first thoughts

What if I went back to school for a degree in library science?  I’ve always harbored a secret fantasy of being a librarian, but it’s more than that.  Maybe it could be a way to make sense out of my circuitous “career”.  It might allow me to pick up certain bits and pieces of my professional life and arrange them neatly into a compelling story.  Looking back, it almost seems like I had a plan, because…

At MIT’s Comparative Media Studies I spent four years working on research projects.  CMS is a program known for identifying the cultural and social potential of media change, and libraries are rapidly evolving, and often early adopters of new media and technology.

As creative manager at New Media Literacies (formerly at MIT, now at USC), I led the production and development of innovative educational materials.  Our work was informed by a deep understanding of the ways youth interact with and produce media.  According to futurist Thomas Frey, libraries should mirror evolving educational systems, and obviously there is huge overlap between innovation in education and in libraries.  

I’ve also done research on civic media and participatory democracy, working with a small team to establish the USC Civic Paths research group.  We conducted research on the ways in which participatory culture environments support the kinds of social deliberation, debate, and advocacy practices that allow entry into a shared public discourse.  Since libraries often function as centers for civic engagement, there may be useful connections there.

I worked most recently as research manager at Hyperstudio; this was my introduction to the field of digital humanities.  We discussed and developed innovative ideas about collaborative reading, text analysis, and digital annotation.  The possibilities and limitations of the digital library are being explored on many fronts – I could focus on digital stewardship!

And I love to organize.  And I love books.  And I love libraries.  I also love clip art, but not clear how that fits in yet.


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