Becoming a Solo Librarian: Challenges and Opportunities

Here’s a thought! Wonder who’ll get that Galapagos job?


My mentor recently forwarded me a thrilling job ad for a solo librarian at the Charles Darwin Research Station, located in Ecuador’s beautiful  Galápagos Islands. As the only professional librarian present, the successful candidate would get to do digital curation, cataloging, collection development, reference, budget planning, staff management, and ILS and building maintenance. You would be the librarian! This job ad got me thinking about solo librarianship: both the challenges and the amazing opportunities this work presents.

Where would I work?

Solo librarians work in diverse settings, but always alone or with a few student or paraprofessional assistants. In academia, solo librarians may work in small private colleges, satellite campuses, community colleges, or special libraries that get little foot traffic or receive Lilliputian budgets. For many of these institutions of higher education (particularly private for-profit colleges), the library may exist primarily for accreditation purposes, so administration’s low expectations can afford the librarian…

View original post 797 more words


Monday Inbox: US Embassy Baghdad’s Conrad Turner Recites a Russian Poem, And ….

Looky at what the cat dragged in…


— Domani Spero

Updated on 3/24 at 11:24 pm PST: The YouTube description now indicates that this is “One of four videos celebrating international poetry during the visit to Iraq of poets from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop.”

The video below was published by U.S. Embassy Baghdad on March 4, 2014 on YouTube. The video includes the English and Arabic text translation of a Russian poem.  The speaker is the embassy’s Public Affairs Counselor in Baghdad reciting a poem by Russian poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin in Baghdad. The embassy’s AIO also recited a poem last February; can’t say whose work he is reciting here, can you?

Oh, please don’t get us wrong, we love poetry.  We love Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese and  Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Underwear“and Keats, and Yeats, and Billy Collins, too.  But somebody from that building sent us an email asking if this is “really clever…

View original post 204 more words

Alfre Woodard to play the president on upcoming NBC drama ‘State of Affairs’

Hacking your career plans: independent information professionals


This post came about as a result of combining in my mind the following four things:

  1. A conversation about possible directions of big legal research sites (Lexis and Westlaw, specifically but hypothetically)*, now that there are so many reliable alternatives for finding primary law (statutes, court opinions) at significantly lower cost;
  2. The worn-out trope of the “death of libraries” (to which I’m not linking any items–do we really need to give it any more press?);
  3. Musings on the term “Chief Information Officer” and how it generally has nothing to do with information and everything to do with technology; and
  4. An announcement of a conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals.

The sum of these parts is brownies. (Yum.)

No, the sum of these parts is the role of the librarian outside the four walls of the library. (And brownies.)

Many of us are going to get our degrees, find…

View original post 693 more words

The Public Library Directors Symposium and Public Library Association (PLA)

Library Future

320,000 public libraries in the world – truly a deep well of inspiration and connections. We learned this figure from an introduction by Jessica Dorr of the Gates Foundation to the opening keynote at the Public Library Association (PLA) in Indianapolis, IN last week. The Public Library Directors Symposium, an event for public library leaders in the Innovative Interfaces ecosystem, was also held during PLA this year.
It was a full couple of days packed with learning, collaborating, and of course fun. Plus we had a lot of fresh energy coming straight from the SXSW conference in Austin.

Public Library Directors Symposium:
On Tuesday March 11th I flew from SXSW in Austin to Indianapolis to run the Public Library Directors Symposium (PLDS) with Innovative Interfaces, an event meant to bring leaders of Public Libraries together to address shared futures, plans, and challenges. The symposium included technology directions and strategy…

View original post 211 more words

Por que aprender sobre o aprender?

Paulo Freire pedagogical reflections (untranslated)

Little did I know

paulo freire Paulo Freire

O processo do aprender é um processo humano, orgânico e complexo, no sentido de que cada indivíduo, com sua unicidade de experiências, identidade e contexto histórico-social, transformará o ato de aprender numa experiência absolutamente pessoal e auto-transformadora. No entanto, para que esse processo seja de fato transformador, tanto do aprendiz quanto do mundo que o cerca, é necessário que o aprendiz engaje o objeto de estudo, assim como o ato de estudar, de maneira crítica. Para Paulo Freire, é essa postura crítica diante do objeto de estudo, e durante o ato de estudar, que propicia o objetivo fundamental da educação, a de criar, recriar e co-criar o conhecimento, recriando, assim, o mundo que nos cerca. É essa postura crítica diante da busca do conhecimento que potencializa a educação, resultando em mudança.

Se entendermos o ato de estudar, de buscar conhecimento, como um processo de (re)criação, precisamos admitir que…

View original post 366 more words

On the World Around Us: A Sampling of Science Blogs

The Blog

We love writers who are constantly curious — asking questions, digging deeper, and always learning about the world around us. Here are some science bloggers to add to your reading list:

The Renaissance Mathematicus

The self-proclaimed “aging freak” at Renaissance Mathematicus writes about the history, philosophy, and mythology of science in the early modern period (roughly the fifteeth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries) — and focuses on the mythology of science in particular, exposing and exploding these myths. For a taste, consider the recentposts on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

Why? Because Science.

The blogchild of witty science writer Thea Beckman, Why — Because Science is a refreshing space for science writing. Thea, who has a background in atmospheric science, injects humor and personality in her posts — take a look at “The Sky Is Only Sometimes Blue,” in which she illustrates a discussion of light, energy and sound…

View original post 214 more words

Spring-Clean Your Blog in Five Easy Steps

The Blog

The first day of Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the annual ritual of airing, dusting, and decluttering our homes. While you’re in cleaning mode, why not devote a few minutes to streamlining your blog, too? (Note: if you live south of the Equator, these tips are still valid!)

This isn’t just about appearances (though those matter), but also about traffic — a clean, attractive, easy-to-navigate site is one readers are more likely to visit again. Here are five things you can do in the next ten minutes to see immediate results.


#1 Unload your unused widgets

Theproblem: Widgets are a great tool for organizing your content and customizing your blog’s look. Overstuffing your sidebar (or other widget areas), though, can make your blog look busy, disorganized, and less professional.

What you can do: Look at your sidebar as if you were…

View original post 582 more words

The Digital Amphibians: New Job starting!

New job starts Monday, May 19, 2014 (well, just a summer internship, but still psyched! It is the premier federal library in DC!).  Totally psyched!  Details to follow.  Met with local placement agency yesterday to discuss post-summer (and post-graduation) employment ops.  Still awaiting final hiring decisions from Greensboro and Knoxville.  Looking at a couple of interesting distance and local 12-credit-hour certification programs.  Still cranking out poetry and reading with the Warrior Poetry Project, a program to help combat veterans use poetry to work their way through emotional trauma.  Still scouting potential beehive locations.  Two summer classes looming (torn between Cataloging and Classification and Special Libraries, decision may make itself as the latter does not seem to be reaching the minimum subscription level, and God knows I need the C&C). Life is a beach!

Digital amphibians, technological determinism, and the nuances of social phenomena

(Initial) Reflecting Allowed

I am writing this post to reflect on technological determinism (something in #edcmooc week one we discussed as utopian and dystopian views of technology), and which i was reminded of my Shyam’s post on “digital amphibians” (love the term, did he just invent it?

Let me just first say something we all know, that is so obvious on an abstract level I doubt anyone would disagree: absolutes, black/white thinking, generalizations, one-sided views… None of these work too well to accurately describe complex social phenomena like education. We use models and metaphors to approximate what we see, but these models or frameworks or whatever rarely capture the whole, they only serve to help clarify or shed light from a certain angle. (we do so for the sake of legibility, to communicate, to clarify, but in the end we distort reality and it become unrecognizable to those living it). However good…

View original post 1,367 more words