Qualitative Social Science/Humanities at IASSIST

IASSIST 2017 was, as usual, an enlightening but exhausting conference. Getting to Lawrence, Kansas wasn’t the easiest process, but I’m glad I made it, and I plan to post notes as soon as I’ve slept in a non-dorm bed. We have notes from our Qualitative Social Sciences and Humanities Data Interest Group meeting if you are interested or missed out. It is a great group and I am excited about the plans in the works.

Below is my part of the panel that QSSHDIG (pronounced quish-dig) planned. More info is available about that on our google doc too.

Summer goals and language learning

I’ve been obsessed with learning languages since I was a kid, but have had a difficult time keeping up momentum on any of them. I think this started when I was about six or seven and my grandparents gave me a Hebrew letters book from their trip to Israel. Considering none of us spoke Hebrew, it was more of a novelty. When I was twelve I tried teaching myself French and learned a few words. I did the usual French and forget in high school and college. And by the time I was in college I had switched to stumbling along in Russian. Much to the sadness of my Russian professor, the only one I kept up with was Croatian, but that was mainly because I lived in Croatia. So, I have passing familiarity with several languages, speak none of them, and have forgotten than I have remembered.

As the Assistant Director of International & Global Studies it is a crying shame that I require students to learn languages and yet I still struggle to learn myself. Now that the semester is over, I have time to try and get back up to speed. My French is pretty good as I’ve been studying every day for a year, but I still can’t hold a conversation. (But I can read Harry Potter books in French.) I’m visiting Poland in August so I figure that I can try to re-learn basic Polish to get around. But both of these tasks require I be able to hold at least a basic conversation, which I honestly struggle with because I am shy.

So what’s the best of approach? The world of learning languages has changed so much since I was a kid too. When I studied in Poland, the only book I could find on Polish was a grammar library book from the 1970s. Never mind finding actual Polish speakers in North Carolina.Most of my time learning languages has been spent sitting in a classroom learning grammar and to be honest it was always a struggle to keep my interest up. While I wish there was a less social way, I’m pretty convinced by the argument that the way to learn a language is to speak it. Yes, starting as a kid is great, but I am no longer a kid and I’m not giving up. So, last week I took the plunge and joined a few language convo sites like italki and HelloTalk. I strongly encourage any language student to try to take advantage of these sites. While there have been some awkward moments (think chatting with a Polish teenager), everyone there really wants to learn languages and almost everyone has been very gracious to my attempts to speak or chat.

Italki is a networking site that connects people who want formal instruction as well as informal language exchanges. Most of the actual instruction/exchange goes on in Skype. HelloTalk allows you to have informal chat conversations through the app. I have both on my phone and the more you use them, the more language partners you will get. Today I was having a long conversation with a Polish speaker and I ended up with quite a few additional attempts at conversation. Many people want to learn English so native English speakers will certainly find chances to learn.

Of course, use your discretion about giving out information and maybe avoid anyone without profile information. You can block anyone and HelloTalk blocks inappropriate content automatically. I would also set up a Skype account just for language conversations if you tend to use Skype for work. That way you don’t have language exchange calls trying to come through when you are talking to your boss through Skype, which happened to me.

In addition to the convo apps, there are lots of great free language learning apps out there like Memrise and DuoLingo. Truly there is no excuse NOT to learn languages. And in the world we live in, learning languages and cultures is almost an act of resistance.

Go forth my friends and speak the world! Hvala za čitanje! Merci d’avoir lu!

lNG

 

NCLA GRS Webinar on Brexit Resources

Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents … The road to BREXIT, and the paths beyond
 
The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free.
 
The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community on 1st January 1973. On 5th June 1975, the Labour government of Harold Wilson held a referendum, which ratified the decision to join. On 26th June 2016, the Conservative government of David Cameron held another referendum (only the third in recent, British history), which resulted in the decision to withdraw from the European Union. In BREXIT, over 40 years of British constitutional evolution came to an abrupt halt.
 
This webinar will examine sources that chart the “road to BREXIT” and beyond. The webinar will discuss how such sources mark the United Kingdom’s often uneasy relationship with the EU (including its predecessors, the EC and EEC) and document the UK’s journey within the EU from 1st January 1973 to 26th June 2016. At time of writing, David Cameron’s successor, Theresa May, seeks re-election in a general election defined by BREXIT, while other British political parties advocate the need for further referenda on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The road to the BREXIT referendum’s leave vote may have ended, but the pathways that stem from BREXIT are uncertain.
 
Howard S. Carrier completed an LL.B.(Hons.) and an LL.M. in the Law of Human Rights & Civil Liberties at the University of Leicester, thereafter working as Research Associate at the Business School of the University of Nottingham for projects investigating litigation funding and access to justice. Subsequently he taught Constitutional & Administrative Law as Lecturer in Law at the University of Sunderland, before relocating to the United States in 2005. His past dozen years include the MSLS program at UNC-CH SILS, and subsequent appointments as Reference Librarian at Valdosta State University, and his current post as Copyright Coordinator and Social Sciences Librarian at James Madison University.
 
We will meet together for Session #71, online on Wednesday, May 17 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session using this link:  http://tinyurl.com/grs-brexit
 
We will use WebEx for the live session. Information on testing and accessing the session will be made available when you register.
 
The session will be recorded and available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources).
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Saving government data: A conversation with the future

Interested in the data rescue efforts happening around the country? This webinar provides some context and information on ways to get involved. Thanks to Shari Laster, Jim Jacobs, James Jacobs, and Laurie Allen for a great webinar!

Links mentioned in the video:

 

Happy Birthday to GRS Help! @nclaonline #govinfoforever

giphyToday is apparently the sixth birthday of the NCLA Government Resources Section’s webinar series called “Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian”.

We started this series in 2011 as an acknowledgement that many of us were being asked to do government information research support without adequate training. Considering government information encompasses many areas, fields, and specialities, supporting our users effectively can be daunting. Our first webinar on gov info basics was a great starting point. Our amazing presenter, Bryna Coonin, agreed to do it only if I agreed to make it a series. Who knew that we would be six years, 70 webinars, hundreds of attendees, and still going strong!

Organizing these sessions has been great fun. We’ve definitely seen an impact on the government information community, but I believe (although I don’t have perfect data) that we have made a wider impact in libraryland. So, here’s to six years of government information! Thanks to everyone who has presented and to everyone who puts up with my endless request for presenters. I am looking for ideas even now! And be sure to sign up for our next webinar on NOAA Digital Coast!

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Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian webinar on the NOAA Digital Coast

The NOAA Digital Coast was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. The website provides not only coastal data, but also the tools, training, and information needed to make these data truly useful. Content comes from many sources, all of which are vetted by NOAA. The Data Registry allows users to explore and download data. Data sets range from economic data to aerial based lidar data. This webinar will provide an overview of the Digital Coast as well as show users how to search for and download data through the Data Registry and the Data Access Viewer.

Erik Hund is a Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. He has over 30 years of experience working with aerial photography and satellite imagery, and is the Co-Lead on the Digital Coast Project.
We will meet together for Session #70, online on April 19 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session using this link:  http://tinyurl.com/grs-session70
We will use WebEx for the live session. Information on testing and accessing the session will be made available when you register.
The session will be recorded and available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources).

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Refuge for Government Data

The NC Government Resources Section is excited about our next webinar. We will have a group of data and government specialists talking about DataRefuge and other rescue projects. This will be an extra special webinar on March 29. Hope you can join us! 


Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents … Saving government data: A conversation with the future

The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free.

In recent months, the DataRefuge project has collaborated with hundreds of volunteers around the United States to collect, describe, and store federal data that support climate and environmental research and advocacy. This project, and others like it, works in conjunction with the End of Term Web Archive to capture and make available federal web content during administrative transitions.

Our discussion will explore the fragility of digital information, and expand on ideas about what data is. We’ll talk about current projects and efforts, and explore the future of this work. Finally, we’ll address the concept of sustainability, and propose a paradigm of empowered experimentation that aligns with our values and roles within libraries.

We will meet together for Session #69, online on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please RSVP for the session using this link:  http://bit.ly/GRS-Session69

We will use WebEx for the live session. Information on testing and accessing the session will be made available when you register.

The session will be recorded and available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (http://www.nclaonline.org/government-resources).

Presenters:

Laurie Allen is the Assistant Director for Digital Scholarship in the Penn Libraries, where she leads a group working to expand the capacity of researchers at Penn to create and share scholarship in new forms. The group engages in digital project development, data management and curation, mapping, experimentations with emerging research methods, and open access publishing. In late 2016, Allen was part of the group that started Data Refuge (https://www.ppehlab.org/datarefuge), and has been involved in bringing together a group of collaborators to form a network of libraries, open data activists and open government efforts at https://libraries.network.

James A. Jacobs is Data Services Librarian Emeritus, University of California San Diego. He has more than 25 years experience working with digital information, digital services, and digital library collections. He is a technical consultant and advisor to the Center for Research Libraries in the auditing and certification of digital repositories using the Trusted Repository Audit Checklist (TRAC) and related CRL criteria. He served as Data Services Librarian at the University of California San Diego and co-taught the ICPSR summer workshop, “Providing Social Science Data Services: Strategies for Design and Operation”. He is a co-founder of Free Government Information (freegovinfo.info).

James R. Jacobs is the US Government Information Librarian at Stanford University Libraries where he works on both collection development as well as digital projects like LOCKSS-USDOCS. He is a member of ALA’s Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) and served a 3-year term on Depository Library Council to the Public Printer, including serving as DLC Chair. He is a co-founder of Free Government Information (freegovinfo.info) and Radical Reference (radicalreference.info) and is on the board of Question Copyright, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes a better public understanding of the  effects of copyright, and encourages the development of alternatives to information monopolies.

Shari Laster is the Government Information Librarian and Data Services Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She currently serves as Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect for the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association, and is a past chair of the Depository Library Council, the advisory body for the Federal Depository Library Program.

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