Samantha's blog

Regalia Update

Turns out that I didn't wear the Phi Beta Mu cords. No one else was and the peer pressure got to me.
Here's a picture of me looking all academic.

ACRL Wrapup

I had to do a presentation at work about ACRL so I typed up some notes to organize my thoughts about what I attended. I didn't really use them so I thought I'd put them up here. Not sure how edifying they are, but I was amused by how much I apparently enjoyed the food. I didn't notice how often I mentioned eating until I read it over after the meeting.

Happy Friday!


ACRL 2005 Wrapup

Wednesday, Apr. 6: sculpture garden (cool!). Neat greenhouse.

Thursday Apr. 7:

Copyright preconference—lots of useful practical advice on complying with copyright and informing others on campus about copyright regulations. Some examples shown were websites handouts and brochures. Worked in small groups on ‘real life’ copyright situations. Learned that the most common answer to questions on copyright is, “it depends!�

First time attendee orientation—basically just told us to network like crazy and attend things that we may not have ordinarily picked out.

Keynote session—interesting speech by William J. Mitchell, professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences and head of the Media arts and Sciences at MIT. Former dean of the school of Architecture and Planning at MIT. Talked about intelligent design in buildings: incorporating computers in retirement homes to track health and welfare of residents, designing buildings so that every office was a corner office, the development of residential urban/business areas, the importance of functional windows (yes!) and open space.

Exhibit reception—entered raffles, won nothing.

Friday Apr. 8:

Scholarship breakfast—informative roundtable of tips for new academic librarians. Good food. Big handout.

Poster sessions—massive crushing crowds!

Virtual reference collaboration session—informative, more for groups just starting out. Got some useful info that I forwarded on to the MT VR consortium re: staffing and scheduling.

Luncheon w/women mystery writers: Got to sit up front since I was a scholarship winner! Very interesting discussion on fiction reading and writing. Neat to see what Liane Hansen looked like. Excellent food.

Wandered around exhibits for a while.

Panel on copyright—again, more on informing others on campus about rules, setting guidelines, etc.

Dinner with colleagues—new librarians. Interesting experience. Food not so good but still full from lunch so it was okay. Mostly from MN and from south.

Saturday Apr. 9:

Slept in (cold hit me!)

Poster sessions: still crushing mass of humanity. Free donuts.

A place to belong: the campus library as prototype for context diversity—presented by Roberto Ibarra, UNM. Touched on curriculum and building design. Talked about ‘context diversity’ as it differs from structural diversity (like affirmative action programs) and multicultural diversity (sensitizing systems to differences, celebrating and increasing awareness of differences). Context=helping the system adjust to people—reframing rather than reforming.

CSA demo lunch: Web of Knowledge demos—interesting as it’s a database I never used before I came here. Learned a bit more on how to manipulate it and what sort of new stuff’s been added (although it’s all new to me!)

Exhibits and poster sessions—ever crowded. Free ice cream.

Volunteer at session: Computer attitudes of a university community: directing library instruction and services. Basically talked about the increasing comfort (and frustration!) with computers with their users.

Library school reception. Meh.

All conference reception at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Wonderful! Dessert buffet (chocolate fountain!!) Musicians on each floor—jazz, bluegrass, African. Wonderful exhibits.

Sunday, Apr. 10:

What’s next? Academic libraries in a Google environment—very interesting address from Google VP and a librarian from UMich. Discussed the mechanics of the Google Print program.

Closing keynote by Slyvia Hurtado, professor and director at Higher Research Institute at UCLA. Discussed post 9/11 changes in students and campuses, with an emphasis on diversity issues (remember specific mention of religious tolerance, ethnic tolerance, comfort zones)

Mall of America, Airport.

Regalia question

Sooo, graduation is this weekend. It's my first commencement from 'the other side.' If I'm a professor, do I still wear my Phi Beta Mu honor cords? Or are those just for those graduating? I tried looking on the internets but can't find a conclusive answer, so I thought I'd ask y'all. Are there any reference works on regalia? ;-)

Need ALA/Chicago advice

Hey LISNewsterz,

You are all so good at answering my inane questions! No wonder you all became librarians! I have yet another question for you. I'm making my plans for ALA this June. Usually when I go to Chicago I stay out at a airport hotel and go into town on the Blue Line, because I'm cheap. Do you think this tactic will work for ALA? I'm not usually out late at night at conferences so I don't think I'll have to worry too much about the extra travel time.

Silly patron tricks

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a 'stupid' patron trick, but for some reason over the past few days I've gotten a lot of students coming to the desk who are writing papers on social policy who *insist* the words "social policy" must appear in the title of the books/articles they are using. I'm pretty sure they're all coming from the same professor. Some of them look familiar so maybe they were in one of my sociology or social work instruction sessions earlier this year.

ACRL Update

I just wanted to say I was blogging at ACRL, since that's what the cool people are doing :-)

The conference is great so far, lovely weather, interesting colleagues, good food. I went to a preconference on Copyright yesterday that was excellent--practical, informative and best of all interesting!

If you too are wandering around the Minneapolis Convention Center, be sure to say hi! I have a yellow bag so I'm easy to spot in the sea of librarians...

Google SMS

I have been meaning to tell you all about my experiences with Google SMS on my recent train trip. Wow, is this a handy service. Just send a text message from your cell phone to 46645, such as "weather chicago il" or "chicago transit authority chicago il" (two real life examples!) and Google messages you back within a couple minutes. We got a weather report and forecast with our first message, and the second sent us the phone number and address for CTA in Chicago so we could call and figure out the best way to the airport.

Spring Break!

HI all, I am currently enjoying my first paid vacation in about four years. I'm visiting my husband back in Iowa and boy is it cold here. I guess it is even colder back home though.

We took the train from Whitefish, MT to Chicago this past weekend. It was very enjoyable and my first time ever traveling in "first class." Ritzy! We had a nice private compartment and free meals for both of us, all for the cost of one airline ticket. It did take 38 hours to get there, versus the usual three by plane however.

Got GMail?

Hey, is anyone else having problems getting into GMail? I've been unable to get in since about 5 pm last night. I can't connect to the server, or the connection times out. I haven't tried it from a computer off campus so I'm not sure if that may be the problem since I haven't seen any complaints on my rss feed or anywhere else. Of course, now that I'm posting this, it will probably start working again and I'll look like an's hoping!

Tuesday night reference club

I haven't written much lately--work has been keeping me busy! Plus I think maybe some of my co-workers have caught onto my blog. If so, let me know, it's always good to know that someone's reading (and to know who I shouldn't complain about, ha ha!).

Want to get involved in ALA?

For those who may have been itching to get involved with ALA, the New Members Round Table is organizing committees for next year even as I type! I've been involved with NMRT for about four years now and it's a great way to learn more about ALA in general and get in on committee work. You have to be a member of ALA for less than ten years to be part of NMRT.

Click here to sign up!
For those of you who hate ALA, please ignore the preceeding message. Thanks.

those crazy econ students

I had my first Econ instruction session yesterday. I'm not sure why I'm handling Economics since anything dealing with statistics makes me curl up into a little ball and hide under my desk. But deal with it I must.

I thought it was possibly the worst session I'd ever done but the instructor really liked it and gave me a good evaluation. The students seemed to dig it too according to the evals, although you couldn't tell by the blank unresponsive stares I got during the session.

Students hate spending $ on anything but beer

On Tuesday I had a student ask me how to get an interlibrary loan from the Library of Congress. I said he could get ILL's through us at the university but I was pretty sure the LOC would not send him materials directly. He responded that "everyone knows" you can ILL textbooks from LOC for 60 days so that you don't have to buy them for your classes. Hmm. I have never heard this particular academic legend before. Has anyone in the LISNews-o-sphere?

LISNews headache cures?

This has been bothering me for a few weeks now--I seem to always develop a headache in the early afternoon on Mondays (or Tuesdays if I'm lucky enough to have a three day weekend). Is this a sort of "Librarian's Eyestrain," do you suppose? On weekends I almost never use a computer and I try to spend a lot of time outdoors moving around. Maybe it's too much for my poor little head to have to sit and stare at a computer again after so much freedom.

two interesting visual search engines

I'm not sure these are very useful to the average librarian but they are fun to play with.

The first,, has you type in a musical artist's name and then shows you related artists in sort of a solar-system type pattern. Click on a new artist and it will bring up a discography and a new system of artists to explore.

Will print rise again, or die trying?

I was checking out this link that I had bookmarked some time ago from who knows where. It's an interesting look at the digitization phenomenon from the framework of a museum video from ten (well, soon to be nine) years in the future. It concludes (spoiler alert!) with the idea that the New York Times, stymied by the use of its content by a merged Google-Amazon corporation, decides to go offline and distribute only in print. It's a fascinating idea--would the traditional media give up online access to save itself? And would it work?

Call me professor

I just found out this week that I'll be teaching an information literacy course online in the Spring, which should be exciting. I have heard from some librarians affiliated with our university (though none that actually work where I work) that they really don't like the idea of a stand alone information literacy class. I can't say that I'm sure it will work outside the framework of a course requiring research, but I will say this:

You can't outsource education?

An article from Christian Science Monitor discusses the plight of schools in India--seems the teachers tend to go truant. I found it amusing in light of that Chronicle of Higher Ed article talking about how you could outsource a lot of library and education functions if you wanted to. What if they outsourced a university and nobody taught?

Interesting tale of copyright

This story from the New Yorker by the author of the very cool book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, has an interesting exploration of copyright and plagarism. It concerns the play "Frozen," which turned out to be heavily based on the research, writings, and life experiences of psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis. That came as quite a surprise to Dorothy when she read the script in preparation for an upcoming interview on the play's content.

DuPage Teleconferences

Do you all ever participate in these? I had my first one a couple weeks ago, on the role of education in today's library. The setup was a bit cheesy--it was like watching Oprah or some similar talk show, with 'vignettes' of various library situations acted out for our amusement...uh, education. We especially enjoyed the one where the young college guy said he was going to become a librarian and his friends all laughed at him and said, "what do your parents think about that?" I never realized there was parental animosity toward librarianship before. :-)


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