learning to be a librarian: frustration

I have been working on websites for more than 15 years, and I’ve taught myself a great deal of content management through Googling for tips and tutorials. I consider myself fairly tech savvy when it comes to figuring out new software.

But NVivo has bested me.

Our job description assignment for INFO 5000 required that we use NVivo software to create charts and infographics for a presentation analyzing several different job descriptions. I was able to learn how to mark text in the descriptions in order to track different phrases or skills. I thought creating the graphs would be a simple next step.

I was wrong.

I searched for tutorials. I asked my classmates. I asked my fellow interns at SMU (who also have completed this class at UNT). I found plenty of ways to mark and categorize information, and no guidance that led to the graphs I was envisioning in my head with multiple nodes. I worked on the project for nearly 12 hours, trying to create the desired graphics, without success. I woke up at 5 a.m. the next morning unable to get the project out of my head, and I continued to play with the settings for creating graphs.

No dice.

So I decided to step back and re-envision my data. If I couldn’t create the graphs I originally sought, there were other ways to create data visualizations using the software, as well as other ways to create additional graphs within PowerPoint.

In any job or project, it’s likely that I’ll hit a stumbling point. It doesn’t help anyone to repeatedly try something that isn’t working. My goal is to work on becoming more flexible, so that when one approach doesn’t work, I can always step back, analyze the situation, and figure out a different approach that WILL work.

And possibly take a class on NVivo if I ever need to use it again.

learning to be a librarian: research. read. learn. repeat.

It has been two weeks since I attended the day-long institutes at Denton for INFO 5000 and INFO 5600, and one month since I attended training for working the reference desk at Southern Methodist University’s Fondren Library.

Today is my first day on the reference desk without a librarian behind me to answer questions or to guide my responses. What on earth am I going to do when I get my first question?

I never realized how much knowledge is necessary for becoming a librarian. Where things are. WHO people are. Who to ask for specific information, and to whom to refer specific questions. It’s been a long time since I had to reorient myself to a new job and a new field of study.

I learn more every day, and my assignments for INFO 5200 are particularly helpful as I navigate the ref desk and help people find information in the library. But every answer leads me to another question; as I refer a question to the Digital Collections librarians, I want to learn more about what they do and how they accomplish it.

I am setting a goal for myself to learn more about the varieties of jobs here at Fondren Library and beyond. While I am glad to see that we have assignments in INFO 5000 that will facilitate this, I will go beyond to meet people within the departments and learn about how they fit within the broader community here at SMU.

physiquality blog: how can I use wearable technology to improve my health?

I will admit that I’ve tried to use my Apple watch to track my movement. I’ve slowly increased my activity goal over the last few months, and I use the exercise tracker to remind me of how (in)frequently I work out. But I could probably do more by following some of the tips our experts gave us.

How can I use wearable technology to improve my health?

with advice from Activbody, AED Superstore and Polar

For better or worse, technology has become a part of our daily lives. We can receive calls and messages anywhere, at any time. We can count our steps and track our runs. We can even do guided meditation and receive daily affirmations. And now, “wearable tech” can monitor our health moment by moment.

Wearable tech is made up of devices designed to be worn on the body to help you to achieve fitness and wellness goals and track your health. Examples include fitness trackers, smartwatches and even virtual reality headsets. While smartphones have been able to collect data about our health for a while, it wasn’t always very consistent. AED Superstore, a preferred vendor for PTPN (Physiquality’s parent company), points out that wearable tech like Fitbits and Apple watches are an improvement over smartphones because they are in constant contact with our skin, the body’s largest organ.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!