This site presents a portfolio of the work I have done to obtain my Master of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. It consists of my resume, descriptions of the courses I’ve completed, and a portfolio of selected works I’ve created for class assignments.
I am a Libraries Fellow at the North Carolina State University Libraries. I am based out of the Information Technology department but I also contribute to a wide range of projects and frequently collaborate with non-IT staff.
By way of further introduction, allow me to present some excerpts from my graduate application essay:
- Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
- Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
- Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Douglas Adams generalizes, of course—there are gadget-freak retirees and tweens that snub video games—but I agree that people of different generations do view and even use technology in different ways. . . . Computer use is intuitive in those who grow up with computers (or those who fully immerse themselves in computers as adults.) In contrast, using a computer is thoroughly unintuitive for the many people who learned to use them later in life. Older people who have been, in effect, forced to learn to use computers, often at a more rapid pace than they would prefer, naturally may begrudge the intrusion of computers into their daily lives. This split between intuitive and grudging computer users has profound implications for libraries. How best to serve the intuitive computer users and take advantage of technology within the library world? And how to do so without alienating traditional library patrons and staff members?
Intuitive computers users are flummoxed when they encounter barriers to computer use, such as if there aren’t enough computers at a library and they must wait, or the aging computers provided are frustratingly slow, or information or a service simply isn’t available online yet. At my library, as at many others, we feel a constant pressure to tailor the services we deliver to fit the demands of our populace.
While I am devoted to the world of technology, I also have a lifelong love of reading and libraries. That love of the written word and a fondness for the quiet, peaceful libraries I grew up with make for a natural connection with even the most grudging of computer user (or even those who don’t feel libraries are a place for computers at all.) I decidedly am an intuitive computer user but I have enough experience, empathy, and (perhaps equally important) patience to be of real help to users of every level.
Looking back, this interest in the confluence of libraries and technology has shown up time and time again in my writing, both for my courses and at my blog (very much a work in progress). I believe that the current era holds both danger and opportunity for libraries. I hope that, in my own small way, I can help the profession avoid the former and seize the latter.