Work I've done

 Details about things I do at work, and projects I've been a part of.

Academic library:
In January of 2008, I was a part-time reference librarian at the College of St. Catherine, filling in for a librarian on leave (she was teaching abroad). I miss the one month position, but I had a fantastic time keeping busy. Some things I did in my 15 hours a week:

  • Answering a wide range of reference questions (everything from finding a book to tracking down a hard-to-find article, to figuring out proper citation format.)
  • Developing database guides for ValueLine and Morningstar, as well as updating existing guides to reflect new interfaces (NewsBank, Art Index, Library Literature, and BioAbs). 
  • Fact-checking biographical information for an internal compilation publication used in a core St. Kate's undergrad class (the Reflective Woman reader). This involved checking birth and death dates, major awards, and publication dates for works mentioned or included.
  • Editing an article for that compilation to use correct APA style.
  • Editing and updating the Public Services staff wiki with useful information for future new employees and student reference assistants.

School library:
I've worked since September of 2000 for the Blake School Upper School library (my title has been either Library Paraprofessional or IS Assistant.) My job has expanded far beyond the original job requirements (which focused on shelving and circulation.) We have a healthy collection of electronic resources.

  • Shelving and circulation. Magazine check-in and shelving.
  • Reference assistance to students and faculty.  
  • Scheduling and management of computer resources (scheduling for 2 labs of 20 computers, plus 31 laptops.) I also change passwords and provide basic technical support and help with a copier and 4 printers.
  • Processing new items (from placing the order to any additional physical processing we do, to adding records to our catalog and authority checking them.) 
  • Weeding and removal of outdated items from the collection.
  • Collection development: I do most of our fiction selection, and collaborate on other areas, including evaluation of online subscriptions and reference works.  
  • Database clean-ups following both an upgrade to our current software, and the addition of authority control in 2004. 
  • Interlibrary loan. We are the largest high school user through Minitex (our state ILL central office), with 150-250 requests every year since we started in 2003. I designed our process, and make, process, and return all of our requests.
  • Displays: I put together displays of books to encourage ongoing reading or highlight specific topics in the collection.
  • Subject cataloging 30 years of American Heritage magazines (entering relevant subjects so they can be searched in our catalog.)

Online communication:
I volunteered from January 2003 through September 2004 as a member of the Terms of Service team at LiveJournal.com, a online journal and social network site with about 6 million active accounts at the time. The commitment was for a certain amount of activity (to balance people working on simple issues versus involved ones): it averaged out to 10-15 hours a week, sometimes much more.

My time at LiveJournal got me fascinated with how online communication works (and sometimes doesn't work) on a large scale outside my own personal interests and communities, and made me very interested in how people can manage their online safety and overall experience (and how some people don't).

Some things I did included:

  • Handling reports and concerns by users concerned about harassment, inappropriate content, or other issues, volunteering 10-15 hours most weeks, sometimes substantially more.
  • Handling copyright violation reports in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
  • Helping develop policy and process for dealing with new situations (including how to respond to parental concerns and handle reports of various kinds which might be made falsely.) 
  • Training two new members of the team as their primary supervisor (overseen by the team managers, who were LiveJournal employees) during a 2+ month training process. Assisted with comments, feedback, and training for other trainees. 

Technology:
My two prior jobs to Blake both involved technology. 

In one, I provided internal and external technical support for an international human resources consulting company based in Minneapolis.

In the other, I designed web pages and other technology tools to assist faculty at Wellesley in using technology in the classroom. This included everything from slide digitization process and instruction for the geology department to helping teachers put syllabi on the web, to training student workers in specific technology tools.

Back to the front page

Education and training

Technology background

Presentations I've made

More about me

My Del.icio.us account

My blog