Summer Recap

I had a good summer. It’s strange, though–now that school is back in session, even though I grumble about the infernal Bloomington construction (my former DOT employee Wisconsinite grandpa shuddered upon visiting), it is refreshing to have IU buzzing with activity again. I think I was a bit bored this summer; I stopped blogging and got listless. I was still busy with classes, work and my internship, but the whole world was so quiet and languid that it was like existing in a vacuum. Now that I’m back to elbowing my way onto packed buses at 9pm and drinking too much coffee I’m a happy girl.

I gave a poster session at the Special Libraries Association on July 17. The great thing about conferences is that you can propose a poster or session well before the event, leaving plenty of time to prepare. However, I usually end up working on my poster a few days beforehand and SLA was no exception. Because I didn’t know anyone else who would be there and I was only going for a few hours, mentally it was just something to get through. I drove through torrential downpour in a questionably functioning car, changed into my blazer ensemble in the restroom, and tacked up my 8 foot long poster with 30 minutes to spare. It was as good as it could get, through I was feeling a bit high-strung.

The poster session went from 7-9pm and, as always, the audience was varied. As I continue on in my poster sessioning career I realize that you’re often going to have a few sour grapes who bring a joyless stare/smirk/squint combo and refuse to return a smile as they nibble on an hors d’oeuvre then slink away. Happily, to balance these individuals out there are sweet people who share their enthusiasm even after a long day of conferencing. One of these people was Brandy King, the Social Sciences Division Chair, whom I’ve since stayed in touch with and am in talks with to join the SLA-SOC Board as Archivist. (It’s so true that you never know what sort of opportunities are going to emerge from conferences!)

After SLA, I finished up my internship at the Digital Library Program in late July, leaving me a month of relative leisure with only about 20 hours of work per week. I taught two Intensive Freshman Seminars and an instruction session for the Telluride program (high schoolers!). I hosted my parents, who took the long-suffering boyfriend and I out to eat, and my siblings, who made me feel as though I had adopted two orphaned circus performers as they wreaked havoc in my shoebox apartment. I made a giant canvas decoupaged with bold fabric emblazoned with cabbage roses. I watched as the LSB organized the first annual Grant Street Jazz Festival here in Bloomington.

And now school is back in session. I’m taking three classes (Introduction to Information Science, Metadata, Public Library Management) and all is well so far. I’ve picked up another job working for the Digital Library Program; I started last week and I could not be more thrilled. It was my goal one year ago as I entered SLIS (feeling very encumbered by my English major status) to be qualified enough to work for the DLP. In my current position I will be focusing on marketing and communications for an open source audio and video management system (Avalon, formerly Variations on Video) that has been funded by an IMLS grant. It’s a great marriage of my undergrad-gained skills and my library technology inclinations.

All in all, I’m working just under 40 hours a week, in class for an additional 9 hours, and generally contributing another few hours for my duties as the Society of American Archivists IU student chapter President. I will also be presenting at two conferences this fall. ¬†Looking forward, my semester schedule is a bit wild. I’m finding that if I get into good habits now, at the very beginning of the semester, I can wring more productivity out of my days. For instance, I’m planning all of the events I am overseeing this semester now, so that the groundwork is laid well ahead of time. I am also trying to do the same with large assignments; if I finish half right away, it will surely be less stressful later.

Stress or no stress, I’ll have plenty to blog about this semester. Next week I am attending the HathiTrust UnCamp that will be taking place here in Bloomington. For SAA-SC, we’ll be pulling together a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to celebrate Wikipedia Loves Libraries and National Archives Month. Courtney and I are organizing two community events at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center Library in the near future. And of course, a new job and four old jobs and upcoming conferences leaves plenty to write about. Believe it or not, the busier I am the more energy I seem to have!

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