Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Year in Review

This year brought a lot of new changes both personally and professionally. Putting some medical issues behind me, I altered my career path a bit and took on the role of Information specialist / librarian at Goffstown High School in New Hampshire. In this position, I have had the opportunity to imagine the perfect library and the perfect way to share knowledge of information with young people. I have also had the opportunity on my own to do a lot of public speaking, some one-on-one consulting with institutions, and networking with new colleagues around the world.
At Goffstown I've introduced a school archives. We are preparing for the 50th anniversary celebration of our school building in 2015. We have established a cooperative relationship with other local school libraries, the historical society, and the public library to most effectively bring information services and materials to our students. We have established a pen pal program with teens in Botswana. We have developed an internal school blog and information network to share ideas.We are introducing independent study classes so students can delve into aspects of information science that most interest them. I am working with the freshman class teachers to establish a standard for introducing research and information to their classes. We are preparing a long-range plan to establish the library as a "learning lab." There is so much going on and so much enthusiasm from our school community that I feel greatly energized, uplifted, and motivated. Looking at the information professions with a "Holistic" approach enables me to show young people that sharing information is more than randomly tweeting to one's friends. Information can be a very powerful tool.
This year I have had the opportunity to do more speaking at public libraries and historical societies. I also worked with a colleague to talk about our tips on social media with the New England Museum Association. The New England Archivists featured an interview with me in their recent newsletter and I led a panel at their last conference to address the topic of alternate career paths for archivists. I have also "discovered" online interviews. I was interviewed by Chick History for a podcast about Ida Annah Ryan, a hero of mine whom I discovered in the Waltham Public Library's archives when I worked as a young archivist. Most recently, I was interviewed at Fieldstone Common's Blog Radio program about caring for personal papers and documenting personal stories.
Social Media
Social media is no longer in the early adopter phase. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest are intricately entwined in our professional lives. I have met more colleagues overseas. I am meeting new colleagues in the education field where I am exploring ideas of how information specialists can supplement and support the school curriculum.  Archivists, museum professionals and librarians continue to have an important and unique role to play in information. I plan to assist my colleagues around the world with understanding where information can take us and to excite young people about the opportunities proper use of information can afford us.
I continue to consult in my off time (whenever that is). I wound up three projects before beginning at school. I have a new book in the works (in my head and getting bantered about on long walks) with a professor of education at St. Anselm's University. We plan to write about how my field and experiences can influence hers. Very exciting stuff (for me anyway)!
But that's enough seriousness. Librarian in Black has inspired me to write about other aspects of my year:
Book - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
New Craze - Steampunk
Show - Dr. Who 2012 Christmas special
Movie - My Fair Lady (Audrey Hepburn always and forever)

Favorite event - Watch City Festival 
Personal accomplishment - singing Karaoke in a bar
Professional accomplishment - beat boxing in front of a room full of high school students
Alter Ego - Steampunk librarian
Peace out all! Happy New Year!

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