A book list and a trip update

Book stuff I complained on Twitter about The Name of the Wind, which I’ve had sitting in my Audible library for a while and decided to finally listen to, now that I’m finished with Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy (which is fantastic!). TNotW is clever, funny, well-written, and well-performed by the narrator, but there aren’t female characters, except for mothers and love interests. That annoys me, especially after reading so much speculative fiction that includes women. I shared as much on Twitter, and people asked for the list of what I’ve been reading. So, pulling from GoodReads, here are my recent … Continue reading

Driving South

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When we came up to Alaska, Dale and I kept a shared blog. It was a fun way to chronicle a weird journey, both the drive itself and the transition to living in Alaska, which is a pretty unique place. It’s been useful to several people through the years, because they got to see what my move (driving from Pittsburgh) and Dale’s move (shipping a bunch of boxes and flying) looked like and get a sense of the pros and cons of each approach. But because we’re leaving Alaska, and because the blog’s title was “Moving to Alaska,” that doesn’t … Continue reading

Code of conduct pledge and cosigner list

Although I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, informally, I would like to more publicly/formally talk about my participation in the Code of Conduct Pledge (#CoCPledge) movement—and hopefully add value to the movement with a sortable list of co-signers. (I’m not using this post to make all the arguments about why codes of conduct are important, but I’ve written about it before, and I will again.) Now, I’m no John Scalzi, and I know there aren’t any events/organizations that would miss me so much that they will drop everything to develop one of these statements (and the buy-in and policy … Continue reading

#alamw14 in glimpses

A photo from Council Orientation

I don’t yet have the space, mentally, to process ALA Midwinter and summarize it properly. But here are some moments and some impressions: When I finished my schedule back in Anchorage, I realized how much of my schedule was eaten by Council (three and a half actual Council meetings, two Council Forum meetings, the Orientation, the Executive Board/Membership meeting, the Executive Board Candidates Forum), and I despaired. That was a low point, in part because I had just found out that my workplace is seriously considering taking away travel funding (which is, even now, only awarded on a competitive basis … Continue reading

Identity – developer, information scientist, librarian

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Professionally, I’m in kind of a weird place, right now. (Feel free to make an Alaska joke, here, but that’s not what I mean.) I’ve finally come to understand that I enjoy and am pretty good at programming, and I want to improve those skills, which is something I’m working on. But, more broadly, I’ve also belatedly realized that what I really wanted to be, after library school, wasn’t so much a librarian as an information scientist, and I’ve been unconsciously approaching the entire profession from that perspective (when I don’t go full-on-IT, anyway). I realize perhaps this reads like … Continue reading

New Year’s resolutions

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The traditional end-of-year blog post is a retrospective and a reflection on the year’s experiences, but I feel like I did some of that with my Thanksgiving post. I realize I missed some stuff, and, sure, I glossed over the negatives of the year, because I was trying to practice gratitude; but I’d probably have done that with an end-of-December post, too. So I’ll do the other traditional blog post, listing goals/resolutions. And, to some extent, I think my goals for 2014 speak to my experience in 2013, so there’s a hint of the first type of post in here, … Continue reading

Impostor syndrome

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I’m going to say something I probably shouldn’t (for, indeed, what other purpose do blogs have?), but I hope that doing so will help other people, if they’re having similar issues. My admission: I’ve been feeling like an utter fraud and a complete failure at a significant portion of my job. (Spoiler: It’s better now!) I’ve been beating myself up for literally years, because I didn’t think I had an acceptable level of technical competence—specifically, coding prowess. And while there are legitimate disagreements about coding in the library profession, I think we can agree: most web librarians need a certain … Continue reading

Being thankful

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With all the health issues (and the cost of all the health issues) and everything, it would be really tempting to write off 2013 as a “rebuilding year,” and I won’t lie: those words have escaped my lips. Maybe as recently as yesterday, when I found out that the Prednisone was more of a diagnostic tool than a cure. Now that I’m off it, the pain is coming back, to the total lack of surprise of my doctor; and now that my shock has worn off, I’m pretty angry that she didn’t warn me. Anyway, we’re looking into ways to … Continue reading

Invisible disabilities and healing

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I started to write this post as a Facebook update, but (well, for one, it’s long, but more importantly,) it’s actually pretty relevant to my recent professional life: it’s one person’s set of anecdotes about an Issue In Our Field, if you will. Although it’s hard, I think writing it is the right thing to do. I feel like I owe this post to other people who have been brave and made posts along a similar theme. (I hesitate to link, based on the subject; but please let me know if you’d like to do more reading, to get others’ … Continue reading

Role Models in Fiction

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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