Uncategorized Archive

ALA Annual: Spot the Hedgehog

Posted June 25, 2015 By Abigail Goben

I’m flying out to San Francisco tomorrow and I’ll be there until Tuesday morning.  The Philosopher is holding down the fort at Chez Hedgehog and is on feline-feeding-and-spoiling-duty full time until I get home.  I’m sure my side of the bed will be extra full of cat fur by the time I get back.

If you’re looking for me…

Saturday morning– I’ll be at the LITA All Chairs Meeting and then the LITA All Committees Meeting. Look for the hat that I hopefully remembered to shove in my suitcase. (It’s green, trust me, you can’t miss it.)

Saturday afternoon — I’ll be speaking at the SPARC/ ACRL OA Panel. I’m so excited about this! I hope many people come.

Sunday afternoon — I’ll be at the President’s Program and then LITA Happy Hour.  Those are always excellent events, Midwinter in January saw me jumping up and down in a circle with glee.  Cindi Trainor can attest.

Monday morning — STS has a poster session that I want to make a pass through

Monday afternoon– I’m on the STS field trip to PLOS. Registration is closed but it’s going to be SO COOL.

I’m packing a boatload of knitting, so if I’m not running around like a chicken I’ll probably be tucked in a corner with some wool.  Please come and say hello and let me know if you have any tenure questions I can answer–always happy to try and give insight.

Open Access Tenure: Start the Checklists

Posted June 23, 2015 By Abigail Goben

I had a call with my new P&T paperwork mentor today. Depending on how you count, I’m on either my 3rd or 4th one, but one was only assigned to me for about 2 weeks so I think 3 is the number we’ll go with.

What does my P&T paperwork person do? Gives me deadlines mostly. They are assigned by the P&T committee to oversee the dossier preparation process and make sure that the files and forms are all completed and the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. This is in addition to my research mentor, who tries to keep my writing focused and me from losing my mind.

It’s a little easier this time, I’ve done the full dossier once and so I only have about 24 months of material to add on at this point. And I have two annual reviews to add to my 3Y documentation, which will hopefully trigger memories of what I’ve been doing.

So we’re on target to meet every two weeks until my 5Y paperwork goes in. I have my first assignment. The plan, I’m told, is to focus on one major piece at a time. And also she gets to sort out all of the strange questions I have–today’s was “I have had someone offer to write me a letter of recommendation, to whom should they address it (the Dean?) and to whom should they send it and by when?”  Letters aren’t a requirement for our dossiers but I’m told they certainly aren’t a bad thing.

Over the fourth of July weekend I’ll be updating my “list of accomplishments” –a bullet point list of all the major projects I’ve tackled, things I’m most proud of, and the shiniest sequins I’ve sprinkled around the place.  Right now I’ll make it as comprehensive as possible, we can always whittle it down.

I’m pleased to have someone else watching the deadlines for me. It’s just too easy to let my own work go to the bottom of the pile when emails are pouring in, meetings never seem to stop, and the only time I’ve had off recently was a couple of days where something of the sinus/chest persuasion meant I slept and coughed and not much else. Give me a deadline and I might not sleep the night before, but at least a draft will get done and we can work with that.

December 1 is coming awfully fast.

Open Access Tenure: Speak All the Words

Posted June 2, 2015 By Abigail Goben

I’m speaking a lot over the course of 30 days, in different locations and on different topics. I’m excited about all of them, though with everyday lots-of-work-to-do and a couple of writing deadlines and impending tenure stuff and I do find myself in front of the computer until wee hours most nights. It’s going to mean a June that doesn’t have a lot of lazy evenings strolling along Lake Michigan with the Philosopher, though we’re both hoping for a few of those in July after I get through these things and he finishes a work building move. Of course, that would require the weather to comply and warm up past 60 degrees midday…

So, where and when can you see me?

Oops, already past…

Last Friday I was at Northwestern for a meeting of the Chicago/Illinois Academic Library Marketing Group.  (Abby, is that the right title?)  Our topic for the day was outreach to faculty. I spoke about the challenges of working with health science faculty, which included their multiple foci (clinic, research, and education), time, not being sure what to do with a librarian and also the opportunities: very much need research data management support, assisting in meeting meaningful use, systematic reviews, and teaching evidence based practice. My top tips?  Remind users that interfaces change and that while they may not be in a database everyday, I am more likely to have been and I know where things are now that they’ve moved. (“It’s changed…”)  Also, facilitate serendipity.  Faculty and students who will never clutter up my inbox or walk over to my building will sidle over with a quick question if they see me in the hallway.

Coming up next?

I’ll be at IASSIST this Thursday for one day and one day only! I’m doing a turn around to Minneapolis to give a Pecha Kucha on my research with Kristin Briney and Lisa Zilinski about institutional research data policy.   I’m leaving as soon as the session is done (possibly sooner depending on how long it takes me to get from the airport to campus) so please catch me in the morning or early afternoon to say hi!

In two weeks, I’ve been invited to be part of a group at Purdue looking at barriers for researchers to research data management. I’ve got a general description of plans, a hotel room booked, and ALL THE IDEAS.  It should be a wonderful couple of days of conversation and at least one of the outputs should be a white paper.

Finally, I’ll be at ALA in San Francisco at the end of the month.  I’ve got a fair amount of LITA stuff as per usual and I have a rather exciting panel to sit on. I’ve been invited to speak for the SPARC and ACRL Forum on “Advancing ‘Open’ through Library Partnerships with Students and Early Career Researchers”  Specifically, I’ll be speaking about librarians as early career researchers and my open access tenure commitment. I had an initial meeting with the panel last week and it’s going to be a really excellent session, so I hope that you’ll join me at 3 p.m. on Saturday in San Francisco.

And that’s my June, along with finishing two book chapters by July 1, starting Paper 2 with Lisa and Kristin, and tackling some other research that’s been floating around for too long.


Posted April 12, 2015 By Abigail Goben

The longer that one waits to write a blog post, the more it seems that whatever blog post is written must be painfully significant, deeply thought out, and making changes in the library world.

This is not that blog post.

This is giving myself permission to write again, a reminder that I like blogging. I do. I think about the blog often, but usually at the end of a day where I’m squashed on a train and wondering which parts I can actually write about and what parts I need to let slip by. Can I mention that thing? Is that impolitic? Should I be writing my various and sundry thoughts or is it just easier to crawl back into the audio of whatever Terry Pratchett I’m re-listening to.  Recently, the late Sir P has been winning hands down.

But it’s now late spring and things are coming at me very fast whether I’m ready for them or not. The end of the semester is bringing graduation of the class I came in with from the College of Dentistry. A larger project, for better or worse, is about to wrap up and I need to spend time with the other project leads to write up the experience. It will kick off two other projects, of course, but those are not yet actually beating down my door.

Committees, professional service, all these things clamoring at my to do list and inboxes, rendering my weekends into a haze of staring at a computer screen.

Oh, and I’ve reached that point where I need to think about tenure every day again.  Right. That too.

And there, now I’ve written a page, I can recognize that yes, it’s nice to be writing again. But only briefly as the to do lists and everything else awaits.

The 10 Year Mark

Posted January 12, 2015 By Abigail Goben

I graduated from library school ten years ago this month.  Of my cohort of under-30s from when I started library school, two had graduated the semester before and MF and I finished up in December for January degrees. I did not walk that spring, the idea of going back and spending that much money at a time when I was supporting myself with a part-time job in New York seemed ludicrous.

I had a lot of problems with my program, though there were some highlights: the database design course, learning Dialog (blue sheets!), interning at NYPL Lincoln Center. Nearly all of the faculty have changed since I graduated, so I can’t speak to the program these days, though I’m sure it’s improved. Other than asking me for money, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to engage as an alumni.

Librarianship has changed a lot in those ten years already. It was during graduate school that I got my Gmail account– given out only to those with invites and highly coveted. Much of my communication with peers was via email lists (who else remembers NexGenLib and the various kerfluffles that led to it’s start?). Cell phones were ubiquitous but smart phones weren’t really yet a thing beyond Blackberries, which I perceived as only for email.  Many of the tools I remember learning about or interacting with are gone or seem painfully unusable. Journals were moving towards electronic access but much of it was still heavily print based.

And yet much remains the same. Patrons want seamless access–whether that be print books shuffling around the NYPL system (still the best I’ve run across in terms of moving holds), getting electronic books (I was a very early Overdrive user), finding articles. Libraries are collaborating with their communities in new and innovative ways. Libraries and librarians struggle to find the right messages to demonstrate their value. We’re still working on equality of access to information and advocating for children to have access to librarians in their schools.

My own trajectory in librarianship thus far is not one I could have begun to project then. Work for CPL for 7 months and get a crash course in urban librarianship? Live in La Crosse, WI for 3 years and organize a several hundred person all day knitting event annually? Jump into a medical librarian career and teach dentistry students or write about open access and have regular research meetings with people in other states and countries?

I’ve met and worked with amazing people over that decade as well. Some are friends from those very early days of listservs; others keep showing up all the time. I’ve moved from being the newbie at every table to getting to make introductions. More of my friends are moving into management positions. Twitter and Friendfeed are an everyday habit–while I keep pruning the listservs I am still willing to subscribe to (when 3 in 5 messages is an ILL request that blatantly violates the policies of the listserv).

It’s unclear what librarianship will look like in another ten years. I don’t expect libraries to disappear nor do I think librarians will be unneeded, but I do expect a lot more change. While I assume now that I’ll still be in library-work of some sort, I assumed 10 years ago that I’d still be in New York and we can all see how that worked out.  I have some goals and ideas and am working towards those, and I’m waiting to see what amazing surprises come next.

Ten years down…