Wow! Almost a month since my last post! Where did the time go … and simultaneously how am I only two months into my residency‽
Over the past month, I managed to get pictures on my walls and put up some lovely cabinets for my “library” at home. I think the yellow really makes the room inviting. The number of spiders in the apartment has, thankfully, gone down and I’ve learned to use the glass range to successfully heat up food! I also got a year older. Who knew I could age an entire year in a month? :-P
Collections and Technical Services
At work, I’m continuing with divided days. In Collections and Technical Services, we finalized an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for Albatross (the database we’re building) and a test version is currently being built. My immediate daily work on Albatross has died down a little, so I’m expanding my exploration of the department:
In Special Collections, we’ve reached exhibit week. Sharing Our Voices: A Celebration of the Virginia Tech LGBTQ Oral History Project is this weekend. Some of the things included are: A display with seating allowing access to the online oral histories, selected books from the library collections, and a case with some archival items from Special Collections.
This Saturday and next Monday, we also have an expanded exhibit (and Saturday there’s a reception). The expanded exhibit includes access to the website of the Virginia Tech LGBTQ Oral History Project — including oral history interviews, a timeline of events, and supporting materials; a 1986 AIDS conference video; It’s Reigning Queens in Appalachia [Vimeo], by Carol Burch-Brown; Luther Brice’s Chemical Magic Show; a student project from the '70's by Mark Weber on transvestites; Images from student groups; A video by Megan Myklegard reflecting her work for the ACC Creativity and Innovation Grant; Images from the timeline and images of participants in the oral history project; screens with headphones attached to accommodate listening to the oral history interviews; and a table for student, faculty, and community group literature.
For this project, I’ve had my hand in indexing the oral history interviews and in setting up the physical displays. I’m glad I got to do so much with a project that was already underway when I got here! The team working on this project has put together something great and I’m excited to see everyone come and experience the exhibit this weekend. A great write-up about the exhibit is on the Special Collections Blog.
Coming up in Special Collections, I’ll be learning some of the basics that they teach students who come to help out (I want to be sure I see everything since I didn’t get to go hands-on in school) and I’ll also be working on some more projects — details to come.
Diversity Alliance Institute
At the end of September, I visited West Virginia University for the first Diversity Alliance Institute. The Institute was much more that I was expecting. I went in thinking it would be a chance for the residents of the Diversity Alliance for Academic Librarianship [PDF] to meet each other and talk about how we will collaborate with each other. While that did happen, there was more! There was a full schedule of events.
On the first day, there was a welcoming reception with many an important person present. The Institute included the current Diversity Alliance residents and coordinators, some residents from other programs, and administrators interested in starting residencies at their schools.
Day two included a panel of current and former residents from other residency programs. They told us about their experiences and gave us advice on getting the most from our residencies. Courtney Young and Camila Alire, both former Presidents of the American Library Association [!!!], were present to talk to us about their journeys and to add good advice to that of the panelists. Toward the end of the day, the President of West Virginia University, E. Gordon Gee, stopped by and the Diversity Alliance residents and the panelists all got to meet him. Day two ended with some good pizza and beers at Pies & Pints.
On day three we were treated to some talks about the types of innovative scholarship done at Virginia Tech and how that scholarship helps to support diversity. The talks were followed by a trip to Coopers Rock State Park for an outdoor StrengthsFinder session with the residents and coordinators.
Our final day was a trip to Pittsburg for just the residents and coordinators. We visited the Andy Warhol Museum and had a chance to get some good eats in the Strip District. I had some nice Caribbean food at Kaya and then it was home to Blacksburg.
Following the Institute, I volunteered for the ACRL Residency Interest Group (RIG) Web Team. The RIG’s website and Twitter account were extremely helpful in my search for a residency position. Now, I’m giving back by helping to maintain the website so that other new librarians can find a position just as awesome as mine!
In addition to trying my hand in as many areas of CTS and Special Collections as I can, I’m taking on a role as the Liaison for the Intercultural Engagement Center (IEC). Currently, there aren’t really liaisons for departments other than subject departments. I’m going to be creating a liaison relationship to support the IEC in their diversity work with student groups. In this role, I’ll be helping the Black Cultural Center, Multicultural Center, Jewish Student Union, HokiePride, Women’s Center, and more with their library needs. I’m also going through SafeZone training and taking courses as part of the Diversity Development Institute here. Hopefully, I’ll be teaching some of those courses in the next year or so.
With so much going on, it’s hard to believe I’ve been at this less than two months! Every day flies by and I feel like I should be nearing the end of the first year already with the number of things going on. I’m grateful I’m not, though! I need all the time I can get to develop some of the projects I’m already working on!
Check back next month for updates on the LGBTQ Oral History event and to see if I’ve managed to banish the spiders for good!
I'm the Community Collections Archivist, Community and Cultural Centers Librarian & Resident Librarian at Virginia Tech.