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.

the internet is ours

amy posted this January 19th, 2012 | filed under: inspire me!, ranting, revolution | no comments »

so much going on in the world these days affecting libraries, some of it so enraging that i just want to SMASH. SOPA/PIPA. RWA (not my high school, the Research Works Act). Golan v Holder. (and i know these are all American bills/decisions, but given the political climate in My Home and Native Land these days, there’s no reason why we couldn’t enact similar legislation.)

until i can calm down enough to be less Rambina, i’m going to quote from David Weinberger’s post about the blackout yesterday by a buncha organizations (Internet Archive, Wikipedia, lots more).


First, This is our Internet. We built it. We built it for us, not for you. We get to turn off the lights, not you.
Second, we are better custodians of culture than are culture’s merchants because we understand that culture is what we have in common. We feel pain every time something is held back from this Commons.
Third, just as we can make someone famous rather than having to passively accept the celebrities you foist upon us, we can make an idea politically potent. Going dark was the self-assertion with which political engagement begins.
Fourth, there’s a growing “we” on the Internet. It is not as inclusive as we think, it’s far more diverse than we imagine, and it’s far less egalitarian than we should demanand. But so was tbe “we” in “We the People.” The individual acts of darkness declared a start of the We we need to nurture.


the internet is ours and we must fight those who seek to impede our access to it. be outraged.


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.



libraryland and the 99%

amy posted this November 16th, 2011 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, revolution | Tags: | no comments »

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by david_shankbone

read this.
and this.
so so angry.
but even more, so so proud to be part of a profession (vocation? calling? AWESOMEST POSSE EVAR?) that makes sure such things as the #peopleslibrary exist.

so much awesome

amy posted this November 4th, 2011 | filed under: conference-y, inspire me! | 1 comment »

i’m just home from 3 conferences in 3 weeks. since october 15 i’ve been at Internet Librarian (Monterey), Access (Vancouver), and DLF Fall Forum (Baltimore).
my brain is positively filled with awesome ideas and inspiration. lists and lists of tools and services that could work at mpow. so much to do. so much fun.
my heart is also full. damn, did i ever make the right call joining libraryland. so many passionate people who want to make sure our communities have access to the information they need. particularly inspiring over these past few weeks:

  • Sarah Houghton’s video looking at recent Amazon loans bullshit (go watch it. now.)
  • the folks who attended our “new modes of publishing” session at DLF and took our challenge to add their thoughts to the google doc we had live on the screen. (the attendees took a list of recommendations – you know, those kinds of recommendations that are both great because they answer “why”, but kinda useless because they don’t answer “how” – and made them actionable. as i tweeted, “way to not just sit on your arses #dlfforum”)
  • Bess Sadler (arguably one of the top coders in libraryland) talking about how it’s not about the code, it’s about the community, at Access.
  • Michael Porter’s passionate and articulate calling-out of vendor disregard for user privacy, while sitting on a panel with OverDrive and other ebook vendors at IL.
  • the librarylanders at Access who made trips down to OccupyVancouver (and those of you who are attending Occupy events in other cities) to support the movement, because libraryland lives outside of libraries – it’s wherever our users are.

there will be more posts coming as i start getting everything out of my head and into action, but until then, libraryland, i love ya.

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


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.

(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


  • 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.


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!