Tag: Pyewacket

Open Access Tenure: My Horn, I Honk It

We’re a little thin on the ground at the Hedgehog Place of Work. (H-POW–it looks like an exclamation from a comic book) One coworker is off for a highly anticipated two week vacation, one had a couple vacation days, and one called out sick. All very valid reasons but that leaves just Madame Department Chair and yours truly getting to handle all of the printer kerfluffles that decided to happen.

It’s annual review time–Madame Department Chair is writing them up before her retirement on May 1. (I will need a new department head in the future but there is currently discussion of what role and capabilites that new future department head should take and have to best move us forward. I’ll let you know when it’s posted). I’ve met with Madame Department Head quarterly, so I have documents that help me pull together what I’ve been accomplishing for the past few months.  Rereading them with the perspective of all that I’ve done in a year is a bit surprising–the day to day doesn’t feel like much has been done but since last June, I’ve:

  • Taken on teaching Evidence Based Practice to the first year Dentistry students. This is expanding to our International Students and I expect to move up the years with my D1s.
  • Started embedded office hours with Dentistry.
  • Been appointed/assigned 6 new committees. (Volunteered for a 7th-it’s not a heavy time burden)
  • Organized Code4Lib-MW with the Beerophile Sysadmin. We’re hosts for Code4Lib 2013, apparently we did well.
  • Written two book chapters–one with colleagues from Shipps University and one on my own.
  • Given my first national library presentation at Computers in Libraries.
  • Survived most of the way through my first year as Chair of LITA-PPC.
  • Figured out my research topic for the next couple of years.
  • Started actively working with four different collaborators for papers and presentations that I hope will be out within the next 6-24 months.
  • Moved department statistics from entirely paper based to entirely electronic.
  • Joined the Journal of Collaborative Librarianship as a Review Editor.

It’s not everything I wanted to do in the first year, but it’s a healthy starting place. A lot of what I’ve been doing has been establishing a base, finding what it was that I wanted to do and with whom I wanted to do it. A year ago I hadn’t really planned on OA Tenure but obviously that’s come up too.

Astute readers will notice that there’s not any peer reviewed research on that list. Yes, I know.  I would plead time poverty, which is always true, but mostly it goes back to being more focused on foundational things. I’ve been flailing around trying to find a niche for myself over the past twelve months. That flailing included continuing education, pestering professional colleagues, going to a couple of sessions at conferences, and a number of long discussions with the Philosopher. Having better identified what directions I’m heading, having discussed those with my Assistant University Librarian, my tenure mentor, said previous professional colleagues, Pyewacket, and Gypsy, I’m better able to hone in on projects, figure out where to consider publishing, and actually getting research on paper.

One of the things my tenure mentor asked for was a relatively clear research statement, something on which I could build an agenda.  I struggled mightily with this but finally one morning it clicked.  My research interests  lie in examining use by librarians of early 21st century technological developments, specifically as the use relates to professional development and scholarly communication.

Does this sound of interest to you? Great, I’ll probably have a survey for you at some point. :-p  Seriously though, if this is something you’d like to explore too, shoot me an email. Let’s research something.


Year the First….

And in the blink of an eye I’ve been at UIC a year already.  It seems much longer ago that I was packing up my apartment in La Crosse and then working through the boxes on the other end as I moved into my apartment here in Chicago.

From a library perspective

  • I’m thinking about data a lot more now. I was feeling really bad in March (and occasionally still get pangs) that I was so unaware of something that was obviously really affecting libraries. Then I have to remind myself that I’ve been in an academic library where data is a prominent focus and concern for just about a year.
  • I’m thinking a lot less about story time.  Oh, the programming skills (read–teaching skills) are still going strong, but it’s definitely different when one doesn’t have storytime every Wednesday.
  • We’re still on semesters and thinking about breaks.  I just don’t have to worry about summer reading programs.
  • I’m a little more fearless.  A year ago there were a lot of things I was afraid to volunteer for: writing book chapters or throwing out conference proposals.  Now, I’m doing both and chairing a national committee. It takes a shift in self confidence and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I think things are more easily accepted from Tenure-Track Librarian at Research 1 Institution than Children’s Librarian from Small Midwest Public Library. I am trying to keep that in perspective.
  • I’m on committees. I was on a couple of those while a public librarian. Usually they were specific task oriented and then went away.  Now I’m blocking chunks of time on my calendar so I have at least one afternoon per week without multiple meetings.

From a personal perspective

  • I’m so much busier than I thought I’d be. Sure, I knew having a lot of local friends would mean busier evenings, and a 50 minute commute eats a chunk of time, but I’m still amazed how fast time has gone.
  • It feels like I’ve been here forever. Granted, much of that is settling back into a place I have already lived, but it feels like it has been much longer than a year.
  • Added the Philosopher and Pyewacket to the people and felines in my life.  Welcome additions, both.
  • I’m still working on the apartment.  Yesterday I drug the Philosopher to Home Depot and purchased shelves and pretty brackets and coat hooks and those went in my entryway.  They were immediately covered with coats and hats and scarves, it’s nice to have things the way they should be.
  • The yarn stash is still out of control.  I assume that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone.  I did do better this year about how much yarn I bought–which considering my apartment is half the size of my apt in La Crosse (yes, truly, we measured), is probably a good thing.
I’m very grateful to be closer to my family, living near major airports, and able to take public transportation to work every day.  My coworkers have been very welcoming.  I’m still figuring out what I’d like to do research on–more from there being so many options as opposed to not enough. And I’m looking for a spare few hours more a day to read, knit, and write….