Updating from work on my Nook Color

Hey, a post I wrote over a month ago!

I’m mostly posting so I can have the experience of blogging while on the go. I’m using swype for my keyboard input. I’m on lunch at my first day at Darien Library.

Startling thing was hearing for the first times that I’m a salaried employee.I knew that but it is strange to hear after years of retail.

My Post-MLIS Plans

Now that the ceremonial lemon yellow hood is off and my family has returned home, it is time to plan the next steps of my career. This is a rough list of things I am setting up/working on in no particular order:

  • YWCA Archivist: I replied to a job seeking someone to manage their collections. Since my job hunt is on-going, I had to stress that I may have to leave at any time, but the executive director seems excited to have me begin working on their documents.
  • UNCG Digital Projects: I am meeting with my mentor tomorrow to discuss what goals I can work on this summer. I’ve been running quality checks on the Hansen Performance Arts Collection metadata for the past month (2 hrs/wk), but its time I finish up on those 400+ objects. My objectives are to try my hand at writing grant applications and really biting into the meat of being a digital projects coordinator.
  • Freelance Websites: The first website is not really going to come together for another year since it will be supplementing a book that has not been written yet. I’ve got the very basic foundation of the website online but since I know nothing about the book’s content, I can’t really design the rest of this Drupal-powered website yet. The second website is for the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Diversity Center which will need to be completed by August. I am a bit worried about it since it needs to be hosted by UNCG and produced using WordPress as the CMS. So far, UNCG is running behind schedule on getting the structure in place to support WordPress, so it looks like I will have to completely build the website on my own server first.
  • LISUNCG Webmaster: At some point I decided that I would continue my reign as the LISUNCG webmaster till the end of the month. I have some things to finish up for them (like the Guidelines for the Management of the Department of Library and Information Studies Website manual) that got put on the back burner this semester. I am trying to solicit a series of posts to schedule to appear all summer so the website has a continued active presence even though the new webmaster, my former assistant, will not take over till August. I may also be training a LISUNCG summer graduate assistant to work on the ICL website.
  • Library and Information Studies Alumni Association (LISAA) Webmaster: I have not heard officially whether or not this is happening, but I may be the first webmaster for my alumni association. If so, I will completely revamp the association’s web presence!
  • Publishing: I have done a lot of work for my LIS department as I earned my MLIS. However, putting in so much time means that I neglected other areas of interest such as publishing. I know that the work I did was niche, but I think some valuable lessons came out of it. WordPress and Drupal are beginning to appear more frequently in online library discussions so I think my article(s) will find an audience.
  • Digital Libraries/Digitization/Library Websites Blog: I know that when designing a professional blog you should have a single focus in mind for what you’re going to talk about. Since these three areas are of interest to me and closely related, I think I can develop an inclusive blog dealing with these three topics.

New skills to obtain:

  • Javascript
  • PHP
  • AJAX
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Database design
  • Drupal theming
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • vuDL (open source digital library) software
  • Dspace

While it’d be nice to gain immediate mastery of these skills, I am not a trained computer programmer. Time is limited so I want to gain fluency and then overtime gain mastery.

Of course underlying all these things is the continued job hunt! My department boasts that 92% of our graduates are employed within 6 months of their first application so I’m at the seven month mark. However, those early job applications from October to December 2010 were more or less practice applications. Since then, I’ve significantly strengthened my cover letter and CV skills.

This blog and my capstone website need to be integrated and redesigned to be more coherent pieces. First though, I need to find a new web host since this host is too under powered to let me automatically update my WordPress site! As soon as I secure a new host, I will be able to move onto my personal projects.

While my future is uncertain right now, I am confident that I will learn and achieve many new things until formal employment is found!

LIS Website Graphics

This banner is on the front of the LIS website.

The three images were suggested by my boss. I do think they spruced the accreditation page up quite a bit!

I have an agreement with the UNCG Library that I will promote their events on the LIS website whenever I have space to do so. This article layout is not perfect since I COULD NOT get the padding to the right of the image to work. On a personal note, I’m sorry this event is being held on a Tuesday night since I would have loved to have gone to hear this gentleman speak. But alas, I will be in cataloging that night!

First Day of My Last Semester in Library School

Okay, so technically yesterday should have been my last day. However, it snowed (more like iced about 2 inches) so school was canceled. Today we had a two hour delay which did not effect my day of meetings.

  • I had a meeting with my advisor to discuss the trip to UNC Chapel Hill for the “The Curation of Social Media as a Public Asset” seminar. She also gave me some advice on being more confident in my job search and to look for transferable skills. I’m fairly tech-savvy so what I don’t know yet, I can definitely learn quickly.
  • Meeting with the Committee on Accreditation (COA) for our department’s upcoming American Library Association (ALA) accreditation review process. I was given a bundle of things to work into the website. It feels pretty nice to be involved and having a decisive voice in how we are meeting our strategic goals during this review.
  • Met with my two assistants for an hour. I showed them around the International and Comparative Librarianship Communitas website. When I came home, I sent them their marching orders for the rest of the month.
  • I worked on sprucing up the LIS website by making some graphics and/or changing things from the COA meeting. In my next post, I’ll post some screenshots of what I did.
  • Joined my online Metadata class. My boss spoke about the accreditation process and I was surprised that she pointed out (again) that I’m the webmaster. I’m humbled by her praise.
  • I finally ate dinner while watching the season one sixth episode of Fringe. Then I decompressed by discussing today’s events with my boyfriend. Poor thing knows way more about department politics/gossip than anyone should have to suffer through!

Fun side note I noticed today: in the past year, a lot of LIS programs have completely revamped their websites.

LIS Website version 1.1

I may have found a nice replacement for the current slideshow on the LIS website. This one is a lot lighter but the web page is still fairly heavy. I’m going to experiment to see if I can get this slideshow working on my semi-clone of the real website before school starts on the 10th. If everything goes well, I’ll change out the slideshow in the next few days. What you see above is a mock-up of the potential new version of the website. Keep an eye out on here as I talk about my work!

One change I made today was removing the image banner that said, “Featured News from the Department & Community” and turned it into text. However, there seems to be a slight issue when someone goes to the website for the first time. The website shows that header text above the “Welcome!” text. I’ve posted for help on the WordPress.org forums. We’ll see what happens with that.

In other news, I watched the first episode of Fringe and it’s pretty amazing. I’ve always liked Joshua Jackson –plus he’s eye candy– so that is an added bonus to the show’s “fringe science.” I was looking for something new to watch while I worked out on my Gazelle and this looks like it’ll do nicely.

How is your new year going so far?

Busy busy days

I had to give in and not go to my internship this week because of demands of my job. As well, my Dad arrives tonight and I had to prep the house for Hurricane Dad. He’s very demanding and exacting so I have had to get things in tip-top shape. My pantry is also bulging with food though I suspect I’ll have to purchase more after he leaves. So onto the news:

  • I did not get the Presidential Management Fellowship. I got the news on Monday and was a bit bitter about it but the email says it was a privilege to be nominated for it in the first place. I’m trying to see that as a consolation. There were 9300 applicants this year. It took applying to two more jobs (one in Colorado, the other in Toronto) to put the spring back into my step.
  • I came to the realization as I wrote my cover letter for a web administrator job, that I love my work. I never thought I’d be able to say that, but it is true. I get to make subtle differences in my department by maintaining a reliable and easy to use website. This week I was told on Facebook that the writer often uses the website as a reference in his work.
  • Continue reading →

LIS Website Update

The server has been secured! Tonight I spent five hours copying the website to the new server. This means that effective immediately, the version I’ve been hosting here will become inactive. All further development will be on the new server.

There was only one real glitch in the transfer which I’ll have to work out, but I’m hoping my notes will help me correct the problem.