I am officially past the halfway mark to earning my MLIS! 7 classes down, 5 to go!
Here’s what I’ve taken:
LS 500 Organization of Information, with Burgess
LS 501 Introduction to Library and Information Studies, with Yates
LS 502 Research Methods, with Adams
LS 507 User Centered Information Services (Reference), with Burgess
LS 523 Materials and Services for Adults, with Stephenson
LS 560 Introduction to Information Technology, with Bonicci
LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations, with Naidoo
Classes to take:
LS 543 Traditional and Digital Storytelling, with Naidoo
Summer I 2017
LS 508 Management Theory and Practice, with Yates
LS 521 Materials and Services for Children, with Naidoo
Fall 2017 (Tentative)
LS 582 Race Gender and Sexuality in LIS, with Sweeney
LS 590 Curating Digital Culture, with Sutherland
December 2017: Graduation!
What’s Your Super Power?
Sunday November 26, 2016
As part of my undergraduate degree (Interdisciplinary Studies University of South Alabama) I was required to take a research methods class. This class, just like the previous, allows you to do all the preliminary work by getting all the ducks in a row so you can focus on the research, which was mostly reading for my BA, which was called Stumps, Peg Legs, and Prosthetics. I’ve also done extensive research on The Cape Cod House, structural clay tile, and I’m presently at work on my manuscript, Stump The Librarian: A amputee’s guide to libraries and leg-ends.
So here’s a first crack at a schedule for handing in sections of my directed research paper.
First off, this blog site (alansamry.wordpress.com) will be re-purposed for journaling (one entry per week) about the organization of the archive for digitizing, the reading and research process, and for general updates and Ah Ha moments!
Introduction/Single Tax Draft 1-January 31
Marie Howland Draft 2- February 14
Lydia Comings Draft 3- March 7
Mary Heath Lee Draft 4- March 21
Anna Braune, Mrs Rolland Carr, and complete draft 5- April 4
Final Paper Due- Friday April 28
November 25, 2016
While drafting the conference proposal I used the techniques in the title. First I simply cut entire chunks from all parts of the proposal. Lots from the lit review and the methods section was slashed. Having done some major cutting, lots of rewriting was necessary. In my rewrites, I was still including all of the Fairhope librarians within the proposal. However, it just seemed to wide a scope, even for a directed study. So I reviewed again what was most important that I wanted to learn. It turns out that the earlier years are far more fascinating.. However, the transition of the operation of the library from single tax to the city of Fairhope was a major change, so I wanted to include it. In doing so, I sacrificed many later librarians, including Claire Oaks, who’s story I still want to tell, but probably not as part of this “proposal” or directed study I’m taking in January.
I’m sure this is probably not the end of my revisions to what is now my outline for my directed study. I’m planning on adding a schedule/timeline over the break. Still not entirely sure where the research will take me, and that’s part of the challenge, and dare I say, the fun!
November 17, 2016
I read an article that a cohort member put on Fb about the changes in public library.
“Office Hours: Open to Change” is in the November 15, 2016 Library Journal. At the Gwinnett County Public Library, (Lawrenceville, GA) they have done away with the reference desk and employees are now floating around the library with iPads. This concept, though not really new, used to freak me out. Now that I’m nearing the halfway mark through library school I’m learning to accept it. The idea, at least, still not sure what would happen if my library took my desk and chair away. This reference news, however, is trivial compared to what this library branch did to expand their hours of operation. Open+ is a program that they have adopted from UK libraries that, through the use of cameras the library is open in the mornings, unstaffed. Yep, you got that right, nobody in the building except patrons use get a passcode to enter the building. It’s sort of like those 24 hour gyms, except you can come to read, use a computer, print out a boarding pass, or check out books on their self-serve checkout system. Still mulling this ‘change’ over.
On Election Day I was poking around this new website Votecastr that promised real time election returns. I was fascinated.
Rather than shelter voters from the returns, Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner said this about the VoteCastr partnership: “The role of journalists is to bring information to people, not to protect them from it.”
I could not agree more, and it turns out this data is proprietary, but it is used by media and political campaigns. Isn’t this America’s information? But I digress. As I was reading about how they compile the data I saw this link, Votecastr’s Methodology, and followed it.
The data they are gathering is a very systematic, but still flawed, collection process that still can’t accurately predict the winner. Ultimately, it is supposed to be about better forecasting. Unfortunately, forecasting anything like the weather or elections, leaves me skeptical. On a weather related note, the forecast for today was correct. After 45 days without rain, we finally had some showers.
November 1, 2016
The first of five Alabama Public Library Services meetings around the state was scheduled from 11 am to 1:30 pm at the Baldwin County Annex in Robertsdale, Al, which is also the headquarters of the Baldwin County Library Cooperative. The meeting are part of the organizations process of upgrading their five year plan so then can continue to receive funding from IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services.. Liz Reed, the director of BCLC, told us Jim Smith was going to be late. As always Liz engaged the group of 17 people in attendance to discuss the current use of libraries as sort of a brainstorming activity. First we introduced ourselves, then we had a discussion about the current value of libraries including the internet, children’s programming books and eBooks. At 11:30 Mr. Smith arrives, explaining that there was confusion and he was told to come to Robertsdale to lead the Town Hall meeting. We got a replacement, and it was clear from the get go that he was not prepared, which seemed especially unfortunate for the attendees from Mobile, Washington, and Escambia Counties.
There was one patron in attendance, the mayor elect’s wife of Magnolia Springs. Everyone else in attendance was either a librarian or a volunteer librarian. Our library had four representatives, including myself. I was not paid to attend, as it was my day off, but I thought it would be could to go for educational purposes. Unfortunately, about twenty minutes after Smith arrived, I had to leave. In that time he repeated the first question Liz asked and then we had to reintroduce ourselves for him, but also for the record of the meeting.
I hope it became more substantive in the second hour, but I for one am glad I was passing through Robertsdale and didn’t make a special trip to attend the meeting.
I’ll check in with my coworkers to find out how it went and I’ll complete the online APLS service. APLS is an important conduit between federal and local funding. We received a grant from APLS-LSTA this year to upgrade our 16 patron computers and our adult OPACs, so this survey and town meeting are vital to maintaining APLS to ensure they provide grant funding to local libraries.
It turns out this chopped down VW Bus was the visual highlight of my trip to Robertsdale. This was sighted cruising by the county annex, It has all the transportation options you need: a bike, skateboard, and of course, a surfboard for the waves a few miles south.
I blew it. I missed some key material for my literature review. Not just any key article, but an article written by our very own Dr. Annabel Stephens (Emeritus), who I will be learning from next semester when I take LS 523 Material Services for Adults. Dr. Stephens had two similar articles published on the development of public libraries in Alabama. She even references Cindy Ingram, our fellow 11zs, and Satsuma Public Library director.
Anyway, I found the articles yesterday. I will most likely incorporate some of the information into my proposal, and definitely into my directed research. It’s interesting that both her papers are mixed and contain both quantitative and qualitative data.
During our small group discussion on Tuesday I got to thinking about adding a quantitative component to my research. Something along the lines of a graph or table showing the number of libraries founded in Alabama in the first decade of the 1900s and the number of items in the initial collection. That would provide a good grounding and a comparison with other libraries and their collections. If I can find some data on Fairhope’s annual funding when it was operated by the Fairhope Single Tax Corp. I will try and us it as part of my research as well.