Onwards to 2019 …

Happy 2019! We’re back to the office after a nice long break away from each other and as I dig out from Mt. Email, I wanted to make sure to look ahead.

Looking back on 2018 it was an incredibly productive year for me — I published 3 new articles (1)(2)(3) and a SPEC Kit(4); we landed the IMLS Grant and my new Data Doubles (DD) team; my research was presented nationally and internationally;* I personally gave a half dozen presentations, a Road Show, and couple of webinars; and I successfully launched LIB 573 — Intro to Research Data Management here at my university.

That’s a long list when I compile it. It’s so easy to get lost in the everyday weeds and there’s the joy of academia and attempting to stall/feed/hide from/satisfy the Never-Enough-Monster.

There’s a lot of new work to tackle this year –both the Spring academic semester and the calendar year. I’m working with my department head** to sort out manageable goals for work — the words “maintain” and “revise” rather than “invent from whole cloth” are strongly in the current refrain. And of course, I’ve got some travel coming up.

If you’d like to see me or catch up on my research, here’s where I’ll be so far:

I may have a late breaking announcement. Stand by.

I’ll be giving a workshop at the Michigan ALA Academic Librarians Conference! On Friday, March 15, I’ll be launching: Navigating Data Capture and Use in Academic Libraries
This is a new workshop that I’m building and I’m so delighted.

  My DD colleagues will be presenting some of our year 1 findings at ACRL. I can’t be there but it’ll be very interesting.

  The Best Nursing Liaison Ever will be speaking about our research project on RDM/Nursing programs at the Medical Library Association. I may pop in just for the session since it’s local.
I’m planning to be at RDAP in Miami, just attending.

ACRL Research Data Management Road Show at ALA Annual! Come be at our pre-conference! Send your liaison colleagues who are interested in getting into data. (Remember it’s an *intro* program, not necessarily for the data librarian wonks among you)
Data Doubles Research at ALA Annual — Come see my PI and I chat (probably on Monday) about what we learned in year one from our student privacy and learning analytics research. We will have *very* interesting themes from our interviews. Promise.

Midwest Data Librarians Symposium — Tina and I are hosting here in Chicago! Details to come and I’m sure I’ll be running like a headless chicken. It’ll be great.

*Thank you again, Evviva, for being Reader Extraordinaire at IFLA Kuala Lumpur for Megan and I!

**She really needs a blog name, let me ponder on that.

  1. Mittal M, Wang CH, Goben A, Boyd A. Proprietary management and higher readmission rates: a correlation. PLOS One. 2018 September: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204272
  2. Goben A, Doubleday AF. Copyright in the Health Sciences Literature: A Narrative Review. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship. 2018 June. https://www.jcel-pub.org/jcel/article/view/6654
  3. Goben A, Sapp Nelson M. The Data Engagement Opportunities Scaffold: Development and Implementation. Journal of eScience Librarianship 2018 March:7(2): e1128. https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2018.1128
  4. Perry MR, Briney K, Goben A, Asher A, Jones KML, Robertshaw MB, Salo D.  Learning Analytics. SPEC Kit 360. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries. 2018 September. https://publications.arl.org/Learning-Analytics-SPEC-Kit-360/

Book Review: Omega Objection

**This review was completed from an e-ARC provided by the author. I have also purchased the e-book**

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Carriger returns to the San Andreas Shifters, her male-male romance and a truly unusual pack of werewolves. Likely to be spoilers below!

Starting into the book, I’m reminded how Carriger paints scenery well, so the reader is easily on the edge of the nightclub, watching the action, only to come out and realize that one is on the commute home and really musn’t miss one’s stop. That said, this particular series of books have an odd sense of outsider-status, at least for me as the reader. Rather than fully engaging with the story, I felt always like an observer and occasionally one peeping in a little too intimately on the characters’ time.

Oddly–and perhaps an indication of how tired I am–it was 10% into the book (Kindle version) before the title finally kicked in to the conscious portion of my brain. Right, he’s an Omega, that’s what is causing all of this. It’s a change in role description for Carriger. She has focused in her paranormal stories, back through the parasol protectorate on high ranking pack members: Alphas, Betas, and one very memorable Gamma. The alpha male stereotype in romance exists for a reason and the omega role is a welcome anomaly. It was really refreshing.
Carriger presents a man who is — publicly–the antithesis of toxic masculinity. His entire self is caring and empathy and is that without malice or anger. Isaac was utterly appealing to the reader and I have no doubt this was intentional. Tank felt comfortable in a different way, that good friend in a group–the one never in the center spotlight but always there and always wanted and welcome.
Isaac and Tank’s relationship furthers that unusual nature of presenting the Omega as hero in their sexual relationship, with Tank preferring a submissive bottom role to Isaac’s one area of domination in his life. However, Carriger is very clear in the need for repeated and enthusiastic consent between the two men.
Ultimately this book felt a little underdone. It seemed to start slowly and then rush to an ending, resolution, everything is suddenly fine. I felt like it needed a few more scenes where we got to observe Tank and Isaac outside of crisis/sex or something else after the crisis was over that wasn’t just sex. Several threads were introduced that could eventually be adjacent stories but here they just felt loose.
If you’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series or you like m/m romance, it’s a nice change from the standard alpha male everything. I’ll keep reading and looking forward to seeing how else she handles the pack. We end the story knowing who to expect falling in love next…

One Project Done; Another Begun — the SPEC Kit

Last summer, I had a random idea on a Tuesday. Rather than jotting it down to return to at a more reasonable later date, I emailed a couple of other librarians and asked “hey, what do you think about this?” To which both said “Yes! Let’s chat” So that Friday, we had a short phone call. After that, we started recruiting other colleagues. Within another week-10 days we had a proposal and then that was accepted and suddenly we were underway.

And yesterday, our SPEC Kit was published.

Perry, Michael R., Kristin A. Briney, Abigail Goben, Andrew Asher, Kyle M. L. Jones, M. Brooke Robertshaw, and Dorothea Salo. Learning Analytics. SPEC Kit 360. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, September 2018. https://doi.org/10.29242/spec.360

Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, SPEC Kits are structured whitepapers which provide a snapshot of current practices on a topic at research libraries. It had been over 10 years since anyone had looked at learning analytics, we were well overdue. The team developed a survey, which ARL distributed and then created an executive summary and pointed out some potentially good privacy policies that might be useful for others to adopt. That’s the short version of the SPEC Kit.

We have the data set and over the course of the next year it is our intent to do further work with it. The publication format didn’t really allow for analysis and synthesis; the majority of what is there is summarization and reporting back. That said, it’s very useful as a starting point and we can certainly build upon and outwards. I hope it will prompt questions and ideas for librarians who are tasked with learning analytics.

What the process really did was become meetings every other week where the team worked very hard. Where we relied on Michael Perry to translate our collective thoughts back to ARL during the editing process and on Kristin Briney to point out best practices for our visualizations. Where new colleagues have quickly become good friends. Where we openly have disagreed and asserted and resolved and dissolved into laughter.

And where, in late July/early August of 2017, when I saw the IMLS call for proposals come out, I asked “what if we asked someone for money?” and Kyle ML Jones stepped up and offered to lead the charge.

Which is how I have had the excellent fortune to become a Co-Investigator and the Project Manager for the IMLS funded Data Doubles grant. More on that in another post but do check out our website. 

I have rarely suffered a paucity of projects, but this team has been already such a joy to work with and given me so many new directions. I look forward to our Monday calls, to wrangling through notifications, and to trying to figure out how we all best draw on each others strengths. We have three years ahead to ask interesting questions and discover (we hope) useful answers.

The SPEC Kit is our first major publication together and I greatly anticipate all that is coming ahead.

Summer Tuesdays Ideas are wonderful.

I Write Things Other Places Too…

I need to do a better job of sharing what I’m working on these days… presentations and papers go by and I know I’ve done them but then they turn into a line on my CV and I’m scrambling to the next thing rather than enjoying what I have done. So… here are the two papers that have come out this spring:

  • Goben A, Sapp Nelson M. The Data Engagement Opportunities Scaffold: Development and Implementation. Journal of eScience Librarianship 2018 March:7(2): e1128. https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2018.1128

When Megan and I built the Road Show, the tool/handout/thing we were arguably most proud of was the Data Engagement Opportunities poster. Now that I’ve recently moved into an office I  feel comfortable decorating, I plan to get a full size poster and frame it!

This short paper describes how we built the poster, how you might use it, and what it isn’t–which is a job ad. It’s always something that fascinates people when we use it at the Road Show. You can take the poster as a liaison, data librarian, or administrator and start to identify concrete tasks that you may want to undertake or build into services. It’s a way to explore what skills you might wish to develop or hire and it even comes with suggested assessment outcomes that go beyond “more”.

And then this just came out! Have I mentioned how much fun it is for Alison and I to write together? This was our charge through the literature to see what existed and you can only imagine the wincing at what we discovered. I know far too many new ways to incorrectly describe how creative commons , the public domain, and open access all work now. And it’s more evidence that we need well written consumer and creator focused copyright literature in health sciences journals across all of the disciplines.

Go find my horror stories, they’re in there.



Book Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

**This review was completed from an e-ARC provided by the author. I have also purchased the e-book and ordered the print copy as well, it’s that good**

Werewolf Cover

There are some books that one races through, delighted to be taken on an authorial romp or determined to find out how the story ends. There are others that are a slog or which must be chewed slowly in order to digest everything within. And then there are those that you string out as long as you possibly can because you’re enjoying it and you don’t want it to end.

By the start of the second chapter section, cleverly set off with werewolf shadow icons, I knew this was that last kind.

Carriger brings her readers back to a post-Alexia world and while it is firmly within the Parasolverse she has so comprehensively created, this book easily stands alone. New readers will intimate there there have been other stories, but this doesn’t prevent the enjoyment of seeing an alpha male (in the romantic story sense, not the werewolf sense) meet his match.

Excepting the paranormal aspect of it, this is a fairly straight-forward historical romance — I’d call it a Regency Romance more for the style than the time period. Boy meets girl; boy and girl are both rather flawed; boy and girl spend the book trying to sort out each other and their romance. There is sexual wordplay but it’s overall chaste until the end.

But Carriger is never quite that simplistic. We are dropped into a story that opens with familial anger at some misbehavior on the heroine Faith’s part. She is banished to England (an amusing reversal) to find a werewolf husband only to encounter on first landing the obnoxious Channing.  There is a sub-plot of missing Sundowner bullets and another of parental abuse towards a child that may be difficult for anyone who knows what it is to walk on eggshells around a parent known to unexpectedly lash out verbally or physically.

Carriger does not excuse the faults of her leads, nor does she indicate that love will perfectly solve everything. That realistic aspect keeps the characters from becoming caricature.

After so many books, it was sorrowful and a relief to learn Channing’s past and to have a happy ending for him. And where Carriger’s last book was a love story to her readers, this felt a little fresher. I was left with anticipation for further books in the “Claw and Courtship” series, ones that may not include characters I already know so well.

This book though I needed to also order in print, so that next time the author is in town I can bring it along, abused, dropped in the tub once, and splattered with hot tea on a few pages, for a signature.