I've made a few changes to my website since it was first launched, and I want to take a moment to highlight them. I promise we'll get back to our regularly-scheduled programming very soon, but for those of you who may check in periodically, I want to put a spotlight on the biggest changes to the website:
That should be about it! The biggest change is the About page, so I highly suggest you check that out if you're interested in my professional activities since graduation. Thanks for your attention to this tiny, extraneous post and feel free to contact me through my Contact page if you have any questions or comments!
I am happy to report that I have had the great fortune of teaching a variety of information literacy classes at the Chatham Community Library (CCL) for the last 6 months. This exciting opportunity has allowed me to expand my instruction and public speaking skills and impart my technology knowledge to others in the community.
In February 2016, I began with Internet Basics, Part 1 and 2, then in March and April, respectively, I taught Online Privacy and Security and NC LIVE courses. Most recently, I taught PowerPoint Basics, Part 1 and 2 in July, and all along I've worked in conjunction with Dana, my supervisor and the CCL Reference Librarian, to provide monthly drop-in computer assistance on the second Wednesday of each month since January.
Since that fateful first class on February 1st, I have been receiving feedback from students right after the class ends, stored in a shared staff document with instant access to survey answers. I have received regular positive feedback since my very first class. Here are a few examples of comments I've received:
"Even though I use the Internet a lot, I didn't know the shortcuts or how to find the menu or how to print. I found this class helpful. Thank you!" - Internet Basics, Part 1
"This was a very informative class... Thank you very much." - Internet Basics, Part 2
"Thanks so much for offering this class. It opens up WORLDS!" - NC LIVE
"Kai was extremely knowledgeable." - Online Privacy and Security
"Thank you for teaching this class. I feel very confident in what I can do to make a nice presentation." - PowerPoint Basics, Part 1
"Instructor knowledgeable, accessible and well prepared." - Online Privacy and Security
"Like Kai a lot - knowledgeable, friendly, and approachable. Class was the appropriate amount of time and material. Thanks!" - PowerPoint Basics, Part 2
I have enjoyed teaching each class so far, and I look forward to what the future will bring for me!
Lately I have been communicating with several librarians in my area to work on my professional network, and recently one of the librarians informed me that based on my presentation to UNC library staff and students about transgender needs in academic libraries, she has created a collection development project for one of the Carolina Academic Library Associates (CALAs) to work on this semester!
This librarian has spoken with the LGBTQ Center and me to develop a solid plan of action for selecting and deselecting materials regarding transgender issues, intersex issues, asexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality. These areas were chosen because it was felt that these areas are currently lacking in the UNC library collection. Efforts are being made to collect unique materials, meaning they will only overlap with other collections in the catalog (such as the LGBTQ Center) when the materials are popular and deemed particularly relevant, and emphasis will be given to deselecting materials in these areas at the request of the LGBTQ Center. This is likely due to the age and lack of circulation of some of the materials in the main library collection.
It is currently unclear whether these newly-collected materials will be made visible through particular collections by discipline (namely Women's and Gender Studies and Sexuality Studies), LibGuides, the catalog, or a combination of the three, but I know I am ecstatic to be included in the planning of such an exciting collection development effort.
I have been invited to provide further comments to help develop the project, so if any of my readers have any suggestions you'd like me to pass along, please post them in the form of a comment and I would be happy to make sure your idea is heard. Otherwise I will continue to check in periodically to see how the project is progressing and assist as needed.
I have been trying to further acquaint myself with the world of cataloging and metadata, so I decided to make a poster to memorize key information. As a visual and kinetic learner, writing color-coded notes aids my retention of material, so I set off to make a large-scale version of a "cheat sheet" to hang in front of my desk for personal study.
I have learned a lot in making this poster. Mainly that MARC fields are imbalanced (0xx and 5xx have so many more fields than 4xx and 9xx!), RDF is simpler for me to understand when modeled as a graph, and Dublin Core can be as minimalist or expansive as you want it to be. It is a bit overwhelming now to think about memorizing all of this knowledge, as I plan to do with this poster. However, I am sure that over time, even the granular information will find a more permanent corner in my brain to reside.
(Click the above picture to go directly to the DiRT Directory)
I know I have been using this blog mainly to promote the research and work I have been doing, but I would like to take a moment today to highlight my favorite digital humanities tool -- the DiRT Directory. In short, it is a tool full of tools! It lists relevant resources for virtually any digital research project at any price point, including free (the college student's favorite word). Tools can be filtered by specifying the actions users would like to take with regards to their data, such as "visualize data," "analyze data," or "add markup to an object." Another filter exists which theoretically would allow users to filter tools by the type of data with which they will be working, but it must be currently under construction because none of the links are working as of this morning. I will update this post if I notice any changes.
Once an action is chosen, additional facets such as cost, license, and research objects (types of data the tool will be used to work with) can be chosen via drop-down menus to further narrow the results. Each result has a small blurb about the tool, the website, the code license, and date of last update, along with a clickable title which gives more information about the tool, such as developer, platform, and cost of use.
This compilation of hundreds of digital humanities tools has been very helpful for me in my quest to become more familiar with current digital humanities technology and programs. I learned about the Directory through my digital humanities course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For several of our assignments, we had to assess and teach the class about a particular digital humanities tool, and the DiRT Directory was a great place to start looking for resources. All we needed to know was what we wanted to do with our data and which resources were free to use, and a long list of possibilities could be generated within seconds!
I see this tool being useful to any scholar or researcher interested in doing any kind of digital research, but particularly those interested in digital humanities. One day I hope to teach the upcoming generation of humanities scholars about this tool in a library context, and I will continue to use it for my personal and professional growth until then.
Additional link to DiRT Directory (click on image above or the following link): http://dirtdirectory.org/
Today I gave a presentation on transgender needs in academic library spaces to a full house of interested UNC library staff members and School of Information and Library Science (SILS) students. It was a continuation of the ideas expressed in my poster (presented at the SILS Project Fair - see post from 4/10/15 for more information) and the underlying paper I wrote for my Seminar in Academic Libraries course.
In this presentation, using statistics, data from the literature, and screenshots to back up my claims, I covered why it is important to consider one's library's transgender population when writing policies, classifying/cataloging materials, and conducting daily library business. I also tackled the issues of cisnormativity* and the lack of gender non-specific restrooms, materials with transgender topics, and trained library staff in academic library spaces around the country. Finally, I spelled out what libraries have done so far for their trans patrons and provided recommendations for what else could be done at the local level to better serve one's transgender users.
The presentation was extremely well-received, both in person and remotely; my slides were emailed to library staff members, and the praise I received from staff who were unable to attend but enjoyed reading through my slides was unrivaled. I believe today, many eyes were opened to an issue which was previously ignored or deemed irrelevant on a local level, and I hope I have helped make life a little easier for the next generation of UNC students by influencing policy and practice.
*Cisnormativity = Pervasive and culturally-enforced assumption that all people are (and are supposed to be) cisgender, or identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. People who do not meet these socially-constructed expectations of gender are often pathologized or marginalized (Beemyn & Rankin, 2011).
Beemyn, G., & Rankin, S. (2011). The lives of transgender people. New York: Columbia University Press.
On April 22nd, I will be presenting in the Graduate Speaker Series. My presentation will be sponsored by the LGBTQ Center to "share the work of graduate and professional students conducting research related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Events are open to the UNC community and all are invited to attend" ("Graduate Speaker Series," n.d.).
In this presentation, I will cover the case study I wrote for my master's paper. The case study discusses:
By conducting this case study and presenting the results, I hope to contribute to the library profession by providing a model that other universities' LGBTIQ-focused organizations, centers, and offices or other LGBTIQ libraries can employ to build representative collections and make their library visible/accessible in their institution’s online catalog.
2014-2015 Graduate Speaker Series. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://lgbtq.unc.edu/news-events/features/2014-2015-graduate-speaker-series
Today I presented a poster on my research done for INLS 841: Seminar in Academic Libraries class in the first annual School of Information and Library Science's (SILS's) Project Fair at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This was my first poster and research presentation, so I was very excited to tell listeners about the importance of librarians' diligence to ensure that academic libraries (and all libraries, really) provide a safe and inclusive space for everyone, including transgender people.
When more than more than 90% of two- and four-year institutions “remain completely inaccessible and inhospitable to transgender students," it becomes obvious that a change needs to happen, and that change can begin with libraries (G. Beemyn & Rankin, 2011). By:
...You too can set up your library to be a trans-friendly and welcoming space!
Beemyn, G., & Rankin, S. (2011). The lives of transgender people. New York: Columbia University Press.