Month 3: Conferences, Instruction, and LibGuides OH MY!

Month 3: Conferences, Instruction, and LibGuides OH MY!

Hello again! I swear I’m going to start writing posts that aren’t just about what I’ve been doing soon.

This past month feels like it’s gone on forever. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so busy? I’m not sure. I think I’m getting more and more settled into being a profession every day. Some of my colleagues still think I’m doing a grad internship, but I think that might pass with time. I’ve done a lot of exciting things this month, like a conference, loads of instruction, and a LibGuides workshop, as well as my other regular duties.

OLAC 2017 Conference

I just got back from attending the 2017 conference of the Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC). I’ve been a member of OLAC since I was in grad school, as I’ve always been interested in working with audiovisual and other non-traditional materials. This conference was very workshop-heavy, teaching us practical skills for keeping up with trends. The theme of this year’s conference involved linked data, and my favorite workshop was the Linked Data and Bibframe workshop led by the awesome Amber Billey. As a future cataloging and metadata librarian, I was initially hesitant while in grad school to get interested in “the new technologies” because they felt gendered to me. It seemed that men did metadata and data curation, and women did cataloging. But when I learned about linked data in a course, I understood its importance and its potential in libraries.

Besides the cool workshops I attended, I also did a lightning talk. I was sick during the conference (and I’m coughing while writing this), so “lightning” was an understatement. I went up there, hit my main points, and sat back down. I talked about the intersection of cataloging audiovisual materials and gay materials, two things that libraries were never meant to collect. More people liked it than I expected, especially since the record I used was of a film that is pretty sexually explicit.

A picture of Jessica Colbert at a podium giving a talk.

Me presenting, while dying

Because the conference was in Virginia, I was able to visit my alma mater and see some friends. The highlight, besides seeing them, was seeing musician Pamela Z, who I’ve been a fan of for a few years now.


I’ve also been doing a lot of instruction this month. I’m working with librarian Lis Pankl to teach the ELEAP library sessions this semester. ELEAP is the engineering section of our “get students acclimated to college” class. It’s been a little intimidating to do instruction in front of such an established colleague, but I’m having a lot of fun working with the students. I’ve also met with some other classes to do similar instruction sessions.


My colleagues April, Madison, and I developed a workshop to help get faculty and staff more comfortable with creating LibGuides. I used to do these sessions all the time when I was a grad student. As far as I can tell, no workshop like this has been done recently here at the Marriott Library. I was very excited to be training my colleagues, and the feedback we’ve received has been wonderful. I met with another colleague to help turn this feedback into qualitative data for assessment.

Project Update

I’m still in my Special Collections/Digital Library Services rotation. After a few miscommunications, I feel like I’m back on track. I’m finally getting into the metadata portion of the project. While I understand that processing collections is crucial, it’s not my thing. I love describing information so that others can find it, not just assigning something a number. I also got to participate in the Mayoral Diversity Dinner to help showcase this collection.


Well, that’s about all from me this time around. I’m thinking up a post about leadership since I have recently finished a training, as well as maybe the work-life balance.


Have a Happy Halloween! I’m going to go back to listening to the Misfits now.

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