What did I do this year? 2013–14 edition

Voyant word cloud of 2013-14 activities

It’s self-evaluation time again! It’s the second year I’ve had to do this for my current job. Last year, I found it enormously helpful to quantify and visualize the activities I’d done in the given time period. I use the daily “Done today” entries I write in Evernote, a Python script I wrote last year, the BeautifulSoup Python library, and Voyant Tools to get a holistic look at what I did this year.

Voyant Tools allow different views of the data. One is Cirrus word clouds. (When used in combo with other data tools, word clouds are useful.) The image at the top of this entry is the word cloud that ignores common stop words, my colleagues’ names, and the words ref, desk, email/s/ed, met, meeting, talked, hr (hour), and sent.

Here’s the word cloud that only ignores common stop words:

2013-14 activities

Voyant Tools will also graph word trends as relative frequencies over time. Here are a few (note that the numbers on the bottom don’t correspond to months):

MMC, or Murder Mystery Challenge, which we developed over the summer and put on in October
MMC, or Murder Mystery Challenge, which we developed in late summer and put on in October
We put out a library newsletter twice a year. I'm in charge of design and online publication
We put out a library newsletter twice a year. I’m in charge of design and online publication
I'm on a committee to produce a 50th Anniversary exhibit for John Jay
I’m on a committee to produce a 50th Anniversary exhibit for John Jay
I take regular shifts at the reference desk
I take regular shifts at the reference desk, plus I now do ref desk stats

Note also that my professional journal entries only account for which activities I did on a given day, like “emailed bonnie about ref desk stats,” and not how long I spent doing them. So while “emailed” is right up there for frequency, that doesn’t necessarily mean I spend most of my time emailing (I don’t!).

I enjoy taking this Pythonic, Voyantic look at what I’ve done since last June — I’d assumed that some of these efforts I’d done last year, and would not have included them in my eval otherwise. Plus, it’s helpful for others to see what exactly an Emerging Technologies Librarian does.

So, what did I do this year?

  • co-led and -developed the Digital Collections (abbreviated in my notes as DC or CA for CollectiveAccess)
  • developed, organized, and oversaw the Murder Mystery Challenge (MMC) with Student Academic Success Programs (SASP)
  • was invited to and participated in Early Modern Digital Agendas (EMDA) at the Folger Shakespeare Library in July 2013 (plus a bonus weekend in May 2014)
  • built and developed new tools, including a simple ref desk logger; tried out new tools, including a chat service
  • collaborated with other faculty to create a 50th Anniversary of John Jay College exhibit (forthcoming), both as a physical timeline wall and an online exhibit (both make extensive use of our new Digital Collections)
  • began to teach classes, both “one-shot” library sessions and visiting lectures
  • presentations at METROcon, CUNY Games Festival, CUNY IT Conference, and more (nine selected decks/notes are posted online)
  • co-chaired the LACUNY Emerging Tech Committee to organize four workshops, two hack days, a demo day, and a makerspace happy hour
  • dazzled students, faculty, and passersby with library science at the reference desk
  • did all kinds of stats sorcery: website analytics, EZproxy analysis, ref desk log analysis, social media stats, and more
  • created 32 new articles on Wikipedia and made around 400 edits overall, often touching on materials that we have in our Special Collections
  • enthusiastically posted things on Facebook and Instagram, then tapered off like a lame-o. But I also met with two social media folks from other campus offices and planned to collaborate more in 2014-15, especially with the Digital Collections (hello, Throwback Thursday gold!)

It’s been a good year! I feel fairly accomplished and more connected to the John Jay and CUNY communities, as well as the library community in NYC. I’ve done more collaborations with colleagues and am gratified to see much of our work online.

What’s in store for me in 2014-15?

  • heavily promoting the Digital Collections among faculty and on social media while refining the CollectiveAccess software and database it runs on
  • collaborating with faculty across campus to build more instructional materials for off-campus students
  • speaking on a panel at MLA 2015 in Vancouver with other EMDA alums
  • more reading and writing about critical digital literacy, something that EMDA and various LACUNY events this year focused on
  • more teaching — and working on becoming a better teacher
  • refining CUNY’s chosen discovery service, Primo, and then launching it on campus
  • more exciting events with the LACUNY Emerging Tech Committee

Meanwhile, it’s summer! Time to tackle the things I’ve been putting off…

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