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What I’ve Been Pondering Lately

Well, this week was – um – difficult. Last night at work we were all so tired at work that we couldn’t even leave! We just stood around and said things like, “Well… I guess I should get going,” and then continued to stand, staring blankly at the walls, not moving. In the midst of this, a desperate student came up to us in danger of not being able to turn in her writing portfolio (required of all sophomores and due last night) because her file was corrupted and she’d lost her bibliography. She had the parenthetical citations, but not the bibliography… That was fun. Oh, and that day had started with the most tense and uncomfortable meeting I’ve ever attended. (Yes, the CMS evaluation committee strikes again.)

Anyway, we’re still trying to figure out how to revamp our research guides, and we’re not alone. My vision is that we’ll end up with a system that not only helps us to store and organize stuff we find online and elsewhere in a “librarian’s view,” but that also allows for a combination of carefully crafted “static” pages and dynamically generated pages of research resources and tips. I want to be able to leverage all sorts of metadata, allow tagging, allow for controlled vocabulary, deploy RSS, and basically do everything possible to help users discover research help as easily as possible. I guess I’m envisioning Pathfinder 4.0.

Also, as some of you know I’ve been roped into my first conference presentation ever (granted, it’s just a 15-minute segment of a larger presentation, and it’s at a small, mostly informal regional conference, but still…). I’m supposed to present on the future of the catalog. (They asked me to present on the future of the OPAC, but there’s no way I’ll be using that term.) So I’ve been gobbling up anything I can find on this topic and was thrilled to run across Meredith’s interview with Casey Bisson over on Information Wants to be Free. And the comments are great, too. Thanks Meredith!

BTW, if anyone knows of things I absolutely must know, read, or mention I’m begging you, please let me know. (I’ll be presenting right after Dinah Sanders, project manager at Innovative Interfaces. Yikes! Why oh why did I say I’d do this?)

2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Pondering Lately

  1. I have always been afraid of public speaking, but I’m now going to be doing six or seven talks in the next six months (including a three-hour workshop at Internet Librarian — yikes!). Computers in Libraries was my first “real” talk and I was really scared, but the fact that I was able to do it made me realize that I can do more (which is good since I’m giving an hour and 15 minute talk on Tuesday on social software!). Each time you do a talk you will feel more confident and capable of doing more. It’s all a head-game; if you think you can do it, you’ll be great.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks Meredith. At this point about the only thing I’m sure of is that I’ll still be alive when the whole thing’s done. I can only hope that if I have some success I won’t become as successful as you! Three-hour workshops… no thank you. :)

    BTW, it was really great to have dinner with you at CIL, even if we did cause Stephen Abram headaches by being the renegade diners…

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