to friendfeed, realize that i don’t want my colleagues to be this ignorant so decide to set up some sessions on copyright and OA for my peeps.

final interview. too many good candidates. i am lucky.

get an application in to the Young Canada Works program to get help with the dissertation project this summer.

triage elventy million emails.

sort out some other copyright superfuntimes with the grad studies office. follow up on missing equipment and software. hunt for invoices (seriously, i shouldn’t have to ask for an invoice if i owe you money, just gimme the thing and i will pay you), put a hold request on a book that i will try to read because i know i need to for my job and it’s time to put on my big-girl pants and just do it.

complain to friends via group text that it’s monday and someone should kill monday with a chainsaw.

realize i’m starving (homey needs more than a pita for lunch) and scrounge around my office for a snack. what do i find?

stinkin’ air canada snack food from my flight on saturday. (and yes, bretzels is french for pretzels. bretty stubid.) regardless, i devour’em.

read some articles, blog posts, poke at people on the internet about projects, and generally try and get inbox down to not-ass-kicking for tuesday.

end the day having dinner with the repository monkey at the other english university in town. we eat too much indian food, yell about mediated deposits, and generally confirm that we are in the right line of work.

get home and fill out an online quiz from one of the books for the leadership institute. it tells me my strengths are: futuristic, positivity, activator, adaptable, and individualistic.

so now i’m waiting for my teleporter to arrive.


it’s pronounced “muhn-tree-ahl” if you’re anglo.

amy posted this December 27th, 2011 | filed under: moi | no comments »

i was curious about “where he ate”…

Beautys – good food but crazy long lines in the morning when you’ve probably been out too late at other establishmens in the city. (also, if you want a mishmash, you go to Cosmos Café in NDG. hands down.) (and Montreal bagels ALWAYS WIN.)
St Viateur – hellz yes. like i said.
Club Social – hipstercentral though supergood coffee.
Jean Talon market – i miss having a car. WILD ASPARAGUS WINS. as does raw cheese (pretty sure they are at the Buckland cheese stand at Jean-Talon.) (no, i have no insider info)
Atwater market – 2 blocks from my house. seriously great, but a bit pricier than than Jean Talon.
Club Chasse & Peche – never been, but i know someone who used to work there. also, you can never stop Adam from talking ; )
L’Import Piece – never been. damn.
Marven’s – classic. don’t miss. calamari FTW.
crossing the street in montreal – ya, game on, muthafuckas. have your wits about you.
the Tam Tam – hippie drumming. superfun.
Guerriers de la Montagne – LARPish Montreal.
St Lawrence surfing – sure. why not.
Brasserie Capri – this is my ‘hood. now on my list. (any place that serves quarts of Export and real pea soup…)
Dominion Square Tavern – excellent drinks and the sink in the women’s loo is wonderful.
Gros Gibeau – go see cars, and have Orange Julep. well worth a summer night.
Joe Beef – JUST GO. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT. the garden out back, the smoker, the oysters, the staff (esp Vanya who will help you find the good wines)… JUST GO.
L’Express – get the steak frites.
Romados – Portuguese chicken will ruin you for all other rotisserie.
Brasserie T – never been. but Normand Laprise is fanfuckingtastic.
Big in Japan – totally on my hit list. noted: don’t mess with Martin Picard.
Grumman ’78 Taco Truck – well, when it’s open, ’tis the best thing in life, but it’s not open that often. blame Drapeau. (he really monkeyed the province.)
Nouveau Palais – late night eats. the only thing better is a poutine at La Belle Province, or peanut noodles at that place on St Laurent and des Pins which is probably closed now.
Schwartz’s – his order is perfect. and smoked meat is way better than pastrami. ya, i said it.

you can keep Celine Dion. most of us are pretty okay with that.

 

 


librarylanders ARE invading sxswi

amy posted this November 3rd, 2011 | filed under: ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, moi, presenting | Tags: | 1 comment »


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by sarah0s

wow.

so the panel that michael and i proposed was accepted for sxswi. and i’m happy to say that the incredible nate and the awesome char are joining the party.

this is such a kick-ass opportunity – to talk to non-librarylanders about our awesome – i’m really looking forward to it.

also, march in austin? sounds pretty sweet to me. (hullo barton springs!)

even better – i’m not the only librarylander speaking at sxswi – everyone in bold on this list will be there too!

 


critical thinking. more, now, please

amy posted this October 4th, 2011 | filed under: inspire me!, moi | no comments »

participation in our democracy that isn’t funded by news cameras.
#fuckyeahbuttercup

(also, i luv him)

 

i feel very privileged to have worked in a major media organization (and frankly, loved every gawddamn moment of it), but media and news cameras are the PERFECT reason why critical thinking is more important now than ever.

also, i equate critical thinking with owning your shit. don’t talk about things (thoughts or actions) you aren’t ready to be responsible for. (<momvoice> never end a sentence with a prepostion. </momvoice>)

i’m reminded of a quote from walt whitman from a body shop tshirt i once owned (alright alright, it was the 90s and i was a kid. shuduppayoface.)

“re-examine all you have been told…
dismiss what insults your soul.”

do this. everyday.


i should have done this ages ago

amy posted this September 29th, 2011 | filed under: moi, open access | 4 comments »


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by late night movie

because…

  • i haven’t in the past
  • it is time to walk the talk
  • i am on tenure-track at a major research university
  • the tenure & promotion process must evolve
  • publishing is about sharing knowledge
  • i believe it is fundamental to society
  • and possibly, because Open Access Hulk told me to do it…

from now on, i will only review articles for, sit on editorial boards of, and publish in, open access journals.

(wow! that. felt. AWESOME.)

 


a letter to libraryland partners

amy posted this September 20th, 2011 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, moi, ranting | 3 comments »

dear aggregators, ILS vendors, publishers, computer companies, library-equipment companies, and various “cooperatives”:

some good friends in libraryland are having a rough few weeks dealing with you. this makes me unhappy. first off, i appreciate that:

  1. for the most part you are in this for the benjamins while we are in it for our communities.
  2. to stay competitive you can’t tailor things down to meet absolutely everyone’s needs.
  3. you are responsible to your board members who are mostly concerned with #1.

given all of that (and i’m more “appreciative” than some) i still demand an explanation for the abominable customer service, foggy service contracts, condescending sales reps, tech support folks who treat libraries like guinea pigs for a new bug-tracking system, or ridiculous charges for “packages” (mpow has the economist from 8 different sources – it’s a great mag, but, srsly?).

consider this your notice, this will not last much longer. librarians are learning. learning that we can do a lot on our own. learning that it’s worth finding partners how really listen to us. learning that it’s okay to name names and call people out for their craptastic behaviour.

OH! and these librarians? they are moving into upper management (aka: where the buck stops).

so it’s your call really, continue to treat us poorly and then face the inevitable smackdown when i’m running the library. or up your game now, and become a true partner.

cheers,
amy


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!