>Prezi and My Research

>I’ve been a little late to jump on the Prezi bandwagon, but after just having made my first one, I’m very impressed with the result. For those who haven’t used it, Prezi is a way to create presentations that is more dynamic than using a PowerPoint slideshow. I found it much easier to use, and because it zooms in and moves around, it would be more likely to keep an audience’s attention.

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>Roots and Routes: How I Came to Library & Information Science

>Today was orientation for the new cohort in our department, and it was absolutely a blast. The students are passionate and ready to work, and I felt fortunate to spend the day getting to know some of them. One of the presentations by LISSO (Library and Information Student Organization) included mention of The Library Routes Project. I’m glad I was there to learn about the project and to then go home and look at some of the posts, especially after spending a day with new students and with professionals who were discussing how they came to the field. I had read about it previously on Lauren in Libraryland, and was excited about the project. However, as happens so often, I got bogged down under other tasks and eventually slipped to the back of my mind.

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>Liberty Cabbage, Materials Access, and a Visit to Wisconsin

>I’ve been working on my thesis, but my time lately has been overwhelmed with moving and with polishing my talk for Libraries in the History of Print Culture. Since I haven’t had time to visit any new libraries in the last month, I’ve enjoyed getting to review what I’ve already learned and refine my assumptions and methods.
After my last talk (at ALA) I got really positive feedback and also some great questions from the Q&A. Some of the most helpful was from Wayne Wiegand (who has written the book on WWI US libraries), who encouraged me to reconsider my approach slightly. I was talking about censorship as an official act, while the organization that was encouraging censorship (the Iowa Council of National Defense) was actually a volunteer organization. I’m not sure how I missed that, but I’m glad to have people interested enough in my research who also have the knowledge to provide constructive criticism!

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>Tales from the PhD Hunt

>I am currently feeling a tad overwhelmed. Engaging myself in the search for the perfect PhD program is simultaneously frustrating and rewarding, especially when I have altered my list of schools and my expectations so drastically in the course of my search.
I started out looking both at LIS and History departments, and while I still think there are some exciting and wonderful History programs out there, I feel like I would be restricting myself too much to solely focus on that. I love my history research and plan on continuing it, but I love how LIS embraces new technologies and is open to new ideas. I feel like in History, I would find myself having to justify why I’m so passionate about our open access journal or why I feel like resources and information should be shared, not privileged. Of course every History department isn’t going to be like that, but I have yet to find a discipline that is as broad and interesting as LIS! Everywhere I am applying has faculty members who do research across many disciplines, and I would get a chance to explore new fields and ideas while honing the skills and interests I already have.

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>Crowd-Sourcing Peer Reviews

>While procrastinating and staring blankly at my Twitter feed a moment ago, I noticed this post by ACRL (ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries):


@ALA_ACRL: RT @chronicle: Open, crowd-sourced peer review works for one humanities journal:http://bit.ly/9HIDJC

As an OA journal editor, I was intrigued. When you click the link above, you’re lead to a Chronicle article about Shakespeare Quarterly‘s new approach to the review process. Basically, a draft of the publication is placed online, and is open for comment by a pool of reviewers with varying specialties. The process is not an anonymous review, so those comments that are made about a submission are attached to the reviewer’s name.

>Tips and Tricks from Library School

>Lauren Dodd recently posted¬†The Dos and Don’ts of Library School on her blog, and it got me to thinking what advice I would give to people entering a Master’s program. I would definitely recommend reading her post: it has some great suggestions, all of which I agree with! I thought of a couple other things that I would suggest as well, and so I am adding them here.

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>Digital Publishing for Higher-Ed Students

>As some of you know, I’m a co-editor (along with the lovely Katie Devries Hassman) at B Sides:¬†the student journal for the University of Iowa’s School of Library and Information Science. As we draw ever nearer to the beginning of a new school year, I am getting more and more excited about sharing the journal with SLIS’ incoming class. Because of this, I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately pondering digital publishing generally and by students in particular, and how we can make the process of publishing itself and educational experience.

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>Continuing Trends at CRPL

>I am doing research at Cedar Rapids Public Library today, and I always get excited when I notice almost immediately the same trends occurring here that I’ve noticed in other parts of the state. For example, both Cedar Rapids’ and Burlington’s libraries were keen to advertise at the ‘moving picture shows’ starting in 1912. A frame would be shown with an ad for the library on it. Both also publicized themselves in the local newspaper (which seems to have been rather common around the state).

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>Modern Literacy

>Books and Literacy in the Digital Age

I know a lot of writing is going on both in print and in the blogosphere about the future of books and the changing face of literacy in ‘the digital age.’ A lot of it is really good, but the article above (from American Libraries) caught my eye because the author shares my love of the printed book as an object as well as reading material. I have recently flung myself headlong into blogging, tweeting, etc. as professional activities, but I still spend as much time at a quiet table with dusty old library records so I appreciate the balancing act I feel like Raab is describing at the beginning of the piece. I feel like I have to put less work into balancing my digital content with my historical research (which at this point uses the tangible records as a jumping off point for discussions that largely take place in the realm of the digital). My question at this point is how the balancing act differs for folks who are doing research on digital objects/writing code/whatever. Do folks who work with born-digital content feel less of a push and pull between their media? I also wonder how much of this is due to climate: the field of LIS is one that is so rapidly developing and much more willing to embrace change and adopt new technologies than some other segments of the humanities, and I think such adaptable programs will be more likely to remain relevant than humanities programs that stick to the ‘academia as ivory tower’ model.

>Email and "Oral History" Interviews

>I recently submitted an article entitled “E-mail as a Medium for ‘Oral History:’ A Personal Account” (it’s under review at the moment). Basically I conducted a personal history interview using e-mail, and I wanted to compare that experience with that of recording an oral history interview in the traditional way. One thing that really excited me is that these interviews are already digitized (although obviously there isn’t a digital audio component), which could save libraries money on creating digital copies of interviews (a theory that only works, of course, if a lot of interviews are done this way and then gifted to libraries. Otherwise the effect would be negligible).

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