Open Access Tenure: A Mix of Things

Not a lot of clarity this week. I’ve started class and, after I tried not to overthink it, I’m hopefully doing the homework correctly.  Tuesday involved phrases like “pinched nerve” and “dehydration” that meant I was drinking Lime Cucumber Gatorade (which is disgusting) and staring at my hand trying to figure out what the weird sensations meant. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be contact from an alien world, but I’m almost back to 100%.

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Money is definitely on my mind these days, particularly considering legislation before the state at present looking at our pension system. But I was going through my inbox and I had to chuckle at an invitation I received.  It read something like:

“Come to our invite only conference for the modest fee of $395.”

It’s a conference I’d very much enjoy attending if there were funding free but it’s being held in DC, home of the most expensive hotels I’ve ever stayed at and frankly, I don’t know anyone who considers $400 modest. I considered emailing back asking who exactly felt that adjective was appropriate.

I do receive continuing education money.  As tenure-track faculty, we get $1500/year.  I’m grateful to get it. But it certainly doesn’t cover the financial costs of participation in continuing education, conference attendance and presentation.  This year we got extra money, which, combined with a free airline ticket, meant that I didn’t have to pay anything beyond food/luggage fees for my presentation at Computers in Libraries.  But I refuse to blow my entire budget on one conference that would be interesting to attend, especially when I have a lot coming up. In the next fiscal year I have

  • LITA Forum in October–I’m speaking
  • ALA Midwinter in Seattle
  • ALA Annual in Chicago (will be gratefully sleeping at home)
  • 2 other conferences I’ve proposed sessions for (Boston, Indianapolis)
  • 1 Conference that I really just want to attend (New Orleans)
  • Member dues for ALA and MLA, though I’m seriously considering dropping MLA.

Most of that is going to be on my dime, especially as most library conferences give you either no break or only a very small one for presenting or chairing a committee. I need to look out more for financial aid and conference scholarships but there’s a limited amount and most of it is targeted at people who are first time attendees. I’m hoping to make Seattle a bit of a vacation–there are a lot of wool shops out there.

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We’re down to the wire for ALA. I need to check in with the programs I’m supervising and make sure everyone’s ready to go.  I also have a ridiculous to do list to try and get ready for another year of being Madame Chair. I still think the first thing on that list should be obtain a suitably large hat.

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I’m working on research projects with two professional colleagues. One is in Wisconsin, the other is in Canada. It blows my mind occasionally that I can say that and it feels like no distance at all.  With both projects, we’re doing data gathering and coding, we’re working on interesting questions and I really enjoy my colleagues. Any rumors that I’m doing it so I can talk to people who inspire me on an every-other-week or so basis should be completely encouraged.  There’s something very satisfying about seeing those calls on my calendar. That this work will hopefully lead to productive research, papers, and tenure credit is all the better.  There are also two other projects underway more locally but those aren’t going quite so quickly.

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Dentistry and I are trying to figure out more evaluation of the students and my impact this fall.  I need to make another appointment with the D1 Semester 1 Coordinator and see what we can get underway. I’ll definitely still be teaching on Fridays in the fall, we just have to figure out what needs to be tweaked and how we might do things differently so we’re not all suffering from three hour class exhaustion.

That covers all of it doesn’t it? Research, Teaching, and Service? Oh right, librarianship.  Yup, still doing that too…