Role Models in Fiction


The fiction we read as children, pre-adolescents, adolescents, and possibly even as adults has a lot to do with who we become. I can directly map the books I read (and a little bit of TV and movies) into the person I am, and as a geek feminist and a member of a profession that encourages kids to read, I want to talk about that. I realize today’s fiction is better than my formative fiction, but I’m not sure it’s good enough. I suspect none of my readers—long-time, short-time, or for the first time following a link from a Twitter … Continue reading

Part of the Solution

Due to a confluence of events, I’ve come to realize that I have become part of the problem, at my library, when I initially set out to be part of the solution. That’s a short, trite, and unfair characterization of what’s going on, but that’s why I’m blogging about this, instead of trying to share it via Twitter–it bears exploring and explaining. (Also, in case it isn’t clear, this is a navel-gazing kind of post. I’m not out to solve the world’s problems, just mine. If you want to skip to my plan of action, I bolded my action items … Continue reading

ALA Midwinter Should be Virtual-Only

Courtney Young linked to the “White Paper on the ALA Midwinter Meeting.” And she asked for feedback on the document and on what we wanted to see ALA Midwinter become. Being me, I had a very strong (and rather strongly-worded) opinion, which I thought I’d repost here, for your reading enjoyment. Please, if you have further comments, feel free to leave them here, but also go tell Courtney. She is a great listener (even to text ;)) and really wants to hear what people think. As you know, I’m an extra $400+ in plane tickets away from EVERY conference (except … Continue reading

FLIPpity doo dah

I’m fortunate enough to work in a library that has a pretty active new-, future-, and experienced-but-interested-in-new-librarians’ issues group (was that a parallelism win or fail? who can say?), Future Librarians and Information science Professionals, or FLIP, which was definitely one of the things that I found attractive about the job, when I interviewed. I just attended my first meeting today, where we talked about one member’s move into a new job on campus—it sounds like a great opportunity—and how that relates to our library and the campus at large. People also asked how I was settling in, which was … Continue reading

Almost a librarian!

One project stands between me and full librarian status! (Unless you’re one of those sticklers who thinks you have to have some number of years in the field, first. But my title, once I start work, will be both Assistant Professor of Library Science and Web Services Librarian–I hope I can put both on my business card :)–so I feel pretty good about going ahead and using the L word.) And I have enough of it done that I could probably turn it in now and graduate. At this point, I’m just trying for the “A.” I have a couple … Continue reading

The Past Few Weeks

I make no secret of my loathing for summer classes. It isn’t the standard “I’d rather have a break,” though I suppose that factors in. Rather, it’s the inherent lack of balance. The summer semester at Pitt is 3-4 weeks (depending how you count) shorter than the other two, and like everywhere, the professors who are stuck teaching summer classes have to decide whether to try to fit an entire semester’s worth of material in–or short-change students who are paying as much for these classes as they would for classes in real semesters. This summer’s professors seem to be trying … Continue reading

Two down, one to go

I’m officially finished with my second semester of library school. It was an inauspicious ending, with my final project for the reference class cut short by travel to my partner’s grandmother’s funeral. (Family comes first, even at the end of the semester.) I got fine grades in my other two classes, but, yeah, I’ll be a bit short of a 4.0 GPA; I hear employers don’t look, anyway. While at the funeral, we both caught some kind of terrible cold (nothing porcine, I’m sure), so that’s eaten up the bulk of this week. I’m trying to get a little bit … Continue reading

Waffling and indecision

I’ve changed my summer course schedule twice, now. On the bright side, all of this fiddling has left me with courses I’m excited to be taking! INFSCI 2955: Special Topics: Systems – “Web Engineering” (Monday nights) LIS 2850: Library’s Role in Teaching and Learning, aka Library Instruction (Four weekends, Friday nights and Saturdays) LIS 2184: Legal Issues in Information Handling: Copyright & Fair Use in the Digital Age (Wednesday afternoons) I also have approval to count my Aviary work as an independent study, which is pretty fantastic. I’m setting aside a day a week for that–maybe more, if I can … Continue reading

Retreading old ground

The argument over whether the MLIS is useful/relevant/necessary to library work, particularly in academic libraries, has raged on for years. I admit, having been through roughly 2/3 of an MLIS program myself, now, I’m a little more on the “no” side than the “yes.” I’m centrist enough to see both sides, and, certainly, I’ve learned things in my classes. I don’t think the degree, sans professional experience, is worth anything at all, but, on the flip side, I’m not prepared to claim that professional experience alone is enough. I’ve been exposed to high-falutin’ ideals in coursework and seen the truth … Continue reading

Calmer in the morning

I was in a bit of a tizzy last night, and cooler heads have reminded me that sometimes rebuttals happen. Still, the rebuttal (which made a few sweeping statements of its own, I thought) was pre-economic-downturn. The special libraries that decreased the size of the applicant pool are no longer as numerous, or as well funded. (While I realize that the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” something like three special libraries have closed in Pittsburgh, recently.) I still believe that continuing to allow enrollment increases–or even keeping enrollment steady–would be short-sighted and unethical. I still think there are too … Continue reading