Monday, January 30, 2017

Book 2: Managing Digitization Activities

TITLE: Managing Digitization Activities
AUTHOR: Rebecca L. Mugridge
STARTED: July 6, 2016
FINISHED: January 27, 2017
PAGES: 162
GENRE: Library Science

FIRST SENTENCE: Increasingly, academic and research libraries are becoming involved in reformatting materials from their collections to create digital content and are providing access to that content through metadata.

SUMMARY: [From ARL] This SPEC Kit investigates the purposes of ARL member libraries’ digitization efforts, the organizational structures these libraries use to manage digital initiatives, whether and how staff have been reassigned to support digitization activities, where funding to sustain digital activities originated and how that funding is allocated, how priorities are determined, whether libraries are outsourcing any digitization work, and how the success of libraries’ digital activities has been assessed. The survey, which focussed on the digitization of existing library materials, rather than the creation of born-digital objects, was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in February 2006. Sixty-eight libraries (55%) responded to the survey, of which all but two (97%) reported having engaged in digitization activities. Only one respondent reported having begun digitization activities prior to 1992; five other pioneers followed in 1992. From 1994 through 1998 there was a steady increase in the number of libraries beginning digital initiatives; 30 joined the pioneers at the rate of three to six a year. There was a spike of activity at the turn of the millennium that reached a high in 2000, when nine libraries began digital projects. Subsequently, new start-ups have slowed, with only an additional one to five libraries beginning digitization activities each year.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of organization charts, mission statements, job descriptions, policies and procedures, and selection criteria.

THOUGHTS: Well, I started this way back in July (since we're ramping our digitization efforts) and then it promptly got buried under a pile of work that was more pressing. All-in-all this is a decent overview of digitization activities as they relate to libraries. The examples were great, but I wish the webpages they used weren't filled with corrupted characters. Seriously, it was really bad editing there. I photocopied the resource lists so I can refer back to other places as we jump back into this.

RATING: 6/10 [Good]

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I Read This Week: January 29, 2017

I am woman! Watch me read!

I am still on a high after the Women's March on Washington. It was an exhilarating, invigorating, and inspiring event. (And the signs! My goodness, the signs were astounding!) Lady B suggested we keep the momentum going by seeing Hidden Figures on Monday. Lady K and I were totally in! Feminism and equal rights, yes! We are now riding a wave of enthusiasm and righteous indignation.... straight to political action. Watch out Capitol Hill! You are going to be inundated with mail and calls from me. I'm a DC resident so my vote "doesn't count," so I am opting to contact not only the DC non-voting rep, but the reps from Maryland and Virginia along with both leadership teams. Roar!

Anyhoo.... I've felt such energy to do things this week that I not only conquered my to do lists, but I've made quite the dent in my backlog of reading. I still have a large pile of magazines to get through, but I am making headway. Once I've tackled that pile, I am going to make a dent in the file of articles I've emailed to myself.

I will conquer it all!
  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, December 2016 - The bulk of this issue was a year-in-review. It was nice to glace at that, but I really enjoyed the first two articles. The first was on librarians' stressors and mindfulness... which added yet another book to my reading list. The second was on the "Thank a Librarian" project at Duke. It was a great idea and I may have to steal it. 
    • College and Research Libraries, January 2017 - I love the article about eavesdropping on students using Yik Yak. I used to do that for my office, but students started to drop out of the app so it wasn't worth my time. That said, still a great idea! I also enjoyed the article on reinvigorating strategic planning. I
      heart planning. 
    • American Libraries, January/February 2017 - There is a reason the stereotype of librarians and cats exists. I add to it by pouting at the trend piece showing the decline in library cats. On a positive note, I think it's a good thing that many libraries are trending toward digital library cards. Also, as always, the look back at 2016 and the referedna review continues to show just how important libraries are to communities. I think that will become even more true in the coming years.
  • Magazines
    • Good Housekeeping, December 2016, January 2017, and February 2017 - Yup. I flipped through these three issues in a
      marathon of reading one night. This is not my favorite magazine, but I did like the cookie and gift ideas in the December issue. The organizing and lifehack tips in the January issue were fine, but they were repeats of things you typically see this time of year. And for February, the recipes looked tasty but they were also things I've seen before.
    • The Atlantic - January/February 2017 - My goodness was this issue hard to read. The cover story Obama's presidency was poignant and uplifting, but it was also bittersweet. Coates is a phenomenal author and I would love him to have more pieces in this magazine. There was also a good story on sleep. I, for one, am a great sleeper. Also, the story one the intelligence of
      octopi was great. I love these animals and I like that they seem to be having a moment in scientific pop culture.
  • Books
    • I'm now over halfway through Walkable City. While I still love the book and the argument it is making, it's becoming clear the text lack structures. It feels like a bunch of blog posts smooshed together in categorized chapters. That's not awful, but it does mean the narrative and argument lack cohesion.
  • Other
    • Article club met this week. We read The Coddling of the American Mind from The Atlantic. I read this piece when it first came out in the September issue, but I re-read it before we met. My view on the article is largely unchanged upon re-read, but I found it to be a touch more applicable following the election. I don't, personally, advocate for "protecting" people from ideas they don't like (I think it reinforces bubbles), but I think when students are arguing for safe spaces what they are trying to get at is that we need to be more tolerant and, yes, politically correct. I don't think we should ban hard conversations or encounters, but I also don't think arguing for a more just and caring world is a bad thing.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Friday Find: Make America Read Again

I would present this item without comment... but nah. I LOVE IT! I'm walking a path of righteousness this week, and this shirt just fills me with so much happiness and power.

You can buy this from the BootsTees Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Variations on a Theme: Protest

I participated in the Women's March this past Saturday. It was awesome. There were so many people gathering to protest for their values and viewpoints. The March also inspired this month's Variations on a Theme. Here is a list of books about people fighting for what they believe in.

John Lewis

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. A galvanizing account of Lewis's coming-of-age in the movement, it's a capsule lesson in courage of conscience, a story that inspires without moralizing or simplifying in hindsight…The three volumes of March…aren't just a record of Lewis's activism but one of its brilliant examples, designed to help new generations of readers visualize the possibilities of political engagement…The graphic-novel genre proves to be the perfect means of showing us the friction at the movement's seams. Vivid and dynamic, yet easily accommodating political nuance, this form lends itself to depicting the complex confrontations and negotiations of a wide range of individuals…Emphasizing disruption, decentralization and cooperation over the mythic ascent of heroic leaders, this graphic novel's presentation of civil rights is startlingly contemporary. Lewis may be one of the "great men" of the movement, but his memoir is humble and generous, carving out much of its space for less well-known organizers, figures like Jim Lawson, Ella Baker and Diane Nash.

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

The Stonewall Riots: The History and Legacy of the Protests that Helped Spark the Modern Gay Rights Movement
Charles River Editors

The Stonewall Riots: The History and Legacy of the Protests that Helped Spark the Modern Gay Rights Movement chronicles the fateful chain of events that brought about the raid and the uprising that many consider the first step in the fight for gay rights. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Stonewall riots like never before, in no time at all.

Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights movement in America
Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney

This is the definitive account of the last great struggle for equal rights in the twentieth century. From the birth of the modern gay rights movement in 1969, at the Stonewall riots in New York, through 1988, when the gay rights movement was eclipsed by the more urgent demands of AIDS activists, this is the remarkable and until now untold story of how a largely invisible population of men and women banded together to create their place in America’s culture and government. Told through the voices of gay activists and their opponents, filled with dozens of colorful characters, Out for Good traces the emergence of gay rights movements in cities across the country and their transformation into a national force that changed the face of America forever. Out for Good is the unforgettable chronicle of an important—and nearly lost—chapter in American history.

The Suffragette: The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement
Sylvia Pankhurst

By 1903, more than fifty years of peaceful campaigning had brought British women no closer to attaining the right to vote. In that year activist Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union, a militant organization dedicated to achieving women's suffrage. The union's motto, "Deeds not words," reflected its radical approach, consisting of stone-throwing, window-breaking, arson, and physical confrontation with authorities. The Suffragette, written by Emmeline Pankhurst's daughter, Sylvia, offers an insider's perspective on the union's growth and development as well as the motives and ideals that inspired its leaders and followers. She chronicles the protesters' tactics as well as the consequences of their actions: arrests, imprisonment, hunger strikes, and the mental and physical ordeals of forced feeding. Vintage photographs illustrate the demonstrations, courtroom trials, and other dramatic incidents from the history of the women's militant suffrage movement.

March of the Suffragettes: Rosalie Gardiner Jones and the March for Voting Rights
Zachary Michael Jack

March of the Suffragettes tells the forgotten, real-life story of “General” Rosalie Gardiner Jones, who in the waning days of 1912 mustered and marched an all-women army nearly 175 miles to help win support for votes for women. General Jones, along with her good friends and accomplices “Colonel” Ida Craft, “Surgeon General” Lavinia Dock, and “War Correspondent” Jessie Hardy Stubbs, led marchers across New York state for their pilgrims’ cause, encountering not just wind, fog, sleet, snow, mud, and ice along their unpaved way, but also hecklers, escaped convicts, scandal-plagued industrialists on the lam, and jealous boyfriends and overprotective mothers hoping to convince the suffragettes to abandon their dangerous project. By night Rosalie’s army met and mingled with the rich and famous, attending glamorous balls in beautiful dresses to deliver fiery speeches; by day they fought blisters and bone-chilling cold, debated bitter Anti-suffragists, and dodged wayward bullets and pyrotechnics meant to intimidate them. They composed and sang their own marching songs for sisterhood and solidarity on their route, even as differences among them threatened to tear them apart.

Other Protest Books
The Art of Protest - T.V. Reed
The Ascent of Woman - Melanie Phillips
At the Dark End of the Street - Danielle L. McGuire
Bearing the Cross - David Garrow
Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly
Loving Vs. Virginia - Patrick Hruby Powell
Making Gay History - Eric Marcus
Not Here, Not Now, Not That! - Steven J. Tepper
Parting the Waters - Taylor Branch
Protest Nation - Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Ten Tea Parties - Joseph Cummins
Victory - Linda Hirshman

Links and Stuff: January 26, 2017

From Book Porn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Book 1: Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn

TITLE: Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn: Feminized Popular Culture in the Early Twenty-First Century
AUTHOR: Elana Levine, ed.
STARTED: December 18, 2016
FINISHED: January 7, 2017
PAGES: 285
GENRE: Non-Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Picking up a gossip magazine to read the latest on that reality celebrity divorce, entering pregnancy symptoms into a smartphone app, searching social media for recipes and fashion blogs for clothing inspiration while downloading bestselling erotic romance fiction to an e-reader.

SUMMARY: [From Amazon] Media expansion into the digital realm and the continuing segregation of users into niches has led to a proliferation of cultural products targeted to and consumed by women. Though often dismissed as frivolous or excessively emotional, feminized culture in reality offers compelling insights into the American experience of the early twenty-first century. Elana Levine brings together writings from feminist critics that chart the current terrain of feminized pop cultural production. Analyzing everything from Fifty Shades of Grey to Pinterest to pregnancy apps, contributors examine the economic, technological, representational, and experiential dimensions of products and phenomena that speak to, and about, the feminine. As these essays show, the imperative of productivity currently permeating feminized pop culture has created a generation of texts that speak as much to women's roles as public and private workers as to an impulse for fantasy or escape. Incisive and compelling, Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn sheds new light on contemporary women's engagement with an array of media forms in the context of postfeminist culture and neoliberalism.

THOUGHTS: Parts of this book were a bit dense or, alternatively, stretches of research, but overall I found this to be a fairly decent look into feminized parts of popular culture. It was a bit much to read as a whole book, but I'm glad I did because I liked some of the insights the authors offered. There was wide ranging discussion of what it means to be a woman and/or a feminist in a culture that does not necessarily like or admire either of those things.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I Read This Week: January 22, 2017

I made butternut squash soup on Friday. This was a week where I needed comfort food and soup, to me, is the ultimate comfort food. It's warm, it's soothing, I can have delicious bread with it, and I can eat the whole pot and not feel guilty.

It was a short week at work (which was awesome because it was also crazy busy - so many ups and downs on step stools grabbing books), so I had hoped to get through more of my magazine backlog. Sadly, I only managed to read a few issues, but at least it is a start. My magazine bin is so full that I might not have room for what arrives in my mailbox yet. I might have to prioritize my reading of old issues next week.
  • Magazines
    • HGTV Magazine, January/February 2017 - Again, this magazine is mainly pretty pictures and not much else. I did find the tips and tricks from the pros about painting to be useful. 
    • Food Network, January/February 2017 - Hello cozy dinners! They are some of my favorites. But, my favorite part of this issue were the the cupcakes. There was a cupcake recipe (and awesome picture) themed to each month of the year. If I was into baking challenges, I would try to make the recipe each month. Gimme frosting!
  • Books
    • I'm just shy of being half-way into Walkable City. The book is kind of repetitive and the structure of the writing is a bit flimsy, but I do think the author is making some great points.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Friday Find: Sips

I love shopping for my friend Lady B. When it comes to finding presents for her, I just walk around a museum store until something shiny strikes my fancy. I love museum stores because they have beautiful gifts, great books, and their wares have a touch of je ne sais quoi. Sometimes, when I'm doodling about in the interwebs, I'll pop on to a museum store website just to see what they have. That is how I find this beautiful set of cherry blossom mugs.

These would be perfect to sip out of as you settle in for a marathon reading session. (There is also a matching teapot available.)

You can buy them from the Smithsonian store online.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Links and Stuff: January 19, 2017

From Bonneibennett

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Why I Love... Reading Cookbooks

I love food. I love reading. I love looking at pictures of food. But, it wasn't until a few years ago that I thought about sitting down and reading a cookbook. I have no idea why the idea never occurred to me, but I am so glad I decided to use cookbooks as my "palette cleanser" reading during a read-a-thon. I have since learned that reading cookbooks is a delightful (and tasty) experience.

While the bulk of most cookbooks is recipes and pictures, many also include introductory pages or sections along with individual recipe introductions. These pages are full of lovely stories about family, history, culture, and experiences. It's these pages that truly bring cookbooks to life. The authors will share tales from their life about how their grandmother taught them how to pickle or their grandfather showed them how to make sauce or how their mother used to pack a peanut butter sandwich for them every morning. Even the technique sections of cookbooks will often relate back to a personal experience in the author's life. These tales are full of such life and love that it whets the appetite for the recipes to come later.

The stories also perfectly showcase how food came to play such a central role in our culture. Food brings us together as families, friends, and societies. We find common ground with food, and we share experiences with food. We pass along old family recipes and we share what we make with others. Food brings us all to the table, and cookbooks are what helps us bring that comforting ritual into our own lives.

I love reading cookbooks because the stories go beyond the ingredients to make dumplings. Cookbooks are the portraits of the best of our culture.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

What I Read This Week: January 15, 2017

Holy step count, Batman! We're closing another of our branch libraries on campus and my team is doing the the prep work. My fitbit has never been happier. If you thought librarians sat around all day, you'd be wrong. I've done an assortment of cardio, squats, and weight-lifting all week. It leaves me very tired at the end of the day, but at least I lost all of my holiday cookie weight. *eyes shortbread still in the freezer*

Short list this week because I've yet to get caught up on my Feedly reader. One of these days I will get around to reading my massive backlog of magazines. Hopefully, the next two (long) weekends will allow for reading time. Although we do have fun recreational plans. So probably not. Oh well.
  • Books
    • I'm a few chapters into Walkable City: How Downtown can Save America, One Step At A Time by Jeff Speck. I must look like a kid at a metal concert because I keep nodding my head adamantly in agreement with all of the author's points so far. I hate driving, so the author has a built-in fan in me.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Friday Find: Adorn

I have a thing for dainty pieces of jewelry. I love how simple pieces can make a big statement. I also love when I can wear my passions. This gorgeous necklace is simple, stunning, AND quotes Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

You can purchase this beautiful bauble from the NYPL store.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

What I Read This Week: January 8, 2017

I am so tired. We're closing and relocating the collection of one our campus libraries and the deadline got squished this week. I spent most of the week moving books, packing (and unpacking books), pushing carts, and prepping like crazy to get a lot more work done in a short time frame. As hectic as this is, I see two upsides - 1) I'm going to lose 10 pounds and 2) the days wooooooosh by very quickly.
  • Magazines
    • National Geographic, January 2017 - This is a very important issue. It's perhaps the best primer on gender you could possibly read. I love that NatGeo covers every possible spectrum of gender and does so with immense respect. This is comprehensive and a necessary read (particularly at this time). I also think the two pieces on how are it is to be a girl/woman are reminders that we are still far from equality.
  • Books
    • I finished up Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn. It was a pretty good selection of academic essays, and I like the new insights it gave me on popular culture.
    • I debated for a night over what to read next but I ultimately settled on starting the book Walkable City by Jeff Speck. As somone whose prefered method of transporation is walking, I have a feeling that I am going to love this book.
  • Other

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Friday Find: To the Wall

In the mood to redecorate a wall or two? There is some awesome bookish wallpaper available on Etsy. I am partial to this white variety.

You can grab this from the Wallpapers4Beginners shop.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Links and Stuff: January 5, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Why I Love... A Fresh Start

It's a brand new year! You know what that means... it's a fresh start on reading. I love when the new year rolls around because it means a new reading tracking sheet, a fresh reading list in my bullet journal, and a whole new host of books to read.

A few years ago, I gave up making reading resolutions. I found that I was too focused on numbers and it really subtracted from the pleasurable side of reading. I would pick books I knew I could speed read through just to pad my yearly totals. Now, I tell myself it's okay to read whatever strikes my fancy. My numbers of books read each year has dropped precipitously, but I enjoy what I am reading much more.

What I love most about each new year is that I get a fresh start to find something new. I scroll through my TBR lists (I have one on Pinterest, one in excel - that needs a major overhaul, and a mental list) and the "best of" lists that always come out around the holidays. I add anything that looks good to my TBR pile, and then I hit the library (or a bookstore if one of my favorite authors has something out). I start off the new year with a great slate of reading options and then I grab whatever looks good to me in the moment.

New year. New books. All is right in my world.

If you inhale, you can almost smell the crisp, clean pages.

How I Became a Librarian

I grew up in a family of readers. My parents read every day and we always had books in the home. Some of my best childhood memories are of curling up in a corner of my grandmother's guest bedroom reading books she had acquired over her years as a kindergarten teacher. In high school, my first job was working at our small town's used bookstore. I loved coming to work and seeing what new books came in and what titles people were buying. I spent more of my paycheck than I care to admit on books from the store. On top of all of this, my father is a librarian. I've always looked up to his positive outlook on books, reading, and learning. I loved how he always seemed to know information about things and, if he didn't, he tracked that information down.

When I was in college, I got a part-time job as a shelver and circulation assistant at my university's main library. It gave me "fun" money but it also started to show me how a library operates. The summer between my sophomore and junior years, I was a Senate intern on Capitol Hill and working at the library part-time. As much as I enjoyed interning, the best lesson that I learned was that I loved working at the library more. I went to college thinking I wanted to work in politics (possibly as a press secretary or in a communications department.) Three months on the hill taught me that my real passion lied elsewhere. That was the summer I decided I would look into becoming a librarian professionally.

My senior year, I lucked out. There was a full-time job opening in our library's technical services department. I also discovered that if I worked full-time, the University would pay for my Masters in Library Science if I was a part-time student. That sealed the deal for me. It took three years (and two different positions in the library), but I graduated with my degree in Library and Information Science. As luck would have it, the library I was working at underwent a reorganization, and I acquired a full-time, professional librarian position.

I have since worked in both Access Services and Technical services. I currently work as the Head of Preservation, but I also run our library's social media accounts and am the liaison librarian for our drama and media studies departments. If you asked me ten years ago where I thought my life would go, I would not have foreseen this future for myself. That said, I'm so very glad I've chosen this path. I'm a planner by nature, but I love that most of days include a lot of variety to keep my mind active. I also love that I get to be creative and funny while helping people with their research and work. I love the whole ecosystem of the library and how it helps to met patron needs.

Being a librarian, for me, is both a job and a lifestyle. It's in my blood and it's my passion.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

What I Read This Week: January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

This is a paltry list because I spent most of the past week with family, eating, cleaning, eating, getting stuff done on my to do list, eating, puttering around on the internet, and eating. But at least there is some reading!

  • Books
    • I'm a little over halfway through Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Lady Porn. For an academic book, I'm working through this at a pretty good clip. It's definitely not designed as a sitdown and read straight through sort of thing, but I am very much enjoying what I am learning about feminized popular culture.
  • Other
    • An article in The Washington Post shows how suburbs are starting to view sprawl as a health hazard. As someone how hates to drive and walks to things as much as possible, this is a change I can get behind.
    • Hat tip to The Husband for sending me this WaPo article on what it's like to be diplomatically expelled from a country.