It’s been awhile…

It’s been awhile since I last posted here, there are a two reasons for that.  The good reason is that I started a new temp job in September, the not so good reason is that my mom spent most of the summer in the hospital. She’s feeling and doing much better now, thank goodness.

So what else have I been up to in during this time career development wise. I attended the DAM 101 Workshop at Createasphere in New York.  I’ve also just finished up my first Coursera class, Introduction to Metadata and I’ve been keeping up with the Caring for Yesterday’s Treasure’s Today webinar series.  I’m going to craft some entries on the above topics and post them today to help make up for my absence.

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Great article on why you can’t keep it all

This is a great article on why people, corporations, governments, and anyone shouldn’t and can’t keep everything forever.  I read a few of Dr. Rosenthal’s papers in my digital preservation class.  I think this article really illustrates a problem that few in IT are considering.

Edit: I just found a journal article titled The Economics of Long-Term Digital Storage.  It looks like this article was mentioned in the Future blog post.

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Thoughts on the DAS exams

Do you think of yourself as a pioneer? If not, you might want to wait a year or so before starting on the DAS path. If you do have that pioneering spirit, good luck to you and don’t be afraid to offer feedback to SAA. Don’t be shy. And most of all, be confident in yourself. In my experience, I think there are some wrinkles that SAA need to iron out with these exams. Mind you, I have only taken two of the exams in this course and my thoughts on the matter could change after taking more. I passed one of the exams the second time around. When I scheduled the re-take, I contested two of the questions on the test. SAA Education appreciated my constructive feedback, but I still needed to re-take the exam (i.e., they didn’t give me credit for those points). Which really wasn’t that big of deal.
So what is my recommendation if you are taking the exams, oh pioneer? Print out the tests while you are taking them and print out your answer feedback page. Just like the standardized tests in high school, I recommend you write your answers on paper first before entering them into the online test. This lessens the chance of you not reading the questions fully, of making a foolish mistake, and gives a record of what you marked.
I’m working towards this certification myself and I’ll continue to post about my progress.

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Good interview advice for everyone

This slideshare has some really good interview advice that I think everyone could use, not just  recent graduates. While this slideshare is not directed towards the library science crowd it’s information is just as relevant.

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Appraisal of Electronic Records SAA DAS workshop

On June 10th, I attended my second SAA DAS workshop: Appraisal of Electronic Records. The workshop was taught by Caryn Wojcik, an archivist for the State of Michigan, and was hosted at METRO in conjunction with NY ART.

This workshop is considered to be in first tier, otherwise known as a Foundational course, so you could elect to test out of it. That choice is up to you and your background. I recently completed a class on digital preservation, so some of basics I knew. But I didn’t know quite some of the details. This workshop helped fill in some of the gaps from the class. I imagine that’s the point for most of these workshops.

The appraisal workshop is pretty good. It discusses the basics of appraisal and goes into considerations specific to electronic records. I enjoyed the class activities and I liked that they build upon each other as the workshop progressed and that the content became more and more detailed. There are three scenarios in the workbook for the activities sections and the class is suppose to split into 3 groups and work on these activities. Three groups didn’t do it in for particular workshop and my group elected to be split in half. I personally think a fourth scenario, maybe regarding a government archive, could be added that would allow the option of the teacher to create a fourth group. While my group being split didn’t negatively affect my experience during the workshop, I think it might be something they could consider in the future.

Overall I enjoyed this workshop, found the content interesting, and learned a great deal. I would recommend this workshop if you have the ability to take it in the future. However, I do think that a webinar can be created as an adequate substitute for this workshop. I think this could provide better access and lower the barrier to starting on the DAS path.

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NYAC 2013 (part 3)

As for Friday I skipped the first session, but I wouldn’t miss the Breaking into the Field: Reports from Emerging Professionals session for anything. One of my friends from the MTA job was presenting. She did a great job, if fact they all did a remarkable job. All of the presenters should be very proud of themselves. There were plenty of tips, tricks, and personal anecdotes that I found both helpful and comforting. One of the presenters, Allie, posted her slides online. If you’re interested you can find them here.
I would highly recommend checking them out.
All too soon the conference came to an end. However, the closing luncheon was a fitting ending. There was plenty of food and we were even invited to take some more. Which I’m sure was appreciated by those who had to take a long trip home. It included a presentation from Karen Falk, the director of the Jim Henson archives, which included endearing and humorous video clips of some of his characters.
NYAC is a great conference, it has a family atmosphere. It’s a great place to start presenting and even better conference to catch up with colleagues. Since it’s small, attendees have more time to get to know each other on a deeper level. Let me put it this way: it’s very hard to get lost in the crowd at NYAC and that’s what makes it a unique experience.

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NYAC 2013 (part 2)

Thursday is the first full day of the conference and you can see the crowds of eager archivist flocking to Humanities Hall (the conference building). While I heard there was an issue with the coffee, that morning I didn’t notice. I was quite content with the orange and cranberry juice they had.
The first panel I attended was of course the one on DAM: How To Get Started With a DAMS. This panel wasn’t quite what I was expecting, even if I should have; still I was impressed. I thought it would focus on how one would start a DAM, instead there were three case studies of how these panelist implemented a DAM, or digital repository, at their organization.  It was much better than I expected. I was very impressed how some of the DAMs began, how these panelists solved some of the problems they included, and how they balanced the costs. The case studies showcased how any organization can start a DAM on a shoe-string budget.
In the afternoon I went to the This Just In! Leveraging Archives
Amidst the Media Blitz panel. Now don’t get me wrong, all the panelists were knowledgeable and approachable. But Greg Hunter stole the panel. When asked what he thought about the image of archivists in the media, his response was (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t care what the media thinks of us as archivists, I care what they think of our collections.” He also stressed, later in the panel, how important it is for archivists to know our collections so we can give our audience (in this case the media) what interests them.
I also attended the Privacy and Confidentiality Roundtable meeting. I personally felt that this would be a good follow-up after my workshop on wednesday. It looked like I wasn’t the only person who thought that way, since there were several others who attended both. This round table meeting didn’t disappoint, the conversation/discussion was both interesting and intriguing. I learned a bit more about privacy that I didn’t know and I was able to contribute to the conversation.
The last stop of the day was the reception. This was a great chance to network and grab some food. I’ll be honest, I was probably paying more attention to the food that was coming out than on networking. Either way, I had an amazing time, met some fantastic people, and was able to get to know some fantastic people even better.

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