Archive for the ‘text’ Category

How We Do Born-Digital (Love Me, I’m a Liberal)

June 17, 2015

How We Do Born-Digital (music from Love Me, I’m a Liberal [lyrics, video])

I’ve seen the OAIS model
I read OCLC reports
White papers from Digital POWRR
And the Blue Ribbon Task Force
To make sure I don’t ever lose them
They’re printed and filed in drawers
That’s how we, how we, how we, do born-digital

I Jumped In with the Manuscripts Section
I counted those disks and CDs
I reminisced about my old Zip drive
I marveled at 5 inch floppies
For now they’ll just stay in their boxes
A time capsule of the nineties
That’s how we, how we, how we, do born-digital

I spent my lunch watching a webinar
On digital preservation
I once calculated a checksum
And someday I’ll do it again
But I can’t even think about starting
Without a forensics workstation
That’s how we, how we, how we, do born-digital

Once our archives were just paper
After you process, you’re through
No worries about obsolescence
Migration? That’s something birds do!
This digital stuff’s for young people
We’ll bring in an intern or two
That’s how we, how we, how we, do born-digital

Provenance (Shake It Off)

December 15, 2014

If you’ve finally gotten Shake It Off out of your head…sorry, dude.

Provenance (Shake It Off)

Some papers in a crate
They left it at the gate
Don’t even have a name, mmm-mmm
Don’t even have a name, mmm-mmm

I don’t have too many dates
Series all in disarray
And I really need a name, mmm-mmm
I really need a name, mmm-mmm

Cause I’m processin’
Bringing the context in
Person or organization, in my mind
Sayin’ “please tell my story right.”

‘Cause creators gonna make
And the archive’s gonna take
All those boxes look the same
I need provenance, provenance

Chain of custody will break
And those finding aids don’t aid
All those boxes look the same
Without that provenance, provenance

Describe consistently
Bio note or history
And that’s called EAD, mmm-mmm
That’s called EAD, mmm-mmm

Lives lived long ago
How do I let them show?
And that’s what I don’t know, mmm-mmm
That’s what I don’t know, mmm-mmm

So I’m processin’
Bringing the context in
Person or organization, in my mind
Sayin’ “please tell my story right.”

‘Cause creators gonna make
And the archive’s gonna take
All those boxes look the same
I need provenance, provenance

Chain of custody will break
And those finding aids don’t aid
All those boxes look the same
Without that provenance, provenance

Respect the fonds, respect the fonds
I, I, respect the fonds, respect the fonds
Respect the fonds, respect the fonds
I, I, respect the fonds, respect the fonds

Hey hey hey
Just think,
while you’ve been reading all those published books in the world,
you could’ve been getting history from, the, source.
That donor brought some new papers
Got a deed of gift, I record the provenance.
And this photo over there, dude’s got hella good hair,
But I know he’s prob’ly dead, thanks to provenance

‘Cause creators gonna make
And the archive’s gonna take
All those boxes look the same
I need provenance, provenance

Chain of custody will break
And those finding aids don’t aid
All those boxes look the same
Without that provenance, provenance

Respect the fonds, respect the fonds
I, I, respect the fonds, respect the fonds
Respect the fonds, respect the fonds
I, I, respect the fonds, respect the fonds

 

Let’s play Future of Libraries BINGO

September 7, 2014

This one pretty much wrote itself.

Some common "Future of Libraries" pronouncements, represented as a bingo card.

Some common “Future of Libraries” pronouncements, represented as a bingo card.

Many thanks to Meg Ecclestone for the idea and encouragement. Use this bingo card generator and my text list (after the jump) to make your own cards!

(more…)

Let’s play #thatdarnlist BINGO

September 4, 2014

Instead of complaining about everyone’s favorite listserv, why not turn it into a game?

Some common A&A occurrences, represented as a bingo card.

Some common A&A occurrences, represented as a bingo card.

Use this bingo card generator and my text list (after the jump) to make your own cards!

(more…)

Grant-maker (even more fun with Archivist on the Roof)

August 21, 2014

Grant-maker (music from Matchmaker [lyrics, video])

Grant-maker, grant-maker, I need some cash!
Find me a line! They’ll fund the match!
Finding aids encoded in EAD
Did I mention we’re 503c?

Grant-maker, grant-maker, you bring the dough,
I’ll be your staff, raring to go
Everything digitized, fully online
Accessible for all time (not really!)

For Papa, make the job full-time
For Mama, make it prestigious
For me, well, I wouldn’t mind
Working only with Egyptian papyrus!

Grant-maker, grant-maker, I need some cash!
Find me a line! They’ll fund the match!
I need to pay off this huge student loan
So fund me a job
Of my own

Hodel, oh Hodel, have I got a job for you
In a cute little town
Population 62
But it’s a good job, a first job,
True? True.

I promise you’ll be happy,
And even if you’re not,
There’s more to life than that—
Don’t ask me what.

Chava, I found it
This job is so unique!
Great experience
It only lasts a week
But it’s a good job, a first job,
See? See.

You heard the boss is evil
She likes to yell and fight
But’s you’re just temporary
So you’re alright

You don’t want a project job?
Well that’s real tough to avoid
With no 3 to 5 years of prior work experience
Just be glad you’re employed!

Grant-maker, grant-maker
You know that I
Still need a job
More all the time!
But up to this minute I misunderstood
That not every job is good

Dear Congress, please don’t cut funding
Remember, we’re constituents too!
We don’t think we’re too demanding
We just want a job to do!

Grant-maker, grant-maker
I’m going to let
Backlogs remain
Maybe I’ve learned
Term jobs can leave a new archivist burned
So, fund me some funds
Match me a match
Find me a line
Grant me a grant
But I’ll make a backup plan!

More fun with Archivist on the Roof

November 26, 2013

Another song! Last week’s is here if you missed it.

Electronic (music from Anatevka [lyrics,video])

What do we leave
to archives?
Only electronic

Before we had electronic
Boot it up, back it up, electronic
Those paper days were pretty sweet

Electronic, electronic
Flip a bit, guess that’s it, electronic
So quickly becomes obsolete

Soon digital archives will be commonplace
And we’ll worry about server space
For electronic

We acquire electronic,
Mi-igrate, duplicate electronic
Let’s save e-records while we still have time!

Let’s make an archives musical; or, An Archivist on the Roof

November 19, 2013

In my copious free time I have been plotting an archives musical based on the Broadway classic Fiddler on the Roof. Maybe it won’t go anywhere, but I think we should all enjoy whatever I end up with. I’ve heard that the creators of Fiddler don’t take kindly to parody, so good luck getting permission to actually perform this thing, but I aim to misbehave.

The Archives (music from Tradition [lyrics, video])

The archives, the archives! The archives!
The archives, the archives! The archives!

Who, day and night, must generate the records
Papers, correspondence, even photographs
And who has the right as owner of them all
To designate their final home?
The donor! The donor! The archives!

Who must know how to use history sources
Primary and secondary
Who must know her way around the reading room
And fill out call slips for ev’ry request?
The user! The user! The archives!

I have my MLS degree and passed the ACA
I hear we’re going digital, but I–keep printing
The staff! The staff! The archives!

And who has been obsessed
Since Roots came on TV
With finding every branch
On my whole damn fam’ly tree?
The genealogist! The genealogist! The archives!

MOAR RIBBONS

October 19, 2011

So, my camera is being fussy, but I have new ribbons, and I’m bringing them to MARAC! Grab yourself a newly-redesigned DERANGER ribbon, or a NEW ARCHIVIST ribbon, or…a surprise limited edition ribbon! These super-special ribbons are my way of saying thanks to all of you who dug deep to help out archivists and archives this year, like through the Spontaneous Scholarship fund or the Shaved Beaver fund or disaster relief funds or just because you felt like helping. (And if you haven’t given yet, it’s not too late to donate!) I might run out of ribbons after MARAC, but I’ll have a new ribbon for whenever the next archives conference is.

Come find me at Session 19 (I’ll be the one ranting about internships) or the MARAC tweetup or anywhere the free food is…well, free.

(And if you’re still waiting for an SAA ribbon in the mail…I promise I didn’t forget about you!)

“An edgy Easter bunny crossed with a Great White that does standup”

September 19, 2011

Some of you may be aware that my employer is currently hiring for an archivist. Long story short, my employer moved all my professional responsibilities to a new position, and then decided to hold a search. I could apply, but I’d be facing a demotion if I didn’t get it. To say I was disappointed in their decision would be an understatement.

A few weeks ago, not long after landing in Chicago for SAA, I checked my email and found a job offer…for a librarian position. The job responsibilities included a lot of things I’d wanted to work on at my archives, like digital preservation, managing digital collections, and faculty outreach. But as I spent the week in the company of thousands of archivists, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to leave the field just yet.

I let my employer know that I had a job offer, and they decided to continue with the search. I reframed my options as joining a library that really wanted me to come and staying at an archives that didn’t seem to care if I left. Suddenly, the decision became much simpler.

What sealed it was an email response I received from the library director regarding my concerns about the position. I said that even though the position was a librarian gig, I thought many of the job responsibilities were things that archivists work on, and I wanted to stay involved with SAA and other archivist groups. Oh, and by the way, I write this little webcomic; how do you feel about that?

It turned out that not only was he very aware of this blog, it was one of the things that convinced him I was the right lady for the job. He agrees with me that divisions between librarians and archivists are often unhelpful, and that this job was a wonderful librarian/archivist hybrid. In fact–and I hope he doesn’t mind me quoting here–“you might be inspired to create an entire cartoon narrative around how to name such a new creature!  A ‘Libedigitivist’ or something.  Perhaps an edgy Easter bunny crossed with a Great White  that does standup.”

Oh. Em. Gee. As soon as I got back to Philly, I sent in my acceptance letter. And I’m thrilled to announce that on October 10th, I’ll be joining La Salle University‘s Connelly Library as the Media and Digital Services Librarian. (or archivist, whatevs)

I don’t think things around here will change that much just because I won’t be working in an archives anymore. (You probably wouldn’t know it from reading this comic, but I’ve never actually processed a collection before.) I suspect I’ll be branching out beyond EAD comics to derange other metadata standards, and I may shift the focus a bit more towards digital collections and digital preservation. Of course, that’s a direction the field as a whole is taking, too.

There are a few lessons here for those of you who are thinking about your future job search or are already in the middle of it. You should probably assume that employers have done a very good job of Googling you before they invite you over to hang out for a day. Don’t be afraid to put your future employer on trial, and find out if their library/archives/shark tank is an environment you’d want to work in. And when you find a place that really wants you, just the way you are–well, it’s just about the best feeling in the world.

An edgy Easter bunny crossed with a Great White that does standup

An edgy Easter bunny crossed with a Great White that does standup! So this archivist walks into a bar. The bartender says, "What can I get you?" And the archivist says, "Get me a beer--No, wait, a screwdriver. Or maybe a martini?" The bartender says, "Come on, decide already!" And the archivist says, "Okay, fine. I'll have the original order." I don't think the audience gets it. I can see a guy saying "Um, what the fonds?" There's no pleasing some people.

Photo credits:

Easter Bunny from the Library of Virginia

Group assembled around great white shark: Key West, Florida from the State Library and Archives of Florida

James Simpson Theatre from the Field Museum Library

An audience in the New Theatre, 1964 from LSE Library

Missed opportunities: Deranger ribbons!

September 2, 2011

I still have some Deranger ribbons left over from SAA. If you want one, send a letter or postcard and I’ll mail one to whatever return address you put on it. I’m happy to mail ribbons overseas, but please tell me exactly how to address the envelope to you so it goes to the right place!

Send mail to:

[address temporarily removed]

(And if you’re thinking, hey, wouldn’t it be easier if I just emailed you my address? Yeah, maybe. But I like getting mail. Send something good. :) )