amy posted this May 19th, 2013 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, library skül, moi, ranting | no comments »
But sometimes… sometimes what’s happening in the world around us is just so egregiously bad that there’s no choice but to misbehave.
one of my favourite librarylanders, dorothea salo, gave a commencement speech today to a group of babybrarians. please read it. then start some trouble.
amy posted this April 8th, 2013 | filed under: discovery, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me! | Tags: #dayofDH | no comments »
i’m dayofDH-ing over here today, if that interests ya!
what is day of DH? well i’ll swipe it directly from the site…
A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is an open community publication project that will bring together scholars interested in the digital humanities from around the world to document what they do on one day. This year, Day of DH will take place on April 8th. The goal of the project is to create a web site that weaves together a picture of the participant’s activities on the day which answers the question, “Just what do digital humanists really do?”
(i think the answer to that question is “a metric tonne” but i’m biased)
amy posted this February 8th, 2013 | filed under: ranting | Tags: #freedaleaskey | no comments »
maybe libraryland has been too passive for too long and that’s why folks think they can bully us? maybe we don’t market ourselves well enough so folks don’t understand what we do and how we do it? or maybe folks just aren’t capable of handling critical discourse?
Edwin Mellen Press is suing Dale Askey (and McMaster University, his current employer) because after evaluating their products and finding them lacking, he had the audacity to blog about it. apparently, an academic with an opinion is earth-shattering. (something something if you worked with academics regularly this wouldn’t surprise you at all something.)
before joining libraryland i worked in publishing – newspapers, magazines, trade publications and scholarly publishing – for 14 years. i understand the business models. i see the challenges. i paid my dues. and anyone who knows me well will tell you i love, LOVE, the publishing industry. (sure, some of it is broken and needs fixing, but i truly do adore it.) so as someone who loves publishing, and still considers myself part of the industry, this whole thing embarrasses me.
awhile back i wrote a post about libraryland partners. this is another example of the screwy power dynamic we have with our “partners”. librarians vet resources all damn day – we are experts when it comes to this stuff. we get tenure based on this expertise! we share this information with colleagues because that’s how it works in academia and libraryland. if you have a crappy product, we will call you out on it because it gives you the opportunity to make it better. or not, as the case goes. if we’re all in this together, the appropriate response to criticism is discourse, not legal action.
McMaster must step up and support Dale. academia must step up and support Dale. libraryland MUST step up and support Dale. blog about it. tweet about it. tell your faculty and colleagues. sign this petition. but most of all, fight for academic freedom. fight for true partners.
amy posted this January 23rd, 2013 | filed under: ilovemyjob, moi | no comments »
we are looking for a Digitization & Preservation Librarian…
The McGill Library seeks an innovative, autonomous and resourceful librarian to manage the current digital collections and work with the campus community on digitization and preservation of the material and the library’s special and circulating collections of the Library of one of the world’s most prestigious research universities.
it’s an awesome gig, but you’ll have to work with me. (sorry!)
amy posted this January 19th, 2013 | filed under: discovery, innovation, inspire me! | no comments »
i frequently find myself drowning in libraryland/academic blogs. so much to read. so much echo. so much of the rest of the world that i’m ignoring.
thank jeebus for the weekly “six links worthy of your attention“ post. it collects the recommendations of some seriously awesome folk (yes, two of them spoke at Access2012 this year. yes, they rocked. yes, you shoulda been there.) in terms of what is good and great to read on the tubes each week.
[ya they are all montrealers. i might be biased. if you lived here, you would be too.]
amy posted this January 16th, 2013 | filed under: inspire me!, moi, ranting, revolution | no comments »
i am not an eloquent writer. i have friends who are, and it is something i genuinely admire. me? i write like i speak. (i was once told that beers with me was basically my twitter feed brought to life.)
this lack of eloquence means i have spent the past week debating how to write about the angry broken heart i have for the death of Aaron Swartz. “ME ANGRY. LIBRARYLAND DO SOMETHING.” is the best i had. (have?)
i have never met Aaron, but he was a huge part of my libraryland. he had a hand in many of the tools i use every damn day (RSS? Reddit? Creative Commons?). he fought against SOPA and PIPA. he helped build the Open Library. he fundamentally believed in access to information. he freed up tonnes of public legal info and gave it to public.resource.org.
and yes, he downloaded a chunk of JSTOR (for which he was charged as though he was some kind of terrorist) and he also wrote a Guerilla OA Manifesto. both of which i adore, because every revolution needs someone willing to push the boundaries when those boundaries are rooted in tradition and blind to the future. (watch Aaron talk about this. now.)
and though i fear this will sound trite, he was one of my heroes.
so i read Jonathan Rochkind’s post about Aaron’s life, and information, and libraries, and most importantly, libraryland’s silence and lack of support for Aaron during the JSTOR lawsuit and i got angry. angry because i feel this is a call to arms, a time to FIGHT (now, now now now) and i fear we will just move on doing as we do – talking and not doing. (and i know that a lot of you do things, but FFS, as a cohesive unit, we’ve not done what we ought to.)
i resolve to start doing. more. anything i can. and you should too. WE MUST.
thankfully the awesome BCLA came up with some ways for us to take action. my faves (as an academic librarylander) are:
TAKE A STAND on political issues affecting access to information, literacy, intellectual freedom, and education. Don’t rely on tried-and-true cop-outs like “this doesn’t affect my work” or “I can’t see how I can make a difference”. High level information policy decisions affect all of us – as citizens, scholars, and human beings. Aaron saw this, and he did what he could – whatever he could – to stand up for what he felt was right. Which takes us to:
Don’t be afraid to have feelings about what is right and wrong, and don’t be afraid to stand up for them. Attempts to disenfranchise and intimidate people should not be tolerated – silence is acquiescence at best and endorsement at worst. Get involved in conversations and advocacy around these issues on Twitter, on Facebook, on Reddit, on your blog, in the press…everywhere. Advocate to your users, to your colleagues, to your friends, to your Board, to your elected officials. Advocate to everyone who will listen – and especially to the people who won’t!
If you work at an academic institution, lobby enthusiastically on behalf of Open Access journals and in support of robust – and binding – requirements for making the products of faculty and student research freely available through institutional repositories. Don’t be afraid to stand up to bullying from copyright and publishing cabals. If somebody tries to sell your institution garbage while insisting it’s lemonade, tell them so – and tell everybody else who will listen.
all this to say… i don’t really know what to say. i am sad and angry and think the best way to deal with this is to fuel it into libraryland projects that expand access to information. i have talked a mean game for too long. Aaron just did it.
if not now, when?
[two posts in a row where i talk about the loss of a hero. grrrrrr.]
amy posted this September 15th, 2012 | filed under: moi | no comments »
today is the memorial service for Lee and Judy Dirks, so i thought i’d do some remembering myself (though i have thought of Lee daily since waking up august 30th to a fb message from a good friend asking if i had heard the news about Lee).
i was introduced to Lee by Peter Brantley after, well, yelling on the internet. (social media can be your friend, kids. if you’re willing to own your words, and listen to what others are saying, you’d be surprised at who lets you join the conversation.) the twitter convo stemmed from Peter’s post about the frustrating state of affairs in academic libraryland. i don’t have the whole back n’forth, but ultimately it led to this tweet:
lots and back n’forth happened after that. me with my crazy ideas, finding out that there are lots (LOTS) of others out there willing to take risks on crazy ideas in order to make things better. the first being Peter, the second being Lee.
i finally got to meet-meet (as opposed to Skype/email-meet) Lee when a road trip took me through Seattle in April 2011. he hosted us (moi, Kendra & Meg) at Microsoft Research for an afternoon of talking about academic libraryland and offering us sneak peeks of fun tools including chronozoom. i spent the afternoon in awe of how friendly and warm Lee was (we had only chatted a few times before this) and how open he was to working with librarians to just make things better.
(i have zero pix of Lee and i together, but my visitor pass is still stuck to the bottom of my Mac, where i put it after leaving MSR. later at SXSW, many many jokes were made about “tightening security” before i arrived, and that normally they just let anyone in but because i was coming suddenly everyone needed to be signed in and out.)
the academic revolution plans were put on hold (though Lee’s passing has lit a fire under many asses to get this going, so watch this space) but we kept in touch. shared some Lone Star together in Austin at Open Repositories 2011 (my gawd, THE HEAT), repeatedly heckled each other on fb, and tried to always meet up at conferences.
we were both in Austin again for SXSWi 2012. before i even got there, i was involved in many planning emails from Lee for bbq, beers, and bat-watching. i had only met one other person on the email list, but almost all of the names were familiar – familiar in the ZOMG I GET TO MEET HIM/HER!?!? way. i have since learned that this was Lee’s way of building community – get everyone he knows and likes together for fun, and watch the relationships grow. so there i was, still a babybrarian, sharing the plans for SXSWi with folks that i had professional-crushes on. (and please don’t think i was all smooth’n savvy or anything. i got some pretty hilarious blowback for telling Lee to “just Google it”. hey buckland, he works at MSR and is inviting you to crazy stuff you’d never normally go to. the least you can do is remember it’s Bing, you monkey.)
SXSWi arrived. two memories that i will have forever:
1. organizing and speaking on a pretty successful panel with awesome librarylanders.
2. what i now refer to as “The Broken Spoke Night”. the tl; dr version is:
Lee’s friends + texmex + honky tonk + two-stepping + Johnny Knoxville + eleventyfour people in a minivan = one of my favourite nights of all time.
so so very fun.
Lee may not have realized it, but he had become a mentor. whenever work was getting me down, or i was seeing things happening in libraryland that just made me want to permanently become Rambina, he would remind me that i can change it – that i should change it – especially if it makes me want to smash things.
he encouraged me to think big. and that when i failed at something (“which you will, and hopefully in a spectacular fashion!”) that meant i was doing it right.
he taught me that seeking out people interested in moving forward (and not wallowing in what is wrong) is the way to build a community. it would be hard work, but imagine what could be done if i was surrounded by folks who liked laughing, honky tonk, and fixing broken things?
it goes without saying that i will miss Lee, so i’m going to do my best to channel his kindess, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and community-building in my libraryland travels. i challenge all of you to do the same.
cheers, Lee. you truly rock.
Lee and Judy left behind two daughters. if you are so inclined, a support fund has been setup for them. please consider giving.
amy posted this August 20th, 2012 | filed under: conference-y, innovation, inspire me! | Tags: accessYUL | no comments »
we’ve opened registration for Access 2012 and i think you should all register to join us for what is sure to be one kickass conference.
amy posted this August 13th, 2012 | filed under: conference-y, discovery, general, ilovemyjob, innovation, inspire me!, presenting, ranting | Tags: sxsw, sxswi, sxswLAM | no comments »
it’s the time of year where everyone is pimping out their SXSWi presentations. so…
HI I’D LIKE TO GO TO SXSWi AGAIN!
actually, this year i’ve got two proposals in the hopper. (yes folks, that’s how much i love bbq, beer, and bats.)
the first is We Build Online Communities. Really, We Do with Michael Porter (Library Renewal) and David Lee King (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library).
What can libraries, one of the original community-centered, non-profit organizations, teach others about building online communities?
What can libraries learn from online communities that were built for other goals?
How do you build an online community when you have few resources?
If I am online using social media, various search engines, and commercial services to get my e-content, why do I even need the library in the coming years?
What can I do to make sure my local library is a relevant, practical resource for me?
the other is Collective Conscious for Gathering Information with Tinamarie Vella (CUNY Graduate School of Journalism) and Marsha Iverson (King County Library System).
What kind of tech tools can be used to gather reliable information?
What are some of the ways to train individuals to strengthen gathering skills?
Where do you turn for reliable information?
What do you see as the main value of information institutions: journalism, libraries and post-secondary education?
How can journalists, librarians, and educators combine their help our communities learn how to find better information?
so please mosey over to the panel picker and vote. be sure to check out all the #sxswLAM proposals!
amy posted this May 18th, 2012 | filed under: general | no comments »
i’m thrilled to announce the inaugural issue of the Journal of Librarianship & Scholarly Communication. this journal came out of a fantastic series of meetings sponsored by IMLS on library-based publishing. i was fortunate enough to go to the University of Utah to share how my experiences in publishing pre-libraryland are helping me as i work on McGill’s epublishing initiatives. there i met Isaac, and a number of other kickass-types in libraries and scholarly publishing. also, Salt Lake City has some yummy beer.
anyway, JLSC was founded after those meetings by Isaac and Marisa who saw the need for a venue to discuss the issues relevant to scholarly communication and publishing librarians (and IR managers, and those involved in digitization, and and and…)
basically i kinda feel like this journal was created for my job, specifically. HOW LUCKY AM I?
i was fortunate enough to be invited to be part of the founding editorial board, which, kinda blew my mind, and my mind continues to be blown during every editorial board conference call. ya, a conference call that i actually look forward to – who woulda thunk it?
so, check out the inaugural issue. then think of something to submit to get your research out there! (naturally, we are an open access publication, cuz research shouldn’t live behind pay barriers.)