The work I do

Reference/Instruction Librarian and Coordinator of Electronic Services,
The Library of Rush University Medical Center, March 2006 - present

Serve as Library webmaster

I directed the technical and content migration of our standard HTML website to the Fat Wire content management system. This included working within the constraints of the CMS to develop site architecture and navigation. I collaborated with my fellow librarians to ensure fidelity of previous content during migration, and identified content needs for the new site.

I conduced usability testing on the Library website. The first step in this was a formal usability test, and the second was an online card sort. The results of this have helped to make the site a bit more user-friendly.

I'm working to convert our Library forms into a standards compliant template. This involves rewriting the HTML using tags appropriate for form input, and developing CSS to position the page. I'm phasing out the pages that are positioned with tables.

Manage technical aspects of Library electronic resources

We installed EZ Proxy as our Library proxy server. I was the liaison to the Web Group administrator responsible for the server work. I provided him with our URLs for the config file, helped develop our plan for user authentication, and created the web pages for login.

I set up our SFX Link Resolver and our Ebsco A-Z e-journals page. This involved tracking down our electronic journal holdings, working with the administrative modules, and configuring the displays.

I'm the first person people call when something goes wrong. I work with patrons, and vendors if necessary, to fix problems related to our online resources.

Provide biomedical reference services

I'm at the Library Services Desk 5-6 hours per week. I work with our entire user community - students, faculty, doctors, and other hospital staff.

I teach 2-3 workshops per month. These are classes designed to introduce patrons to our resources.

I attend clinical conferences for several departments in the hospital. I'm the liaison to the Department of Cardio-Vascular & Thorasic Surgery, and attend their monthly Quality Assurance meetings. I also attend these meetings for the Department of General Surgery and Internal Medicine as needed.

Reference and Electronic Services Librarian, Murray Green Library,
Roosevelt University, February 2004 - March 2006

Managed and administered all aspects of the Library's electronic resources

As the Electronic Services Librarian, I was responsible for maintaining the Library's online resources. I was in charge of any database customizations, statistic gathering, and other general online resource maintenance. We implemented the SFX Link Resolver at Roosevelt as well. Again, I was the lead on this project.

Collection Development activities related to electronic and print resources.

As a member of the Collection Development Committee, I evaluated the technical aspects of new electronic reference products being considered for purchase. I dealt with print books as well. I was department liaison and book selector for Political Science & Public Administration. I had an annual budget of $20,000.

Served at the Reference Desk and provide Bibliographic Instruction in person and classroom setting

Reference & instruction was a major component of this job. I did a lot of classroom instruction; I developed and taught 11 sections of Freshman Year Experience library component. I served at the Reference Desk a few hours each day, and taught Library instruction to undergraduates & grad students.

Reference and Digital Services Librarian Paul V. Galvin Library,
Illinois Institute of Technology, August 2002 - February 2004

Managed electronic subscriptions. Primary vendor liaison for digital resources.
Collection development for newly created Biomedical Engineering department

About me

I've been a Librarian for 8 years. If you think that means I'm a wallflower, you don't know much about librarians.

At work, I'm the webmaster, the electronic resource wrangler, the digital jack of all trades. I'm the go-to person when something goes wrong. I'm a problem solver.

I'm currently in a graduate program at IIT to sharpen my tech skills. My web skills were self taught, and I had all the sloppy habits that goes along with that. Unlearning is harder than learning.

I figure out how things work by taking them apart & trying to put them back together. That applies to software as well as physical objects. By taking things apart & seeing how they work, I can apply them to my needs. I wanna be a geek when I grow up.

Webpages I've made

Rush University Library Online Databases Before & after

Rush University Library Webpage Before & after

Library Workshop Registration Before & after

Print portfolio items

Between my IIT classes & my web development role at work, I've developed a nice portfolio over the past few years. These are some document examples:

CALI Usability Study - final report of a formal usability of the Computer Aided Legal Instuction website (pdf)

IIT Honors Law Program tri-fold brochure (pdf)

Impromptu Document Design - Complicated (pdf)

Finally, I invite you to look at the first draft of this site. It's very bland & very dry. In my defense, it was the first time I had coded an entire site by hand. It's XHTML & CSS standards complaint, and I made it 1 year before I completed this one. I feel I've come pretty far in only 1 year.

What I've learned

Master of Science, Information Architecture,
Illinois Institute of Technology, expected 2011

Classes include:
Online Design / Standards Based Web Design
Information Structure & Retrieval
Usability Design & Testing
Knowledge Management
Document Design
Open Source in Technical Communications

Master of Library & Information Science,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, May 2002

Classes include:
Science Reference
Electronic Publishing
Online Searching
Arts & Humanities Reference
Cataloging I
Library Management

Keeping current

This is a field that changes daily. I read a lot of blogs & draw a lot of inspiration from them. Below are some of my favorites