Adding Tech Skills

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about adding skills to enhance my current job (and resume).technology-clipart-eTMAoMkGc While I’m super busy at work, picking up new skills could help a lot, right?! The skillset I keep coming back to is technology. I enjoy my tech toys, but I know there’s a lot more I could learn about technology that could help my work (and maybe even my hobbies too!).

I was talking to my better half about this a few nights ago, since I’ve been looking into certificate and degree options at the local community college. I’ve also searched YouTube for some videos, and you know what’s on YouTube–pretty much everything! He suggested I try the do-it-yourself method first, and see how I like it.

This afternoon, I had another idea after looking at a former colleague’s LinkedIn profile–! is full of instructional videos on all kinds of topics, and at quick glance, the technology videos look especially good! An added bonus is that I can log in and watch the videos for free since my work has an institutional account, and I can do this from work or from home. (Any suggestions for particularly good videos on

So, what am I going to start with? I’ve been wanting to increase my Microsoft Excel skills for years, so I think I’ll start with some Excel videos on, and see if I can stick with videos as a learning method. If it works out, I’m really interested in trying my hand at some programming. I also have several dead-in-the-water websites that I’d like to resurrect, so maybe I’ll add some website building skills too.

What other technology skills might be helpful to librarians? I’d love suggestions!



ACRL 2015 in Portland, Oregon

I attended my first ACRL conference last weekend in Portland, Oregon. It was a really good experience, so I’m glad I made the trip!

I participated in my first panel, which was my main point in going. There was a decent turnout for our panel, especially for the last time slot of the day, 4-5pm. I felt like my part was less polished than the others, but I did get some nice feedback from an attendee afterward. (I’m looking forward to getting involved in Toastmasters again to polish my public speaking skills!)

Librarians like to socialize at library conferences, I’ve learned, and I did enjoy three different evening events. The first was the ACRL Chair’s Reception on Thursday night at the Left Bank Annex. Friday night, I attended the Hack Library School Blog Meetup at White Owl Social Club, then went to the All-Conference Reception at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I met several new people and exchanged some business cards. Good networking and yummy food!

On Saturday, I enjoyed playing tourist in Portland! Saturday morning, I went to Powell’s, a famous bookstore in Portland, where I enjoyed browsing and made a few purchases. After lunch at Deschutes, a local pug and brewery, I visited the Portland Art Museum, which had a special exhibit on Italian fashion since 1945. Since I’m studying Italian on my own, I really enjoyed this exhibit!

On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a fun dinner with my cousin Melanie and her family at E-San Thai, where I had a yummy Pumpkin Curry dish. It was a great way to end my trip!

Learning Italian

italyAs a new MLS-holder, I’ve been thinking about skills that I can learn or improve on that would enhance my professional development. After looking over some job postings recently, one of the common skills I noticed was knowledge of a foreign language. I took French and German in high school, and French, German, and a semester of biblical Hebrew in college, but all of that was “a while ago!” I’ve considered restarting one of those languages, but haven’t been inspired to continue. I decided to pick a new-to-me language, and have recently started working on Italian.

Why Italian, you ask? Italy’s a country I’d love to visit! I also love Italian food. Plus, there’s so much culture (music, art, literature) and history tied to Italy!

So, I’ve started by trying out a few iPhone apps with Italian vocabulary, flashcards, and games. My library offers the foreign language learning database Transparent, and I’m using Duolingo (thanks to a recommendation on Twitter) as well. I’ve also downloaded an iPhone app called WordPower, that’s associated with For extra inspiration, I’ve started reading the book, La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language.

How’s it going so far? My progress is slow but sure. Will I ever become fluent? Realistically, it’s hard to say. But it’s fun learning something new!