I’ve let time get away from me with the semester, but I’m getting back on track now and updating my research blog. There will be a main post in the next day or so. But back to research for now…
My research project for 705 will consist of developing a project for a small, publicly funded archive that has recently acquired a collection of films. The collection spans a wide range of time, and many of the films in question are of the silver nitrate variety. The archive in question has not collected films in the past, but the nature of the film collection meets the new mission of the archive. As such, they do not currently have the facility to store volatile films such as silver nitrate on site. Currently the collection is being housed at another institution too far from the archive to make regular access to the collection feasible. The archivist has been tasked with researching the best option for storage (whether on-site, or at a local off-site facility) and being work on writing for grants to fund the project of moving the collection and funding the housing for the collection. Additionally, the collection was acquired with the intention of digitizing the contents, so the archivist will method that will be used to digitize the collection, by researching the current options available.
My reading list has gotten really short recently. I’m in my final semester of graduate school, and the time it takes to do my courses well and look for a job, and run my business (I have a direct sales business), leave me with little time for personal reading. Another reason why I won’t be reading as much is because if I really like a book, I have a hard time putting it down and doing something else. I’m going to tell you what’s currently on my reading list, and also some of the things I like. In return, I’m going to ask you for recommendations for additional books. I’m going to spend at least some time this fall working on my sewing (I need some new clothes) and so even if I can’t find the time to read a book, I can get the audio version and listen while I sew. I tend to do better focusing on my projects when I have something interesting playing.
Here you will find all of my research journal entries for the J705 research journal I am keeping this semester. I am currently considering a topic regarding digitization practices in archives and how those practices impact the business of archival science. I am a little concerned about my topic, because I am unsure how to gather all of the data that I want without a survey, and I’m not sure that I will have time to do a survey during the semester. I may have to narrow my topic down. I am going to start some preliminary research through journal searching and see what is available. I will post back once I have located some appropriate journal articles.
|The Honorable Joe Wilson
House of Representatives
2229 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4002
|Re: Amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution
|Dear Representative Wilson:
|This week, the House of Representatives will consider amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution. This amendment submitted by U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-NJ), seeks to zero out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, eliminating all federal funding specifically for libraries. Please vote NO on this amendment.
Here in South Carolina, public libraries provide invaluable services to the communities that they serve. The American Library Association states that in South Carolina, the return on investment for every $1 invested in libraries, they return $4.48 to the community in services. Here in Richland County, in addition to the free Internet services provided to the public, the books, audio and video services provided at no cost to county residents, the library provides assistance in creating resumes, job training and even practice interviews at no cost. Professional resume services can cost over $200, something many residents would not be able to afford.
Please ensure that these and other invaluable services provided to our community by our libraries continue to be available. Vote NO to Amendment #35 to the FY2011 Continuing Resolution.
One of the most important things for any grad student to learn is how to advocate for his or her chosen profession. As an MLIS candidate I am calling on my blog readers to advocate for the profession today. US Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey, has put forth Amendment #35 to the Continuing Resolution. This amendment will zero out the funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS is a federally funded grant agency which provides money to libraries and museums throughout the United States to fund a variety of programs. For those of us who are students at University of South Carolina, it recently provided us a grant to give 7 doctoral candidates a fully funded 3-4 year program, including travel expenses for education and research. To view other grants that the IMLS has funded, head over to their website to search through the grants.
When I posted about the major explosion of the blogosphere regarding the possible shut down of Delicious, I told my readers that I would be reviewing other bookmark sites to determine which I would be using in the future. (Full disclosure: although a group I volunteer with uses Delicious, I did not use it personally.) I’m starting with Diigo, because the online sites I looked at described features that I thought I would like. As a graduate student beginning research for a major paper this semester, the highlighting functions of Diigo could be useful. In addition, my volunteer group may be looking for a new bookmarking site, and Diigo has an opportunity for group creation, so we could build a group and then each member to add it to their own Diigo groups list for future use.
Whether a group that meets in person, or one that meets online, I always find group work difficult. Not because of other group members, but because I always have a hard time with group dynamics. I tend to be very uncomfortable in a group situation when I am not the leader. I think that this is more pronounced in an online situation because there is no good way to absolutely confirm that project sections have been turned in if I am not the one submitting the assignment. Even when group members send around an email that the project is complete or has been submitted, I wonder if the professor got the assignment. Ordinarily, I combat these nerves by volunteering to turn in the project, but due to a number of projects due at or around the same time during the semester, I felt it necessary to let someone else take responsibility this semester. We had a good group, so I felt confident as we completed project sections and assisted each other.
Group dynamics in groups where all team members live in the same area and can meet physically are different than the online experience. As an online group, alternative meeting options are needed. The use of Google Documents and chat programs was what my group chose to use and it worked well. We initially tried using the chat function in Blackboard, but several users struggled to keep a good connection when using the chat. When we determined that we would use Google for the chat service we decided to keep it simple and use Google for our other file sharing efforts as well. This consistency along with regular weekly meetings helped our group to work well together, despite our distance from each other physically.
Overall, I have found in this and other classes, that online group work can work as well as groups together if they choose a method of communication and create a schedule to communicate regularly. With regular communication and a consistent method of contacting other group members, much of the frustration felt during a group experience can be minimized, if not eliminated.
The creation of a group website was an interesting prospect. It required the group to determine the strengths of each member in order to best develop the site. We were able to determine the best areas for each of us to take the lead and then work towards the end result of the project. It required a great amount of trust on the part of the team members, to trust that someone that we had never met and possibly never interacted with, was not misrepresenting their abilities. I struggle with this any time I have a group project, but particularly when I have never worked with any of my team members previously. The lack of face-to-face interaction means that there is no body language, and since all of our communications were done via email or Google Chat, there was not verbal interaction which left few non-verbal cues to use building that trust. We had to rely solely on the written word of our group members and the results that they gave us. For the most part, we received good work from each of our team members in a timely manner. As a group, we were able to establish the needed trust and turn in our work completed well and in a timely manner.
Overall, this was a good group experience for me, especially because I let someone else take the lead. It let me experience the group dynamic and learn how to trust a group of people to finish their sections without being the one to ensure that everything was turned in. The project allowed me to learn to better participate in any group, as well as teaching me how to work well in a group that is separated by distance using different Internet options for communication.
for additional posts. In fact I have ideas for several right now. Unfortunately, as any grad student (thirty-something or not) can tell you, the end of the semester is a crazy time. There’s only two weeks left and I have three major projects that I’m working on. If my posts are further apart for the next two weeks you know why, but then expect plenty of posting over the holidays.
This isn’t a political blog, and I’m not going to turn it into one. Whatever your political affiliations, please vote tomorrow. We are privileged to live in a country that allows us input into the running of our government. I know that it often seems that our votes don’t matter, but every time we vote we exercise an important privilege.
I returned home late last evening after spending three days plus a few hours in California with friends. It was a ton of fun! I’m so glad I was able to make this fall break a real break. I needed the time off to just relax. On the schedule for the trip was a birthday (not mine), trips to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, an opening viewing of Jackass 3D (more on that subject later), dinners out, and my first (professional) massage. This note is brief, I’ll be describing some of my exploits in some upcoming articles, but I wanted to let my readers know that I’m back in South Carolina and will be updating soon!