For the first time in, I think, ever, I have allergies. Not a fan. I am a fan of the allergy pills I'm taking it that make it possible to breath through my nose for a few hours.
Here's what else made me happy this week:
I am still enjoying Midnight in Chernobyl but it’s slow going. My brain keeps wanting to pronounce the Russian names correctly so I tend to read those way to many times.
I might take a break from this book for a bit. It’s not that it’s bad or even a slog, but I’ve got some library books that I need to get to so I can return them.
*Books shared here are affiliate links for Bookshop.org
On Wednesdays, our University has food trucks on the plaza and lots of students show up. I took advantage of this to do some quick outreach. I handed off flyers for our library survey and answered a few questions. It was a bit cold and breeze but an awesome way to spend an hour. I love our community.
Here's what else I'm working on:
It's been a while since I shared what I've added to my TBR list. Shockingly, it's not much.
Between late night kiddo nightmares, trying to catch up from conference travel, and way too many meetings, my brain is utterly unable to string together enough thoughts for a proper introduction. Plus, this week's links are many.
I'm going to take it easy and jump right into the sharing.
I just wrapped up my initial review of all my colleagues annual review portfolios. I work with a lot of great people who do amazing things. It makes me want to work harder and support them.
Here's what else made me smile this week:
This week, I developed a blog post for work about local news sources. Since it's just a blog post, I focused on the main sources with a few relevant niche sources. As I was writing, I realized just how overwhelming a single project like this could be.
What qualifies as news? Do I mention bias? Do I include hyperlocal neighborhoods? Do I split by subject matter or area of the city? Do I include all the ways you could follow one source? Do I expand to include neighborhoods over the border?
I ended up saving loads of resources to put into an expanded research guide that our users could reference later. Said research guide will still be curated but, more importantly, it will be organized for easier navigation. Most importantly, it will include some descriptive information to put each source in context to help the user decide what they really need to look at.
This is not the first time I've had to navigate through these waters. With each research guide, video, or tutorial, I'm making choices on what to include. I'm deciding what works best at this moment and for this audience. That necessarily means that I am deliberately omitting certain sources and information. My main goal with these projects is to funnel information in such a way that they are useful and not an inundation. It would be so easy to just smack a person in the face with ALL THE INFORMATION. That's a bad idea. Instead, I see my work as a librarian to wrangle information in such a way that it is easy to navigate, digest, and understand.
Right now, I have a mental image in my head of a cowboy lassoing a single cat out of a whole herd on the wide open plains. That's an absurd mental image, but it's not wrong. In a world where there's more and more information every second, not everyone can take the time to delicately pick out exactly what they need from the masses.
That's where I come in. I look at the whole landscape, make a short list, and then share that curated list with the person in front of me.
I just spent an hour outside hoping to talk to students during a "roving reference" session. I timed this session to overlap with our weekly sprit event on the campus plaza. There are lots of students who show up. Unfortunately, as it turns out, today there was no spirit event. Bummer for talking to students. At least I got a chance to enjoy the gorgeous weather.
Here's what I'm working on.
There is one thing I am going to miss if Twitter disappears: hashtags. This is a tiny, revolutionary thing that groups like ideas and makes them highly searchable.
Yesterday, I wrapped up my attendance at ACRL 2023. This is the conference for academic libraries. It's a place for us to share our research, what we've learned through work, and projects worth replicating. It's a massive conference with many overlapping virtual sessions, panels, presentations, posters, round tables, and lightning talks. Oh, and the exhibit hall was essentially in an airplane hanger.
It is impossible to go to everything you want to go to. Even with many sessions being recorded there is no way to consume all the content. That's where hashtags come in. Many of my colleagues (myself included), still tweet during sessions. That makes it possible for me to catch the important points from sessions I would otherwise miss. Plus, it creates a conversation where we can bounce and amplify ideas.
While I mostly use hashtags for conferences, I also use them when I'm curious about trends, to ask #LibraryTwitter questions, and to keep an eye on niche things I'm interested in.
Twitter is problematic, but searchable hashtags are great. I hope they stick around.
Tonight is my final night in a hotel for my work conference. I've relished these nights off of parenting - particularly after 10 days of solo parenting. I even lucked in to staying a hotel with decently firm mattresses. My back is a fan of the support.
Here's what else was good this week: