Saturday, December 30, 2006

American Memory

I came across this site and though I'd share it.

American Memory

"The Library of Congress offers this comprehensive site with digital collections from the National Digital Library. The site is easily searchable--by topic, time period and place--and many collections provide time lines, picture galleries and narrative text, as well as suggestions for outside reading and links to related collections. You'll find information on popular culture ranging from the Emergence of Advertising in America to Baseball and Jackie Robinson, as well as more standard historical features. There are extensive documentary photos in many categories ranging from the Spanish-American War to San Francisco's 1906 earthquake."

Classes for Spring, 2007

The classes I'm enrolled in next term are:

LI804 Theory of Organization of Information
LI813 Basic Print and Electronic Information Sources
LI849 Records and Information Management

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Some of My Favorite Children's Christmas Books

These are some of my favorite Christmas books. I gave copies of them to my sons when they were little boys and I still enjoy reading them every year.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My Desk

This is a photo of my messy desk. One of my goals during the break is to organize it a little more. I also need to look at what I have on my bulletin board as I think some of it is out of date and I have a little stack of new items that need to be up there as reminders and inspiration.

Lunch with an Archivist

On December 9th, ten students in the ESU Oregon-7 cohort and our advisor, Perri Perise, had an informal lunch with Mary Jo Pugh, the editor of the American Archivist. The Society of American Archivists is the oldest and largest archival association in North America.

Mary Jo began with defining archives as records of continuing usefulness with the idea that they will be accessible. They are not "old dusty, musty" but are records created in the course of business. They are "what your record managers leave you". Record management is analyzing how long to keep items (retention schedules).

There are two kinds of archives: those which are born digital and analog records. They can be kept by collecting institutions, such as the Oregon Historical Society, which don't create but identify and make records available, and by institutional repositories, such as Portland State University.

The SAA has 4700 personal members; their journal is not yet online but the goal is that it will be. Archives Week is held in October and there is an effort to make it Archives Month.

Archivists education began in the 1980's as an apprenticeship combined with directed reading. The University of British Columbia had one of the first programs. The University of Michigan is considered to have one of the best archival programs and is on the cutting edge in digital records. A good archives program has at least 2-3 tenured faculty members.

Archivists can be certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists. Certification requires passing an exam along with a year of successful experience. Certification is renewed every five years with a re-examination or a portfolio showing what one has contributed to the profession.

She discussed the difference between historians, who want to keep everything, especially those things which personally interest them, and then organize it into subjects and archivists who keep the provenance by preserving the artifacts in the order they were created and are willing to throw a lot of them away. She also discussed copyright issues and access. Having two masters degrees (in history and an MLS) can give an individual a leg up in the profession. Subject knowledge and keeping up with new technology are both important. It is also important to know who the critical players are and target who has the records as well as knowing what you're looking at when looking at records.

A mission statement or collecting policy determines what you accept or not. She stated that "the early approach was to vacuum clean anything". Criteria of what to keep and what not to keep is critical. For example, in business one would retain documents related to policy making, but not routine day-to-day documents.

Other organizations
She mentioned the International Congress on Archives as one place for those interested in archives to look at as it has many links to national and state archives. They hold a conference every four years; the next one is in Singapore in 2008. She also discussed the Northwest Archivists Association and the National Archives, begun in 1934.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Special Collections To Go Live Soon!

The Oregon State Library Special Collections Divison will soon be putting its photo collection online. I was treated to a preview and it was wonderful to see some of the photographs I'd entered into PastPerfect. It was like finding old friends again. I'm looking forward to the day it goes public. Watch this space!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Last Class of the Term

I came home this afternoon after the last class of the term. The week-end was exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting. The drive home was a long one on the freeway, with the usual Oregon winter rain and wind beating down. I am tired.

On Saturday ten of us had lunch with Mary Jo Pugh, editor of the American Archivist, the publication of the Society of American Archivists I will post a photo I took of her and a summary of what was discussed later this week.

Sunday morning we started at 8 a.m. to hear our advisor, Perri, give us information about the curriculum and classes which will be offered in the next two years. We also made individual appointments to discuss our individual class schedules. She brought several boxes of donuts to thank us for coming in early. She is so good to us!

I have a month until the next term begins but in that month I will be writing the article for the Oregon Library Association Quarterly, ordering my textbooks, downloading and printing out the articles I'll need for next term's classes, and perhaps writing a book review or two. I also received an email from Eli Guinnee, the editor of the open-access Library Student Journal telling me that he's accepted an essay I wrote on diversity in librarianship. It should be published next month.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Fall, 2006

Again, I took three courses this term.

LI 802 Theoretical Foundations of Service: Diagnosis and Customization
LI 805 Organization Theories for Administering Information Agencies
LI 812 Online Information Retrieval

I began working at the Linn-Benton Community College Library in Albany last month. Some of the things I do are provide reference and research assistance to students, work with faculty and librarians to prepare research guides and bibliographies, assist with collection development and with marketing of library resources, keep the library website updated, and provide tours and basic instruction to classes on use of the library. I enjoy this very much and I'm learning a great deal.

I also won a scholarship! I was awarded the prize in writing in Emporia State University's Rosa Parks Multicultural Scholarship Competition. The director of the multicultural center read my story at the awards ceremony and I'm looking forward to getting a copy of the DVD.

My story was entitled "Traveling to the City of Angels". This story was easy to write. It was ready to be born.

Another exciting thing that happened this term was that I was told that my proposal to write an article for the March issue of the Oregon Library Association Quarterly newsletter was accepted. I will be writing it during Christmas break.

Summer, 2006

I was admitted to Emporia State University's Oregon-7 cohort in June, 2006. Weekend classes are held once or twice a month on the Portand State University campus.

This is a photo of the doors to Cramer Hall, where classes are held.

I took three classes:
LI 513 Information Technology Skills
LI 801 Foundations of Information Transfer
LI803 Information Transfer and the Knowledge Society

I began volunteering one day a week at a senior center , providing individualized computer and Internet instruction. I also applied for and was accepted for an internship at the Oregon State Library in June, a position which lasted through the end of October. I categorized documents donated by the Oregon Legislative Library , researched and updated the Oregon periodical webpage, researched and cataloged photographs, postcards, manuscripts, maps, and letters dating from 1850-1930 from Special Collections.