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ASIS&T 2006, Austin, TX November 4, 2006

Posted by jennimi in ASIS&T, Conference, Informatics.
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I’ll be posting over at jennimi about my trip to the annual ASIS&T conference, where June Abbas and I are presenting a poster about folksonomy and tagging. Flickr photos will be here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennx/tags/asist2006/) as I can upload them, and I’ll guest blogging on the conference blog, here, (http://asist2006.neasist.org/) when possible. Austin is a great town so far. This is my first trip to Texas and so far we’re really enjoying it.

ASIS&T 2006 Submission Accepted! May 29, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, Academic Librarianship, ASIS&T, Conference, library 2.0, User-defined subject terms, Web 2.0.
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Yay! I may just get to see Austin afterall… in November! Got back from a BADLY needed week in nature to find out the research proposal Dr. Abbas and I submitted to ASIS&T was accepted! Since it’s all still in the works I won’t say much yet but we’ll be looking primarily at folksonomies. This was a badly needed boost and I am SO looking forward to seeing what comes of our research ideas. The reviewers’ comments all included the phrase “hot topic”. Yup, that’s kind of what we’ve been saying. Now, to represent our ideas graphically in the form of a poster… that is the next challenge. 🙂

UNYSLA Conference: The Future Is Now – some personal reflections April 23, 2006

Posted by jennimi in About me, Conference, marketing yourself, Special Libraries Association.
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I attended the Upstate New York Chapter Special Libraries Association conference Friday as a student panelist. The experience was pretty positive all around. As students, we were welcomed and encouraged, and we were fed very well.

Allison Evatt, from Thomson Dialog gave a very clear presentation about how to market ourselves as information specialists, as well as how to write an “Elevator Speech“. To many this process may be de rigueur, but to me it was a welcome exercise in personal subject analysis.

I had met Allison in fall of 2004, when she spoke to my Reference class about how to use the web-based Dialog product – have since learned the command driven product as well, and we had a funny talk about that (once you learn command line searching, you can learn ANY searching). Her presentation was aimed at working professionals in special libraries, but since the audience was populated with many students and recent grads, she related much of her content to our concerns. Extremely applicable and meaty content. Much appreciated. One of the main points I came away with was the importance of branding. It’s old hat in the corporate world, but academic librarians/libraries can also benefit from a consistent and simple look and feel.

I will also be checking out Dialog’s Quantum workshops. You don’t have to be a Dialog customer to participate. Very cool.

I enjoyed putting myself in this mindset of marketing myself and my services as an information navigator, even if this involved, for the time being, imagining myself in a paid position. As always happens in these events, time moved quickly. I would have liked more discussion about my favorite marketing tool: blogs. Luckily I did get to chat up blogging, RSS and aggregators – informally – after the afternoon panel discussion of students and practitioners. Aside: great post in Lifehacker about using blogs to build your reputation.

The panel consisted of three practicing librarians and three student panelists, one of whom, Shannon Kealey, is a friend and colleague (we have worked together on DLIS club projects, and are working together on a Management project). Shannon has had experience in academic career services, and shared some wonderful pointers and insights from her experience.

We had been given questions for which to prepare, but unfortunately time did not permit discussion of all issues. “Job Search Challenges” dominated (perhaps understandably), as did tenure issues (strange question for SLA, but interesting perspectives were shared by many). “What will I be doing in 5-10 years” beat out “How did coursework help me prepare my professional skillset?” This was unfortunate for me as my enthusiasm, at the moment, shines through more with the latter topic. The work I have completed in my Indexing and Digital Libraries classes, as well as Collection Development, Digital Information Retrieval, and Arts and Sciences Libraries Reference Practicum has been challenging, exciting, interesting, and fun, and has – for me – joined the realms of library philosophy and real world application of skills.

It has been said to me before and I agree: what you get out of your graduate work is what you put into it. I guess that goes with anything, including conferences. Hats off to A. Ben Wagner, of the University at Buffalo Arts and Sciences Libraries, for making us all feel so welcome, and Beth Brown of Binghampton University libraries and President Elect of UNYSLA for a well oiled conference. You can find out more about the local SLA happenings at SLA Student Group at UB, which is maintained by Ben Hockenberry. Finally, thanks to Susan LaValley, outgoing SLA Student Chapter president, for inviting me to participate, and doing such a great job preparing us for the panel discussion.

Symposium! Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects March 10, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Academic Librarianship, Conference, Digitization Projects, Scholarship and Libraries in Transition, Web 2.0.
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Sitting here in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an interesting symposium about the impact of the mass digitizing of print materials such as U of Michigan and Google are doing with the U Mich library collection. I am really appreciating the official blog (and conference hall wireless), though it would kind of be cool to be allowed to post more than just comments. Also, a link back to symposium home, and other resources (restaurants and maps, for example) would have been nice. Still, the attendees here are very savvy. Nice to be a part of this.

First is panel discussion of impact on libraries was engaging. Participants were: Barabara Allen (Urbana-Champaign), Michael Keller (Stanford), Josie Parker (Ann Arbor District Library), and Karin Wittenberg (University of Virginia).

Some points and thoughts from this discussion:

From Barbara Allen’s talk:

-Digitization increases circulation of digital and print materials. Think back to the transition from card catalog to OPAC.
-Libraries need to rethink their space, the physical and the virtual.

-Partnering and collaboration between and among libraries creates value. This not only means academic libraries partnering with each other, but academic libraries connecting with public, and so on.

-Do random dissassociated digital projects add value? Connection and collaboration is KEY.

-Challenge: Academic library expenditures for resources have doubled over the last decade or so, while the (library) staff to student ratio continues to shrink. Mass digitization, as a mechanism of resource sharing, is not only an unstoppable force, but essential in information access as financial resources and physical space dwindle.

From Michael Keller:

-Exciting plans at Stanford including a bookless engineering library to take form over the next 20 years. What will this space look like? Will it be a place where scholars come to connect and share? Can we as librarians allow ourselves to radically change our ideas about what libraries mean to us? What is a library?

-I also liked the idea of proposed ancillary services like linking from footnotes, linking to the OED from words in text, reader recommendations (Amazon is on to something… but where can I find something like this in scholarly research?), and automatic alerts based on search history.

Two comments from the audience I wanted to mention:

-Someone proposed putting the Copyright Law Fair Use statement near every photocopier in every library. Here is a link to the ALA page on Fair Use.

– Developing countries: Remember that digital and online is still more accessible in some areas than print resources are, even on dial-up.