Month: June 2018

cherry tomatoes

The tomato plants are falling over under the weight of their own fruit.

My ALA Annual 2018 schedule

It isn’t my intention to be anti-social at Annual, but I have a few looming deadlines and a number of projects that I would like to start mapping out. The energy and distance that ALA Annual provides might just be the best environment to make that happen. Hopefully, I can find a late-night cafe near my hotel where that can take place.

When I’m not buried in my laptop, here’s where I plan to be. Hope to see some of you there!


Arrive in New Orleans. Get settled into hotel. Maybe meet up with some friends for a drink.


8:30a – 4:00p: Assessment in Action: Demonstrating and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

4:00p – 5:30p: Opening General Session featuring Michelle Obama 


10:30a – 12:00p: ACRL President’s Program: Beyond Resilience: Crafting a Caring Organization

1:00p – 2:00p: What Every Librarian Should Know about Young News Consumers

2:30p – 3:30p: Libraries and Learning Analytics: Identifying the Issues 

4:00p – 5:00p: Studying and Spirituality: Prayer and Meditation Spaces in Academic Libraries


8:30a – 10:00a: Current Topics Discussion Group (ACRL ULS)

10:30a – 11:30a: Whiteness in LIS: Tracing its Impact, Mapping Resistance

1:00p – 2:00p: We’re All in It Together: Focusing Outreach & Assessment to Your Institution’s Strategic Goals (I’m presenting with colleagues at this one!)

2:30p – 3:30p: ACRL 2019 Panel Sessions Committee Meeting (ACRL) 

3:00p – 4:00p: Emerging Leaders Mix and Mingle or LITA President’s Program with Kendra Albert

4:00p – 5:00p: Escape the Library: Escape Room Design Workshop


Pack up my stuff. Grab a ride to the airport. Head back to Los Angeles

ALA Annual 2018: Focusing Outreach & Assessment to Your Institution’s Strategic Goals

ALA badgeIf you are one of the tens of thousands of people attending ALA Annual 2018 in New Orleans next week, I hope you will join me and my colleagues for a presentation Sunday, June 24 at 1:00 pm in Morial Convention Center, room 393. We are hosting a panel session for ACRL entitled “We’re All in It Together: Focusing Outreach & Assessment to Your Institution’s Strategic Goals.” Here is the summary:

“Assessing, evaluating, and articulating the impact and value of library outreach work is a growing trend among academic librarians engaged in marketing and outreach. In order to assess and determine the effectiveness of this work, it is important to plan and align efforts with both library and campus strategic goals. Four academic librarians who are members of ACRL’s Library Marketing and Outreach Interest Group (LMOIG) and the ACRL University Libraries Section (ULS) Academic Outreach Committee (AOC) will share their experiences aligning their outreach efforts to institutional strategic goals. The panelists will also discuss their assessment methods in relation to these goals. Attendees will be able to ask questions and have time to identify organizational or institutional goals to align with future outreach, along with possible assessment approaches to implement at their own institutions.”

Hope to see you there!

“When we, as educators, allow our pedagogy to be radically changed by our recognition of a multicultural world, we can give students the education they desire and deserve. We can teach in ways that transform consciousness, creating a climate of free expression that is the essence of a truly liberal arts education.”

–bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

I would settle for seven hours

bacon-shaped pillow

My office companion. His name is Kevin.

I have been a user of GTD fairly consistently over the past decade. As those familiar with the task-management system know, the “weekly review” is an essential step in the workflow. My review process is augmented significantly: there are 15 subtasks in my weekly review and I reserve the last 1.5-2 hours of my work week to accomplish it. One of those subtasks is to write down one thing I’ve learned.

Last year, the “outreach team” at mpow was upgraded to the “outreach department” with me at its head. The transition has been protracted and I am still working on the finer details, but I’ve learned much along the way. I’m in the midst of writing my annual review and so I thought I would share some of my lessons learned from last year. As you’ll notice, there’s an overarching theme. Each one of these below represents one week of the academic year.

Things I’ve Learned This Year

  • I have skills and resources to offer. Don’t forget that.
  • Sleep makes such a difference (need to remind myself of this every day).
  • Planning ahead works. Really works.
  • Get some sleep.
  • Two weeks of late nights will run me down by Thursday or Friday.
  • I need to delegate more.
  • You will never “win” as supervisor/admin (even if you think you do). Deal with it. And then be clear about what the next steps should be.
  • I need to start the planning process and get details outlined sooner.
  • Working late into the evening sucks. Let’s never do this again.
  • I can get more done in a shorter amount of time when I have sleep. Seriously. How hard is it to remember this?
  • There is much I can do to be a better leader. Specifically: passing along information sooner; giving staff/team members the freedom to pursue projects; recognizing strengths; being thankful. The responses to what motivates people and the type of recognition they crave is useful information to track.
  • Getting sleep doesn’t reduce stress, but helps with managing it.
  • If I do things quickly, or as soon as they arrive, I get more done in the week… just not always what is most important.
  • Energy wins the day.
  • I don’t have to make decisions on the spot. It’s OK to say “I’ll think about it.”
  • People can surprise you – expect the best.
  • I have to build workflows and constantly remind people of them if I want to have control over the aspects of my job that require my attention.
  • I can get by with working 9-12 each evening, but the hangover sucks.
  • I have to give people options. If you want to help them make a decision, give them options.
  • Keep quiet. Be discrete. Wait for the right moment.
  • Don’t get caught unprepared.
  • I can be a leader when I try to be. Take the lead.
  • Delegated works needs to be followed up on.
  • I can get a shit-ton of work done if I don’t check email all day.

I’ll work on that sleeping part. 😉

2013 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)

caparzo wine labelHow long has it been since I posted a wine review? Honestly, I don’t usually go for italian wine. I don’t have anything against it. I just don’t always reach for a bottle when I have other options. But this weekend I felt like picking up a brunello and this 2013 Caparzo did not disappoint.

Aged two years in Slavonian oak, this fire brick red wine has subtle notes of tar and cassis on the nose (even after decanting an hour… it was still hard to find!). Once it hits your mouth the first thing you’ll notice is the taste of roasted meat (and charred rosemary?) and raspberry. Clean, light berry finish. I picked up an extra bottle to save for 2-3 years.