A big next step…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” –Ecc. 3:1

I’ve been sitting on some big news of possible major life changes for the last several weeks, and it became real last Monday with an email notification. Today, I received the official, “sign and agree to this” letter, and it’s time to spill the beans on social media:

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I’ve been accepted to the Ph.D. program in Information Science & Technology at Syracuse University for Fall 2016 admittance, which means I’m moving to New York in early August. I am incredibly sad to be leaving NEKLS and the Kansas library community, especially after spending the first nine years of my library career here.

But, the Kansas library community has inspired me to take this next step in my career. In fact, the work and research that I hope to be doing is FOR this very special and dear-to-my-heart library community. Although research paths do change, right now I am planning to focus my studies and research on learning how to show the impact of small and rural libraries and librarians upon their communities (did you know 80.5% of public libraries are considered small and rural?). I am already hoping the Kansas library community can factor largely into this research and outcomes.

There are many great faculty and students at Syracuse, including the MLS program director, Jill Hurst-Wahl, who kindly sent me the “Expect More” button last summer that I laid on top of my acceptance letter in the above photo. I’ve carried that button around for months as a reminder, to expect more of libraries and of myself. That button was a nice reminder last fall as I wrestled with the question of what was next in my career.

Many people have asked me, “Why Syracuse?”; I also had to address that question in my application. Syracuse is a great school with a great reputation (although, my college basketball allegiances won’t be swayed!) and the iSchool’s PhD program has a multi-disciplinary approach, which is attractive to me.

But the biggest answer to “Why Syracuse?” is because of Dr. R. David Lankes. His theory of new librarianship, “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities” is an important frame of reference for the future of the library profession. I look forward to studying with him and other faculty at the iSchool and University.

My time in Kansas, for now, is coming to an end in six months. It’s going to be hard to leave family, friends, colleagues, and this very special library community. But I will be leaving to continue to work for you all, and, as much as I hate Wizard of Oz jokes, “There IS no place like home.”

 

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess, the slowness, the changing themes, and other content/display shifts over the next few weeks. I’m in the process of overhauling this site. It’s going to be messy for awhile.

Winter Break Reading List

Now that the fall semester is over, I have about five weeks before the Spring Semester begins in my current grad program. After a rough fall, I’m glad to see this semester end and look forward to a new one and a new calendar year. Meanwhile, I’ve had quite the reading stack pile up physically and virtually, especially virtually, thanks to Amazon Kindle’s One-Click button that’s far too easy to click when I see a good book someone recs. So in the spirit of public accountability, here’s the reading list I hope to reduce significantly over the next few weeks. If you have any other recs, please leave them in the comments 🙂

A few notes about the list:

  • I’ll break the list into four groups.
  • Books are linked to either the record in the NExpress Shared Catalog (the Koha regional catalog I help manage at work) or the Amazon.com record, unless otherwise noted.
  • After the Title and Author, P=Physical book copy and K=Kindle electronic version. [I discovered through developing this list that I need to stop buying Kindle books, till I’ve read what I have!]

Librarianship, Technology, Training, Education, and Learning

General Nonfiction

Lawrence Lessig

(He gets his own category; I’m determined to get through a couple of his books, for once!)

Christianity

Fiction

Photo Credit:This Paper Trail Leads Right Back To You ~ Explored” by Flickr user Bethan under a Creative Commons license.

7 Things You Should Know about Personalized Digital Magazines

In the one of the latest Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)’s 7 Things You Should Know About series, ELI explores Personalized Digital Magazines (direct link to PDF document). These are tablet applications such as FlipboardZite, and Taptu that aggregate users’ social media network connections such as TwitterFacebook, and Google Reader, transforming the information into an interactive magazine format. The guide answers several questions about the technology, including who’s using it, its implications, its downsides (including copyright questions), and its significance and provides a scenario for a student’s use of this technology in a college program.

I’ve actually heavily used Flipboard and Zite since getting an iPad, and found both apps to be quite useful in quickly getting through my social network streams. I don’t use them all the time, but it’s a different way to interact with the streams.

The ELI 7 Things You Should Know About series provides concise overviews of emerging technologies, especially in relation to their impact on higher education.

Blogs I Read Regularly

Someone was asking on Facebook in the last week for recommended blogs and websites to read. Here’s the list I sent her. It’s not an exhaustive list (I currently have 200 different sites I follow in Google Reader), but here are the 18 blogs and websites I pay attention to on a regular basis.