Category Archives: Linky

Catching up before leaving again


Paul Smith’s College, the most beautiful campus in America

Why, hello there. It’s been a full summer so far. Balancing being at work and not being at work is sometimes a challenge. For instance, I meant to talk a bit about ALA, but then I was traveling directly after, and then I was enjoying being at home and not traveling, and by the time I got back to work and sat down to write out some observations here on this blog they seemed flat. Not that ALA was flat. It was, as it always is, hit and miss. In between discussion groups in which no discussion was being had and patronizing primers on how to recognize when your audience is disengaged (while failing to notice that the audience was, in fact, disengaged) there were a number of really great presentations. Two standouts for me were a presentation on threshold concepts for information literacy and “Sticking with STEM,” which had so much incredible info that transcended STEM I wanted to kick myself for not attending more diverse programs.

In the mean time, I’ve been working on FYS and trying to get as organized as possible before the fall starts. FYS is an extra contract for me, and, given how thin the library staff has recently been spread, choosing which balls to deliberately set aside and planning ahead as much as possible is key. My FYS syllabus is basically done (and, yes, I put in the effort to make it pretty) and the course schedule is falling into place. This makes me feel good, considering that I am leaving tomorrow for two weeks of vacation and then it’s a steep climb into the semester. Maybe I’ll share the syllabus when I get back? Would that be interesting?

So. How about some links?

Link Tuesday

It’s Tuesday of the second to last week of school. Let’s celebrate with some links. I’m the proverbial duck at the moment, gliding along on top of the water with my feet paddling furiously underneath. When school’s out and I can finally rest my poor ducky feet, I have some exciting news to share. Well, exciting to me, anyway.

Work is work. “You can only do what you love as long as someone else makes sure the toilet isn’t backing up.”

I didn’t love the Veronica Mars movie, but I sure do love the TV series. The depiction of wealth inequality is just one reason.

Finally, science to back up what I’ve been saying all along about the 10,000 hour rule: “In other words, practice is great! But practice alone won’t make you Yo Yo Ma. It could also have to do with personality, the age you started, intelligence, or something else entirely. ” I’m willing to put money down that “something else entirely” is opportunity.

You’ve seen the National Geographic shots, but do you know what’s right outside the frame?

Words have meaning. Are you “interested in” something or are you actually doing the thing? Move what you do closer to you in the sentence and watch the power change. “I’m interested in connecting communities to information” becomes “I connect communities to information.”

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science could be useful for information literacy instruction and for guiding students to question the methods they might use in their own research.

Relatedly, this article give some really good examples on how to lie with data visualization.

Shared by my friend Kim, this article sparked an interesting discussion and thought process for me. I think it glosses over some of the realities of community colleges (for instance, some of the non-completion rates could be partially attributed to students taking partial degrees before finishing at a traditional school, or to students taking summer courses and transferring credits.) but I completely agree that for the right student, this type of counseling could be the difference between success and failure.

The director of the Academic Success Center shared this article on establishing relevance with me. As a student, I want to know where we’re going and why we’re headed there. I also want to know that the professor has a plan and isn’t just winging it.

Department of Random: The History of Jazz Piano in 11 minutes. Somewhat filtered (and between you and me, the stride piano section isn’t nearly as impressive as it could be) but super entertaining.


Link Friday

design on paper

Designing digitally uses a lot more paper than you might expect.

Here are some informative/fun links for your Friday viewing pleasure.

This short blog post on how to read a book in two hours gives lots of practical advice for reading for content. The emphasis on understanding the argument could be useful for teaching undergrads how to get into scholarly reading.

Relatedly, argument mapping could be all kinds of fun and interesting to do in a class.

And speaking of reading, that font is giving me lots of feelings. A good reminder of why design matters.

I always wondered when Americans lost their British accents.

Facebook is hiding things from you, and it makes me wonder how much longer we will feel like a library Facebook page is something we should be doing.

An excellent downloadable To Do List from Char Booth. I typically use quarter sheets of paper as my brain dump of choice. I’m thinking about upgrading to something like this that makes me look a little more organized.

How to politely say no is a lesson we should probably all take. Special shout out to musicians and other creatives who often get asked to work for free.

Crazy beautiful.

This is pretty much how I feel about the tablet market since always, which is why I don’t own one.

What font are you? I’m Courier. Figures.

Have a great weekend everyone!



Sunrise on my way to work

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best idea to choose this week to have the work study students link-check our research pages and subject guides. With all the government websites down, I’ll have to go back through and double check everything once the legislatures gets its act together.

There is, however, this:


I found this little gem in a study room and it made me laugh. Gosh, I love our students. I mentioned to a student today that I noticed the paper airplane had disappeared. “No problem,” he said, “Just give me a minute and I’ll get a new one up there.” I almost said, “Go for it,” and then I remembered that I’m supposed to be the adult in this situation.

In other news:

Link Friday

I love a good link dump. Seriously. I really enjoy following the random internet trails that pop into my feed reader on Fridays. So here’s your link dump for the weekend:

  • If Information Equals Power – Google released a map of North Korea this week, opening all kinds of dialog in the implications of information.
  • Have an “I Voted Sticker?” Then You Got a Badge –  I attended a webinar hosted by Kristin and the Michigan Makers last week. It was great and really helped to spur my thinking about how higher education might participate in and innovate badging.
  • When Not to Google: Searches You’re Better Off Making Elsewhere – I don’t know about you, but I try to teach students about lots of different search strategies and starting points. Google is one tool in the box, and a powerful one at that, but it’s not always the best or most appropriate search engine.
  • Media Diet: What I Read – An interesting series of interviews from writers, politicians, etc. Ostensibly about what they read, it’s more about the media they consume on a daily basis. I might do one of these on my own habits in the future.
  • The Hymn of the Acxiom by Vienna Teng – A piece of modern-day sacred music written about big data.
  • Should I Work for Free? – Though directed towards the freelancing internet-y type person, this flowchart could very easily apply to artists and musicians. Someday I might jump on my soapbox about the nature of art, it value to society, and the way that the general public both highly values and devalues the work of artists. Today is not that day. I did, however, get inspired to use this flowchart as a jumping off point for our class on evaluating websites.
  • 12 Letters that Didn’t Make the Alphabet – I am a secret linguistics nerd. I found out about the thorn last year and I was SO EXCITED! The world makes more sense now!
  • DSO Staff Librarians’ Work Notable – What an awful title, but, hey! I used to work there!

From the Department of Random:

  • Andrews Sisters Had Their First Big Hit with a Yiddish Song – I play and sing in a local band that does music of this era (20s and 30s swing jazz), and we do this song, “Bei Mir Bist du Schon.” This very short piece is interesting from a musicology perspective as well as illuminating an ongoing debate about how exactly to pronounce that final word. We’ve recently switched from a very German “schoen” to “shane” and this article seems to support our decision.
  • Funny Talking Animals – From the BBC. I find this hilarious. You are free to find it only amusing.