>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.
>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.
>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!
>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.
>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):
>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.
>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.
>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).
>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).