Managing…. Me?

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


It’s amazing to me how quickly time has flown but at the same time how slowly it’s gone by, if that makes any sense. It seems like we just started this course, but also like it’s been a lot longer than three months since I got here.

As far as writing this blog goes, I’ve had a blog for over three years now, so I’m used to this kind of platform. My writing style and voice haven’t really changed in this because I have an established voice already. If you look back at the beginning of Ever-Present Wanderlust, though, there is a marked difference in my writing. I’ve grown a lot since I first started my blog and, it might be hard for the readers to tell, I’ve grown a lot since I started this writing exercise, too. When I read back over the posts on both blogs, I can more readily remember who I was then and fondly think of how much has changed since then. I’m older, yes, but my heart is a lot stronger and my faith in myself and others is, too.

Doing this management series of posts makes me like the regular update format, so in the upcoming holiday and term, I’m going to try to go for a bi-monthly update. Once a week is a little too much if I feel like nothing of note has happened, but I think twice a month will give me a good stretch of time to talk about. I’d also like to start adding projects I’m particularly proud of to my portfolio, like the ones I did while working at the Molly Brown House Museum and the presentations I made while teaching. Maybe even some projects I’ve worked on while doing my undergrad and my masters. Probably less of the undergrad because I mostly wrote papers, but you get the idea.

Big thanks to Jane Burns for such a fantastic class. (I’m seriously not just saying this, it was my favorite. Am I allowed to say that? It’s my blog I do what I want! It was my favorite!!)

Managing Repositories

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


With the rise in digital publishing’s popularity, academics and researchers need a place to put their publications. Institutions, naturally, have come up with a solution: Institutional Repositories (IR). According to Margaret Barton of MIT, “[a]n institutional repository is a database with a set of services to capture, store, index, preserve and redistribute a university’s scholarly research in digital formats.” (Barton, 2004)

Unfortunately, not every researcher or academic is willing to alter their publication routine to include publishing their research in an institutional repository. Chan, Kwok, and Yip (2005) described the changes in a reference librarian’s job as institutional repositories become more popular, including the potential struggles involved in implementing an IR. Many of the potential issues outlined, from the faculty’s ignorance and apathy of IR policies to the institution’s policies regarding the IR, are new to the current reference librarians. Fortunately, current students with access to studies such as the one highlighting HKUST’s IR will be able to learn about the issues facing future reference librarians and prepare for them before they become an issue.

Fortunately for those institutions hesitant about creating an IR, there are studies available to outline the benefits of institutional repositories. For example, Gibbons (2004) outlines many benefits, including the preservation of published research, the efficiency involved in having convenient access to an institution’s faculty’s research, and the ability of the IR to spread the researched material through a wider base, among other things.

As digital preservation becomes more discussed and institutional repositories are established in more institutions, studies like the ones referenced here will become more important for students of library and information systems.


Barton, M. R. (2004). Creating an Institutional Repository: LEADIRS workbook, Cambridge: MIT Libraries.

Chan, D. L. H., Kwok, C. S. Y. and Yip, S. K. F. (2005). Changing the roles of reference librarians: The case of the HKUST institutional repository. Reference Services Review, 33(3), 268-282. doi: 10.1108/00907320510611302.

Gibbons, S. (2004). Benefits of an institutional repository. In Library Technology Reports Number 4 (chapter 3). Retrieved from https://journals.ala.org/ltr/article/view/4376/5059.

Managing Success

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


Unfortunately, success outside of Star Trek is not so easily defined. Your success must be defined by you, and no others. Figuring out your personal definition of success isn’t as easy as not wearing a red shirt as part of the scouting party, but Jayson Demers outlines a scenario to help you on your way:
Picture yourself with all the money and time you could ever want. What would you do? Would you help promote a specific cause? Would you pursue a certain hobby or try to solve a major problem in the world? How would you find satisfaction? (Demers, 2015)

When I was living in China, I had all the time I could ever want (and more) and enough money to have few worries and a lot of time for introspection. That time in my life is, after all, what led me to the decision to start this degree. With all the free time in the world, I spent my time reading books through eLibraries (shout out to Denver Public Library and Jefferson County Public Library in Colorado for having fantastic eLibraries!), researching idle thoughts and curious inquiries, and watching Star Trek the Original Series. Oh, and of course, traveling. I wanted a way to take my interests (reading, researching, traveling) and turn them into a master’s degree. By the time I finished my year in China, I had a better feel for what I “want to be when I grow up.” Which, of course, was entirely the point in taking such a stretch of time off between my undergrad and my post-grad degrees. As Dennis Nishi points out in his article for the Wall Street Journal, many Americans don’t take gap years to figure out what they want to do with their lives, often leading them to wish they had done something else as their degrees. (Nishi, 2014) Which is, of course, the exact dilemma I found myself in with a teaching license and no will to teach.

Here’s to hoping my future successes will be defined by me, even if they’re not particularly well-paid!


References

Demers, Jayson. (2015). Define Success: A Professional’s Guide to Finding Purpose and Success. Inc. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/define-success-a-professional-s-guide-to-finding-purpose-and-motivation.html

Kumar, Ashok. (2008). 10 Life Lessons from Star Trek. Presentation. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/weblover/10-life-lessons-from-star-trek-presentation

Nishi, Dennis. (2014). How to Define Success for Yourself. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-define-success-for-yourself-1414284614

 

Managing Time

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


Well, it’s that time in the semester for those of you who are reading this but not in my course. Yep, that time in which everything is due. I am exaggerating slightly in that not everything is due, but there is something due for every class in the next two weeks.

So, on that note, here’s one way I manage to keep track of these things.

Calendar

This hangs on my wardrobe door. Each month is a different color (starting with September) and each module has its own color. The module’s color on this calendar is the same as it is in my planner, so I don’t really need the key anymore. That’s just in case I am very tired and have somehow forgotten.

When I start an assignment, I color in half the box with a black pen so I know how many assignments I have in-progress. When I finish the assignment, I fill in the rest of the box with black. When I submit the assignment, I write the date I submitted it in red next to the name of the assignment. Glancing at this calendar, I can see what’s in-progress and what’s finished. Writing the submission date is super handy because I tend to submit things earlier than they’re due and I don’t want there to be any mix-up about whether I submitted the assignment or not.

It’s very similar to the bullet journal idea of organization, but I like to have this hanging where I can frequently look at it to see if I’m on track, running behind, or what have you.

Just remember….

Managing Bibliometrics

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


 

Today I’m going to take a look at two LibGuides available from UCD: the Introduction to Bibliometrics and Medicine and Medical Science Guide.


Let’s look at the introduction first. I haven’t used this Guide before and I haven’t looked into Bibliometrics much, so hopefully this tool will be useful. At first glance, it seems to be pretty straightforward, built to explain bibliometrics to the new user and then allowing for expansion using the extra pages at the top. The number of pages available at the top was somewhat overwhelming at first, but each page allowed for expansion into deeper, more detailed topics within bibliometrics. If there is any problem with the information available, the contact details appear to be up-to-date, as the last time the guide was updated was 11 days ago! That’s really impressive in the netosphere. (I might be the only one to call the internet the netosphere, but it’s a good description!)

On to the medical one. At first, I thought this one would be a lot harder to navigate, but I think the author of it anticipated that reaction and added video and a Twitter widget, adding a level of interactivity to the page that the intro to bibliometrics was lacking. There aren’t as many pages in this website, so it is not as overwhelming at first glance. As someone who has never done research into medicine, the links available give me a good starting point, including a list of books and other resources. There isn’t a lot of jargon or medical terminology on the website, which makes it considerably easier to use.

Dr. McCoy recommends these resources!

[Digital Image]. Retrieved from http://www.blastr.com/2013-7-8/doctors-will-see-you-now-21-our-favorite-sci-fi-physicians

Ladisch, M. (2015). Bibliometrics. UCD Library. Retrieved from http://libguides.ucd.ie/bibliometrics

Stoked, D. (2015). Medicine. UCD Library. Retrieved from http://libguides.ucd.ie/medicine

 

Managing Your Blog

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


Yeah, I know, kind of funny to post this on my blog but listen, I have a lot of things to keep track of and this is yet another to do! Plus, I like to increase the circle of people reading my posts by publishing them to Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Tumblr……..

So the easiest way is through WordPress’s Publicize feature. You add your account information for the pages you want it to publish the posts to and it (should) post them automatically! Unfortunately, sometimes these things don’t work nearly as well as I wish they would, so just keep an eye on them for if the information is outdated and it’s no longer connected.

Another way is to use a website like IFTTT, which has different “recipes” for if-then statements you can build from scratch. For example, I have one set up for “If: post to WordPress Then: post to LinkedIn”. They have a lot of different types from sending you headlines from NPR to changing your Android’s background to the NASA pic of the day!

You can, of course, manually add the post to each aspect of your social media life, but golly that seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it? After all, it’s hard enough keeping on top of the posts themselves let alone trying to publish them to different social media websites!

Anyway,
Happy Monday!

🎃 April

Managing Decisions

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


Growing up with a mechanical engineer for a dad sent me in the direction of evidence-based decisions from a young age, especially when it came to buying a new computer or camera. Michelle Dalton outlines the decision-making process with the following steps:

  1. Formulate an answerable question.
  2. Search for the best available evidence.
  3. Critically appraise the evidence.
  4. Make a decision and apply it.
  5. Evaluate the performance.
  6. Disseminate the results.

A great example happened this summer when I bought a new camera. I started by asking which camera would be the best for me. I had a few features in mind (a camera with location services and a long-lasting battery) and a few companies to look at (a good friend recently bought a camera as did my parents, but they bought different brands). Once I had narrowed down the choices to two camera models, I went through the reviews available on Amazon and Best Buy’s website, disregarding the reviews that complained of things that were not product-based. Having made my decision, I went to Best Buy just before I took a trip to visit NYC and DC for a week so I would have a week test-run and, if the camera was unsuitable, a return period. The camera worked great and it had all the features I wanted, so I kept it.

Many decisions in my family are made carefully, with a critical look at the research we’ve hunted down in order to make the best choice. In many ways, this highly logical approach makes me feel like our house is run by many Mr. Spock’s, but we manage to be silly enough to balance it out in the end.


Dalton, M. (2015). Evidence based library & information practice [Power Point Slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/mishdalton/evidence-based-library-and-information-practice-28257137

StarTrek: it’s never illogical to be fabulous. (2015). Pinterest. Retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/366761963381579680/

 

Managing that Research

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


 

Alternate title: Evernote Ever-Useful

One of the handiest tools I’ve come across in my ever-constant struggle to continue being a “productive” person is Evernote.

Imagine I have a notebook. It’s filled so full you can’t get any more pages into it. It’s got research print-offs, bits of paper with to-do lists on them, sticky notes, and who knows what all else in it. It’s a mess.

Now imagine it was digital. That’s the beauty of Evernote. No need to print off a website or piece of research you found, use the Evernote Web Clipper to add it to your notebook! Have a to-do list you need to remember? Write a new note in Evernote, make a checklist out of it, and add a reminder!

I’ll give you a quick screenshot of one of my Evernote notebooks (screenshot taken of the Mac application).

This

Evernote Preview
This image was annotated in Evernote! (Click to view larger)

This notebook is from when I lived (and subsequently traveled) in China (for more info on that, you can visit my other blog!) As you can see, it’s pretty easy to organize things within Evernote. Although I don’t live in China anymore and might not go back, when a family friend mentioned they were going to visit Hong Kong, it was nice to know I still had my information about my Hong Kong trip handy to share with them!

Now, I primarily use it to keep track of readings, lectures, and research I’ve done for my assignments. I even have a few group project notebooks added to Evernote so my group members and I can collect information and see what everyone is working on, while using the handy Work Chat tool!

For a quick how-to I made about Evernote, you can check out this note I made in Evernote!

Happy researching!
<3 April

Management in Teaching

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


A lot of the points raised in chapters four and five of Management Basics for Information Professionals (2013) reminded me of what I was taught while working towards my Secondary Education Licensure during my undergraduate degree.

Chapter four’s focus on the planning process helped give me insight into how to manage more than just a classroom. I found myself thinking back to my teaching internship and how we used a lot of the steps in the strategic planning process in the classroom. Common core standards served as our mission statements and, to some extent, our goals while the policies were laid out by the school, our placement teachers, and the educational legislation in place. Many of our procedures were strategies taught to us in the course of our degrees and could be found in our lesson plans and the activities we did in class, as well as what we expected the students to do outside of class, were our programs.

What really tied the comparisons between the steps in managing our classrooms and those in managing libraries was the difference between accountability and responsibility outlined in chapter five. Evans and Alire (2013) say directly “Responsibility is what you ought to do, whereas accountability is being answerable for an action.” (pp. 118) This distinction was especially important in the classroom as teachers are constantly told to hold students accountable, but not often told to hold them responsible. Part of why I seek a change from teaching into information systems stems from this distinction and how I, as an educator, wished things were handled in the classroom.


Evans, G.E., and Alire, C. A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (pp. 85-128). London: Facet.

Managing All Those Comics (and Blogs)!

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.


So one thing I tend to not talk a lot about is my avid following of Webcomics. Whenever someone brings them up, I am all over that conversation like jam on toast.

Overall, I follow 54 webcomics and 5 blogs, not including the webcomics I follow on Tumblr (3) or the blogs I follow for my MLIS course (47). “Wait a second, you liar,” I imagine you’re thinking at me as you check your WordPress notifications. “You’re not following my blog.” Well, to some extent, you’re right. I’m not following your blog through the WordPress platform because it’s not what I’m used to and it can’t follow my webcomics. Instead, I use an RSS feed reader. (What a mouthful!)

“What is an RSS feed?” you may be asking. I’ll just show you an example: http://www.apparentlyapril.com/feed/ It’s a big ol’ mess, huh? Sorry about that, some websites format their RSS feeds using code, but I’m just too lazy. This is an HTML representation of the posts on my website, but it’s not organized in a way that’s easy for me to read.

“Well how is this helpful then?” Well, you find an RSS reader. Personally, I use Feedly. First things first, you should probably sign up. After all, a Feed reader isn’t very useful if you don’t have a way to get back to the feeds you’ve saved. Next you’ll want to add some RSS feeds! The easiest way to do this is to copy the URL of the website you want to follow and paste it into Feedly’s search bar. For the most part, it will find the feed pretty quickly! Unfortunately, some websites aren’t as compatible, although that is less and less of a problem as websites like Feedly become more popular organizational tools for those of us who follow a lot of websites. You’ll have to dig a little deeper than I’m willing to go in this post for those kinds of websites, but it is (often) possible.

One of the best features of Feedly, to me, is the ability to change the website’s display in your Feedly account and add it to a category. I have three categories: Blogs, Comics, and MLIS. Sometimes the webcomic I’m trying to follow has something weird in their RSS coding that makes the title show up as something other than the comic’s title in Feedly, so it’s handy to be able to change how it shows up in my Feed.

Once you’ve followed a few feeds, you can quickly view everything you haven’t read by returning to Feedly! I alway go to the “latest” page Feedly offers and have it organized to show only Unread and Oldest First! (You can change the settings of the Feed’s display by clicking the gear-cog at the top-ish right of the page.)

There’s a lot to explore in the world of RSS feeds, including reader services, this is just the one that I like the best! (After Google Reader, which is no longer available. :'( )

1

<3 April