Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries

My Full Plate Club membership application

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This month has been a whirlwind! In fact, I can’t believe May is actually ending, I feel like it barely began. So, what have I been up to while I have been neglecting you?

  1. My library building is closed for the summer for renovations, which has been an interesting challenge. As in the Chinese curse, may you live in interesting times. I’ve been trying to treat the absurdities of the communication non-process as an object lesson on university structures, and am trying to figure out something productive to do with my newly honed awareness that colleges should never be considered single entities, and wondering if I can/should make a career out of my need to facilitate communication. When not scratching my head and wondering why it is is just so hard to share necessary and non-secret information.
  2. Paperwork from my office is in 5 canvas bags in my home office, waiting for late June to get organized and filed. I hope. The destruction of my sedimentary filing system means that I have no idea what’s in any of these bags, and if I need to get into them it will look like a tornado went through my spare bedroom.
  3. Not that I ever doubted, but I am in love all over again with Web 2.0 (and other collaborative/ non-located, web-based ) tools! Given my inability to get into my papers in any organized way, I would have been basically paralyzed this week without google docs and spreadsheets, my personal and work wikis, twitter, and IM. Especially given that one of my presentations is with folks at three other SUNY campuses, and we are still analyzing our data!
  4. I’m making progress on the two presentations I am giving at SUNYLA in two weeks. Next week I will focus on the open committee meeting I am facilitating. This has some real consequences, as we need to decide if there is enough will to keep the committee alive, or if it should be disbanded. I have a few books on facilitating decision-making that I’ll spend some time with this weekend. I’ll check in with the two panels I organized and am introducing a week from Monday and then hammer that piece out too. And I owe many thanks, apologies, and at least one drink to the conference organizers who almost certainly had to structure the conference around where I needed to be when!
  5. I am polishing up my Library Instruction Cookbook proposal
  6. I have been hip-hip-hurra ing the fact that Internet Librarian not only accepted our presentation proposal, they asked us to turn it into a pre-conference! We’ve got work to do to take better advantage of that format, but I am really excited! It will be my first time presenting at a national conference (and, my first proposal to one as well, so make that another 3 cheers for me!), and Monterey in October is spectacular! And there’s no way this instruction librarian could rationalize sneaking away from campus that time of year without a speaking commitment!
  7. And if all that isn’t enough, periodical and database decisions for next year have to get made PDQ and with nothing but dire prognostications to guide us into next year’s budget. I wish I could keep blaming Spitzer’s zipper for our budget woes, but I think other sources have taken the forefront…
  8. I’m also trying to make a decision if my anthropology prof collaborator and I should publish our article in a pedagogy journal or an LIS journal. And I’m not entirely sure how to make that decision. A. also thinks I should take first author, and I want to invent a way for us both to be first author, because we are working on this together, entirely. Poor man is up to his eyebrows in lit review now, too.
  9. And, to ice the cake, my director and I have been having lots of conversations about leadership. I’ve been thinking a lot about organizational culture, and then saw the article (needs ALA password for ACRL member access) in this month’s CR&L, and now I’ve got leadership books and facilitation books piled on the sofa and almost wish I could just bury myself in reading them this summer. Or clone myself, and have my clone read and process them and come back to me in October to share the knowledge!

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