What a crazy spring it’s been! So many conferences, so little time. Here’s what I’ve been up to…
- March 8th, 2013: I had the pleasure of presenting with Jessie Carty, Athena Dixon-DeMary, Tawnysha Greene, and Stephanie Kartalopoulos at the AWP Conference in Boston, MA. Our panel, “Stranger in a Strange Land? The Poet in the Composition Classroom” consisted of poets involved with the teaching of composition from poet/instructors to a poet-librarian who works closely with composition instructors as well as teacher/writers who bring the discussion of poetry into the study of composition. Each panelist had a unique take on how poets and poetry can challenge and enhance the study of writing across the genres. You can view my presentation slides at http://prezi.com/utskqtd7u_a7/stranger-in-a-strange-land/.
- April 26th, 2013: I co-organized and hosted the Academic & Special Libraries Division’s 42nd Annual Continuing Education Conference, Publish or Perish. Take a look at our presenters’ materials over at ASLD’s blog: http://asldncla.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/publish-or-perish/.
- May 2, 2013: I co-presented “Two Birds, One Stone: ePortfolios as Professional Development and Patron Programming” at the Long Island Library Conference. In this presentation, Derek Stadler (Past President of ASLD) and I (President or ASLD) discussed the benefits of creating an electronic portfolio for both employed and job-seeking information professionals. Attendees received guidance on planning for the eportfolio, selecting materials, structuring content, and choosing a web-based platform. We also discussed how librarians can translate their newly-acquired eportfolio skills into valuable patron programming. All materials from the presentation are available at the following online toolkit: http://eportfoliotoolkit.weebly.com/.
I’ll also be participating as a panelist at METRO & ACRL/NY’s “Demystifying the Working Life of a New Academic Librarian – What to Expect in the First Days, Weeks, Months & Years” on June 6th. Check out the full description at http://metro.org/events/351/. Hope you can join us !
…for AWP 2014!
Well, I’ve caught the bug: I enjoyed participating in an AWP 2013 panel so much that I’m planning to propose my own for AWP 2014. But I can’t do it alone, folks, so I’m putting out a call for a few good panelists. Take a look and drop me a line via the contact form if you’re interested, or feel free to pass along this post to those who might be.
Where Have All the Critics Gone? Exploring the Dearth of Scholarly Writing on Early-career Poets
Why this topic?
I’m a college librarian, and it’s my job to assist students in finding quality, academic sources to support a wide range of assignments. But, lately, I’ve noticed something disconcerting when it comes to the task of helping students research poetry for a variety of composition and literature courses: there’s nothing (scholarly) on early-career poets. Sure, there’s an interview or two. Maybe a review here or there. But when it comes to hardcore criticism: nada (which is a problem, because that’s exactly the type of resource these assignments require). So, what happens? First, the student panics. Then, the student ditches his/her first-choice (from my experience, it’s almost always an early-career poet) for a more established poet on whom more scholarly “stuff” has been written. As a librarian, I find the situation heartbreaking because students have to abandon a poet and a topic in which they’ve already invested quite a bit of interest. But as a poet and a reader of poetry, I am concerned about the message this lack of scholarship potentially sends to students: if contemporary poetry isn’t worth writing about in a serious manner, it must not be worth reading.
Keeping the above in mind, this panel will address and explore the issue further by asking participants to consider and discuss the following:
Is there actually a lack of scholarly writing on early-career poets? Or, is there an issue of discoverability (e.g., Web-based scholarship not indexed in databases)? Either way, why do you believe this is so? Have you encountered stumbling blocks to your own research because of either?
While there seems to be a lack of scholarly publishing on early-career poets, there seems to be a preference for the review and the interview/conversation piece. Why do you suppose these forms are preferred over scholarly pieces?
Does it really matter if this dearth persists? What are the educational and/or artistic implications?
Whose responsibility is it to remedy this dearth? Where do we even begin?
Want in on this panel?
Fill out this nifty little contact form and tell me what you — the librarian, poet, educator, etc. — can bring to this panel. Feel free to include a short bio, links to published work, etc. Panel proposals are due May 1st, so please be sure to express your interest by April 5th.
Apologies, loyal readership! I took a bit of a vacation from blogging, but I’ve returned. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about what I’ve been up to these past few months, starting with the symposium I attended in December.
On December 7th, I attended the ACRL/NY annual symposium for the very first time. What an event! So many great speakers, so much great information — in other words: this event is a keeper and I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s symposium.
This year’s theme was “Cultivating Entrepreneurship in Academic Libraries,” with speakers Steven Bell, Maureen Sullivan, Naomi House, Lisa Carlucci Thomas, and Stephanie Walker.
Bell, 2012-13 ACRL President, opened the symposium by providing great insight into institutional cultures that promote or stifle progress. Essentially, Bell asked librarians to shift their thinking of entrepreneurship from product-centric to process-centric, and to focus not on outcomes measured by profit but rather to concentrate our creative energies, as library entrepreneurs, on developing environments and personal characteristics conducive to innovation.
Naomi House followed. As a user of the INALJ digest since its early days, I was ridiculously excited to see House speak. Her perspective on being entrepreneurial during the job hunt was quite refreshing, so I was surprised to see her catch some flack for drawing attention to the fact that our profession-wide ethic of teamwork can sometimes be counter-intuitive for job-seekers. That is, due to the nature of our work, job candidates have a tendency overemphasize their roles as team players to the extent that they often understate their creative abilities or leadership qualities. Personally, I think it was a rather astute and helpful observation, one that in no way couched our brand of teamwork in the negative.
Stephanie Walker from Brooklyn College followed House. I was completely blown away by the fact that their IT department and librarians were able to collaborate to create products they could use in-house and sell to other libraries. In an age where departmental budgets are rapidly shrinking, what better way to prove the value of your library than to generate a profit? It will be interesting to see how the endeavor proceeds and how this particular instance of library-generated profit opens up the conversation about academic libraries and self-sustainability.
Unfortunately, my crew and I had to leave early, so the last presentation we caught was given by Lisa Carlucci Thomas. Much of Thomas’s talk reinforced what Bell spoke of at the start of the conference with particular emphasis on the role that culture plays in supporting and sustaining innovation.
Again, it was a great symposium, and I look forward to next December’s!
On Friday, the nation — the world — witnessed one of the most heinous school massacres in recent memory. There aren’t even words for what occurred, or how we so completely ache for the entire Newtown, CT community. For those directly impacted by this tragedy, I cannot even begin to imagine the grief and devestation they must be feeling.
For those of us unaffected personally by these events, there is still one overarching question: why? It is a difficult inquiry for adults to grapple with, let alone children. This is why I am sharing the following Web resource: Helping Youth and Children Recover From Traumatic Events. Assembled by the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center, the documents here provide some guidance for those who are unsure of how to talk to children about the recent shooting in Connecticut.
Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Newton, CT.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected and displaced by Hurricane Sandy. If you are a Nassau County resident who requires any post-storm assistance, please refer to the resource below: