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Weekly Link Roundup

Three Things I Am Thankful For

I was able to reflect a bit this Thanksgiving on some of the things I am thankful for as  I spent the holiday break in Alpine, Marfa, Terlingua and the Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend area of west Texas – all far removed from work, traffic, and technology.
At some point during the week before Thanksgiving I read the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Three Things We’re Thankful For This Year from the ProfHacker Team which prompted me to consider my own list of three things and here they are!

  1. Working in academia: It seems in the very difficult social and economic times many of us are facing, academics is still holding on.  Granted, there are many budget cuts for both public and private institutions of higher education. The public colleges and universities in the state of Texas are feeling the hit as our state is looking at 10 percent budget cuts for next biennium. And this is before our legislature even convenes next year.
    Even with these challenges, I am still very thankful to be working in an environment of change helping students and faculty.  The ebb and flow of semesters is a constant reminder of change, learning, and progress.   Often working with students during their academic careers, one shares in their pride and accomplishment  after a word of “thanks” once they finish the final papers and exams and prepare for graduation.
  2. iPhone: What can you say? My iPhone is indispensable. Even in the high desert regions of Texas jumping from ‘No Service’ to the E and even the O networks, it was still ever-present.  Filled with songs for road, used for snapping photos and shooting video, or even quickly checking email,  the iPhone is something I  could not do without and for which I definitely am thankful.
  3. Colleagues who share: This one is pretty big and I have to send out a lot of thanks to the many who share their work oftentimes simply for the sake of sharing.  I have learned so much over the past few years from the many colleagues out there who daily share their valuable thoughts, opinions, and knowledge.  With so many wonderful librarians blogging, tweeting, writing, presenting, and just outright giving in many other ways, sometimes it can be burdensome to try to keep up.  Thankfully though with tools like Google reader, twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, slideshare, and others,  it has become increasingly easy to not only follow leaders in the field but to reach out and connect with them.
    I follow countless colleagues via facebook, twitter, and in my feed reader but here in no particular order is but a mere sampling of librarians who share. Follow them if you don’t already. Oh, and share a bit along the way too.

Nicole Engard at TLA District 7

The Texas Library Association District 7 Fall Workshop and Meeting recently took place Saturday, November 13th at Trinity Valley School, in Fort Worth.

Nicole Engard was our presenter. She is the Director of Open Source Education at ByWater Solutions and very involved with the Open Source ILS, Koha. She blogs at What I Learned Today… and can be followed on twitter @nengard

Nicole has written two books:

Nicole’s presentations are available at her blog, What I Learned Today… where they are listed under Presentations and Publications and some are up on SlidShare.   Direct links to the pdfs for her Texas presentations are here:

Library Day in the Life, Round 5: Weekly Roundup 2010

After seeing Bobbie Newman’s calls for participation for ‘Library Day in the Life’ the past few years, I decided this was the year. Not only the year that I would participate but also the year I would get a blog up and running past the design phase to the fully functional stage.
The week was somewhat typical in many respects, but atypical in a few regards as well. Since one of the out of the ordinary things was being out of town for over half of the week, for my first blog entry for the Lone Star Librarian, I will provide a weekly roundup for my ‘Library Day in the Life’ participation.

Monday, July 26th – Friday, July 30th

Drive to Austin, Texas to attend the Texas Library Association’s Annual Assembly.

In Austin
Was a co-advocate for a Beta Phi Mu (Beta Lambda Chapter) 2011 TLA Conference program. One of our faculty advisors and myself met with four members from the 2011 Conference Program Committee to pitch our program.
Attended the Distributed E-Learning Round Table Business Meeting as Secretary/Treasurer.
Attended Council Session I as councilor and representative for TLA District 7.

In Austin
Attended Council Session II as councilor for District 7
Drive back home to Dallas and get ready for work the next day.

As part of the reference team, I covered the Information Desk for an hour from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Since I am the subject specialist for Computer Science, Kinesiology & Sports, Library & Information Studies, and Mathematics, I had an appointment scheduled with a mathematics graduate student who is in the process of writing her professional paper.  Helped her with the subject guide and several databases to search for her topic.
Attended the Handheld Librarian Conference III virtually with others from my library.
Wanted to attend more sessions, but was able to sit in on Sara Houghton-Jan’s session on ‘Augmented Reality,’
David Lee King’s keynote, “Meta Social: Online Interactions (& How to Make them Rock),” and the Pecha Kucha featuring Anne Peters, Heather Williams, Bohyun Kim and Matthew Hamilton

Information Desk duty from 9:00-10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, and 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
During the afternoon, I worked over the phone with a SLIS student in the class on collection development.
Catch up on email, messages, and miscellaneous office tasks.
Our department took one of our long-term graduate assistants out to lunch for her last day at work.