Yay! I made it through. After 6 months of courses with Library Juice Academy, I completed my goal of learning more about Linked Data and the semantic web, earning a Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. Instructor Rob Chavez deserves a big mahalo for his thoughtfully laid-out lessons and assignments. I didn't continue with Sparql II or Sparql III, primarily because my current semester and the upcoming oral examination I need to pass in March is taking huge amounts of time and effort, but I hope to take more professional development courses in the future. I'll write more about my current internships, work, and the oral exams in another post. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!
During my internship this summer at Smithsonian Libraries, I was introduced to Linked Data concepts through a NISO vitual conference on BIBFRAME & Real World Applications of Linked Bibliographic Data, and some other meetings and discussions with members of the Digital Programs and Initiatives Division. Alvin Hutchinson recommended Library Juice Academy to the interns as a possible way to supplement our current academic curriculum if we were interested in learning more. In August, I registered for the first course (of six) in a series that awards a Certificate in XML and RDF-Based Systems. All courses in this series are taught by Robert Chavez, who puts together month-long courses broken down into weekly modules with readings, examples, and assignments. Successful completion of each course allows you to progress towards the certificate. I definitely feel a greater understanding of these concepts largely attributed to Robert's course materials. I just registered for the final course in the series and if all goes well, should be getting a certificate next year. I'm willing to pay the extra money to learn concepts that aren't currently being taught at my own school and have enjoyed the experience so far!
This Fall, I had the pleasure of doing an invaluable internship at a medical library--the Health Sciences Library of the John A. Burns School of Medicine--as part of a course credit (LIS 690) for school. This gave me experience in both an academic and special library. I have to thank Library Director Kris Anderson for taking me on, as well as Melissa Kahili-Heede for providing such excellent guidance through the majority of the internship. My classmate, Dee, also interned here, and I was really happy to have her at the same site. Dee and I received additional guidance from Luree and Carrie Ann when it came to Technical Services work; Leah was an all-around resource for any questions that arose and also was amazing at coming up with ideas for outreach and engagement, and Hilda (who Kris says runs the place) taught me as much as she could about circulation (and more).
The staff make a really great team, and I felt like they were excellent role models. Some projects accomplished involved the digitization of the Hawaii Medical Journal (1990-2005) which was uploaded into eVols. Dee and I both had a part in the process of scanning, OCR'ing, and creating metadata for issues loaded into eVols. Another accomplishment was selecting the best crowdfunding site for Kris' IAMSLIC project.
Today, Kris took the staff out to lunch at Little Sheep. It was their holiday party and my very first hot pot (and Mongolian hot pot at that!) My last day will be on Friday (12/16). I've thoroughly enjoyed my time and the experiences I was able to have here. I'll miss working there 12 hours a week, and seeing the awesome staff, and really cool projects. JABSOM itself has its own vibe, and I really liked the students. Mahalo to Kris, Melissa, Leah, Luree, Carrie Ann, Hilda and Dee!
Time is the 4th dimension. Lately, I've longed for the ability to press pause.
This semester, I've been working part time in my student assistant position in the UHM Pacific Collection, and interning at JABSOM Health Sciences Library where the staff is amazing, and I am going to deeply miss working with them. I am also taking 2 LIS courses: Database Searching, and Resources in Hawaiian & Pacific Librarianship; as well as working towards a Library Juice Academy certificate in XML and RDF-based Systems which requires me to take (6) 1-month-long classes. I just finished class 3: Introduction to the Semantic Web. I'm digging the courses and the instructor. In November, I flew to Hilo on the Big Island, for the Hawaii Library Association (my first ever professional conference) Conference. I also presented my first-ever academic poster. All that being said... I've been super busy this semester.
On Saturday, September 24th, I had the wonderful opportunity to help community members learn how to preserve their family treasures. The Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists partnered with the Society of American Archivists student chapter to invite students to be presenters at this vital workshop on the west side of Oʻahu. Hawaiʻi is famous for its amazing weather. We live in paradise, however, with our subtropical climate there are unique challenges for community members wishing to preserve their papers, books, photos, and other cultural artifacts.
I was fortunate to team with three fellow classmates and SAAsc members who I have ginormous amounts of respect for: Jennifer Magdaloyo, Keala Richard, and Ellie Seaton. Together, we tackled the content of Session 1: Mālama Palapala, which covered physical environment, pests, the care of papers, books, photos, and other artifacts such as feathers, kapa, and ʻumeke/calabash. As aspiring archivists we had all studied under the wise and skillful tutelage of Deborah Dunn in LIS 619 - Preservation Management. (Keala and I were lucky enough to have Debbie for LIS 620 - Conservation Management, as well). Each of us parsed out the topics comprising our 90-minute presentation, and created all the content for our topics. The topics I selected were: pest identification and prevention, identification of types of books in the home one might preserve, and types of books commonly sold today, and photo preservation and storage. Debbie graciously agreed to help us run through the presentation, made suggestions, and then (bless her heart) she sat through it again! She was very happy with it the 2nd time around, and so was I. Having her give feedback was integral to the success of our portion of the workshop.
The audience was a mixture of different ethnicities from all over the island. They were primarily middle-aged to senior citizen, and actively took notes and asked questions throughout. It was a pleasure to be speaking at Leeward Community College, which is the CC I lived closest to (and where I started my college endeavors) back in the day! I felt really comfortable speaking to the crowd because they were really interested in learning what they could do with their possessions at home.
I found the entire experience to be very meaningful and special. We were flattered to have people ask us if we'd consider doing another workshop. Some members thanked us and let us know the community really needs workshops like these. By far, this service event required many hours of preparation, far beyond previous volunteer activities I've participated in. It was partially for that reason that this was also one of the most enjoyable, however, being told we were able to help the people who came was the best part. It was so cool to see people motivated to start preserving their own collections. Mahalo to AHA and the SAAsc for allowing me to present, and Mahalo to the community members for spending their Saturday with us and being such an awesome crowd!
I said I'd tell you what I did this summer at Smithsonian Libraries, and here it is in the blog post they asked me to write for them. :)
I finally learned how it feels to be "on cloud 9" when I got the notification from the Smithsonian Institution (SI) that I'd been appointed to an internship with Smithsonian Libraries this summer; and would be working under the direction of their head of Web Services, Joel Richard. Through the SI Minority Awards Program (MAP), I was awarded a paid, 10-week internship this summer. While the application process did not allow me to choose my project I felt the project I was given fit my background given my previous career working in IT.
The project I'm assigned to is: "Applying Standardized Identifiers to Library Data" which is much of what I've been doing on a couple of my projects. I'm currently serving-out the last 4 weeks of my time here and it's definitely been an amazing experience. I've worked on 3 different projects so far, and will write more about them in a separate post. My 4th, and final project hasn't started yet.
In my last weeks here I'll be required to give a presentation to both Smithsonian Libraries and the SI OFI along with the other 13 MAP recipients. I'll also be doing some blog posts for Unbound--the Library's blog--and writing an essay for the OFI's MAP.
Time has been flying by and I'm bittersweet about leaving here. I'm going to miss the lifestyle and all the attractions DC holds with its museums, monuments, architecture, and events. I've been grateful for the wonderful staff members, special tours and activities, and the entire experience of living in a place very different from home. Currently, I reside in Silver Spring, MD, and commute on the WMATA Metro, (taking over an hour each way). I actually enjoy riding the metro and the large amounts of walking I'm doing up here (where I hit about 200K steps in a week).
I've discovered I truly am comfortable with myself and enjoy doing things alone as much as I do when in good company. I've had fun with Travis, who moved up here a year ago, and try to hang out on Fridays for pau hana with Keala--my classmate who also got a MAP internship and is up here working with Freer | Sackler. My office is located in the National Museum of Natural History. It's pretty wild!
One of the inspirations for enrolling in library school came about in the summer of 2014 when I realized how much I wanted to somehow work in a place like the Smithsonian. A very awesome friend recommended library science to me and I seriously started to consider it. Then, I had a chance encounter I with the screenwriter who co-wrote "Life" and "Intolerable Cruelty." He was super cool and told me about his archivist friend who had an MLIS degree and was the archivist for the Baseball Hall of Fame. I came back to Hawaii and immediately applied to the LIS program at UH. It was my dream then to intern with the Smithsonian before graduating, and this summer my dream came true. It's certainly been a life-changing experience and I'm so happy and thankful for this amazing opportunity!
Soulful Eyes: The Identification of Kalaupapa Residents in Photographs Taken by Fr. Joseph Julliote, SS.CC., 1901-1907
This afternoon I attended a public talk which shared the details of a special program sponsored by Congregation of the Sacred Hearts U.S. Province, the Hawaii Council for the Humanities, Damien and Marianne Foundation, Ka ʻOhana O' Kalaupapa and IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity. The program entailed taking archival photographs of residents in Kalaupapa, and attempting to identify them. The Kalaupapa peninsula, located on the island of Molokaʻi, was where people afflicted with Hansen's disease were sent to live out their days. Through outreach with the community, author Anwei Law and archivist Stuart Ching, have worked through 800+ glass plate negatives, of which approximately 300 involve people. This project attempts to identify the residents captured in the images taken by Fr. Joseph Julliote, SS.CC., between 1901-1907. In addition to its cultural and historical value, the project is also a service to the residents themselves, as well as their desendants who (in some instances) had never seen a photo of their relatives before. The photos were superb, and showed residents of many different ages in an assortment of beautiful clothing poised with dignity and grace. It was unlike anything I would have imagined about Kalaupapa from the limited knowledge I had going into this.
I enjoyed hearing about the sleuthing being done -- comparing facial features as well as expressions, and knowing some of the subjects were aging in the photos, or had changes in appearance due to their illness. Anwei remarked it was easier at times to distinguish women due to their unique hairstyles, or manner of dress. She also mentioned trying to examine writing seen in a photo on a blackboard with other documented handwritings as a means of trying to identify one man, which I thought was really neat.
Access issues: Allowing glass plate negatives to be digitized: The act of digitization itself allowed access, and also made it easier to examine photos without having to handle originals. Further, the images will be catalogued and input into a database. There are questions about how much of this should be publicly accessible, and those issues are still being examined from the sound of it. I really enjoyed this talk today.
Dropping Mad Library Science!
Here is where I write about everything library and archives related going on.