Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Status Updates on Various Fronts

It has been an eventful month! I want to share here some of the things going on, but due to the quantity I will need to do so in short bursts of photos and text.

Bookie looking contemplatively out of our living room
window. Yes she's wearing three headbands.

The Metaliteracy MOOC ended in December. Unfortunately, due to the rigorous nature of applying for promotion during the month of October, I fell behind in the MOOC talks and was unable to catch back up. I do have links to all the content, though, and in particular would like to engage with Sue ThomasTechnobiophilia material sometime in the future. Metaliteracy is definitely still my thing, and I learned most from the MOOC by getting to put it into practice and watch others do the same. And it still promises to be a big part of the revised ACRL Information Literacy Standards, due to be completed this summer. So, this MOOC was definitely time well spent.

And, it resulted in this gem appearing in the #metaliteracy Twitter stream a few weeks into the course:

Nothing quite like scanning and absorbing 140-character soundbytes on a complex educational framework like metaliteracy, only to stumble upon one instance of a lone user creating anew the hashtag #metaliteracy which, in context, refers to the music genre of heavy metal, and even includes the requisite sign of the horns emoticon to be legit. Loved this. Decentralized vocabularies ftw :)


In December, I officially graduted with my Master of Arts in Theology. In the first weeks of January, the degree was finally in my possession.

#fiveyearsofmylife #worthit
Very exciting, that.


Also in the first weeks of January I had my meeting before the Board on Rank and Tenure. This board consists of eleven of my senior colleagues here at my institution, who have been reviewing for the past 1.5 months my massive application for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Our Provost was also present at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was for the board to ask me questions of clarification about my application, consisting of evidence related to my librarianship, scholarship, and service. At the end of the meeting, after I left, the board voted on whether or not to recommend to the university president that I be promoted -- after I left the room, of course. I find out the result of this vote, as well as the president's decision, later this spring.

Here is what I looked like a few minutes before driving to campus the day of my meeting.

All gussied up (to the extent that I gussy up)
#goodimpression #zen #calmcoolcollected 
The meeting went very well as far as I can tell! (Thank God!) I was certainly nervous, but not so to the point where I was spewing verbal red flags in my responses. The tone in the room was serious but collegial. I was asked questions by four of the board members, and I was in the room for around twelve minutes.

Anyone reading, who is of the praying kind, I'd be grateful for prayers that my application is a successful one...promotion would mean a lot of things for me, both personally and professionally. This was arguably one of the most important meetings of my career thus far. I will assuredly post here with the results of the process.


Bookie is very much the toddler these days! This week she began in the next room up at day care, which has more structure and opportunities to develop now that she is running all over the place and pre-talking up a storm. And she did great on her first day in the new room! I'm so proud of her. Here are a few Bookie photos of Bookie being her Bookie-self, with one of me and Paul at Christmastime thrown in for good measure.

Christmas at our parish
Christ is born! Touch ALL the ornaments!

#daddydaughter #myloves

Tea time, thanks to a beautiful gift from
her Aunt T (aka my research
partna' and friend, Teresa) :)

#choirloftpixie at church
on a Sunday morning

#choirloftZEBRApixie at the
sippy cup waterhole

Conducting AND singing along
with Maria Callas #operagirl

Me and my darling :) 


And finally, there's this...

#throughglass, but not, because I took this w/ my ol'
 fashioned smartphone -- BUT STILL.

...about which I have many words. I am going to tell the story of this crazy awesomeness in another post, though, as the number of words in this post has reached quota.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Yarning Along the Path from BI to IL

I look at the stitches and see my own thinking.

I'm back at work after two weeks of holiday. As festive and restful as the time off was, I am ready to return to my work. This week is quiet in the library, which means I continued the scholarly reading first mentioned in my last Yarn Along post.

"Changing Landscapes, Enduring Values:
Making the Transition from Bibliographic Instruction
to Information Literacy"
by Elizabeth O. Hutchins,
Barbara Fister, and Kris (Huber) MacPherson in
  Journal of Library Administration 36.1/2 (2002): 3-19,
and my continued chunky garter stitched cowl. 

I wasn't going to post this week since I'm flitting from article to article at this point. But once I started reading the article I'm sharing today, I realized it deserves a post so I could process it further. It is a piece that describes the positive transition from bibliographic instruction (BI) to information literacy (IL), where the latter builds upon the foundation set by the former, at two liberal arts schools in Minnesota. It is co-authored by Barbara Fister, a researcher and practitioner in my field whose ideas challenge and excite me, and whose Twitter feed is one of the most edifying of those I follow. She's been doing information literacy, and doing it well, since before the term rocked the library profession in 1989. She's awesome.

In my current project, I'm doing a sort of historical retrospective about information literacy in my field, as well as information literacy as discipline. There's more to the project than that, but I want to wait until a later post to share the gritty details. For now, suffice it to say I am immersed in the LIS literature that documents, reports, analyzes, and reflects on the shift that occurred in academic libraries between 1989 and 2000 (and beyond), from delivering "bibliographic instruction" to delivering "information literacy instruction". And this article, "Changing Landscapes, Enduring Values" (see image caption above for full citation) is fantastic for my project. I'm finding myself nodding along in excitement, cheering quietly at my desk, and reacting in all sorts of engaging ways with the piece -- much of which winds up in my marginalia. 

Excited marginalia is exciting :)

...which led me to tweet the following last night in my excitement:

I was sighing (or #sighing) wistfully because one of the schools the article offers as a case study has an active and engaged tradition of student scholarship, where student scholars annually attend conferences to present their work, often done in collaboration with the faculty who teach them. These are undergraduates, mind you. And the library at this school is involved in this tradition of research excellence. #sigh indeed. And awesome (or #awesome?). It's from reading case studies like these that I get reinvigorated to pursue the same kind of excellence in information literacy collaboration at my own institution. This reinvigoration is vital to my ability to do my job well.

Here is a representative nugget from the article:
Librarians work with academic colleagues as peers and fellow educators. This mutual respect contributes directly to collaboration and, in turn, to students becoming more engaged in their research. Librarians and classroom faculty share the goal of preparing students to participate in scholarly conversations, to evaluate resources critically through a particular disciplinary lens, and to be capable of contributing to the discipline's scholarly discourses. (p. 7)
This is exactly what I strive for in my work with my research partner and co-teacher, Teresa, on our campus. It's so exciting when it "works". But it's even more exciting when you can scale it as well as model it for wider adoption by your peers. This is something Teresa and I are working with an eye towards at our institution...though how it may happen here is yet to be seen.

It's getting there... (And it's even longer now!)
And I've added to the chunky scarf I started before the holiday break! More than ever, knitting is helping me process all I'm reading. I am loving doing these two things together. I also think this is going to be more of a cowl than a scarf: I'm envisioning the kind of thing where I add a few chunky buttons to one end, and create a button hole on the other end, and you wear it by crossing the ends just below your neck and buttoning it closed. It's very chunky. But it's also mesmerizing, for me at least, as the one who is making it.

That's what I have for today's Yarn Along. Thanks for reading!