Monday, January 25, 2010

So busy!

Oh wow... it's been a couple weeks!  Definitely time for an update!

I've been very busy with school and work.  I'm really enjoying my jobs this semester.  I'm continuing on at the Health Sciences Libraries as a reference librarian, assistant instructor, and random project doer.  It's much nicer this semester because we're back at Taubman Medical Library with the rest of the HSL staff.

I'm also working with one of the librarians at HSL on a subcontract from the National Library of Medicine Greater Midwest Region.  It's a social network/instructional website focusing on teaching public health professionals how to use social media within the context of public health.  I'm the graphic designer, web designer (we'll be using Ning to create the network).  I'm also working on a lot of the content for the learning modules.  I'm very excited about it!  We've settled on a logo (although Ning just redesigned theirs and it's similar... sad day when I saw that...) and a color scheme already, which is great!!

As far as classes go, they're busy, too.  Today starts the fourth week of classes, but only the second time I've been to my Monday classes, so everything in those classes is starting off with a bang.  I'm working with the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum with a group evaluating their Action For Earth program.  The people that are our contacts are both SI grads, so we're a pretty lucky team -- they know what we need to get our project done.

I'm also going to be writing a grant this semester.  I decided to get out of library land and write a grant for an extracurricular arts education program.  Back to my music ed roots!  I'm just starting out on my research, but it's coming along!

Also, I got a small job from a friend here at SI doing web design.  It was just a basic e-portfolio site, but it was a snap to put together.   I was really impressed with how well I was able to fit the site to the needs and desires of the "client" and how quickly I was able to complete it.

I also took a book repair class this weekend at Hollander's.  I cannot tell you how much fun it was!  I repaired some broken hinges on bindings, broken or chewed corners of cloth-covered books, and various kinds of page tears -- even a missing corner of a page!  This coming weekend will be a second class at Hollander's - box making.  It'll be great for things that you don't want to repair, but want to store securely in an acid-free environment.

That's it for now... I'll try to update after the class this weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Semester!

I was absent from blog world over break, enjoying my vacation and seeing family.  I also learned a lot and read a few books.  All in all, a good break, but, as always, too short.

Books I read:
I'm kind of on a Madeline L'Engle kick.  Reread all of the Wrinkle in Time series last semester with the exception of An Acceptable Time, which I reread over break.  I also read L'Engle's first novel, The Small Rain.  This was the first time I had read anything other than the Chronos/Kairos/Austen series and it was quite enjoyable.  A bit slow-moving, but You really get involved in the main character's life.  Evidently A Live Coal in the Sea features the same character, but much older.  It's definitely on my list.

I also read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  A very good read, if you ask me.  Inspiring.  I need to read it again, but slower this time (it only took me three sittings, most of which were only an hour or two long).

Things I learned:
I had great ambitions of learning php over break, but that didn't happen.  It's still on the list, but I got a stomach bug while with family, so I spent most of my time just laying down and watching tv/movies or sleeping.

Instead, I learned how to make books!  Wendy of Windy Weather Bindery in Grand Rapids came and taught a class at my mom's condo for my mother and I and a few other ladies my mom knows.  We did the coptic binding.  I enjoyed it so much that I've been a bookmaking fiend since returning to Ann Arbor.  I went to Hollander's to pick up binder's board, PVA, methyl cellulose, beeswax... I already had some supplies from the class.  Since then, I've attempted two other bindings -- the "secret" belgian binding and the buttonhole binding (completely glueless!!).  I'm also signed up to take a few bookbinding and book repair classes at Hollander's.  I'm hoping to take photos of all of my books soon.

Speaking of photos, I got a flash for my camera!  A Nikon Speedlight sb-900 to be exact.  I'm still learning how to use it and how to bounce flash properly.  Hopefully my husband, Steve, will have some time to show me how to use it properly sometime -- he's a fantastic photographer (check out his Flickr!).

And of course, I'll be learning lots this semester in my classes.  I'm taking a grantwriting and fundraising class through the School of Social Work here at UM, management, and a research course entitled "Outcome-based Evaluation of Programs and Services."  And then it's graduation!

Should be a good semester!  I'll try to keep updates going!