Category Archives: Conference

The Year so Far

Back in August I wrote a post setting forth a few key goals for myself in my second year of graduate school. During my first year my plan was just to figure out how to survive in the library school world and hopefully get a summer internship. This year I wanted to set some more ambitious goals that I’d really have to put forth some effort to accomplish. Well now that I’ve finished up my winter quarter and therefor over half way through the school year, I thought it would be great time to check in on my goals and see what I should concentrate on in my final quarter.

So as a refresher course here are the goals I set back in September before my school year started.

  • Volunteer at ALA Midwinter – This year it is taking place in Seattle so I’m assuming UW’s iSchool will be hijacked during the conference. Who wouldn’t sneak off to an ALA conference when it is just a bus ride across town? Once school starts I should start asking around about how I can get involved.
  • Complete a DFW – This is a Directed Field Work or to some a practicum or an unpaid internship for credit. Now I know many students dislike unpaid internships for credit since the student ends up in the red, but our DFW system at UW allows me to get in on the ground floor with some local organizations that usually don’t offer intern positions otherwise. This is great for me since I am tied geographically to this area after grad school (I can’t complain my husband has a great job!). I’m hoping for a position that allows me to interact with archive patrons, donors, or at least fellow colleagues. I’ve had too many jobs where I just sit alone in a room and do my own thing.
  • Present at a conference (either a paper or poster) – Right now I’m thinking a smaller conference like the Washington Library Association or Northwest Archivists, but who knows maybe something interesting will cross my path and I’ll take a leap and submit something to SAA or ALA. I really have no ideas right now, but I’m not sweating it (yet).
  • Keep expanding my knowledge of archives, digital services, digital humanities, metadata, & cataloging – So besides taking classes geared toward this, I’m planning on learning more about the Digital Humanities via this awesome LibGuide from Boston College. I’ve also recently discovered iTunesU which is free and has free lectures series about tons of different topics. I have several downloaded (some from the Library of Congress) that I’m trying to fit in. Also I’m going to learn the basics of HTML/XML from this book recommended by my programmer husband so I can take the more intensive version of the HTML class offered in my program come the spring quarter.
  • Continue to write blog posts – It is so easy for me to just let everything else fall by the wayside while taking classes. One of those things that gets neglected is this blog. I will probably try a few tricks to keep this active like connecting posts to my class work or writing responses to other library/archive blog posts.
  • Get a summer internship – I have one internship in mind that I would like to have in the summer of 2013, but by March or April that could all change. However, I need to remember to apply, apply, apply and keep my eyes on the student jobs listserv, inalj, and archivesgig.
  • Attend more conferences – Okay well this goal is kind of already wrapped up, but I think it stills needs to be here. Last year I only attended one professional conference. This year I plan on attending InfoCamp Seattle (even though it intimidates me), Museum Computer Network (it’s in Seattle and there are GLAMWiki sessions), ALA Midwinter, and then it is a toss up between Northwest Archivists and WLA/OLA. I really wish I could go to SXSW, but the conference costs plus travel costs just puts it out of reach.

Below I’ll go through each point and review how well I’ve done so far this year!

  • Volunteer at ALA Midwinter – So this did not happen. Apparently ALA doesn’t ask for a lot of volunteers for the weekend (or I somehow totally missed all those emails). The only opportunity I saw was for the yoga session very early on Sunday morning & I don’t do yoga. However, I did get involved with my ALA chapter. I planned on hosting another library school student in my the big MLIS student couch surfing experiment, but my poor guest got sick right before the conference and couldn’t attend!
  • Complete a DFW – This will not happen during the standard school year this year. Enough normal classes have come up that I was interested in as well as my internship at Sub Pop Records that I haven’t had time to add a DFW in. However, my summer internship could turn into a DFW if that is under the only condition the organization will take me. (I don’t believe I need the credits at this point.)
  • Present at a conference (either a paper or poster) – I really thought it would take me all year to work up the nerve to accomplish this goal. I don’t really have a fear of presenting or talking in front of a crowd, but I do find it hard to convince myself I have something worth presenting. Luckily enough Samip Mallick who was my supervisor for my summer internship at the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) asked if I wanted to put together a proposal for the Library 2.012 virtual conference. It was just the push I needed! So at the beginning of October I presented “Taking Access to the User Online” – focusing on my work editing Wikipedia articles to drive traffic to materials in the archive.
  • Keep expanding my knowledge of archives, digital services, digital humanities, metadata, & cataloging – This goal is being accomplished in several different ways. I just finished a class on indexing and will being taking a class on digital humanities reference this spring. I have also started using Code Academy & Coursera. I’m currently interning at Sub Pop Records which is helping expand my knowledge of archives and digital asset management.
  • Continue to write blog posts – My social media class fall quarter really helped here, but I’ve totally dropped the ball during winter quarter. Adding an internship to my schedule really through a wrench into my normal operating procedure so I just let blogging fall to the wayside as I figured everything out. Hopefully I can figure out a better schedule during spring quarter.
  • Get a summer internship – I’m actually working on this goal during my break! I plan on updating my resume and applying to several positions while I have the time. I’m looking at archival positions – both digital & traditional as well as cataloging/metadata/indexing/taxonomy positions.
  • Attend more conferences – So far this year I have attended the Library 2.012 virtual Conference and ALA Midwinter. I did not attend the Museum Computer Network conference – it just didn’t fit into my schedule once I compared it with my school schedule. I do plan on attending one more conference this spring  the Washington/Oregon Library Associations Joint Conference.

So far I’m pretty pleased with my progress in completing my goals this year! I just need to work on getting a summer internship/DFW lined up as well as continuing to blog more and expand my info professional horizons through some professional development on my own time.

How about everyone else? Anyone else set some goals (written down or otherwise) at the beginning of the school year? How are you all doing with completing your goals?

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Digital Maker Spaces

As promised so long ago, here is a more in depth look into one of the sessions I attended at Infocamp Seattle.

This session was given by Ario Jafarzadeh (who can be found on Twitter @ario). The session was broken into three parts – intellectual precedecors to this ideas, ventures like what he had in mind (most of them are no longer operating), and then an open forum on how to make it happen in Seattle (where, sponsorship, revenue etc).

The idea of a digital maker space has many intellectual relatives- maker spaces like Maker Haus in the Fremont area in Seattle that focus on physical creation and coworking spaces like Office Nomads here which has people sharing a work space but not working cooperatively.

What Ario wants to do in Seattle is create a space that combines these ideas. A place that offers classes (at low price or free), workspace, and performance space all in one for the digital maker. So this would not just be “normal” programing, but also digital video editing and digital music creation. A place to learn, work on, and show off all aspects of digital creativity from apps to multimedia music productions.

He also covered many projects that he had based his own idea on. A big influencer was the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) in the Bay Area. I encourage you to check out the GAFFTA website. It’s a pretty cool organization.

The open forum was a way for the Infocamp community to give feedback, suggestions, and commentary on the idea. We discussed different areas within the city for the space, what type of space (did it need to have a store front or could it be tucked away to save on rent?), sponsorships and funding. We discussed different organizations that could partner on the project like the University of Washington, Microsoft, smaller tech companies, and even the reaching out to the Seattle or King County Public Libraries.

We discussed different long term funding methods outside of corporate partnerships as well. Should a place like this have monthly dues or fees? Could crowd funding through Kickstarter or Indiegogo help with start up costs and then just work with annual or bi-annual fundraising drive (think PBS or more local the C 89.5 radio station)? Should this be a non-profit or for profit?

Would like such a place in Seattle? Do you think it is doable?

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InfoCamp Seattle 2012

Pitching sessions with schedule boards in the background

Pitching Sessions in Mary Gates Hall

Over this past weekend I attended my first unconference, InfoCamp Seattle. I had publicly stated through Twitter and maybe a few other social media avenues that InfoCamp intimidated me. Yes you heard correctly, the unconference which is suppose to remove the barriers and rigidness of professional conferences scared me to my organized, librarian core. Also I knew that InfoCamp had a rabid following. What if I was the only one who didn’t know what was going on? What if I wasn’t interested in any sessions? What if I had nothing worth while to contribute in discussions?

If such fears have held you back from an unconference, let me assure you they are pretty much groundless. First off there were a TON of first time people at Infocamp. We all bumbled through it together. Also after the first “pitch session” (pictured above) where different people explain what their session is about (I was afraid we might be asked to vote or something – not the case) the rhythm is pretty much established and you can pretty much know what to expect. Also I was always interested in at least one session per time slot (if not more which is the real problem). Also I found I had plenty to contribute since I went to session about topics I was interested in.

Now I could begin talking about the sessions I attended but I feel like each session could easily each be its own blog entry (so that would mean this blog entry would end up being way too long). I will list the sessions I attended and if you are interested in hearing more please say so in the comments and I’ll make it into a blog post for you! I attended sessions on personal digital archiving (focusing on a new app for it!), gaining that 2 years experience for jobs, marketing the library in modern times, making a digital creator space in Seattle, confessions of a marketing consultant, digital intellectual rights Northwest, and taxonomy madness. As you can see the variety of session topics is incredible and it reflects the variety of people attending so if you don’t think you are the target audience of Infocamp you might want to reconsider.

Now I want to highlight one of the most enjoyable parts of Infocamp that caught me by surprise – networking. I will admit I’m not one of the best networkers out there. I’ll chit chat with my neighbors at events, but I they always seem to be students or job seekers just like me. Probably good connections years down the line, but not those connections that will give me that “in” when I hit the job market. However I did not have that problem at Infocamp! I met some great people in different LIS fields in Seattle that I am interested in. A few even started following me on Twitter so hopefully I will even continue to stay on their radar even after the weekend is a distant memory.

So I hope next there are even MORE Infocamp newbies!

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Taking Access to the User Online

Yesterday morning I participated in the Library 2.012 Virtual, Worldwide Conference. It was my first conference presentation experience, and even though it was totally virtual and I did not have to stare into the eyes of my attendees I still got those nerves right before I started. However, everything went smoothly and I got some very nice questions at the end of my presentation so I gauge it a success!

I would highly suggest this conference for any student wanting to have presentation experience. There is NO COST attached to the presentation (well besides your time & effort). I gave my presentation from my home computer with my cat sitting next to me as moral support. Also the presentation software is very easy to use especially if you are an online student use to online collaboration.

I have decided to share my slides with you all here as well. I’ll add some annotations to explain some of the pictures. If you would like to listen/watch the actual session it was recorded and can be found on the Library 2.012 website.

In case some of you haven’t seen a picture of me before!

A South Asian American is another with a heritage of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka.

An entity on SAADA was a contributor, author, or subject. I created entries for a few South Asian women who came to America for medical degrees in the early 20th century.

It is hard to see, but the “code” looks like this:
* [www.saadigitalarchive.org The South Asian American Digital Archive]
The phrase after the url is what is displayed as a hyperlink on the Wikipedia page.

After my first day working on these Wikipedia links, we had a user come in from one page I edited and he looked at 4 pages on the website and stayed for 14 minutes! Almost instant results on my work.

If you like the Gandhi/Tolstoy connection, please check out the archive! Indian revolutionaries interacted with other revolutionaries around the globe including the Irish!

The graph is the nifty metrics one gets as a Facebook admin for a page. The high point on the graph is for the week of 9/17-9/23 when SAADA reached 4,916 people. That week 5 posts were published. Of which one was a picture, two were educational posts and two were updates about the archive.

Our Achilles heel of user engagement. The effort of interacting with users on Twitter is almost nonexistent and our numbers reflect our lack of effort

You get what you put into social networks is the lesson here.

During the Q& A I also suggested looking into Flickr and Pinterest (which is the subject of an upcoming post). Both of these platforms could be a big boost. Pinterest is a very interesting service to look into. Archives, libraries, and museum that have interesting visual collections could be a big hit on the site. There is even a history category that these materials fall into and that can be easily browsed allowing browsing users to discover your materials. However, there are myriad copyright issues when considering this route so I’d closely read the terms of agreement before adding material or even putting much thought & energy into it.

I hope more library students take advantage of this conference in the future! Please if you have any questions about my presentation or about presenting at Library 2.012 in general leave a comment.

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Filed under Archives, Conference, Digital Archives, Library School