it’s (almost) a wrap

glass with bubblesMy life goes by the academic calendar, which means the year is just about over. One big meeting, one more reference shift, clearing up a bunch of odds and ends. I thought I should probably update my blogging presence here, so why not note a few things I’ve been up to and things I plan to do?

I just sent in a third revised draft of a book proposal to my agent. It’s about fixing our current messed-up information landscape using the values libraries have developed over the decades as a scaffold for change because when you think about it, everything that needs fixing is pretty much addressed right there. (This does not mean libraries have all the answers or live up to their values, but the values themselves are useful guides.) He claims it might be something a publisher might find interesting. We’ll see. One way or another I want to make this book happen.

I still blog for Inside Higher Ed. It’s a challenge to come up with ideas every week and to find a block of time to write about them. It’s also a joy, and it’s pretty amazing to have a public platform for my thoughts. I’m grateful.

I taught Information Fluency twice, fall and spring. I was going to teach a January term class but it didn’t make. It turns out students are far more interested in books (a previous J-term course I taught that always filled and then some) than in the internet. I also met with a bunch of classes and got to talk about stuff like “fake news” and privacy and copyright in classes that wanted to know about those things. I love teaching. I love the turn my job is taking into helping students and faculty make digital projects. I’ll soon be finishing up work on a local history by a geography faculty emeritus using PressBooks and the Minnesota Digital Library Publishing Project.

I worked with a senor on a project to explore research in the lived experience of our students. It was a blast. We’re not quite done with the analysis yet, but it was really interesting and a good chance to work with a smart, curious student who is, sadly, graduating.

I got to speak at a fantastic symposium on Libraries in the Context of Capitalism. I got to go to an energizing symposium on libraries and journalists working together to improve news literacy. I read a lot of books and wrote some reviews. I started browsing online for the house we’ll be moving to in a couple of years from the one we’ve lived in for over 30 years. First we have a lot of downsizing to do, but that will come in time . . .

Coming up, but much sooner than the move – a talk about libraries and their values at PALNI in a few weeks; need to get on it. A midsommer fika with a Sons of Norway group up north a week later to talk about Scandinavian crime fiction. A trip to Harvard to discuss some research in August. Lots of camping in between, I hope, in our ancient VW camper. Time with family. Time to read and think and write and recharge before the next semester begins. Planning a project around digital scholarship, planning a new course for spring. And, no doubt, things will come up that aren’t planned. That’s life.

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