Time is a blur

Since the pandemic began, I’ve turned back to the old comforts of pen and paper. Rather than posting here, I’ve carried a notebook where I write random thoughts, reading notes, travel dreams, and whatever else I want to remember beyond that moment. With time a blur over the past two years, my journaling has helped ground me, helped me remember, and served as a record of my life in a pandemic.

Putting pen to paper has also helped me reclaim an old love — reading. Like many, I’ve struggled to have the concentration necessary to read with any frequency. Taking notes on my reading helps my focus and make progress on my giant TBR (To Be Read) pile. In 2022, I’m trying to re-form the habit of daily reading, whether an article, a chapter, or just a few pages. Setting the bar low has helped me stick to it and gives a quick hit of feeling successful each day.

We all have our coping mechanisms and ways to bring small joys to each day. For me, a return to reading, writing, and travel (whether actual or via my travel magazines) are the best ways to brighten my days. What works for you?


Black lives matter.

I have been at a loss for words.

But I know that is unacceptable.

Silence is unacceptable.

The systemic racism and oppression that is baked into our culture, our country is unacceptable.

The senseless deaths of black and brown people at the hands of those with power of position and privilege are unacceptable.

I will use my privilege to stand up and speak up, knowing that I may not always do the right thing or say the right thing, knowing that I may get it wrong. But I will strive to learn [1, 2], to act [1], to be open, and to do better.

Where words fail me, I will use my wallet, recognizing my privilege in being able to do so.

To support my profession, I made a second donation to we here, “a supportive community for BIPOC library and archive workers.”

To support my local protesters, I donated to The Bail Project.

I can do more. I can do better.

Black lives matter.

Reflections on Mentoring

I shared these reflections on mentoring with a leadership program cohort on my campus and decided to share them here as well.

Being part of the IUPUI Mentoring Academy, from my role as an IUPUI University Library representative to the program to my time as Director of Faculty Mentoring, has given me the opportunity for both personal and professional reflection and growth. It has led me to unexpected realizations about my own attitudes toward mentoring and helped inform my leadership philosophy.

Before becoming involved with the Mentoring Academy, I never realized that I had had mentors in my life – from my high school choir teacher who helped me become a college student to my Butler history professor who awakened a love of history in me that I didn’t know existed to former supervisors at University Library who have been instrumental to bringing me where I am today.

This realization led to the decision that it was time for me to give back by consciously, if not always formally, mentoring others. In mentoring, I’ve found connections to the cores of my career – service and resource sharing. I’ve just become one of the many resources I share in the service of others.

My role as Director of Faculty Mentoring allowed me to meet many other people at IUPUI engaged in mentoring, which has been a wonderful opportunity to build new relationships. It also afforded me the chance to attend the University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute Conference where I had a bit of an epiphany. I attended a pre-conference titled “The Coaching & Mentoring Way in Mentoring and Leadership” led by Robert Garvey. My epiphany was the realization that I should be applying what I’ve learned about mentoring in my everyday leadership. The skills and tools I use as a mentor can also help me be a better leader and assist with the development of the people I supervise in a positive way. That happened just a month and a half ago, and I’m still working on being more conscious of integrating mentoring practices into my everyday interactions – working, in fact, to make mentoring a way of life.

These may seem obvious connections but without taking moments to pause and reflect, these connections can go unnoticed. The reason I shared this reflection with the leadership cohort was to illustrate the importance of reflection. I’m a firm believer that a key part of getting the most out of a mentoring relationship or more generally achieving what you set out to achieve is reflection, deliberate and thoughtful reflection.

2018: A Banner Year (aka make a plan, do the plan)

2018: A Banner Year (aka make a plan, do the plan)

2018 has been a banner year for me professionally.

A Plan Made

Four years ago, I created a 5-year plan to help me achieve two goals, promotion to Librarian and appointment as Associate Dean for Collections at IUPUI University Library. This plan and the unforeseen retirement of my predecessor resulted in me reaching both of those goals this July — a full year (or more) ahead of schedule. I’m now two months in and feel the need to share some reflections.

I can’t recommend developing your own plan enough. Not only does it help move you toward your goals, but it also helps you say no to the many requests that don’t align with those goals. And there is the added bonus of feeling a rewarding sense of purpose and forward movement as you methodically check things off the plan.

Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a list of things, perhaps in each area against which you are evaluated. For me, that’s performance, professional development, and service, so my plan takes the form of a bulleted list divided into those categories under each year. I also include a “prep” section for each category to keep track of things that require advance application/submission.

On the other hand, some people have a hard time developing a plan from a blank piece of paper. If you are one of those people, you may find this guide to creating an individual development plan that I adapted for the IUPUI Mentoring Academy a useful place to start.

A Plan Fulfilled

Now that I’m a Librarian with a capital L (which means there are no more promotions in rank to strive for), there is comfort in the knowledge that I can focus in on what really interests me without feeling obligated to say yes to things that don’t. The only problem is I’m interested in too many things. As one thing comes off my plate, there are two more really exciting things vying for space and attention. Part of this comes with my new, larger role as Associate Dean for Collections and the broader responsibilities that come with it. And part of it comes with my increasing awareness of where my interests intersect. There is an interdependence between resource sharing, shared collections, open access, and scholarly communications writ large that is impossible for me to ignore. This makes it difficult to draw artificial boundaries around my interests that dictate where I should and should not be engaged. So rather than resting on my Librarian laurels, I find myself even more engaged in communities and projects that I think will make a difference to my library, to all libraries, to all people.

What are some of those projects, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I continue trying to integrate my experiences as IUPUI’s Director of Faculty Mentoring into my library work. I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people who are truly committed to the development of everyone in our IUPUI community. These experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained about mentoring inform how I interact with my colleagues and how I approach disagreements and discussions among them. I want to help launch a library group to sustain and enhance the mentoring and professional development work that has been started.

I agreed to co-chair the Academic Libraries of Indiana’s brand new Shared Collections Committee. This is an outgrowth of all the work I did with the ALI-PALNI Shared Print Project and my continued interest in building a shared collection from which we all can benefit. Shared collections are a natural extension of my dedication to resource sharing that began 12 years ago. My role in shared collections within Indiana will require representing us, alongside Kirsten Leonard, regionally and nationally to ensure we have a seat at the table. In fact, one such opportunity arose as I was writing this post!

I convinced two of my Center for Digital Scholarship colleagues to help me put together an event about the interdependence of collections and scholarly communication in the hopes of breaking down some silos. That has since morphed into the creation of a study group to produce a report on this topic that will inform the eventual event. This falls solidly in the category of “I don’t have the time, but I’m really interested in / excited about this.”

I’m partnering with the Open Access Button to help them create the next generation of their tools for libraries and acting as an advisor to their work. I am ridiculously excited about this. It aligns so perfectly with my years of research (and some might say proselytizing) on open access and interlibrary loan. Plus, I get to work with amazing, enthusiastic, and visionary people.

This is all in addition to my “regular” work of developing long overdue collections policies and reenvisioning what collections mean at IUPUI University Library with the help of a dedicated group of professionals not so cleverly called the Collections Working Group. Overall, I’m sometimes overwhelmed but grateful to be in this new role. I’m thrilled to be part of projects with the potential to have a broader impact. I’m amazed at how well my 5-year plan worked. I’m eager to share all that I’ve learned and continue to learn with all of you. Thank you for listening and acting (at least in my head) as an accountability partner. Time to go create a new plan.

Open in order to support citizen science

Open in order to support citizen science

I happened to hear an episode of the TED Radio Hour yesterday called “Citizen Science.” As I listened to the segment with Sharon Terry who, with her husband, tackled the rare genetic disease with which both their children had been diagnosed, it struck me how incredibly lucky they were to have been in the Boston area with easy access to incredible research Library collections and top-notch academic bookstores. Without this access, it would have been extremely difficult for them to access, read, and interpret the hundreds of articles they located on the rare disease PXE. With this access, they were able to learn, research, and force promotion and tenure-seeking scientists to collaborate.

This story represents why open access is so important. How many more citizen science advances could affect real lives if more “average people” had access to scientific and medical research? How much research and how many cures could be found if academic institutions reimagined the promotion and tenure system to embrace openness and collaboration above grant dollars and patents? I can only imagine.

Research should be open in order to support citizen scientists.

Reflections on ILDS 2017

Reflections on ILDS 2017

I recently returned from the 2017 Interlending & Document Supply Conference (ILDS). I always enjoy ILDS because it is the only time I get to see some of my non-US friends and get out of my American bubble. This year’s conference was no exception. I reconnected with my Italian friends, made new “in real life” friends from around the world, and saw more of my American friends than expected too.

In addition to wonderful people, there were interesting and informative programs. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Stephen Wyber filled us in on IFLA‘s activities and the important role of resource sharing in their efforts. We are the ones that can provide them with the front line stories of how copyright inhibits information sharing.

I learned more about Open Access Button development efforts from Joseph McArthur. This work has the potential to greatly enhance library services around discovery and delivery. I’m really excited about the possibilities!

There were several presentations around collection strategies, particularly regarding faculty involvement, that were really helpful to work currently happening at my library. I hope to adapt a lot of what Micquel Little and David McCaslin shared for my own environment. You can find David’s paper here.

I also enjoyed hearing Giovanna Colombo talk about NILDE‘s international ILL survey, which was similar to surveys conducted by the ALA RUSA STARS International ILL Committee. (I was involved with the Committee’s first two surveys.) There were many similarities in the issues identified. Some problems are universal! You can find the slides from Giovanna’s presentation on the NILDE blog.

Overall, a very successful conference in one of my favorite cities.

If you’re interested in what I talked about, you can find my paper and presentation in IUPUI ScholarWorks.




Learning Leadership

Learning Leadership

I’ve participated in a number of leadership programs, all of which have been useful in their own way. However, the actual leadership practices typically fall by the wayside as I return to the daily grind of work. All that has changed.

In August, I participated in the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL) offered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in collaboration with ACRL. I’ve been ruminating on the experience ever since and am finally ready to share a few thoughts.

I think my leadership capacity has naturally developed over the years, but LIAL helped me to more clearly see my strengths and weaknesses, built my confidence, and convinced me that I need to focus on the next step in my career. Since returning, I’ve been much more focused on my own leadership journey. I’m planning and reflecting. I’m using the four frames to think through issues. I’m putting myself out there. I’m making a concerted effort to continue developing my leadership skills on my own.

In addition to the insights, learning, and amazing instructors, I also met some pretty incredible classmates. I hope they will become lifelong friends.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here, but my LIAL experience inspired me to share. If you have the opportunity to go to LIAL, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Service is Resource Sharing

For various reasons, I’ve been reflecting a lot on service* lately. Through this reflection, some things about myself have started to coalesce in my mind. As I mentioned in a previous post, my path to librarianship was not direct. However, every job I’ve ever had has been based in service in some way (though not necessarily service as defined by my *). I don’t know which came first, my service jobs or my service ethos. Whatever the order, I can’t remember a time when service wasn’t important to me. It is essential to me to be of service both in and to my work and to ensure that my service is high quality. As a librarian, I have spent ten years developing a program of service that benefits my library, my university, and my profession. Along the way, I’ve also accrued benefits in the form of personal satisfaction and a network of friends and colleagues that I can turn to when I need support.

I recently read Cal Newport‘s So Good They Can’t Ignore You in which he argues that passion for your work is something that grows with time rather than something innate. It’s only through building “career capital” and cashing it in for more creativity, impact and control that we become truly happy in our work. That has certainly been the case for me. I didn’t come to librarianship with a burning passion for it, but my happiness and passion have grown over time. Without realizing it, I have become, at my professional core, a resource sharing librarian with a commitment to providing access to information in all its forms. Resource sharing has become my life philosophy, extending far beyond the sharing of library materials. I see service as yet another form of resource sharing. Whether it be sharing my librarian perspective in faculty governance, sharing my experiences and expertise through mentoring, or sharing my knowledge in professional committees, it is all resource sharing. It is all service. It is only through sharing our personal resources and serving our communities that we can hope to achieve collective success.

* I’m defining service here as applying one’s “knowledge, skills, and expertise as an educator, a member of a discipline or profession, or a participant in an institution to benefit students, the institution, the discipline or profession, and the community in a manner consistent with the missions of the university and the campus.” ~ from Service at Indiana University: Defining, Documenting, and Evaluating (1999). Indianapolis, IN: Center for Public Service and Leadership.

Open access isn’t the end of resource sharing

Originally published on the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship blog, April 19, 2016, http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/digitalscholarship/blog/open-access-resource-sharing.

IUPUI University Library’s mission is to Inform, Connect, and Transform. The work I do as a resource sharing librarian is the literal fulfillment of our mission to Connect. My entire career as a librarian has focused on providing our users with access to the information resources they need to be successful in their teaching, research, and learning. I am, in fact, a self-proclaimed librarian devoted to resource sharing. As such, my interest in open access is no surprise. Though some have heralded open access as the death knell of our oldest resource sharing service, interlibrary loan (ILL), I believe it enhances my ability to connect University Library’s users to information. Open access isn’t the end of resource sharing; it is resource sharing.

The amount of information available is overwhelming, and it can be difficult for people to locate what they need even if it is open access. Resource sharing practitioners have a role to play in helping library users navigate this vast universe of possible sources. If we are thoughtful in our approach, we have the opportunity to capture the benefits of open access for our ILL operations and to educate our users about the changing nature of scholarly publishing. Facilitating discovery of open access materials should be one more tool in the resource sharing toolbox.

To learn more about the intersections of open access and interlibrary loan, check out Tina’s works on the topic in IUPUI ScholarWorks.

Open Access: A Win-Win Proposition

Originally published on the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship blog, December 15, 2015, http://ulib.iupui.edu/node/13764. Statistics included have not been updated.

Open access benefits scholars everywhere by connecting them to research they may not otherwise be able to access, but I’d like to take a moment to look at open access in reverse. By making my research open access, I benefit myself as well as the community at large. My work gets much wider exposure through my deposits in IUPUI ScholarWorks than it would ever receive confined to a single journal or conference. My 2012 article, “Opening Interlibrary Loan to Open Access,” has 415 file views from countries as diverse as the US, China, Italy, Ukraine, and Australia. The 2011 conference presentation on which it was based has 177 file views from an equally diverse set of countries. Another 2012 article, “Going Global: An International Survey of Lending and Borrowing across Borders,” has 156 file views.

The impact is even more apparent when you look at conference presentations.

Conference Presentation Session Attendance ScholarWorks File Views
Open Access to the World: Locating International Publications to Fill ILL Requests (2014) 40 58
Borders without Barriers: Improving the State of International Resource Sharing (2013) 39 222
Open Access in Interlibrary Loan: Sources and Strategies for Locating Free Materials Online (2012) 25 1,259
Opening Up to Open Access: Using Open Access Materials to Fill Borrowing Requests for Free (2011) 50 71
Free for All! Interlibrary Loan and Open Access (2010) 67 127

My most recent conference presentation,* which only had 18 attendees, already has 12 file views after only 10 days in ScholarWorks!

These altmetrics demonstrate the increased impact of my work outside of the original presentation vehicle whether it be a conference or journal. By participating in the IUPUI Open Access Policy, I enjoy the benefits of broader readership and community impact while promoting knowledge sharing and information equity. For me, depositing in IUPUI ScholarWorks is a win-win proposition.

* at time of original publication