Insert Synonym for “Update” Here


I’ve been slowly plugging away at a few posts on my job hunt strategies. It may be a bit longer before I put them up here, simply because I have a lot of information to share and not a lot of spare energy to organize it in a meaningful fashion. So–maybe December, eh?

In the meantime, I’ve been occupied with my fulltime gig at Columbia and teaching my class at Pratt. They’re both fantastic–I love being embedded in the School of Journalism at Columbia, and the reference needs here are highly focused on govdocs (primarily NYC, though some state and plenty of federal) and data, which is pretty much my wheelhouse. Then there’s the added fun of mixing it up with some academic research questions–all in all, fun and challenging, just like I like it!

Teaching at Pratt is immensely interesting in a completely different way. The class is primarily discussion-led, so balancing the weekly readings is important. There needs to be enough reading, and in particular enough material that is either thought-provoking or debate-provoking, to encourage a good discussion. Then again, it must not be at such a high level that it’s unduly challenging, or so much material that it’s prohibitive (it’s a core, entry-level class, after all). This past week, a Pratt librarian visited to give the class an information literacy session–it was an odd sensation to sit in on it as the teaching faculty, when I myself gave an instruction session at Columbia that morning!

Alex has been traveling for work more lately, so I’ve been using that time to work on the class and prepare for the things I plan to adjust next semester. We’re actually taking off together this evening to go to Tokyo for a quick jaunt–back early on Monday morning! We both needed some time away together, and Tokyo was so much fun in January that we wanted to go back when it was actually warm. Later this month, I’ll be in London to present at the Internet Librarian International conference, and then for about five weeks it will be a blur of family and friends visiting, and then suddenly it will be December!

The big item on my mind at the moment is the difficulty of depending on government-produced data and research when a shutdown can make it inaccessible (this is a great Scholarly Kitchen post on the topic). This was made wholly real to me yesterday morning, as I showed a journalism class how to access some data on and the Census Bureau’s FactFinder. At 9:30am EST, both worked fine, so the class went along well as usual–until I tried to go back to FactFinder at about 10:10 and received the dreaded shutdown message. In NYC, we’re lucky, because the Department of City Planning has lots of census data for the metropolitan area archived on its website (it’s older data, but it’s something).

And I’m out!

2 thoughts on “Insert Synonym for “Update” Here

  1. Kathy says:

    I had the Census-shut-down moment yesterday afternoon when preparing some information for a student. Those ding-a-lings (much more genteel word than I would *like* to use) in DC better get their act together fast!

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