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Strengths and skills



My favorite programming task is pulling in data (or metadata!) and massaging it into a more useful format. I wrote seven of the metadata harvesters for the SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) and contributed to ten others; each one consumes data via an API, generally in XML, and exports normalized JSON. This is a representative example using OAI-PMH. (I also wrote a pretend one that uses a modified version of Faker to output sciencey-sounding titles.)

As a graduate student in electrical engineering I had the opportunity to process large data sets generated by frequency analysis of wireless channels, to characterize the performance of antennas. My graduate thesis contains MATLAB code (appendix A, page 28 of the PDF) that is representative of my work during that time. My other papers do not have code samples included, but they show the results of my data analysis.


Web development

I have done PHP scripting and customizations, including modifying RSSlib to include images based on a feed item’s source. I have also made significant interface changes to phpScheduleIt and LibStats.

I have contributed to the Open Science Framework (OSF); you can see most of my contributions here. My contributions to the OSF were primarily Python and JavaScript (mostly jQuery and Knockout) code, and my work included writing unit tests.

A while back, I wrote and shared a simple jQuery and HTML frame to make a wordy website friendlier.


I’ve installed, configured, customized, and maintained numerous WordPress sites, including writing code to customize themes and plugins. I’ve also administered and provided support for two multisite installations with numerous active users.

akla apw
I have also taught two one-shot classes on WordPress, one for Anchorage Programming Workshop and one for my colleagues at UAA. Here are the backup slides for APW (created in case of a slow network connection preventing a live demo).


I maintained a site in MODX for five years, including writing snippets (pieces of reusable PHP code) and chunks (reusable pieces of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML), and adding/removing plugins as needed.


User Experience

UXC-modelI wrote, then led the staff and faculty of an academic library to adopt a plan for user-centric decision making about their web presence; this document has been adopted and adapted for other organizations’ planning, as well.

The Plan for the Web Presence was part of a larger campaign to help my organization become more user-centered in our decision-making. I discussed the campaign in my 2013 LITA Forum talk, “Getting Buy-in on User Centricity,” which was also cited in chapter 5 (“Political and Social Dimensions of Library Code”) of Andromeda Yelton’s Library Technology Report, Coding for Librarians: Learning by Example.

I have performed small-scale (3-5 users) usability tests, using the results from each to drive important decisions about search interfaces and approaches to website changes.

I have also posited a model for understanding how user-centric an organization is. This model has been used by several organizations (e.g., McGill) to improve their relationships with their users.


Public Speaking

A full list of presentations, including conference talks and workshops/training sessions, is available on my Speaking page. I enjoy presenting workshops and discussing usability and organizational change; contact me if you have something you’d like me to present.


Organizational Social Media

I have initiated, organized, and managed the Twitter and Facebook accounts for an academic library, a women-in-technology group, and a state library association, as well as some subset of Google+, Google Places, Flickr, LinkedIn, GoodReads, LibraryThing, and Pinterest for each. Two of these organizations required written plans to implement social media, and each of the three had a distinctive voice/personality. In trying to ensure the success of these efforts, I learned the best way to work in each medium, in particular how to game the Facebook algorithm to increase engagement.



A list of workshops and training sessions I have run is available on my Speaking page.

I taught INST 630, Introduction to Programming for Information Professionals, online, for the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies in Fall 2016.

I enjoy making instructional materials such as IPython notebooks and written tutorials—an in-person class accompanied the latter. In addition to writing tutorials and running classes, I have also made short, informal instructional videos for colleagues.

More examples:



I have made hiring decisions, served on the boards of two non-profits, and been elected to governance positions within several state and national organizations, in addition to working on numerous organizing committees. I co-founded and managed a women-in-tech organization. I have also served on the management team for a multi-million dollar project, helping engineers make time estimates, improving documentation and workflows, and updating spreadsheets and Gantt charts as appropriate. In 2012 the American Library Association named me as an “Emerging Leader,” an honor which included additional leadership training, mentorship, and the opportunity to work with a team of my peers from around the country over a six-month period. I have also been instrumental in the development of a Code of Conduct/Anti-Harassment Policy for four organizations, including the American Library Association.