Poets & Writers Magazine has come up with a database of writing contests that have been vetted and somehow proved legitimate. Even if you don’t win anything, isn’t it nice to have the motivation of a deadline?
Another motivator is Robert Brewer, who is the editor of Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market, as well as the online editor of WritersMarket.com. He does prompts for poets every Wednesday from his blog, Poetic Asides. Today’s prompt is “about finding something that doesn’t belong where it is.” You can also join his page on Facebook to follow the prompts and get great poetry news. He has recently started a meme on Twitter with the hashtag #poettues for conversations about poetry (I think they were meant to be exclusively on Tuesdays, but who knows what will happen). You can follow the conversation on Twitter, even if you don’t have an account.
So I haven’t blogged since June. It’s now October. I’ve been studiously ignoring this blog. I just found a wonderful comment that I missed from said studious ignorance (thank you Ellen). I am so immersed in MSU Libraries and our emerging technology efforts, Facebook, Twitter, and Virtual Reference. Honestly, I’m tired of it. Maybe even burnt out. We aren’t going to be able to do the MS Library 2.0 Summit this year because of the current economic climate–even though there has been passionate interest in doing it again. Maybe it’s because I didn’t make a more compelling argument?
Lately all I seem to be interested in is poetry and art. Fourth Fridays. The cre8tive warehouse. Launching a new graphic novels bookclub in Starkville. Housekeeping. I’ve even started writing poetry again when I get exhausted from writing academic papers on Virtual Reference.
I just found myself sitting at my desk, trying to figure out how I could push the information I’m gathering about these topics. I thought about Facebook, but I needed an RSS feed. I thought about Twitter, but I needed more than 140 characters. Then I remembered this long neglected blog. Could I really do it? Aren’t I supposed to be a professional/librarian online? Am I allowed to have a personal-ish blog? More struggling with Online Identity. Is it better to have a dead blog if I can’t think of anything to say anymore about 2.0 and Libraries? Should I just kill it altogether and make this site a CV?
But then I remembered that my goal is to experiment always. My job is to find new ways of using technology–sometimes they have applications for libraries and sometimes they don’t. I was reminded about Carol Greider, who had been conducting “irrelevent” basic science research–quietly studying an enzyme with no application in mind. An enzyme which eventually became critical in understanding cancer and aging.
So maybe everything I do doesn’t have to have an application. Maybe it’s okay to just do something to do it and let the cards fall.
In celebration of the UK’s Poetry Society’s 100 anniversary.
I find this tremendously comforting for some reason. Can you imagine the meeting where they decided to do this? “Yes…how about knitting? Everyone loves to knit. We’ll get hundreds of people to knit letters and send them to us and sew them together into a huge poem. Yes, yes, that will work.” Amazing.
For the knitted poem they selected Dylan Thomas’ My Craft or Sullen Art, which you can find in full text or audio at the Poetry Archive, and since I am a librarian, and they’ve gotten all the permissions to post it, I won’t. It’s a declaration of his craft, his role as a poet. Sort of a poetic mission statement. “I write on these spendrift pages …. for the lovers, their arms / Round the griefs of the ages, / Who pay no praise or wages / Nor heed my craft or art.” Art for arts sake.
Great session today at the webinar. The archive of the session is now up in all of its Wimba glory. Feel free to go and check it out.
I really liked the discussion that came out of it, especially the response to questions about assessment of Web 2.0 tech in Academic Libraries. We’ve been thinking about doing an MS Library 2.0 Summit themed on Assessment for the Fall. Interested? What do you want to have numbers for? What is tricky to assess for you? Or do you already have a great 2.0 assessment program going? Maybe you could be one of our speakers! The normal structure of the conference is to have a keynote and then nine or so “Steal this Idea” speakers. These are just regular folks who’ve found something that works for them that they want to share. It’s been a huge success in the past, and we are trying to make it even more value-added and targeted this time around.
Tomorrow June 30, 2009, I am conducting a webinar with Baylor E-Learning Librarian Ellen Hampton Filgo on how we have worked to bring 2.0 into our academic libraries–pitfalls and pratfalls included. Webjunction is hosting it, and we just finished our rehearsal. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Here’s the description:
When the goal is to be “where they are, when they need us,” what does that require at a university library in 2009? As students, staff and faculty move their lives online, university libraries must choose whether to move with them or get left behind. But where is the value in a university library when Google is the new ready reference desk and the libraries’ resources are increasingly digitized? How does a library remain relevant in a socially networked academic world? From their perspective as, respectively, virtual reference and e-learning librarians, Amanda Clay Powers (Mississippi State Univ. Libraries) and Ellen Hampton Filgo (Baylor Univ. Libraries) will discuss how libraries can readjust and move their most important resources online—their people. By using social networks and other web-based technologies, libraries can become a value-added member of their community— both online and in person. By using these new tools, librarians can once again hover by their reference stacks with an offer to help that’s just a click away.
Sound appealing? It’s free! Just register!
You can also find out more about it on the Facebook event page posted by Webjunction.
We will be taking questions, etc. and if you do come, let me know what you think. They event will be archived too, so you can go back and look at it if you miss it. You can even get a group together to review it and use their Wimba chat feature with each other…pretty cool.