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!
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.
One of my hobbies is lifelong learning. I'm currently enrolled as a full time graduate student in the LIS program at UH Manoa, and also tackling an Intro to Drawing, studio art course at Kapiolani Community College, with Professor Kloe Kang. It's a lot of work -- taking about 8-10 hours out of my schedule each week. We're trying to draw in a very realistic style in this course. We've been working on a still life for two classes this week, and I have about 2 or 3 more hours I think I need to sink into it. I'm finding drawing to be very analytical, and it feels like new neurons truly are being created as I strain my brain on some of my pieces. One reason I want to be an academic librarian in the UH system someday, is so I can take classes for free, and earn a second advanced degree.
Click for larger images with captions
The Fall 2015 semester is over, and it was my second, and also most interesting semester in the program due to a couple of factors: 1) I took 4 classes, which is 1 more than the recommended full-time load of 3, and 2) I learned a lot of practical and professional lessons this semester.
I enrolled in 4 courses since I calculated I could graduate one semester earlier if I toughed it out and did 4 classes this fall. I'm happy to say I somehow managed to keep my streak up, and still have a 4.0 G.P.A., which I honestly did not think was going to happen at many points during this stressful semester. For as much work as it was, I thrive in situations of high-pressure, so I knew in my heart I would miss it, even as I sometimes cursed it. lol! I gained 8 lbs., so it was lucky I had dropped to an all-time, adult-low weight over the summer, so it's not a big deal that I gained some weight back ... I do plan to lose it again. I believe my physical health goes hand-in-hand with my mental health, and having taken care of people with disabilities and chronic illness in my personal life, I intend to do my best to stay healthy for as long as possible. Despite all the assignments and work, I also tried to maintain some exercise in the form of weight training and cardio, regularly. I had to cut the length and frequency of my workouts to focus on assignments, and the rainy weather prevented me from walking the ~2 miles to school and back home. Once Halloween hit, my grad school diet became loaded with junk food, holiday food, class parties, work parties, and family parties. I am not complaining, however, I kinda just ate everything some days. lol! Stress eating, or eating to stay awake some nights. Being a student again after being a professional is a lot easier, but more time-consuming in many ways. I'm loving the LIS program. The course content is so interesting, and it ties in nicely with my former career in IT as a system administrator. I feel that my professional experience has often helped me with coursework in grad school, and definitely helped in all my courses this semester, especially 601, and 610.
Here are some highlights from each course this semester:
Click for larger images with captions
On Saturday, November 7th, our LIS 652 Archives Management class had the good fortune of being allowed a private tour of Doris Duke's Shagri La - Center for Islamic Arts and Cultures, led by archivist, Dawn Sueoka. Doris Duke, was an heiress and philanthropist, who traveled the world and learned about different cultures. In her travels, she also collected an amazing array of Islamic art. Upon entering, we were greeted with intricate layers of artwork embedded in the ceiling, walls, furniture, light fixtures, and all the spaces we occupied. As we wandered through the courtyard next, we could see how careful landscaping also added to the beauty of the estate.
We learned from Dawn about some of the preservation challenges of having open-air areas within Hawaii's tropical climate, bordered by the Pacific Ocean and its salty spray ... all beautiful, but also notoriously bad for collections. What was interesting to note, was they discovered the objects seem to have adjusted -- in fact, in the case of some composite objects e.g. objects made with wood and mother of pearl inlay, and other materials, if the object was placed in "ideal" temperature and RH settings, it would cause some of the pieces to pop out as the materials expanded or retracted in a controlled environment. So, in a sense the environment works well for some of the objects. We learned there are visiting interns and conservators who work on different environmental challenges within the estate. An example we could see, was in the foyer, upon initial entry, where the ceiling which was comprised of beautiful designs painted and carved / gilded in wood, which we were told an intern spent time working on this past summer. Read this awesome blog post about it for more detail.
Each room we saw, was decorated in an original way, showcasing different themes and art. One treat, was also having the opportunity to "meet" Hermione Granger, the large drop-freezer recently acquired to freeze some of the items in the collection that had pest issues. Hermione sits outside the textile room, where Dawn had set up some interesting archival objects for us to view. The room was cooled, and the papers we saw showed preliminary drawings of the estate, photographs, and other interesting papers. Dawn mentioned it's been useful to have the records on-hand, so they can track how things were done. She also pointed out the importance of respect des fonds, and keeping the Hawaii records with the estate here, and how integral it has been to referencing issues with the estate.
A big Mahalo goes out to Dainan Skeem, our instructor for Archives Management, for securing this amazing opportunity for our class. I've been thoroughly enjoying the curriculum offered by the LIS program at UH Manoa, and especially the archives track courses!
Last semester, my LIS 615 Collection Management class, was fortunate to have Nicholas A. Basbanes as a guest speaker. (Thanks Dr. Wertheimer!) I ordered his book, On Paper-The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History, that night, and thoroughly enjoyed it -- especially the parts at the end, which address the tragedy of 9/11, and paper's role. It was quite moving, and I teared-up a bit while reading it. If you're interested in librarianship or archives, I highly recommend you read this, as paper is a medium you will encounter throughout your career (despite technology). It shows how society has affected paper / manufacturing, and vice-versa. I felt a strong reverence for the medium as I read the book.
In the summer of 2014, I visited the 9/11 memorial in NYC. It was a solemn and beautiful memorial and seeing all the lives lost due to the events of that day, was heartbreaking. As I continued towards Washington DC, I asked my friend if we could stop at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial, located at the campus of the National Emergency Training Center, in Emmitsburg, MD (thanks to my Yelp app). These photos donʻt do the memorials justice...
Click images to view full-sized with captions:
Tonight, was my first day of classes for the fall 2015 semester. I'm taking LIS 620: Conservation of Library and Archival Materials, with Deborah Dunn, and it was a fun first night! We started off with introductions, the syllabus, and went into the lab to work on processing incoming pamphlets for the library's collection. We were re-introduced to some tools seen in LIS 619 (pre-requisite for LIS 620). If you're interested in Archiving and attending the UHM LIS program, LIS 619 and 620 are both required courses and aren't offered every semester, or concurrently, so it's always recommended to register for them when they appear on the schedule if you haven't taken them yet. We also have some Museum Studies students joining us since these classes count as electives for the MS certificate, and a couple of the people in LIS are looking into doing a Museum Studies certificate concurrently.
It's always neat to see multiple sides of a process. I encounter many items bound that come from the Preservation lab when receiving monographs and serials at my job in the Pacific Collection. Placing these pamphlets in archival pamphlet binders, provides prolonged access to patrons. I decided to write about this in part to solidify it in my mind while still fresh, but also to give a glimpse of the work we're doing in class.
Steps taken tonight to house pamphlets in binders
Dropping Mad Library Science!
Here is where I write about everything library and archives related going on.