Alright, I admit it. I am horrible at posting monthly. 😶
It's been a busy two months since the last update. I've been attacked by 3 spiders in the apartment, 1 in the car, and 1 on the sidewalk. Yikes! I also hosted two events, led one instruction session, and ended two rotations at work. Lots of work but it was all worth it.
This month, let's start with the end … the end of two rotations. Year 1 of my residency was always intended to be rotation-based. One of the first things I did was select 3 departments to spend time in this year. Early on, the decision was made - for various reasons - for me to work in two of them at the same time. Thus, I ended up in Collections & Technical Services in the mornings and Special Collections in the afternoons. That meant 8 months in those departments … for half-days. Those 8 months have now passed and I've been a part of Data Services for the last week. Of course, I'm not 100% divested of my work in either CTS or Special Collections. Here's how things stand:
Design work on Albatross ⸮the impossible database⸮ is done. I'll still be attending development meetings, though, and helping to write the initial SQL queries. This all makes sense. Since I'm still around, it really doesn't make sense that I would leave the project at this stage of development. Once data is loaded, I will help generate initial queries and design any structural changes that may reveal themselves as necessary.
I finished the migration of Archivision into SharedShelf. Sadly, I can't show that off since those collections are restricted to Virginia Tech users only. The Art & Architecture collection has also made its way into SharedShelf but I haven't finished (started) the application profile for it yet. It's simple documentation of the metadata structure in use. It will only take about two days to do - I just haven't had the time yet. So, that will be done soon and then I'll be finished with that project.
The consultation work with the Alumni Museum is basically done. Laurel was the lead on this and did most of the work but I helped brainstorm and select new images for the displays. The displays were changed out while I was on a trip to Iowa, so I haven't seen them yet but the museum people seem happy. The last thing for this project was creating a recommendation document for the museum staff. We put some exhibit æsthetic design and physical maintenance suggestions together and they are on the way to the museum.
The theatrical collection I was processing is mostly done. I finished the physical organization 🎉 and I have all my background research together. The newspaper clippings that were damaging the playbills have all been scanned and removed. I still have a few (≅150) scanned images to title. I also need to write up my finding aid so that people can start using the collection. Still, the amount of work I got done on this collection amidst everything else I've been working on was satisfying. I'll be posting some collection highlights on the Special Collections blog next week.
That brings me to a beginning … the beginning of my new rotation in Data Services. Don't ask me what they do - yet. I'll be happy to tell you later. I've been in the department for one week. I know they consult on data management plans, curate, and make available data sets. Beyond that, I will learn. To start out - and as my project during my 4 month rotation - I will be getting a handle on the services offered by Data Services. I will be working on creating a web presence for the team on the library's Intranet site and the library's Internet site. I will also be working with the Data Curator to document current data curation processes, create a framework for documenting new processes in the future, and optimize user help documentation for the data curation services. So, I will have things to share in this area - but not yet.
Rotation is, of course, only a small part of what I've been doing over the last two months. I completed the first two levels of diversity training offered by the HR Diversity Development Institute. I should be receiving my official Ally and Advocate certificates later this year. I'm thinking I may be able to do the Ambassador level before I'm done here.
I also taught my first SafeZone 101 course. The SafeZone program educates people about the LGBTQ+ community. SafeZone 101 is the first required course toward SafeZone certification. It covers basic things like terminology and learning to empathize with another's perspective. My first session went well and I hope to do more soon. I'm also beginning development on a new session to add to the mix - on evaluating messages about LGBTQ+ people in the media.
I traveled to Iowa City for an institute at the University of Iowa - where I got to reconnect with the rest of my residency cohort and learn about the wonderful wide world of academic publishing. It was a great few days with the added bonus that Phillip was able to drive down from the Twin Cities and visit me and I got to see my older brother and two of his kids.
I organized two events for the Latino Americans grant (with the help of a great team!). The first was a video screening/lecture event. It was attended by about 11 people and there was great discussion. The second was our closing event: a cultural celebration featuring food from a local Latino-owned restaurant, music from a local band, and lots of room to dance. We played the documentary on the wall behind the band and the Latino American Student Organization (LASO) asked attendees to help support their fundraising efforts on behalf of Ecuador earthquake victims. It was a great time! About 70 people showed up - we didn't get photo releases, so I'm limited in the photos I can share online, but here are a few:
As always, there is so much I could talk about and expand upon. I'll try to do smaller more regular posts going forward. I don't know if it will work - but I'll try. 😉
I'm the Community Collections Archivist, Community and Cultural Centers Librarian & Resident Librarian at Virginia Tech.