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.

Library Card Mantra

July 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Discovered a la “cardigan librarian.”

Categories: Pictures

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

The word on the street (of Anaheim)

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a brief update: the brink into absurdity of endurance is being met. Through socializing and networking, and a constant adherence to the rules of conference immersion, I’ve found myself with little free to sit at a computer and reflect (in “real time”) on the conference. That might change tomorrow as I have nothing set in stone to do in the evening aside from some kind of arranged/formal dinner, which hasn’t yet been formalized into arrangement.

Another thing: Fairfield Inn, the hotel I’m staying at, located right next to Disney, uses “iBAHN” for wireless Internet and, frankly, it sucks. Sure, it’s free, but is a 56k-esque connection worth being free, being available, at all? Might be an information elitist’s problem.

There will be reflection and reporting, however. But it might just take some time.

Categories: ALA

Introductions in Anaheim (Disney Vortex and ALA Think Tank)

June 22, 2012 1 comment

I don’t have a ton of time to write at the moment, as I’m trying to head with Dylan to the “Unconference,” but here’s briefly what happened yesterday: I visited Disneyland and I went to a Librarian meetup that turned into a rather calm though incredibly important house party experience. Disneyland, mind you, was an amazing experience. I got to see the parades:

I got to live up to my mother’s expectations and meet Mickey Mouse:

I got to go on rides, like Space Mountain:

Among these activities, I also got to experience Fantasmic, Mickey’s “light show” (which kind of surprised me as to how frightening parts of it are), the legendary fireworks display over the castle; I got to eat a chicken skewer at this BBQ place that tasted like mush; I got to see the crowds, wait in the lines, and become sensationalized. If I had more time I’d write more, but reflection will have to come on Tuesday, after everything’s over.

Finally, a note: Dylan and I were wonderfully introduced to the ALA Think Tank crew, this sort of anti- or extra- librarian-types who prefer a more lucid socializing experience as important conference-going experience. They are very active in panels, committees, and groups within ALA, but look at Think Tank as a necessary supplement. I’ll be attending their dance party this evening, and hope to share more. They’ll keep me from going to bed at an early hour, and I’m happy to be in agreement with that.

Categories: ALA

Anaheim: Touchdown

June 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Thus begins the travels through the Annual Conference of the American Library Association, here in Anaheim, Sunny California, USA, 2012. I’m here with co-iSchool-student Dylan Flesch, who is sitting across from me in this Fairfield Inn (Marriott) hotel room on his own netbook figuring out his schedule for the next five days of hell, heaven, and purgatory. Well, purgatory, which I would consider the spectacle center that is Disneyland, will be experienced by me in under an hour from the time of this post. I’m not sure what to expect but I’ve decided to go through it alone. Other peers are going to see the landscape of Mickey et al tomorrow, but there’s too much to do tomorrow, too many social events, too much lounging around.

We got in from Seattle around 10AM and they had our room ready immediately. The gate to California had this lovely display:

This hotel, mind you, is literally across the street from the main entrance to Disneyland and Disney Adventure, the parks that bring forth the masses. The room has a “BEST FRIENDS” framed picture on the wall featuring all the major Disney characters. It’s grotesque and comical for us, in a way, but we’re okay. There’s a pool here. And a giant spray-painted Mickey Mouse face on one of the rooftops of the floors below:

Along our adventures we: visited the LEGO store (but made no purchases), scoped out “Downtown Disney,” registered for ALA, noticed the curious lack of birds, the curious heat of LA, the parting of the clouds in the morning and the glorious blue sky in the afternoon/evening. We visited a liquor store and bought superb local brews. We ate lunch for $5.00 at a local Mexican joint on Harbor. We spent 2+ hours in our hotel room making schedules, going through coupons and programs, and sending emails while getting our drink on. It should be noted: I will be going to Disneyland ALONE (on purpose) for approximately 6 hours in approximately 10 minutes to observe spectacle and American consumerism at one of its nodes. It should be noted: I will be meeting up with iSchool students for drinks after that. It should be noted: I’ll be posting whenever possible on latest updates from what is and will be my first Anaheim Convention. There will be plenty of ridiculous pictures as well, I am sure. More details to come. And here, some pictures:

Categories: ALA