Washington Library Association Conference: Panel Presenter

This year (2021, in case you’re not sure) I’ve been invited by the Seattle Public Library to join them in presenting at the Washington Library Association Conference about an inter-library system service I partnered to help develop and lead. Your Next Job is a free one-on-one service where individuals can virtually meet with reference staff to get assistance with job-related tasks, such as: applying for unemployment, learning technology basics, connecting with resources to help job seek, or applying for a job. Last year, I co-led the King County Library System arm of the service (you can read more about that here). I’m delighted to be presenting in my first professional panel to discuss this work!

If you’re planning to attend WLA 2021, we are presenting in-person on October 2nd. My name isn’t on the program information (yet) but I will be there!

An Autumn Update

I can tell I’ve gotten busier – my blog has become neglected! I don’t think I could ever have guessed while typing my blog entries earlier this year that the library system would still only be offering online programming. What a strange and interesting time this has been for starting to build experience as a librarian – it should make for a strong foundation I can build my career on going forward.

Which reminds me, one particular bright spot is that the COVID-19 closure prompted HR to extend my temporary librarian position (which was originally slated to end in September) until the beginning of next year. That is, “unless extended, or ended early.” Literally, that is what the email says….nice and decisive.

Here’s some updates as to what I’ve been up to….

Continue reading “An Autumn Update”

The Difference Between Privacy and Exploitation: Why Understanding The User Data Conversation Is Important

The New York Times recently published a piece called “Just Don’t Call It Privacy,” and I think it helps to explain a fundamental misrepresentation in the United States of what’s really at issue when we talk about personal data.

Data collection giants, such as Amazon and Google, currently have pretty free reign over the information they collect on individuals who use their services. Even when headlines announced a huge data breach at Facebook, there was no mass exodus away from the social media platform.  After all, what does a data breach even mean? Everything related to the conversation about user data is termed using oversimplified vocabulary attached to abstract definitions, so of course it’s easy to get lost.

Continue reading “The Difference Between Privacy and Exploitation: Why Understanding The User Data Conversation Is Important”

Paying My Library Fines

I haven’t updated here in a while – and so much has happened! So now, it’s time for an OVERDUE post – let’s just say that this post is to pay my dues and settle that account 😉

I got a library job – actually, I got the TWO library jobs I applied for (different locations, same work), but I turned down the one with less hours. I now am working around 25 hours a week while also doing school. Somehow my time is still incredibly pinched, even working so much less than when I was employed full time. But working in a library space feels like a natural extension of learning about libraries in school – plus, there are lots of very human realities that just aren’t included in classes. Libraries are one of the last truly public community spaces, which means we see a variety of populations (and problems).

I’m now in the last third of my second year in the program – which means I’m approaching the last year of classes before graduation! I’m very nervous about my last year of grad school, especially making sure I meet all the requirements to graduate (there is a special Capstone Project you must complete as part of graduating, I guess I should probably figure out what that is…).

Funny side-story: I also accidentally joined the leadership for the Society of American Archivists – UW branch. On the student Facebook pages they were saying that a club needed a graphic designer to do publicity stuff and I signed up before even checking what club it was. So I made sure to become official and actually join the Society (which means $$), but I’m honestly fascinated by archival work so I’m not sorry it worked out as it has. I’ve learned a lot working with this club and hope to maybe get a chance to do some archiving experience – unfortunately, the University of Washington (where I attend) does not offer very much in the way of archiving classes.

That’s essentially the life update! I’ll do my best to not be so “overdue” with a blog update next time and keep updating!