“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
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"I would be interested in whatever you were interested in when you came to my office. That was my job." -- James P. Danky, from an interview conducted by Sean Moxley-Kelly
I read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed on the train home yesterday and reflected a little about my own workload and how I feel about it lately.
I'm struggling to work on a thesis right now while working full time. I've been in school for the past three plus years while working too, but the thesis is feeling more like a very LARGE project that is all ME somehow in a way that other coursework has not. Maybe it's because I'm doing new original research (as in, I thought I had ideas I was working up to in other coursework about what my thesis would be, but I took a turn into some new landscapes that require a lot of other research that's new to me).
My new goal, which has also been an older goal, but one that I'm trying to stick to right now is to be extremely and very careful about the things that I commit to--even fun and enticing things. I wish I could go off the grid a bit more, venture out into a writing cabin or somehow just be a little more isolated physically, but I think really what I need to work on is saying "yes no yes" or putting the thesis front and center. I might even stop drinking for the summer (a prospect that frightens me knowing how great Brooklyn for backyards and booze) but a decision that feels like it will help me gain lots of productivity and morning writing sessions (I hope?!).
What techniques and tips can you recommend for getting large research and writing projects accomplished?
I was asked to write a guest blog post for the new (great) site dh+lib this month. In the post, I talk a bit about my library heroes, and what I hope the overlaps between the digital humanities and libraries can do to further social justice. You can read the post here and I'd love to hear thoughts and feedback.
I visited the new Information Commons at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central branch last weekend and was really impressed. There are reservable spaces for groups to meet, a classroom awaiting use, and even a recording studio with equipment. I had heard a bit about this project before the opening, but it was another experience to be in the space itself and to see it being used and appreciated so quickly. I'm really hopeful about the opportunities that this space presents--those who have been working on this project have done a really stellar job of making it a place that welcomes community use and collaboration.
I'm just back from a great day at the 2013 Metro Annual Meeting and wanted to share my slides. If anyone is interested in reading the accompanying notes, feel free to get in touch and I would be happy to send them to you.
Here's my list of all the books I read this year, with my favorites starred. I read more books total than I ever have before, a full 60!
I visited the Morgan Library for the first time yesterday. I initially went because the Beatrix Potter exhibit ads stirred up some nostalgia about reading those little books as a kid, but while I was there the "Dürer to de Kooning: 100 Master Drawings from Munich" exhibit was really what drew me in.
The 2012 Desk Set Biblioball has been announced: it will again be held at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Saturday, December 8. Get your tickets now! This year the event will again raise funds for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and Urban Librarians Unite’s Sandy Children’s Book Relief Fund. Among other great attractions, The Borough is My Library #4 will be debuting (!) and I'm super excited about this issue. The Desk Set organizers are still looking for volunteers to help make the magic happen, so lend a hand! Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, and I'll see you there!
Open Access Week is coming up and we're celebrating again at CUNY. Join us if you are local, or hold your own celebrations!
I know library school can be hard, and that sometimes you don't get the best reactions or perspectives from veteran librarians, or to get to talk about the things you would like to talk about in school (LIS or otherwise). That's why I'm so impressed with the Queens College students who are paving their own way with the Radical Librarians Book Club! (which is open to all--MLS'ed, in the process, or library-curious)
Sunday, August 19th @ 2PM – Free
Radical Librarians Meetup: Bly & Wooten’s “Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century”
The Radical Librarians Book Club is a group of aspiring librarians, current librarians, and other folks who are invested in re-envisioning the traditional library. We seek to examine issues of librarianship from a radical, politically-focused perspective, and build community within the field. The Radical Librarians meet every third Sunday. August’s text is “Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century,” edited by Lyz Bly and Kelly Wooten.
I found this on Brain Pickings the other day and thought I'd re-post it here, since it's pretty great:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.
I'm preparing for the 2012 Protest on the Page: Print Culture History in Opposition to Almost Anything* (*you can think of) conference in September, and I realized that I never shared my slides that I presented at the last Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture conference, Library History Seminar XII: Libraries in the History of Print Culture, that took place in 2010.
Here are my slides that are associated with the beginning work of my Meta-Radicalism paper. If you are interested in taking a look, I'm attaching a proprietary version of the slides that have notes about what I talked about with each slide, and another version that just includes the images from the slide show.
Finally, I'm not sure about the best way to share this work: the slides themselves don't express all of what I presented, but I'm not sure how to share that content alongside them online other than in the notes field of the proprietary software. Any suggestions, other than going back in time and record it all together?
Following Vicky's lead, this year I'm going to devote half of my reading to works made by women of color. I've got an overall goal of reading 60 books in 2016 (gulp). If you're interested to take on a similar challenge, Vicky's reading lists are a great place to start. Happy reading, all!
Been listening to H is for Hawk. So far I drift in and out of really hearing it, but the part about an unexpected death rings true. But it's not a punch in the stomach--it's a bowling ball to the guts. Wishing I'd developed that film that was of the piece I made in college that I must have threw away, but I also don't regret getting rid of things usually.
Reading/dog-earing Coates' Between the World and Me.
Finished the Slice Harvester memoir within 12 hours of getting it from ILL. Highly recommended. Made me reminiscent of when I moved to the city and we would get a slice from Luigi's, back when Luigi was still there (and you would not necessarily encounter the dude who we now refer to as the "our friend jesus" guy), and eat it sitting by the canon every single day before my evening shift, with the ferocious pizza-eating squirrels.