Monday, November 19, 2012

Travel Organizer, Pt. 2

I sat down on Sunday afternoon hoping to finally complete my travel organizer. 

Sliced the text block out of its covers.

Carefully measured the neoprene.

Trimmed the elastic so that it would be taut when stretched.

I really had difficulty finding the right tension with my sewing machine. The top and bottom stitches got really bunched up.

I had made the strips a little too short, and the board started to warp when I tried to attach the grid.

My second attempt is *much* better, don't you think?

Grid successfully attached to the board and working on the edging. I am using leftover French binding from a quilt I made last summer. 

My progress so far. Binding will cover the stitches and raw edges. I don't know what I should do for the other side. Should I make a pocket for a notebook like the original? A pouch for other things? Another grid?

(I used my blog for this photo essay because the inspiration is featured in an earlier post)

Pinterest and Museums

The PR manager at the McNay museum in San Antonio, Daniela, wants to find the right way to utilize Pinterest for the institution but hasn't found it yet. Pinterest is one of the newer social media tools out there that large institutions and organizations are beginning to use. The image-centric (and user engaged) format seems custom made for museums who focus primarily in visual and material culture.

One of the main concerns museums, especially smaller ones like the McNay, have with Pinterest is copyright. Large encyclopedic museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have no shortage of images they hold copyrights to of their collection and can pin daily images or make themed boards. Pinning your own content is fine, but you may encounter problems when you start repinning other people's photographs or pin images of works on loan from other institutions.

Beyond sharing images of the museum's collection, what are other uses for Pinterest? One interesting suggestion I came across encouraged using Pinterest to "discover trends in your target groups." This requires accumulating enough followers.

Daniela expressed interested in starting a blog showcasing the museum's role as an events venue. If the McNay blog comes to fruition, Pinterest can curate the blog using appealing images and summary text. The layout is more visually accessible in these cases than Facebook. Pinterest could also be a supplement, showing images of events while the blog tells the full story. Many museums even have a special board dedicated to promoting items in the gift shop.

Some institutions encourage pinning and tweets in the galleries themselves. Visitors can upload their own photographs to Pinterest which provides added promotion when followers pin and repin the museum's image. There are also plenty of examples of Pinterest contests. Daniela regularly conducts contests on Facebook to promote exhibitions and events at the McNay, and Pinterest is a great place to showcase submissions.

I believe the key to successfully leveraging Pinterest is to understand its role as an enhancement of other social media platforms. Using it exclusively to show the institution's collection could get stale, but engaging the audience and allowing for user contributions across platforms is good way to keep their attention.

* provide analytics for your boards to calculate your "pinfluence" (ugh.) They can also determine, or so they claim, to "determine monetary value of your pins."

Helpful links:

Some SMA Proof

Here are some screenshots of otherwise unprovable activities I had to complete for my class:
My Google Analytics Page

Scheduling a tweet with HootSuite, along with the other accounts.

Technorati claim

Tuesday, November 6, 2012



This week I will be attending the Art Libraries Society of North America Texas-Mexico chapter meeting in Marfa, TX. After a couple of my co-workers had to cancel attendence, I was invited to go in their place.

I  have heard nothing but great things about Marfa, the odd little town in the middle of the West Texas desert that has become a hot spot for contemporary arts. It is the home of the Chinati and the Judd Founation.

The hotel where I am staying will probably be exactly like this:
No joke they offer typewriter and vinyl rentals...

I will hope for crystal clear cell reception for I plan to tweet my experiences (@Long_Sar)

Although I don't have much free time (or a car of my own up there) I will witness the lights one of these days.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Social Media and Organizations: the Presentationing

I signed up for the topic "Conduct 4 case studies of organizations leveraging social media." Easy peasy. Then I noticed our slide and time limit - 4-8 slides and 15 minutes. Not so easy peasy. That's three minutes for each case. I struggled over this for a couple of weeks until I finally made the decision to narrow it down to 3 organizations and very pointed social media efforts by each. I initially wanted to use the Walker Art Center as one of my examples, but I couldn't find a way to focus it. My final picks were KUHF, NASA, and SETI.

KUHF, Houston Public Radio, just completed their semi-annual fundraising drive. Simple as that.

The last two came up at the very last minute. I was browsing NASA's site, getting overwhelmed by their outreach  when I noticed that the Mars Curiosity Rover had a FourSquare account. How awesome is that? Its profile reads "Who's got six wheels, a laser and is now exploring the Red Planet? Me. I'm Curiosity, NASA's latest Mars rover." I'll focus on Curiosity.

The SETI suggestion came from my nerdy boyfriend. I was talking to him about NASA, and he asked if they were the ones with the volunteer sourced data analysis program. I actually knew what he was talking about and had to correct him, "no, I believe that's SETI." Boom. The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute is now one of my case studies with their SETI@home project.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Multimedia Resumes?

One of the culminating experiences for our degree program is the Professional Portfolio. From what I hear it is a quarter long class that helps the students prepare an online resume and portfolio of the projects accomplished during our degree track. A portfolio is a little more than a resume, but the concept does take us in the right direction. Participating in online education provides us with greater knowledge and skill when it comes to multimedia tools and communication. These do not translate very well to a text resume. Wouldn't it be great, instead of listing "redesigned website", to put a live link to the website?

I remembered that the Online MLIS discussion board from last year had a great thread about the portfolio project and included some links to ther students' sites and librarians' sites. John George gave this example. Tracy's site is visually interesting and organized with her social media networks prominently displayed.

This example came from a blog post the author wrote about creating multimedia resumes. Justin's resume is formatted like a traditional resume but with much more information that could possibly fit in 2 pages. He also includes important YouTube videos and links to professional blogs that are critical to his experiences and accomplishments.

I enjoy the resumes with links and a few embedded videos, but I really disliked the ones I saw with "interactive" videos. The first resume I viewed before writing this post I found through an article at The resume felt over-produced and a little unnecessary. His answers to the questions felt canned and incredibly vague. I suppose it is divergence from the typical cover letter, and maybe experience will change my mind on that matter, but tonight

I am not sure if multimedia resumes are replacing traditional print, but they do provide a great supplement. This article from a few years ago mentions that these kinds of resumes are "great for networking" much like Linkedin. A colleague explained to me that multimedia resumes don't get considered until that candidate is in the final pool. Especially in jobs with hundreds of applicants, employers typically spend less than 20 seconds looking at a resume and cover letter.

Final thought: Multimedia resumes and portfolios are becoming more and more useful in this multimedia online environment, but you should still have a deftly edited single page traditional resume as backup.

There are a few websites and services out there that for multimedia resumes including and I'll consider comparing those services in a future blog post.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My travel organizer (warning, graphic content)...

I must preface this post with a warning: the links provided include graphic photographs of vintage books being defaced by an X-acto knife and craft glue. These kinds of projects and crafts tend to bring out the conservative archivist in all of us, clasping our pearls at the mere mention of "X-acto knife" and "vintage book" being used in the same sentence. I have replayed the scenario over and over in my head, and I have concluded: this is too cool to pass up. I'd rather "destroy" a book than see it waste away in a junk shop or get thrown out with the public library discards. You have been warned.

I have been in love with this project since I first saw it on Design*Sponge a year ago. My traveling has increased a lot since then, and my goal is to complete this project before December 1, 2012 (that is when I depart for the Netherlands).
To save clicking, the project can be summed up by this opening quote from creator Kate Pruitt:
Rather than spend another plane trip rummaging through my catch-all carry-on bag searching for my headphones, bumping my head on the seat in front of me every time, I decided to make a small tech-accessory organizer using elastic ribbon and an old vintage book cover.
At work I kept my eyes open for the perfect book I could transform (deface, desecrate, etc.) We see lots of duplicate and unwanted books come and go, and it being an art library I thought I would eventually find the "perfect" book, but either the books were too big or too small, too grimy or not interesting enough and I couldn't commit. I then turned my attention to my own collection. I was moving and needed to cull my books anyway. I found two prime candidates: a book of Dashiell Hammett short stories and an old biology book.

I was drawn to the simplicity and the title of the first book, but the second one...look at that adorable little lizard on the cover.
This is where I am asking for your help. Before I take a knife to either of these books (just removing the text block) which one should I choose? I know I have to make a decision soon, or I will be cursed to wander used book stores searching for that perfect book for all eternity. Save me from this curse; I already have the gripper elastic and the neoprene (from
Make your choice in the comments. I will create a follow-up post with step-by-step documentation of this project.

Not pictured is a single volume of the 1960 edition of The Chambers Encyclopedia (SYG-TUA I believe) that I got from our library's discard sale and left at my desk. It is red with gold and is quite snazzy save for the call number written in white permanent marker on the spine.
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