Some Quick Thoughts on iConference 2014

Now that I’m back in the states and have had a bit of time to settle in, I wanted to jot down some of the stuff that stood out to me during my time at the iConference.

Standing next to our poster. Photo credit to my co-presenter, Gary Burnett
Standing next to our poster. Photo credit to my co-presenter, Gary Burnett

Creativity and Arts-Based Work

As academics, we (myself included) often get stuck in the accepted modes of production and thinking in order to produce work that is taken seriously by our colleagues and that hopefully helps us advance in our careers. There is obviously a lot of value in the work that we do and the rigorous approaches we employ, but I’m happy to see the same rigor and critical thinking being encouraged in arts-based work that acknowledges the value of play, creativity, and multiple approaches to engagement with a topic. This is something I’ve seen and talked about with folks at ASIST, ALISE, and the iConference this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing more arts-based work being shared in our field. I’m also very interested in pursuing this kind of work and open to conversations and research collaborations for those also doing this kind of work!

At the iConference in particular, I was very excited to see a conference stream centered on creativity (organized by the inspirational Dr. Theresa Anderson). This included the Researchers as Makers conference workshop I was a part of (we made zines!) as well as the iPause space, which encouraged attendees to take a break from the usual conference activities to pause and play. That space offered a much-needed break, and made it ok to engage in play or to sit quietly and reflect. As a supporter of creative play and of having a healthy balance of work and play, this space really spoke to me. I was very pleased that the iConference is open to this kind of engagement, and it definitely makes me more likely to want to attend more conferences in the future!

Social Media

At both poster sessions, there were some amazing social media projects being shared. One of my favorites was a poster on political tweets by the students at the i3 iSchool Inclusion Institute, who were all undergrads  but who blew a lot of their more experienced colleagues out of the water with their work. There were many, many other amazing projects too, and as always I learned so much from everyone I talked to at the conference. I also learned a lot sharing my poster too (which is my favorite part of presenting). I was anticipating more questions about the theory we used, but we ended up getting a lot of questions about how we defined the contexts surrounding the groups we studied. I also enjoyed having the chance to talk about US political movements to an international audience–here, most people know the role of the Tea Party and Occupy movements within our political discourse, but it was fun to get to articulate those roles for people who operate in a variety of political structures.

There are so many things I learned, and so many wonderful people I got to meet, but those two themes were ones that I really wanted to talk about (and they are themes that I’ve noticed at other recent conferences too). The iConference left me energized, encouraged, and inspired, and I hope to attend again next year!

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Upcoming presentations

Are you going to ALISE this year? So am I! I’ll be presenting during session 4, which is from 8:30-10:00 AM.
The title of our panel is: Questions Are Never Neutral: Examining the Occupy and Tea Party Movements as Exemplars of Information Research and Everyday (Political) Life.
I’ll also be doing some things with JELIS, the journal I intern for, and I’ve put my CV in the adjuncts folder at the conference. If you see me around, say hello!

Funding Opportunities: Week of September 18th

It’s time for the second installment of my funding series. I have found quite a few opportunities this week, particularly for doctoral students and those seeking short-term research fellowships.

Research Grants
Princeton Library Research Grants: Covers the costs of traveling to the library to conduct research using their collections.
Formby Research Fellowship: For research at Texas Tech’s special collections.
Truman-Kauffman Fellowship: For use of archival materials at the Truman library.
David Woodward Fellowship: For those interested in cartography; allows fellows to set up and curate a show or to research collections.
Verney Fellowship: For those researching Nantucket history.
Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship: For researchers focused on printing history.

Dissertation and Early Career Funding
McNeil Center Dissertation Fellowship: For those studying early American history.
CLIR Mellon Fellowships: For dissertation research using original sources.
Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship: For those studying religion or ethics.
AABS Dissertation Fellowship: For those focused on Baltic studies.
Peter Rollins Travel Grant: For early career faculty travel to Popular Culture Association conference.
Bosanquet Bursary (UK): short-term residency in London for history or literature research.
Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship: Offered through the American Antiquarian Society.

Other Funding Sources
EPA Graduate Fellowships: For those studying environmental science; includes one for Information Science.
Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award: To attend ALA Annual; for those engaged in business reference.
Collaborative Doctoral Awards (UK): Allows for research and work collaboration between academic and business.
Japanese Language Education Overseas (Japan): Opportunities to teach Japanese.
North Carolina Artists’ Fellowship: Helps creative development of artists and gives time to pursue work.
Getty Institute Grants and Fellowships: Short term fellowships, pre- and post-doctoral opportunities available.
Academy Professors: Academy of Finland recruiting full-time researchers who are considered prominent in their field.
Schoenecke Travel Grant: For graduate students to attend the Popular Culture Association conference.

>Rehashing #unpackLIS

>Friday was “Unpacking the ‘Library’: Exploring Works in Progress Across the Field of LIS.” This conference was significant for me not only because I had a blast as an audience member, but because it was the first conference I have helped to plan and run. Our goal with the conference was to use it as an extension of B Sides Journal‘s dual mission of professional development and education, and it was a resounding success! I’m planning on writing another post on the process of planning a student-run conference, but for this one I wanted to focus on sharing some of the takeaways from all of the awesome presentations!

Continue reading “>Rehashing #unpackLIS”

>ALA Talk available online

>Hello readers!
I had initially planned to publish my talk from the Library History Round Table symposium at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in a peer-reviewed journal, but it occurred to me that my other talk (from Library History Seminar XII) is going to be on the same research, and most likely in the same journal. So, I added my conference talk to my Scribd account to share with everyone! While you’re there, you can follow me with your account too. Sometimes they get picky about downloading things if you haven’t uploaded your own work, so I can also e-mail the PDF of the talk to anyone who is interested. Otherwise, go here to read the document in full online.
The talk discusses three of the six libraries I researched (Burlington, Davenport, and Mt. Pleasant) more in-depth, whereas my talk from September discussed al 6 libraries, but with somewhat less detailed attention paid to each in order to keep within time constraints. The published version of that talk will be about 25 pages, so that will give me a chance to pay a little more attention to each of them.
If you have any questions or comments, let me know!

March 2011 update: Scribd accidentally deleted my account, meaning that you cannot read this paper on their site. Sorry folks!

>Highlights from Library History Seminar XII

>I just got back from an awesome conference experience at Library History Seminar XII in Madison this weekend. All of the panels were incredible, and the people there were so supportive and welcoming of me (especially as a new researcher!) I feel so excited about the whole thing that I wanted to jot down some thoughts I had about the topics, and some questions the presentations raised for me. Continue reading “>Highlights from Library History Seminar XII”

>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!

Continue reading “>Liberty Cabbage, Materials Access, and a Visit to Wisconsin”