Archive for December, 2010

Tech Skills & DiVeRsItY: A 2011 Puzzle

diversity-puzzle-2011Today is my last day at work -before the break- and as I’m getting ready to update and finish a “personal statement” for a report, the topics of Tech Skills & Diversity keep coming up and they seem to maintain some momentum/significance in my work and expectations for 2011. Two good examples are:

ALA Discovering Librarianship, my participation in this program will definitely play a major role in my diversity/service work in the next three years. This week, we had the very first webinar and Miguel Figueroa provided an overview of some (historical) data in the field of librarianship, higher education and the US in general; a copy of the Diversity Count Publication is available on the ALA website. The Discovering Librarianship program will officially kick off in January at ALA MidWinter in San Diego. The first year will focus on training (e.g. recruitment and marketing skills); the second year will be the actual field work (e.g. attending career fairs); and the third year will be devoted to assessment. In the short-term, I’m very excited to join this national and diverse group of people who are already involved in diversity initiatives; in the mid-term, I look forward to talking/working with some high/college students; and finally if everything goes as planned (as it should) I think this ALA program will make some key contributions to support existing or new diversity initiatives in higher education at the national level.

2011 Code4Lib Conference, yesterday I received some very good news (something like a x-mas present) the Code4Lib Scholarship Committee has selected my application to receive one of the Minority Scholarships to attend the 2011 Conference in Bloomington, IN. The scholarships are sponsored by Oregon State University and the Western North Carolina Library Network, thanks to all! This will be an excellent venue to meet a large group of library technologists with extraordinary contributions/roles in the fast-changing world of information access and research in higher education. I look forward to attending my very first tech-conference in February and I definitely hope to learn some effective strategies for coding and/or tweaking. I’m positive this experience will be a good addition to a work in progress about professional opportunities for new librarians from underrepresented groups. See you in Indiana :)

Anyway, now time for a needed break and Feliz Año Nuevo 2011!


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LARPS: Scholarship & Service

Scholarship and Service are main sections in LARPS -a local system established for librarians who seek promotion and continuing contract.  This week, as I worked on this section for the first draft of my Third Year Report, I found one interesting surprise: the Re-Indexing CONTENTdm metadata page -I created in 2008- has been mentioned/cited in a book chapter “Collaborative Digitization Goes Local” by Ken Middleton and Mayo Taylor.  I knew that some CONTENTdm users have regularly used this page; one way to know it is by checking the web stats or by replying to some of those emails!  Anyway, it’s always good to know that the work we’ve done here at Miami has helped someone else.  And speaking of CONTENTdm/DSpace customization, last month I was also happy to learn that a manuscript about this work has been accepted for publication -more details about it soon!

Going back to the report, it was also gratifying to write about two recent grant projects: Digitizing Freedom Summer funded by the Ohio Humanities Council and the Migration of a Newspaper Collection funded by the State Library of Ohio.  Grant projects can be fun and they definitely give some flexibility for purchasing new equipment and help undertake new risks/projects :) … perhaps my only concern is with the writing component –but that’s just me and my foreign language issues :(

I also enjoyed writing about the Creative Activity sub-section of my report, especially now as I’m working on the new DSpace Customization page; creating an online tutorial for documenting what works for us and providing access to the source code seems to support the idea of collaboration –maybe someone out there can help us improve our own code!  A second component of the DSpace page will be a Theme Gallery, which is already scheduled for a presentation/workshop with OhioLINK members by the end of January.

Last, since Service is also part of the LARPS puzzle, it was good to have some on-going activities such as: ALA Discovering Librarianship, TEDSIG of ALAO, MN Institute & the Open Access Journal project, 2012 JCLC, 2011 OVGTSL, MidWest CONTENTdm User Group, Accessibility Forum and Expo working group, and IFLA Special Interest Group on Indigenous Matters.

Alright, enough writing for now, time for a short break and nos vemos pronto!


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