Fighting, err… working with SharePoint

For the past several months I have been creating, adding, and quality controlling metadata in a SharePoint 2010 document library.* I thought those months had given me some crucial SharePoint skills, and that SharePoint had become relatively intuitive.

There are four kinds of people in the world, according to an Arab proverb (according to Bartleby):

… those who don’t know that they don’t know; those who know that they don’t know; those who don’t know that they know; and those who know that they know.**

Reflecting on my experiences this past week (read on, I get to that shortly), I used to be the first kind of people, and now I feel pretty confident that I’m in the second category.

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Making connections within the international community

ImageFor the past week or two, I have been diligently researching and writing a digital preservation policy for the DC/SLA. By now, I have a much better idea of common elements in digital preservation policies, and a better understanding of all the pieces. While I will post about my latest experiences with this project soon, this week I want to take a break and share a different experience.

I have always an international mindset, and I enjoy connecting with and learning from information professionals in other countries and regions from around the world. Stepping outside my own cultural and professional sphere has so many professional and personal benefits, and I find that I learn a lot from people with different perspectives and backgrounds.

Recently, I connected on Twitter with a group of students and new professionals in Ireland, who write a blog (New Professionals Day Ireland) that helps library and information students and new professionals to build their networks and share experiences. They graciously allowed me to share my experiences as a library student and professional.

Read my story at New Professionals Day Ireland. While you’re there, check out some of the other stories written by new information professionals.

Digital preservation planning in a library association chapter

The DC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association

As Archivist of the DC Chapter, I lead the Archives Committee in archival and digital preservation initiatives. After a period of limited-to-no activity, our primary goal is to plan strategy and set in place policies and procedures for present and future preservation and collection management.

Where we are now

This year, we developed several areas of work that we would like to accomplish, including drawing up a Collections Management Policy document with a Digital Preservation plan; contributing to the upcoming 75th Anniversary in ways that best suit an archive; and updating and adding to the somewhat skimpy physical collection.

This week, we will present some strategic questions to the Chapter Board, as well as some ideas about how the Archives can contribute to the Chapter’s 75th Anniversary celebrations.

Specifically, we want to focus on opening channels for donations of physical materials, and answering questions about appropriate access and materials for our digital preservation strategy, as well as finding out what digital preservation infrastructure/systems/storage/planning/capturing is already in place.

Digital preservation – part of archival preservation strategy

Starting out this year, my focus was on digital preservation, because it seemed we already had a good physical collection in place. Since then, I have discovered that our physical archives could, in fact, use more attention. Given the meagerness of it, and the lack of Committee documentation to tell us what has been done in the past to collect materials, we have expanded our scope to create a comprehensive Collections Management Policy that includes guidelines and procedures for digital preservation.

Not reinventing the wheel

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Reference librarianship in a collegiate environment

After quite a long hiatus, I have returned to Cultural Heritage and Information. I aim to get back to posting regularly, every Wednesday or Thursday.

Today’s subject is a personal one – what I’ve been learning in my newest position as a reference specialist at a small library in a large community college library network.


The library I work in has a very diverse population of users, with students and community patrons from around the globe. My evening shifts coincide with some of the busiest hours, since many students work during the day and attend school at night. The library is smallish, with a main collection of non-fiction, academic books, a designated computer room as well as computers on the main floor, access to several large and subject-oriented databases, a DVD section and a small section devoted to rotating fiction books. Continue reading