Friday, August 12, 2011

End of Year 1/Start of year 2

I haven't really talked about my experience in library school recently, so I' thought I would take a moment and write a bit about my experience and my plans for the coming year. The last year was a pretty busy one for me. I took some great classes, met a bunch of cool people, and went to/started to plan a conference. I know I wrote a write up about my first term here is what's happened since then.

Spring Semester 2011:

This spring I took 3 classes:
  • 768 - Problems in library and information agency administration
  • 748 - Business information sources and services
  • 707 - Introduction to information organization and retrieval
All of the classes required a fairly substantial time commitment for the assignments and they were all back loaded at the end of the quarter. The result was a stress free start, and a stressful end. By the end of the quarter I was sleeping 12 hours over 4 days. If you've never done this before I recommend not doing it. As a result of stress and lack of sleep I forgot my external hard drive in one of the labs and it vanished. Doing things ahead of time, and not stressing out is worth it intrinsically. But if that's not enough to help you beat your procrastination streak, just imagine how much it sucked to loose 5 years of your intellectual life.

Problems in library administration was definitely a great class. It was worth if for the discussion of budgets alone. We also discussed library advocacy in depth, and how to deal with restructuring as a result of budget cuts. While the Business reference had a really weird vibe the term I took it, it was a great class and gave me a lot of experience looking for and using business information to create reports and analysis. It will definitely be a knowledge base I will use in the future. 707 was a solid intro class. It had its own thing going on, but the course work was really fun. The tests though, were very hard.

Spring quarter also saw three extra circular developments. I started seeing someone, which added a bit to my stress levels, but you know it's also really nice. I also pushed forwards on my work to organize InfoCamp SC. We got a solid team together, and I attended my first camp in San Fransico. Since then we have done a lot of work and are actually fairly far along in the event planning process. Finally, I became a contributing editor for a little blog called Hack Library School about a month or so after it started, and we won Best New Comer Library Blog 2011, from Salem Press's annual Library Blog Awards.

My favorite blog post I've wrote in the spring: The Abby's Bells are Silent - Brian Jacques, Author, dies at 71
Blog Post with the most hits (summer): My Time On The Borders - A Eulogy For Big Red Books
Top HLS Post: Someone To Look Up To - Finding Your Library Hero

Summer 2011:

After course wrapped up, I decided to stay in the area. Which was a good thing because if I had gone home I would have worked at Borders, and I think I would have really hated it. My boss Jon left to work at Trader Joes, and I don't think the store ever really had a chance to recover before the big red bookstore went bust. I've written about the collapse of borders on this blog and at Hack Library School. The down side to avoiding that depressing environment and staying in town, was that I couldn't really find a job here. As a result, I've been super poor all summer. Fortunately my boss at the library let me pick up hours, unfortunately it still isn't enough to live off of.

My parents stepped into the gap though, which was good for me. They even lent me money to take a class. I was extremely fortunate to be able to take a class on E-Government taught by Allister Allen, the government documents librarian at the University of Sheffield. The class was a fantastic blend of usability and reference training and evaluation. If you ever get a chance to take a class with Allister I heartily recommend it.

I started a project that I hope to finish soon, an annotated bibliography of science fiction. I'm actually being really bad and writing this instead of working on that, but school starts soon so I have to take advantage of this time for reflection and rest while I can. The projects been really rewarding but it became (for a while) an obsession.

My favorite blog post from summer: Notes From The Front Line - The Hospital Waiting Room
Blog Post with the most hits (spring): A Partial Inventory Of My Books
Top Post from HLS: Hack Your Program - The University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science

Fall Term 2012:

My origional schedule looked like this:
  1. 705 - Intro to research in library and information science
  2. 730- Cataloging
  3. 777 - Design and management of digital collections
I got a really sweet internship at the Attorney General's office, which because of budgetary constraints has forced me to switch things up a bit. I had to pick a class to drop. Because, I am not really focussed on digital collections, I decided to drop that class despite the fact that it's taught by one of our departments best professors. So this is my new schedule.
  1. 705 - Intro to research in library and information science
  2. 730- Cataloging
  3. Internship (for credit)
I'm really excited for my internship which will give me the opportunity to learn legal research, binding, and get more practice digitizing and indexing content. It's going to be fun, if a bit stifling for a few months. The dress code requires pants, tie, and jacket.

I'm also finishing up my project from last quarter. I've posted a bunch about it on here, and I'm going to be spending my Friday's working on it for at least 3 hours. That should give me the last push I need to get it read for publication. Everyone I've talked to says I should be able to get it published. My goal is to have it accepted by October.

Also in October is Info Camp SC. We're trudging along towards the home stretch. The challenge here is energy management. In a distance bike race, the lead bike may be tempted to sprint forward and extend their lead, but if they use all that energy, they could fall behind at the end. The trick is to stay just ahead of everyone else while keeping the largest amount of energy and making the optimum push at the end. We have most of what we need done at this point, but we have to hold back from getting everything done, lest we sit on our hands for 3 months and loose focus. InfoCamp is going to be a blast, you should come out for sure! It'll be October 1st and 2nd. Register here!

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