Archive for the ‘Personal Reflection’ Category


January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m currently working on an independent study with Anna Nash at the Ann Lennartz Memorial Library at the Audubon Center in Seward Park. I’m going to be focusing most of my information-related blogging on a project blog (, so excuse the lack of presence on this one.


An Update on Interning for the Seattle Public Library

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a quick update that I have officially finished the first “leg” of my internship with the Seattle Public Library, having worked to essentially fill out XML skeletons for the 2012 podcasts of the library. I think I’ve put in about 8-10 hours a week for the past two weeks working on this. I have no idea how many legs I’ll be working on, but it’s a thrilling adventure thus far!

I’m Back! Let the Second Year of Library School Begin

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Though I didn’t announce it, I did end up taking a break from this blog over the summer, as per advice from one of my peers. I’m excited to be doing more reflection this year, and find time to write in real prose (rather than just aggregate aggregate aggregate!–though aggregation is good!).

One of the best experiences in library work I had over the summer was from the Seattle Aquarium, where I helped catalog the entire collection (over 1,400 items) with just a handful of other volunteers. Here’s a picture of me and the other folks on the last day, when all the work was completed.

In other news, I completed my 6 month stint as a welcome desk volunteer with the Seattle Public Library, which was an amazing experience in learning about the customer service required for library work. SPL also invited me into an internship opportunity where I will be working to create metadata for their podcast collection–very exciting–I’ll be starting that soon. I also began (and continue) cataloging for the Zine Archive and Publishing Project (or ZAPP), under the wing of Violet Ward. I should get some pictures of me in there–I’ll make sure to do so this Wednesday. And as you can imagine, I’ve continued to volunteer as a librarian, tech instructor, researcher, organizer, and cataloger at the Ballard Landmark. Here’s a recent shot (from this month):

Finally (I think!) I put in a single day’s work into volunteering at the People’s Library of Seattle during the week of Seattle Public Library Closures. While my work wasn’t necessarily complex, as all I was doing was greeting and organizing shelves, volunteering there felt like I was important, serving a purpose.

In any case, looking forward, there is still quite a lot of room for figuring out my specialties and focuses. At the moment I’m going for “well-rounded.” I’m hoping to inevitably work for a public library at this point, but I really, really don’t want to leave Seattle. But the potential to do international work is also extremely enticing, to this day.

Recapping ALA Annual in Anaheim

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been about 48 hours since I got back from Anaheim, California, where the American Library Association Annual Conference was held. The past two posts sort of delved into what was going on, but as soon as the conference actually started, I realized that keeping up to date on the blog would be near-impossible. I think the fundamental thing I got out of being at ALA for the first time was LOSE YOURSELF. And by that I mean: “get lost and you will thus be found.” In short, I took every opportunity I had the physical strength to take. I attended official sessions and updates. I visited speaker presentations. I explored interest groups. I networked, networked and networked some more. I visited exhibition booths in the convention halls. I volunteered at one for LA Theatre Works. I attended giveaways, plays and performances. I even dealt with a huge fire alarm issue due to a crazy popcorn machine. Oh, and I partied. It’s strange saying that, but I learned early on via the ALA Think Tank (whose motto is “Party Hard, Make It Happen” and features a plethora of heavily active “movers and shakers”) that the formal activities are equally balanced by the informal.

Here is a list (as far as I can recall) of all the formal and informal-but-scheduled events I attended, following my romp in Disney:
* The Opening Session featuring ALA President Molly Raphael
* ALA Play (featuring crazy fun games like We Didn’t Playtest This At All)
* ALA Dance Party 3 (where I learned how to Two-Step from a librarian from Missouri, danced to Garth Brooks, and met a ton of young librarians)
* David Weinberger’s Presentation where he discussed libraries as a platform
* Fair Use, Intellectual Property, and New Media featuring three experts in the area including Duke’s Kevin Smith
* The Book Mobile Parade (see pictures below!)
* The UW iSchool Reception at the House of Blues
* A Tweet-up for Newbie and Vet Librarians at “Bar Louie” and another Librarian Dance Party at Fire and Ice, where I got to show off some severe dance skills to old school West Coast Hip Hop
* The LC Transition Forum where Zepheira’s Eric Miller discussed the New Bibliographic Framework Initiative (NBFI)
* The Cultural Programming session discussing possible outreach initiatives for library communities
* The Zine Pavilion where my friend Violet Fox volunteered most of her free time
* A Hookah Bar in the middle of nowhere Anaheim called the Rose Cafe, where we smoked hookah, had hummus with beef, and were given a tour of the kitchen from the wonderfully polite and friendly Iraqi owner
* Dan Rather’s presentation where he spoke on the liberation of journalism
* A huge day-trip to the Central Juvenile Hall (a detention center for youth) in LA where I met a bunch of fabulous prison, jail, and detention center librarians
* Battledecks, where ALA attendees competed a la giving impromptu presentations using randomized, absurd PowerPoint decks
* Muzeo, the private Anaheim museum which, in a featured exhibit, featured original Gutenberg leafs, and two fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls
* The phenomenally strange Crystal Cathedral, where I stared at a rotating glass Jesus sculpture for several minutes

There was a bit of down time at the end of the trip, where the closest friends I met during the trip spent time with me exploring, being exhausted, and simply relieving ourselves from the constant ebb and flow of the conference. I ended up going to the LAX airport with Dylan and we got a couple beers (LAX is horrible, by the way, compared to great airports like Sea-tac, PDX, and Minneapolis). The past two nights I’ve spent a total of two hours emailing contacts I made at the conference, some of which I’ll hopefully stay regularly connected with, some of which I might only see at conferences. I started a spreadsheet of contacts in case I ever need advice, inspiration, or potential job leads. What next? Back to professionalism, back to studies, back to my other projects, like my gaming blog and gaming research through the UW. The ALA Midwinter will be in Seattle this year, which means I get to see more administrative goings-on. School will continue to be in full swing.

I think the number one thing I’ve learned through my participation in ALA Annual is that it’s as valuable if not more valuable than the iSchool, than my volunteering, than my job. It’s not the most inexpensive investment (annual fees, time to read through all the information, the conference costs including hotels and eating and drinking), but it pays for itself. Coming full circle, as ALA Think Tank encouraged, this is more about a lifestyle than a professionalism, than a job, than a career.

To round out this post, here are various pictures from the event, from Anaheim, from everything that went on. While I wish I had taken more pictures, my phone’s battery life was of utmost concern.

Edit! I just stumbled upon some notes and remembered I also attended an Unconference and a session on digital librarianship. Wowzers. I can’t even keep it all together!

Categories: ALA, Personal Reflection

Today’s Notes from Volunteering at the Ballard Landmark Senior Center

February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Today was an eventful day. Glenna and Erica were both actively “working” on the library when I showed up at 2. Glenna was trying to put books back on the shelves. She claims she reshelves about 5-6 books a day that are left in the returns basket, which struck me as somewhat existential considering what people in an environment value and what they live for. It was romantic, in a way. Erica (I believe that’s her name) was weeding out old magazines. Something to keep in mind–people are constantly donating magazines (and sometimes books) to the library, so checking the magazines every week is a good idea.

After I spent about an hour talking with various people and making sure the organization was as good as it could be, I helped another, remarkable woman named Anne go through used magazines looking for pictures she could use to teach her friend, who recently had a stroke and lost a lot of brain functionality, the ability to match pictures and words. The friend only speaks in the words one, two, three, four, and five. Anne then asked me to help her on the computer, which I did; I showed her how to use Youtube to look for songs (she plays the violin), explained to her the nature of Pandora, and helped with a research question she had regarding red yest rice. She then told me about a poetry contest from earlier int he week, and proceeded to bring me a copy of her poem, which got third place (though I think it beat the first place winner, in my opinion), and tried to give me ten dollars as a donation to the library–I told her we wanted books but she told me the library has enough books. Glenna also told me she has a lot of books in storage she’d love to bring up, but there’s no room for them. How can we address this? Glenna also requested a library stamp for stamping the books, and I told her we’d look into that. Erica said she was looking for a book by Anita Shrieve that the library had but wasn’t there. After searching the stacks, I told her someone else was probably reading it.

Finally, I met this character Jordan, an 88 year old who is probably the most active 88 year old I’ve ever met, who goes to the gym, has written three full books, and wants me to video tape him telling jokes to strangers and get him on talk shows, splitting the money we make 50/50… yeah, um… yeah. Anyway, I taught him how to set a default font in Word, and watched, speechless, as he did exercises on the floor next to the computer, him attempting to prove to me his knees were in excellent shape. There are more subtle details, but hey! that’s another day at the Ballard Landmark for ya!

Small Business Owner IB

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

For my Information Behavior group project, my team designed a website and streaming presentation based around the information behavior of small business owners. For the project we interviewed multiple small business owners in Seattle and Renton, Washington, and Boise, Idaho. The results were fantastic, though the project could have benefit from more time and conceptualization. The link to the website is here and the link to the presentation is here.

Tomorrow Begins the Classes

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I have been trying to tie up loose ends, do pre-reading, stay caught up with work, and make sure I stay a little loose for the next two weeks, which have been described as “drinking from a firehouse”. One of the first courses in the MLIS program lasts only two weeks but has the same amount of credits as a typical class. The intensity looms.

Categories: Personal Reflection