Posted tagged ‘MLA’

The Future of Meetings

August 11, 2009

Today I went out east for the first MLA tech services section meeting of the term.  It was a fairly productive meeting, despite being at a slight stand still due to the recession.  Mostly it’s becoming evident that barely any libraries in the state have a professional development budget at the moment.  So, we’re looking at an immediate future of scaled back conferences, online meetings, and a possible workshop on how to run online workshops (we were sort of joking that we should bring in a speaker and have them teach from behind a curtain for that one).

Something is definitely being lost by making these movies.  I know of at least one co-worker who admits to not getting much out of online lessons, and I know she’s hardly alone.  But we’re gradually reaching the point where traditional learners are going to be left in the dust, and I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done to avert that.

Now in slightly cheerier news, I just have to share that thanks to a friend I’ve got a random Twitter appearance over on Macworld.  The Tweet in question, is of course from a conversation about killing zombies (although of late they have given way to to unicorns and pandas).

Does This Mean I’m a Professional Blogger Now?

April 9, 2009

I’ve just been selected as an official blogger for next month’s MLA conference.  W00t!  Not entirely sure why I’m so excited about essentially taking meeting notes for two days straight from the backs of rooms but I am.  Really looking froward to this.

Balancing Acts

December 9, 2008

Everywhere I go lately it seems librarians are getting busier.  Staffs are shrinking, additional responsibilities are heaped on, and a few of us are crazy enough to take on extracurricular activities (2 workshops and 2 game nights a month, what is wrong with me!?!).  Fortunately we largely seem to be the sorts that enjoy to keep busy, but at some point something has to suffer.

And what I’m starting to see is a cut back at the professional organization level.  One of my side tasks is to sit on the board of the MLA’s technical services section.  We’re on a recruiting drive at the moment for our next slate of officers and it’s not an easy task.  Hell it hasn’t been so easy to hold on to all of our current officers due to conflicting professional responsibilities.  This is a very sad turn of events although a very understandable one.  These sorts of roles play a key part in the development of the profession, and right now they seem to be withering from neglect.

Introduction to Library Digitization

October 28, 2008

I’m back from the very successful Introduction to Library Digitization Conference put on by the MLA’s Technical Services Section (OK, that’s enough self-promotion).  We had a great turnout, with a surprisingly diverse audience (still not sure how the University of Vermont even learned we were holding the event), and one of the most well prepared groups of speakers I’ve ever seen at a conference.  

I’ll post more later once the presentation slide get uploaded, but in the meantime:

The day started with an excellent (and practical) introduction to the subject by Gregor Trinkaus-Randall.

His presentation was followed by Mary Piorun and Lisa Palmer from the UMass Medical library, who then showed how to apply the lessons gained from the first session to a specific project.

After a nice lunch Andrew Epstein gave an amazingly comprehensive (for an hour long talk) rundown of US copyright law, including how the law is likely to change, thanks to the Orphan Works act.  Incidentally I’ll be speaking on the subject on Friday and now have to try my best not to copy his talk (I had my notes done last Thursday, I swear) since there are at least three people who will have been at both events.

Finally, there was a panel discussion featuring Leone E. Cole from the Watertown Library, Kathy Foulke from Connecticut History Online, and Dodie Gaudet, Kristi Chadwick & Jeffrey Monseau from the Digital Treasures project.  Honestly, this presentation was a little rough as there was enough information for 3 presentations (more on Digital Treasures Friday) and we ran out of time (sorry Kristi).  But the session was still very informative and I thought it did a lot to show how the attendees could start working on their own projects sooner rather than later.

All in all it was a great event, it’s just a shame that it’s started snowing now (it’s only October!).

Public Appearances

October 27, 2008

I’m going to be incredibly busy this week.  For starters today is the Grand Reopening of the Athenaeum.  If you’re in the area please stop by for the Festivities.

Tomorrow is the MLA Tech Services Section Introduction of Library Digitization event at the Worcester Public Library.  We’ve got some great speakers, I’m particularly looking forward to the copyright talk on digital copyright in the 21st century.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to hear some of it in the midst of running around doing tech support for the event.

And then on Friday is the WMRLS Digital Barn Raising, where I’ll be doing my best John Hodgman impression as one of a few resident experts for the workshop.  I’ll also be giving a short talk on copyright there, so I’ll be taking a lot of notes on Tuesday in preparation.  I promise to try my best not to be too snarky during my talk.  Oh and I’ll probably be in costume.

Getting Involved

September 22, 2008

I’m back from a long weekend and a short MLA meeting and it’s time for a sales pitch.

To anyone who has read this site frequently it should come as no surprise that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the professional organizations.  I think my main issue with them is that I have a vague feeling of unfulfilled potential (with the exception of advocacy of course, they are good at that) coming from many of them.  But there’s also the more general concern that they are too geared towards the larger libraries at the expense of everyone else.

The solution is simple, do what you can to make your voice heared, starting with joining your local organization.  I’m still new to this but my short time in the MLA has been one of the more rewarding experiences of my career to date.  It’s a place where a newcomer like me is welcomed completely and where the interests of a mid-size public library like mine can be given equal weight with the concerns of a giant like the BPL.

Finally, a shameless plug.  On October 28th the MLA will be holding a full day program entitled Introduction of Library Digitization.  If you are in the Worcester area I highly recommend attending.  There will be presentations of funding sources, technical considerations, copyright law, and examples of projects from all types of libraries.  I hope to see some of you there next month.

The Man Behind the Curtain

September 11, 2008

Well the secret’s out (thanks Chrystie 🙂 ), granted it wasn’t a terribly well kept secret.  But anyway I suppose it’s full disclosure time.

My name is Jeremy Goldstein, and I am the supervisor of the technical services department at the Berkshire Athenaeum, where I also serve as the resident techie.  I’m also currently a member-at-large for the technical services section of the Massachusetts Library Association, a member of a couple committees within the C/WMars region, and one of the organizers of a series of tech services round-tables for Western Mass.  And this December I’m going to be running my first workshop.

Now, on the issue of anonymity, I’ve had mixed feelings up until now.  I’ve had quite a few conversations with a good friend of mine who completely hides their identity on line (despite being very active) on the subject and they had managed to convince me of the value in remaining hidden.  However, that person works in academia and the library profession seems a little more open to bloggers by comparison.  

So I guess I’ll just have to watch what I say a little bit more now (not too much more).  But now I can start tying in some of my other online activities to a much greater extent.  Expect to see a few redesigns to the site in the near future as I start playing with widgets.