11 Mar 2016

The Claude Crate

Author: krb3k | Filed under: Uncategorized

As I mentioned in a previous post, my position changed recently, and I’m now managing marketing for the Library. I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work in order to get a plan mapped out for the next twelve months, trying to get a handle on  the big picture, and meeting with stakeholders and members of the Marketing committee alike.

I’m also busy with planning events related to the celebration of the Library’s 40th anniversary (our anniversary party- with cake, natch- is on April 8th!)

Besides those things, I recently pitched an idea to the Marketing committee about library subscription boxes. Here’s the email that I sent:

“You know how subscription boxes are all the rage right now? Birchbox, ArtSnacks, LootCrate, etc? I thought that it might be interesting to try a Library monthly subscription “box”. We could offer it as a limited service (maybe 10 people) and run it for three months. I’d use a free newsletter software to make really attractive templates for each month, and we’d ask the 10 participants to fill out a Google form. We’d then use the data to “match” them with databases, blogs, books, journals, Twitter accounts, etc, that are compatible with their interests. If nothing else, it would be an interesting way to market the Library’s resources- even if it ended after only three months. What do you think?”

I'm pretty sure that Claude Crates will NOT include explosives...

I’m pretty sure that Claude Crates will NOT include explosives…

This would also be a good opportunity to test the aforementioned different email newsletter software, because I’d like for our director (and others) to have the option to send our Library news items in an email format. Many other health sciences libraries do this, and our director passes them on to us. It’s really helpful to see what our peers are doing/offering and, hey, we do lots of good stuff that is worth sharing with others, so why not?

I realize that this is going to be a LOT of work (especially the data matching part), so I’m going to try it during the summer after I’ve cleared some other things off of my work-plate. Pushing it off a bit will also give me time to work out how to market it, and whether or not I should stick with the name “Claude Crate”.


What do you think? Have you tried this at your library? If so, I’d love to hear how it went :)

1 Feb 2016

Another year, another job description!

Author: krb3k | Filed under: Uncategorized

While it’s an exaggeration to say that my position description changes annually- this will only be my FOURTH job change since I came to UVA in 2010, thank you very much- there’s no doubt that my position has undergone some renovations from the original “Emerging Technologies Librarian” role. I choose to believe that this is partly because I am just so awesome and multi-talented that the Library is just trying to keep up ;)

On a (slightly) more serious note, I believe that it speaks to the Library’s flexibility and willingness to try new things- I joke that my title should be “Library Coal Mine Canary”, with the slogan of, “Let’s send Kimberley to check this out and see how it goes” :)

Sadly, no: not that kind of canary.

Sadly, no: not that kind of canary.











And I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I didn’t love it. A bored Kimberley is a dangerous Kimberley who dyes her hair blonde, and paints her kitchen weird colours, and I’m so lucky that I am never, ever professionally bored.

In truth, many aspects of my job have remained the same since I originally came to UVA, with pieces being added, removed, and tweaked. The pieces that have remained consistent have been the exploratory/emerging tech and the teaching/consulting ones. One factor that plays into this latest reconstruction is the fact that my two-year, part-time contract with the School of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs ends in June. In looking ahead to June, my boss and I back-and-forthed until we were both happy with the following breakdown:

Marketing- 30%

Technology Education- 50%

Technology Advocacy- 15%

Professionalism- 5%

I’m really happy with this mix, as I believe that it plays to my strengths and expertise, and will give me the chance to take on even more things that interest me. I’ve been responsible for the Library’s social media for a few years now, but now I’ll be responsible for ALL of the marketing efforts, and I’m excited about that (really, really excited: you should see the spreadsheets!)

What I’m MOST excited about, though, is my title! While I haven’t minded the fact that my position description has changed (see above regarding boredom), I *have* minded that my title has changed. This is partially because I’ve had to repeatedly stop and think about what my title actually was at any given time, partially because my business cards can never keep up with the title changes, and partially because my titles never seemed to accurately and easily reflect the duties of my job.

And so it’s with great pleasure that I announce my new title, which I’m pretty sure that I made up:

Librarian for Digital Life!

Bright like a hipster light bulb!

Bright like a hipster light bulb!       










I like it for a lot of reasons:

It’s a conversation starter: “You’re a what now? What does that MEAN?”

It covers all aspects of my job: the topics that I teach; the marketing; the research areas that I explore. (Remember: I’m a librarian by training so I appreciate it when things are described accurately!)

And lastly, but no less important: it sounds really cool :)


What’s your job title? Do you like it? Hate it? Is it an accurate reflection of what you do?

I’d love to hear from you!

23 Oct 2015

“My dear, the Fear is here.”

Author: krb3k | Filed under: social media, Technology, Uncategorized

So the time has finally come for my MOOC “Personal Branding: Establishing & Promoting Yourself for Business and Life” to go live. I found out today that Coursera expects to launch it this coming Monday, the 26th.

I had decided to develop a class on Personal Branding last Spring, and was approached by Dr. Kristin Palmer, UVA’s Director of Online Learning Programs, with the idea of developing it as a Massive Open Online Course for the University of Virginia on the Coursera platform. I replied with an enthusiastic “yes”, for several reasons: 1) It sounded interesting, 2) I believe firmly that the more people who are sharing their talents and knowledge, the better the world can be , 3) as the Emerging Technologies Librarian, I believe that it’s my duty to explore new and new-ish technologies, 4) my schedule looked clear! My plan had been to work on developing the course content in Spring/early Summer, film during mid-Summer, edit during late Summer, and launch it in September.

Well, the first three stood the test of time, but the last one fell apart and my careful scheduling lay in smoking ruins. Personally and professionally, this has been a very difficult six months. The details aren’t important, just take my word for it :)

So, launch day is almost here, and I’m feeling lots of emotions: excitement, relief, and, chief amongst them, fear.

There’s a line from a Travis song (appropriately titled “The Fear”), that keeps reverberating through my head:

“But here, closer every year
So near, the fear is coming clear
My dear, the fear is here”

Indeed. The fear is definitely here.

Because I’m me, and this is how I process things, I’ve categorized my fears into Personal and Professional.

Let’s begin with the Professional:

My colleagues in the technology and medical libraries worlds will say things like:

  • “That’s it? She been working on this for three months and that’s all that she has to show for it?? I was expecting a lot more.”
  • “Wow, this isn’t academic at all. I was expecting more support from the literature for what she says.”

People who have degrees in Marketing/Communications (which I do not), will be outraged and think that the whole thing is garbage. UVA has an entire school devoted to this sort of thing, so yeah, I’m nervous. I’m afraid that a faculty member will think that he/she should have been the one to create this MOOC, and then there will be outrage! And shouting! And mocking! This is unlikely, as we’re all professionals here…


The Personal Fears:

  • I’m a woman who’s about to put herself out on the Internet in a relatively big way. If you know anything about women who dare to say stuff on the Internet, then you can perhaps understand this fear. For the past couple of days, social media has been buzzing with the story of how Mia Matsumiya decided to share 10 years’ worth of threatening messages she’d received online in order to make people understand the extent of what women can experience. Warning: the linked article contains screenshots of messages that are sexually graphic and violent; they are NSFW, and will turn your stomach.
  • According to the Pew Internet and American Life’s report on Online Harassment, women and young adults are more likely to experience harassment on social media.
    And please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not implying that I’m devastatingly attractive because a) my looks are pretty average, and b) most importantly, physical attractiveness has absolutely nothing to do with someone deciding to make threats against a woman with whom they disagree. Just as rape is more about power than it is about sex, threats originate from people (overwhelmingly male) who believe that an appropriate response to a woman’s dissenting opinion is to dox her, or threaten to rape her, or threaten to kill her.

    And very few police departments understand the world of online threats, from doxing to swatting.

Now, intellectually, I understand that the threat of this is relatively low. Still, one of my charming qualities is my tendency to expect the worst :D

I have more to say about the process of creating my MOOC, and will detail all of that (and what I already know that I’d do differently if I were starting the process today) in future posts.

For today, though, I’m trying to hug my fears tightly, and then, come Monday, let them all go.