Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One Day in the Life of ......

In all the years we've been married, John has never come home and asked me "So, what did you do all day?" It's a good thing too. If he'd asked me that when we owned and manged a mobile home park and I was taking care of a slew of farm animals and we had four small boys running underfoot, I probably would have clobbered him.

My life is less complicated now. We no longer own a mobile home park or farm animals and all the boys are grown. Well, at least my life should be less complicated, but it doesn't always seem that way. Perhaps it's just complicated in different ways. There are times when, at the end of the day, I wonder myself, "So, what did I do all day?". It helps if I write down what I did because then I can see I accomplished more than I thought I had and didn't just fritter the day away.

Here's my list for yesterday:

1. Finished the first of a two part article for the AILA newsletter entitled Sharing Our Stories which is about how LIS students can address the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives by incorporating this topic into their class assignments and discussions and emailed it to the editor.

2. Received an email informing me that I'd been nominated to run for the Northwest Archivist Association Oregon representative position. After reading the description of the duties, I emailed my professional mentor to ask how appropriate it was for a student (i.e., not a professional archivist) to run for this position.

3. Joined the wiki for Chapter and Loose Papers, the official SAA newsletter for students of Archival Science, and submitted a research paper abstract for their next newsletter.

4. Read the assignment for my Copyright class and began writing a post to add to the Discussion Board, but haven't posted it yet.

5. Searched for resources for the annotated bibliography for my Special Populations class.

6. Updated my blogs and EDI journal.

Add to that the usual basic housekeeping chores plus grocery shopping, laundry, and making meals and that was my day.

Today I'm working at the Oregon State University library. That will make answering the question about what I did all day much easier.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tools and Users

I recently read an article by Tefko Saracevic entitled Information Science, published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science [50(12): 1051–1063] in 1999. In the last paragraph he states:

In all of this, I am afraid that the greatest danger facing information science is losing the sight of users, of human beings.

In 1999 libraries were still focused on their collections, on what they owned, and not on their users and how they could best help them access what they needed. That began to change until now we claim that we are user centered. But are we really? When I read descriptions of conference sessions in the library and archival worlds, there is a strong focus on social bookmarking and web2.0 tools. We look at all these wonderful playthings--Meebo ,Twitter, wikis, RSS feeds,, Library Thing, flickr, and yes, blogs-- and wonder how can we use them in archives and libraries instead of looking at our users and wondering how can we use these tools to better provide them with what they want and need.

We seem to be moving again towards the tools, the blocks, and away from the users and their needs and the human, face-to-face, storytelling, spiraling oral ways of connecting families and communities and sharing information, ways which are and will remain powerful and compelling.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I love boxes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. These are just a few of my favorites. Whenever I go to a thrift store I look for more. So what does this have to do with anything? I think part of my interest in archives has to do with containers which hold treasures. The archival ones are functional only but the mysteries of what they might contain fascinates me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

25 Useful Social Networking Tools for Librarians

Oh, good! Another fun place to find toys to play with!
25 Useful Social Networking Tools for Librarians

"From academic libraries like that at MIT or renowned research centers like the Library of Congress, the following beta research tools feature innovative tricks to connect you with the most relevant, valid results - including books (real and digital), articles, documents, web sites, and more."

I attended a workshop on Zotero (#15) last week and plan to use it as I began working on my thesis.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Field Trip!

I'm taking a class this semester taught by Mary Jo Pugh, editor of the American Archivist and author of the classic, Providing Reference Services for Archives and Manuscripts .

This past week end we visited the Oregon Historical Society and spent Saturday morning examining collections for papers and presentations. I looked through one collection in order to participate in the discussion at our next class meeting. As I don't live in Portland, my paper and presentation will be done using a collection from the Oregon State University Library Archive .

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Archivist Charged with Hundreds of Thefts from New York State Library

This article
, which begins,

A New York state archivist has admitted stealing hundreds of historical artifacts beginning in 2002 from the New York State Library in Albany that he sold on the internet to pay for household repairs and his daughter’s $10,000 credit card bill.

and published a few days is old news now to many interested in archives. It's been discussed on the Archives and Archivists list , but the focus has been on security measures and how it will affect archivists applying for positions. I saw no outrage that this man apparently stole things, not just from the New York State Library, not just from the people of New York. He stole from the American people. He stole our history and he did it for selfish reasons, out of pure greed. That he betrayed our trust saddens me deeply.