Greg here! I’m posting this exciting first update from a cafe in Seattle, Washington. The blog is now up! The workflow calendar is now live! Our internal-only online course is running and ready to be modified! An initial literature review on Special Libraries has been conducted, with a first blast of articles downloaded (or ordered from the UW Libraries if unavailable digitally). The course (and the Winter Quarter) technically begins in six days, but Anna and I have taken it upon ourselves to start early.
I feel like I should do a little bit to discuss what exactly this independent study, and the course as a whole, and the project, amounts to! Approximately three months ago, I emailed Ali McCarthy at the Seward Park Audubon Center inquiring about their in-house library, and the response was one of desperation! Both Ali and Joe Manson, the other staff member of the Audubon Center, have been attempting to install a system for the library’s catalog and full circulation for some time. The light bulb immediately flashed on and, after discussing the library with Anna Nash, we came to the agreement that an independent study would be a perfect catalyst for bridging the volunteering at the library with our academic ambitions. After the long approval process, our independent study was, as is obvious, approved! And so here we are now, in the interim period between Fall and Winter quarters, preparing to jump into this project.
This is going to be a fantastic journey into and through true library consultation and library management. It will be a testament to the tests, trials, tribulations, challenges, and joys of being graduate students, library advocates, and stakeholders of the Audubon Center in Seward Park. Also, we love tortoises–but more on that in a future post!
What can you (and we) expect to find on this blog? Well, because this independent study is being conducted by just Anna and I, we’re going to use WordPress to house all of our intellectual writing and personal reflections. While we are under direction of iSchool faculty member and professor Nancy Gershenfeld, it’s on the shoulders of Anna and myself to generate the content, ideas, and intellectual insight that will guide this project and ensure its academic importance. So in short, you will find a plethora of things posted on this blog. We plan on each posting weekly, though we can’t promise not posting more than that (we are in Seattle, where the caffeine really does flow in espresso rivers and coffee rivulets). You’ll find responses to academic articles and other literature, reports on special libraries we visit and special library staff/librarians we talk to, updates on our progress updating the Ann Lennartz Memorial Library, and general reflections written with the purpose of relieving (at least some of) the pressures, anxieties, and stress.
As we go through this project, we will be inviting other students, some faculty, and a variety of information professionals to engage in a conversation with us for the betterment of our study and the betterment of the library. We will allow the blog to be commented on, and we will certainly accept any questions, comments, discussions, and feedback by way of email. You can find our contact information on our blog’s About Page.
I personally can’t wait to get this project underway. As it is one of only two courses I’m taking in the Winter Quarter, this will be a fairly time-intensive project. I’m excited to see what discoveries are made and everything we learn!