Chronicle of Higher Ed: Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive

Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, recently wrote a nice piece on the complications of preserving born-digital collections. It’s worth the read, and good to see these issues hit the academic newswires.

The first challenge is making sure people can get to the work when they do want to come. Analog or digital, no work will have much influence if it doesn’t stick around to be cited or argued with. The technological advances that make digital-humanities work possible also put it at risk of obsolescence, as software and hardware decay or become outmoded. Somebody—or a team of somebodies, often based in academic libraries or digital-scholarship centers—has to conduct regular inspections and make sure that today’s digital scholarship doesn’t become tomorrow’s digital junk.

Bradley J. Daigle, director of digital curation services at the University of Virginia Library, calls this “digital stewardship.” It’s an essential but easily overlooked element in any digital-humanities project. Born-digital work can die. Digital stewardship “involves care and feeding” to make sure that doesn’t happen, he says. “My unit essentially pays attention to the life cycle of the digital object.”

“Bradley Daigle, a digital curator at the U. of Virginia, and his colleagues Matthew Stephens and Lorrie Chisholm were in charge of preserving an early digital archive on the Civil War.”

Leaving Las Vegas: ALA Annual Conference Roundup, round 1

Wherein we distill thoughts on ALA Annual 2014. First up, a couple of non-preservation sessions. The preservation notes will be posted soon.

On Introverts

Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD,  author of A Quiet Influence: The Introverts Guide to Making A Difference, gave the ALCTS President’s Program keynote on the power of quiet influence and the strengths that introverts bring to the workplace.  When asked to raise their hand in response to the question, “How many of you are introverts?” roughly 95% of the audience agreed. This is not a surprise to anyone in Libraryland, right? What is different is that Ms. Kahnweiler, who self identifies as an extrovert, is not out to make us into something we are not or to imply, as so many do, that being an introvert is a bad thing or that we should necessarily change into extroverts. She was here to instead help us realize our strengths and help us identify how we can use those strengths to better navigate our work.

By definition introverts are energized from within while extroverts get energized by people and places around them. Neither is a bad way of being, they are just different. Let us remember, too, that while you may have tendencies one way or the other, we often possess qualities of both the introvert and the extrovert and some of us have learned to “turn on” one or the other when the situation requires.

The characteristics of introverts are:

  • Analytical
  • Patient
  • Think before they speaking
  • A sense of both humility and privacy [which makes them terrific librarians I suspect]

Introverts are found in every industry and they can exact influence even if they are not in positions of power by challenging the status quo and inspiring change. Introverted leaders tend to be more analytical and listen more to their employees. According to Kahnweiler, we need introverts’ quiet influence now more than ever.

Challenges for introverts in the workplace include:

  • People exhaustion
  • Having to make fast decisions
  • Teams
  • Selling yourself
  • Putting on a happy face (she says the question introverts hate most is “what’s wrong?” because they tend not to demonstrably show their emotions)

How introverts can successfully navigate the workplace

Kahnweiler suggests ways that introverts can successfully navigate the workplace. If you manage introverts, these are good things to realize and provide space for if you want the most out of your staff. She stresses that introverts make an impact by quietly influencing people. These “ripples of influence” can change the workplace and make a huge impact on individuals and organizations.

Preparation—Taking time to adequately prepare for meetings or presentations helps alleviate anxiety.

Taking quiet time—Introverts are thinkers and need time and space to think through problems and find solutions.

Engaged listening—Listening provides a chance to build rapport and understand issues and concerns at a deeper level. Engaged listening is about connecting to the other person, not making the conversation about yourself. Of course, if all you do is listen, you run the risk of being perceived as not having an opinion or an idea. You also run the risk of being the person in the office people come to so they can vent, which can be stressful. Key tips: don’t multi task, bracket your thoughts (take random thoughts and put them in a ‘parking lot’ so you can concentrate on listening and being present), ask yourself “what can I learn from this?,” and move your body and be healthy.

Writing–Introverts can use writing as a way to gather thoughts and express ideas.

Thoughtful use of social media–She urges introverts to start with just 15 minutes a day and try social media as a way to build community and make connections. This is one part of her talk that really didn’t wring too true for me personally. I find that librarians and archivists have embraced social media with vigor, but then that is the pool in which I swim so maybe more people than not feel social media is too stressful.

More on Introverts

Susan Cain, “The Power of Introverts” TED Talk (February 2012); an animated version from RSA Shorts is here.

Bryan Walsh, “The Power of Shyness” Time Magazine February 26, 2012. [Walsh erroneously used “shyness” when he means “introvert.”]

Tumblarian Talk

This was a great conversation starter, I only wish the session lasted longer. My library is new to Tumblr and we are trying to build our community there. We will be participating in the #5DaysOfPreservation event the week of July 14th to help build that presence but I wanted to attend this to find out more.

If you are on Twitter, search #tumblariantalk for posts from the panel discussion. The panelists started with very brief statements with the conversation following. The panelists’ slideshows are online. A list of Tumblarians including some on the panel can be found on The Lifeguard Librarian’s site.

 

Ian Stade, Hennipin Co Library

Show unique items
Timely topics, post content that relates
Guest posts from interns and volunteers
Partner with researchers to show their work and interests

 

Colleen Theisen, University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives

They have five Tumblrs with special collections content, organized by single collection, theme or department
Reblogs across tumblers
Feeds Instagram directly to Tumblr
Participate in common themes such as Miniature Mondays and Throwback Thursdays to create quick content
Don’t forget to use hashtags

 

Katie Anderson, Rutgers Special Collections (Paul Robeson Library)

Survey says 27% public and about 30% academic and special collections are using Twitter [see the survey information on slideshare]
Enable questions and submissions to facilitate conversation
Use your Tumblr description to market yourself and say something about who and where you are (many people ignore this)

 

Rachel Dobkin, Gov-info.tumblr.com

Tumblr is a project of LIS-GISIG students, their motto is “Making gov docs sexy since 2012”
Gets content from a variety of government blogs and social media
Defines government documents as anything any government agency ever touched even a little bit
Highlights data, services, health, archives, etc.
Information activism is an interest for her and trying to get more people involved
Hunts down documents when she reads in the news that “data or documents aren’t available”
Posts about every day
NASA pics are most popular

 

Daniel Ransom, Holy Names University

Tumblr is a mix of personal and professional acct
Alternative to using exclusively twitter or other format
Likes Tumblr for its responsiveness
Easy to connect to other librarians and the tone is generally positive

 

Molly Wetta, Lawrence public library

Focus is on readers advisory
Tries to post twice a day and wants half to be original content
Highlights local events and does readers advisory posts that relate
Produce readers advisory charts and graphs, insanely popular
Book reviews are popular

 

Audience discussion

How do you measure “success” with social media?

  • Weekly stats
  • Google analytics (add Google analytics id)
  • User quotes, collect the anecdotal evidence when you get it
  • No analytics for rss and reblogs
  • Journalists can find your posts and get you visibility
  • Questions through Tumblr are as valid as in person reference questions

Responding to criticism, some do, some don’t. Most of the Tumblarians on the panel were trying to make special collections accessible and don’t get a lot of negative feedback.

When you reblog, try to add info or sources that you may have that can add to the conversation.

How do you engage with students directly? Enable questions, put email on account, keep track of local community tagging trends.

Censorship, should we or no? Mostly no, one person did take down one post by request, she had permission to post a photo but made it into a gif and the person who gave permission didn’t like that and requested they take it down.

 

 

#5DaysOfPreservation-Join In The Fun

Kevin over at Library Preservation 2 has a great idea. To read Kevin’s full post, go to Library Preservation 2. Let’s spread the word!

#5DaysOfPreservation

Here’s my idea. During the 5 working days of July 14-18, 2014 anyone (or any institution) with any bit of preservation responsibility take at least one picture each day of something that depicts what preservation looks like for them that day and post it online with the hashtag #5DaysOfPreservation  It could be copying files off floppy disks, repairing a book, participating in a meeting, attending to a leaky roof, inspecting film reels, showing off a new piece of equipment, or however preservation looks to you that day..

Job Opening: AMIGOS

Open Position: Preservation Librarian, Consultant, Trainer – Dallas, TX

Expand your impact and influence.  Amigos Library Services seeks a librarian’s librarian specializing in preservation, collections care, and disaster planning and recovery.  Provide coaching, consulting, support, advice, and instruction to all types of libraries.  Amigos offers professional growth opportunities and excellent benefits.  Pursue your passion and pass it on.

Position Summary:  Consider a highly rewarding and exciting position serving your professional colleagues. Amigos is looking for a Collections Care/Continuing Education Librarian to provide educational, consulting, and support services to enable library staff to understand and utilize appropriate collections care techniques.

Major Responsibilities:

1. Design, develop and deliver training, using technology-based and traditional educational approaches, to enable library staff to understand and utilize appropriate collections care techniques.

2. Promote and provide consulting services to libraries including site surveys, disaster preparedness, project management, and preservation services. Submit written responses to appropriate RFPs; proactively identify and develop relationships with potential customers; and utilize Amigos publications to promote expertise.

3. Through the Ask Amigos service, provide collections care and disaster planning and response support and consultations by telephone, email, and written and electronic publications.

4. Assist library staff with emergency disaster recovery, including disaster preparedness, planning, onsite assistance, vendor coordination, locating financial assistance.

5. Write collections care and disaster preparedness articles and content for Amigos newsletters and other appropriate publications.

6. Participate in outreach activities with public, academic, and special libraries in the Amigos membership.

7. Prepare statistical and narrative reports for internal files and member support and consulting.

8. Represent Amigos at state, regional, and national meetings.

Annual Salary:  $45,000 to $55,000 depending on experience

Required Education:  Master’s in Library Science from an ALA-accredited school and either a certificate of preservation or archival administration or extensive knowledge of preservation practices, principles, and issues.

Required Experience:  Three (3) years of preservation education or related professional experience; or three years experience in bookbinding or book repair and practical experience with preservation issues.

Preferred:  Professional library or archival experience in an academic or archival environment.

To apply:  Send letter of application and resume to resumes@amigos.org

Conservation Fellowship: Notre Dame Libraries

Samuel H. Kress Conservation Fellowship
Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame

The Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame, welcomes applications for a ten-month Advanced Conservation Fellowship, to begin September 2014. The Fellowship is an opportunity for an emerging conservation professional to build and apply the skills, experience, and confidence necessary to address conservation needs in a research library context.

Working with the Libraries’ conservator and other library staff, the Conservation Fellow will address conservation treatment needs of the Libraries’ rare books and special collections (http://rarebooks.nd.edu). The Fellow will perform treatment, including examination, decision-making and documentation; will gain experience interacting with curators on treatment selection and prioritization; and will engage in other activities suitable to the individual’s skills and learning objectives. The Fellow is encouraged to pursue research and may dedicate up to 20% of work time to research and other contributions to the profession.

The ten-month Fellowship is supported by a stipend of $36,500. Additional benefits include health insurance, paid holiday and vacation leave, and $1,500 support for conference participation and/or research. The Fellowship is generously supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, administered by the Foundation of the American Institute of Conservation.

The Fellowship is limited to graduates of graduate conservation programs in the U.S. and Canada, or to U.S. citizens graduating from graduate-level conservation programs abroad. Qualifications include a strong knowledge of the history, manufacture, and chemistry of books and paper; understanding of conservation ethics and preservation theory; excellent hand skills and attention to detail; demonstrated written and oral communication skills; effective interpersonal and team collaboration skills; and the ability to manage time effectively.

To apply, please include a letter, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of three references. Please submit all application documents electronically to Michelle Savoie, Senior Personnel Operations Coordinator: michelle.savoie@nd.edu. Review of applications will begin July 1, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

Job Opening: Texas A&M

Texas A&M University Libraries seeks a creative, energetic, and dynamic professional to join the Texas A&M University Libraries as a Conservator. This clinical-track academic appointment carries a full faculty status with responsibilities including professional service to meet both the Libraries’ and the University’s requirements for promotion.

The Conservator is responsible for the management of the Texas A&M University Libraries conservation program for both special collections/archives and general collections under the direction of the Preservation Librarian. Duties will include aiding in the staffing, space, equipment, and supply needs for a new conservation lab/preservation facility. The Conservator will perform conservation treatments on collection materials and prepare materials for digitization and exhibits, make treatment decisions and prioritizations, and develop workflows for the delivery of materials to and from the conservation lab. The Conservator will educate on and raise awareness of conservation issues and concerns with the Libraries’ faculty and staff as well as work with the Preservation Librarian on outreach to the campus and community. The individual will participate in committees, including the University Libraries disaster recovery team, and administrative groups, as appropriate.

For additional information and instruction on how to apply, click here.

The full position description can be found here:

Applications received by June 19, 2014 will be given first consideration.

Julie Mosbo
William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian Preservation
Texas A&M University Librariesu

Obit: Robert Hudson Patterson

From the Austin American-Statesman via PADG. Conservation Administration News, the publication founded and edited by Bob Patterson for 15 years, is one of the inspirations for PCAN. –eds

Robert Hudson Patterson was born December 11, 1936, to Hubert and Beth Jones Patterson in Alexandria, Louisiana, and died quietly at home, surrounded by family and friends, on May 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas.

Bob was raised by his grandparents, Robert and Florence Jones, in Jackson, Mississippi, after the death of his father in 1943. His grandfather owned a hardware store, which engendered in Bob a life-long love of gadgets and of ordering the world around him. He graduated from Central High School in 1954 and Millsaps College in 1958. Several college road trips to Mexico kindled a passion for the country’s art and culture, and he received a M.A. with advanced graduate work in Latin American History from Tulane University in 1963, and a M.L.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965. He then began a long career in library administration.

After working at Tulane University from 1965-1970, Bob moved with his family to Austin in 1970 where he was Head of Special Collections Cataloging at the Humanities Research Center (now the Harry Ransom Center). He returned to Tulane University from 1973-1976, then became the Director of the University of Wyoming Library from 1976-1981. He was Dean of Libraries at the University of Tulsa from 1981-1998. Bob was hailed by colleagues as a pioneer and leader in the library preservation movement, and was the founding editor and publisher of Conservation Administration News (CAN) from 1979-1994.

Following his retirement and move to Austin in 1998, Bob became an active community volunteer, and taught ESL at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission. He received the Volunteer of the Year award from El Buen in 2006. He also traveled extensively, meeting his wife on a solo trip to San Miguel de Allende. With De, Bob explored Austin’s great cultural offerings and found peace and tranquility in his later years. To his great surprise, he found a home and spiritual community at St. James Episcopal Church. He savored being a husband, father, and grandfather.

Bob is survived by his wife, De Sellers, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Todd Peters, daughter Emily Johnson, grandchildren Ben and Elizabeth Peters, all of Austin, two former spouses, and a host of friends and surrogate family from his high school, college, career, and post-retirement years. Peter Hernandez and John Zamarippa looked after Bob as his health declined, and they became close friends in addition to caretakers. We honor John and Peter for their staunch devotion to him.

Bob will be remembered for his wit and good humor (his high school annual quipped, “if Bob has had a serious thought, no one knows about it”), charm, open-mindedness, gentleness of spirit, his interest in personal discovery, love of architecture, classical history, music, travel and good food, perseverance, and the calm courage with which he faced his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to St. James Episcopal Church, Music Division (http://stjamesaustin.org/), and El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission (http://www.elbuen.org/). A memorial service will be held at St. James on May 31, 2014, 10 a.m.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from May 18 to May 19, 2014

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?n=robert-hudson-patterson&pid=171061500#sthash.6YuFD2Jd.dpuf

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