Gratuitous Cat Photo

“Black cats audition for a part in a movie in 1961, via  LIFE’s photo archive.”

“The Economics of Access”

The Economics of Access | Christine Madsen

In which my iPad saves the day at work (again)

I am in the throws of digitization which right now means putting TIFF files into folders within directories that will be ingested into CONTENTdm. Once in CDM, these files can be made discoverable to patrons through Yale Digital Collections and we create handles, and then link to the finding aid which will in turn link patrons to the digital materials. Which is fantastic. However, the process of accurately transferring TIFF images from one file directory into discrete folders within another manually is long and taxing. Luckily, one of my colleagues sat with me and read from the spreadsheet I saved in Dropbox from my iPad as I worked on the files on my PC. 430 TIFFs and one hour later, we managed to complete the process. Had I been going back and forth between the spreadsheet in Excel AND the two file directories, I surely would have made errors and take twice if not three times as long. 

Let’s give it up for teamwork and my iPad. 


“When I was at the University of Oregon, even as a harassed assistant professor, it was kind of fun. The students were curious. My colleagues were funny and irreverent. The staff was capable and opinionated. The administrators were down to earth. Nobody took themselves too seriously. We weren’t paid for shit. It was actually humiliating how badly paid we were — from administration on down. But people had their unassuming little houses and sweet gardens, and spent their weekends rafting or hiking or biking or driving about visiting wineries. Nearly everyone had a vibrant life outside of work. Dinner invitations flew back and forth, and when someone was facing a life crisis, people pitched in. We organized dinner brigades for new parents, helped out with yardwork for ailing friends. When I had my kids, delicious home-cooked dinners were delivered to our door every night for three weeks.

I assumed that that’s how campuses are. I thought they were communities. In fact, being young, and ambitious, I spent much more time focusing on what I didn’t have at the UO — a decent salary, adequate research funding, status.

So, when the offer came from the University of Illinois, I jumped at it. I was sure I had made the right decision. Money, status, research funding…all these things beckoned.

And then I found out. Found out what it’s like to be at a place where most everyone is convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they are very, very important people. Where most everyone is convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they are doing very, very important work. Where most everyone is convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, they are very, very smart. That they are, indeed, the smartest boys and girls in the whole world.

I discovered the unbridgeable, heartbreaking chasm between a place where no one takes themselves very seriously, and a place where pretty much everyone takes themselves very (very) seriously.”

“Death of a Soul (on campus): The Worst Professor Ever”

Reread this twice. Now I can’t help but want to look for low salaries and goofy people in order to find a job that I can stand.

(via ameliaabreu)

View from Alma Mater

I made it Columbia and back to Harlem-125th Street via walking/public transport without getting lost!

In which I travel to NYC unsupervised

I am rolling like a wild libarchivist and using PTO tomorrow to take a jaunt down to Columbia University to visit one of my favorite (former) colleagues. Being the total nerd that I am, I am super excited to visit an academic library that is new to me! And talk about public services! And pedagogy! And digital humanities! 

I am also interested in finding some Stumptown bottled cold brew coffee I read about a few weeks ago on the Twitters. Does anyone know where I can procure this coffee? Much obliged, internetz! 

Slow Reference

Let me tell you a story, internetz: way back in the day before computers and the tubes that made you, librarchivists answered questions by MAIL, with PAPER and PEN EVEN. I answered one such question this morning. In the spirit of summer and the slow food movement, I give you this photo as an ode to times past, a nod to slow reference.

I left my heart in Western Massachusetts

And next month, I will return to become librarian for social sciences & emerging technology at Hampshire College. I am so excited to return to my 5 College roots and to work in library that is entirely focused on undergraduate learning. I will miss some of my colleagues at Yale something fierce, but ultimately this job will allow me to work through many of the questions I am most interested in vis-a-vis scholarly communication, teaching, and the role libraries play in higher education today.

Always the Beinecke.

[Photograph of unidentified man ascending stairs and unidentified woman seated at front desk at the Beinecke] (1963) by Beinecke Library on Flickr.

General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Preservation Win

I had to give an internetz shout out to the folks in the Yale University Library Preservation Department. A few months ago, some encased photographs came with an accession to a collection we are working on. After I appraised them, I quickly realized that these treasures were in need of re-housing. And this is the result: custom made boxes for each encased photograph surrounded by foam in a larger box so these items can safely travel between our reading room and the Library Shelving Facility in Hamden, Connecticut.

The ladies of preservation are awesome and I value their knowledge and their craftsmanship.


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