Thursday, July 24, 2008

Writing, Writing, Writing

Lots of writing projects, and my wee brain is a bit friend with them all, and trying to keep myself straight.

First: I am attempting to draft a short paper for the Internet Librarian proceedings. I can't help it, Rudy practically dared me when she said it was a timesuck and that very few people included them. I have about half of the eight pages done (doesn't sound like a lot, but some of the research I need has been tough to find). I'm hoping to shoot a draft over to Rudy by the end of next week on that one, since it's due August 22nd. I doubt we'll worry about putting our slides in there, since they'll be made available online later, and the slides are likely to change since the presentation's not until October anyway. one of Rudy's concerns was that a paper written now may not reflect exactly what's going on come October...I absolutely agree with her, and would find it shady if anything someone wrote up on technology in August *was* the same after a few months. but the live presentation can have those edits and changes in it while the paper can be static. Am I really just leaping on the chance to be included in proceedings and count that as a publication? Maybe. Don't judge me, it's still useful information.

I need to get on the ball, work up an outline and email Josh Hadro over at Library Journal about an article he'd like to see out of me and Laura Carscaddon in the near future on Twitter/Friendfeed as a technology in service of professional development. I'll likely start a short outline tomorrow and send it out to laura & Josh and really bang away at that next week in addition to the proceedings paper.

There are a few other academic articles I'd like to get written - on reaching under-skilled undergraduates, on helping faculty develop "actionable assignments" that utilize library resources (the fun ones, like videocameras, digital cameras, and digitization stations), and on how academic librarians can aid universities with student retention. (I realize this is all very ambitious, but it's what I'm interested in.)

There are another few non-academic articles I'd like to write as well, but those are *all* on the back burner until I get some oomph, and until I get some academic stuff written and published. Oh Tenure, ye jealous bitch. How ye stifle my creativity *grin*

Other projects: I'd like to develop plans for a workshop for faculty run by the library that teaches a small cohort about new technologies as well as ways to integrate them successfully into classroom teaching, and maybe connecting them to info literacy and research skills. That won't be a possibility until next summer (or maybe spring break...hmmm) but it'd be nice to have a pitch for my boss written up and well-planned. I would also like to research, develop and pitch a plan to teach a for-credit information literacy and research skills course. Our university would be the perfect spot for it, with our poor retention and under-skilled incoming student demographic, and I think it would help the students tremendously if they had a resource like that under their belts. It will go over with the university like a turd in a punch bowl, I'm certain, but I'm dying to go for it anyway.

Back to the writing: I'm currently revising a poetry manuscript I'm hoping to get published before I'm old and gray, but that's not related to my tenure bid, just another project on the writing front. There's a second poetry manuscript as well, but it's even worse shape than the first one, and it'll have to wait until I can give it some TLC before it's allowed to see daylight. Any of you librarians with a creative streak, if you're interested in helping me out with providing criticism on the first manuscript, it'd be welcome. if you don't know where to ding me, shoot me a comment and I'll find you.

And then there's the writing required for my MFA work (I'm halfway done with my second semester - huzzah!) which will require another 30-odd page packet this weekend. happily, my MA classes don't kick in until the end of August, which will add another poetry workshop and a class on Critical Theory to my must-write-for list.

To top it all off, my magickal writing pen has garnered me an an interview at my local Radio Shack tomorrow, since the Guardienne is in serious need of some cash flow. (Particularly if I'm going to make it to Internet Librarian. Dear State of Tennessee: providing funds for travel, but only disbursing them as reimbursement puts undue strain onto your new faculty members. No love, Guardienne.)

I feel somewhat gratified that I finished three book chapters earlier in the summer, but until I actually see those suckers in print, they count for nothing. Which freaks me out with worry that I've got nothing to show publication-wise, and my one year anniversary here in my first professional position is August 6th. I don't want them to think I'm a slacker (not that they do - my coworkers are all lovely. Except Griffey, who has too much facial hair to be called lovely - we'll call him wonderful), and I feel like I need to get something useful/scholarly/respectable churned out quite soon or I'll turn into a Library Leper.

So, that's the report on the goings-on from here. I'll get to the "Day in my Library Life" meme eventually, I promise...


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Jared said...

Thought you might like this link:
Portraits of Librarians

BTW I followed your tip on resume cover letters. The first one I sent out landed me a great job at a software company in NC. Tomorrow marks three full weeks of working there.

Thank you.

Colleen said...

Jared -

Thanks for the link! And congratulations on landing a great job in a beautiful area - if that cover letter post was helpful, I'm glad to be of help. Keep me updated on how you like it - I have a good pal and former roomie who works out in NC validating software, and he loves it there. I hope you find it as fulfilling!

rummuser said...

How and where do you get the time to do all these things? Truly amazing!

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