Hi! My name is Coral Sheldon-Hess. I’m a Web Services Librarian. Put broadly, my job is to develop my library’s web presence. In practice, I chair our Web and Social Media Teams, design and develop web pages, administer and train people on various web-based services, work at the reference desk, (sometimes) buy books for our engineering departments, do usability testing, analyze web analytics, and write or contribute to several planning documents. Plus other duties as assigned, of course. :)
Professionally, besides my day-to-day job, I’ve found myself focusing on three different areas:
1) My first career was wireless engineering, and I’m on the tech side of the library house; so it’s unsurprising that I’m interested in getting more women into technology, both within and outside of libraries. Some parts of my path into technology were very smooth, while others weren’t, and I want to do my part to smooth the path for other women (and, really, everybody). Toward that end, I’m in the process of co-founding a local women’s programming group.
2) Speaking up for new librarians and getting other new librarians to step up, speak up, and generally be leaders is also important to me. This is partially out of self interest (I earned my MLIS in 2009), but mostly, I lucked into lots of opportunities to meet people and get involved in my library associations very early in my career. I know not everyone has that kind of luck, and, again, I want to make things easier—help make sure that new members’ groups (two examples) are visible and welcoming, and help push new librarians into leadership positions early in their careers. Everyone deserves to have a voice and to feel welcome in organizations that they’re putting time and/or money into.
3) My third priority is building community among library, archive, and museum (LAM) workers. I run a monthly librarian dinner/happy hour, and it’s pretty successful. It has helped feed into the local chapter of the state library association, and I think it’s given a couple of librarians in other places similar ideas. I also run the social media committee for my state library association, and I am doing my best to get the state’s LAMs and LAM workers talking to each other online. I also learn (and, I hope, teach) a lot via my own social networks and work to be a contributing member of the online library community.
A more formal run-down of my career is available under the heading Curriculum Vitae, and a less formal run-down of my hobbies is also available. Of course, I’m always happy to answer questions; leave a comment on one of my blog posts, or email me (coral @ sheldon-hess . org) to get in touch!