Category Archives: Year in the Life

Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 6

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings from the Mallbrary! The past several weeks have been an interesting time to be in Durham, North Carolina. As many of you are aware, on August 14th, protesters in downtown Durham toppled the Confederate monument outside the Old Courthouse which is now the County Administration building. This has led to protests around the Research Triangle and fears of reprisals from white supremacists. On the evening on the 14th, my co-workers and I were actually at work as we are open to the public every Monday night. Our adult services librarian was browsing Facebook when he saw images of the monument posted by friends at the protest. My immediate reaction to the event was shock and a lot of “HOLY [EXPLETIVE]!” After recovering from the shock and sharing the news with my friends and family, my second reaction was “how can we archive this?”

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Year in the Life: Adriana Flores, Pt. 9

Adriana Flores is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Adriana for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

We are almost at the end of September and it has been a busy month! Now that we’re in the fifth week of classes, my routine is starting to feel a bit more predictable, which is a welcome change. I’m becoming more comfortable with campus, my student workers are trained, and I’m starting to fall into a routine. A large portion of that routine has been teaching. In the last two weeks I’ve taught seven classes, which may not seem like a lot to an experienced education archivist, but it has been a lot for me to manage. On top of that, we’ve had five special events hosted by the archives and special collections department. To say the least, September has been a month of learning, balancing priorities, and testing my time management.

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Year in the Life: Adriana Flores, Pt. 8

Adriana Flores is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Adriana for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

I can’t believe summer is over! Our students had their first day of classes this week, which means the semester is officially in full swing. I’ve looked forward to students returning to campus with equal parts excitement and anxiousness. I’m thrilled to have my student workers back and to see all the students on campus, but their return means that all of my wonderful prep-time is over. Even though my prep-time is gone, I’m happy to trade it for the exciting events that have already taken place this semester.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 5

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings from the Mallbrary! In my earlier posts, I addressed some of the issues that exist in my space as a result of the move. The biggest issue we had was how our books were initially shelved in our new reading room. Back when we were planning for the move, the previous head of the North Carolina Collection measured the linear footage we would need in the new space. We sent all of our poetry books and biographies into storage to make the footage work. Unfortunately, she forgot to take into account the height of the shelves when calculating the footage. As most of the shelving we got was used for fiction books, they were much shorter than the books in our collection as well as the previous shelving. The result was that at least half of the collection was sitting on its spines. This made it very difficult for my fellow staff members and I to find books for patrons, especially books that have the same call number (we have a lot of those in the government section). It was even more challenging for patrons. This was a problem that we knew had to be rectified and we calculated we needed to remove a minimum 48 shelves to have the space we needed to get the books off their spines. Weeding the collection was a decision way above my pay grade but needed to get done as fast as we could.

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Year in the Life: Adriana Flores, Pt. 7

Adriana Flores is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Adriana for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

July has been a busy month! Between settling back into Washington, visiting as many friends and family as possible, starting my new job, and attending SAA, I barely had time to write this blog post! It’s been an exciting but exhausting month. July was jam-packed with activity, but this post will focus on my transition back to Washington State, starting my new job, and the wonderful time I had at SAA in Portland.

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Year in the Life: Adriana Flores, Pt. 6

Adriana Flores is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Adriana for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

If you’ve been following my blog series, you read last month that I was recently hired at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, as their Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. I am incredibly excited for this new opportunity, however leaving my position at Boston University was stressful and emotionally tough. I’ve grown very attached to my job, my coworkers, and the students I supervise so this month has been very hectic. Throughout June I was wrapping up my job, preparing for my cross-country move, and trying to make the most of my last days in Boston. I hope you enjoy reading about the craziness that ensued!

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 4

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Happy summer time from the Mallbrary! Last weekend was my first Summer Reading Kickoff for Durham County Library and it was an interesting experience. Summer Reading is the program that most public libraries run to encourage people in the community to read books. People can log minutes they have read and earn prizes along the way. Summer Reading also includes a nice positive catchphrase, which is put onto t-shirts the staff has to wear. This year’s theme is “Build A Better World.”

So how does an archivist end up getting involved in Summer Reading? Well first off, it is an all-hands-on-deck program. Theoretically, people can come to the North Carolina Collection to log points and claim prizes for summer reading. It also happens that the Summer Reading Kickoff was held at Northgate Mall, the currently home of the North Carolina Collection. Right outside our doors there were people making balloon animals, two bouncy castles, a fire truck, and a dunking booth. Recognizing that people would be wandering into the North Carolina Collection out of curiosity, I knew we had to have an event of our own. Rather than explain what the North Carolina Collection has in its holdings, I pulled a sample of materials for people to handle. I called it the “Archival Petting Zoo” since people could touch and “pet” the materials.

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