A mishmash of #mashcat thoughts

There are many thoughts I want to present in this post, but the connections between the thoughts are not fully developed. Therefore, the post comes in several parts.


When I started my first post-MLIS job at Miami University, I was repeatedly told that the position I held – bibliographic systems librarian – was an unusual position in traditional technical services departments. My predecessor (an authority control librarian) essentially automated himself out of the job; he took authority control workflows and made a suite of scripts (mostly macros and server-side scripts) that made his full time job into a part time duty for a support staff member. The role I took on was essentially Technical Services Developer: split between cataloging and programming.

I inherited my predecessor’s scripts, learned the workflows that they covered, and then built new scripts based on the needs of the department. Most of the programming knowledge I have was learned at MU. As the workflows became more complex, more complex and powerful tools were needed. From my predecessor’s Macro Express and Perl scripts came an abundance of AutoIt and PHP scripts. Before I left MU, I started to build scripts using pymarc, digging through the script wizard function of MarcEdit to automate certain database maintenance projects.

My goals were many. Keystrokes saved equal more time to work on other projects. Simple decisions made by the script meant that the staff person can focus their attention on more complex decisions, ones that are not so easily scripted, at least for a novice coder. All of these technological goals needed to operate within the overarching goal of creating and maintaining access of these resources for library users. The scripts I wrote were constructed after analyzing workflows and deliberation about the level of quality that needed to be met in said workflow. We had to strike a balance between entirely system automation and manually editing everything. Once we agreed on a midpoint, a proof of concept scripting phase could begin.

In short, efficiency without sacrificing quality. Saving the time of the user as well as the staff. My purpose was to serve both the public and the staff.

When I asked about the other candidates who applied for my position, a coworker detailed the two types of candidates that made up the majority of the candidate pool: the pure catalogers and the pure systems people. “You were neither, but you had the ability to work with both sides. You were the only one in the pool who got it.”


I walked into the Technical Services department one morning, having been gone the day before to an OhioLINK meeting. I saw one of my coworkers and smiled and said my hellos. Something was off when she didn’t return the greeting. I asked if everything was ok.

She was one of several Technical Services staff to receive layoff notices the day before.

In all, my department was cut almost in half during the first round of layoffs and “early” retirements. The majority of the layoffs and retirements in the libraries came from Technical Services.

The library dean at the time continued to funnel sparse resources into other departments, even with additional rounds of layoffs being planned by the university. Technical Services was left to keep up production with essentially half the staff and a deficit of 60+ years of tacit institutional knowledge.

Second round of retirements and layoffs came soon after the first. Luckily TS was spared; however, it became apparent by the library dean’s actions that my position was seen as a nicety for the department and not a necessity.

I don’t think they ever replaced me when I left in 2011.


Catcode and Libcatcode grew in tandem in the Codecademy’s Code Year push of 2012. After years of being called the odd one in the worlds of Technical Services and #libtech, I saw these efforts as a possible way to get people to see the obvious. Cataloging/metadata work and library coding are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they are secret siblings. For me, this is on the level of saying that grass is green and the sky is blue. It just is.


And the conversation started. A code4lib preconference on the subject. An ALCTS/LITA interest group forming and a preconference at Annual. The first #mashcat conference.

And then conversation stalled.

This isn’t the first time a conversation about cataloging and coding stalled. Many have started on various levels, and yet we always find ourselves having to start from Square One each time we revive the conversation. Why is that?


“Not all catalogers.”

I tweeted that phrase some time ago. It is a problematic phrase to use; for example, it echoes back to “not all men…” to defend against criticism from feminists. But then you have “not all women…” being used as well. I suspect this usage stems from the desire of the speaker to break away from the stereotype being invoked in the conversation. And yet, at the same time, using the phrase in this context reinforces the social trappings that come with the stereotype – “not all $x” denotes that a set within a group does indeed fit the stereotype being discussed and the speaker shares the feeling of disdain for those who fit the stereotype; therefore, reinforcing the majority view of hir group.

Am I that desperate to climb the class structure in librarianship? To reinforce the stereotype by showing that I do not fit it, thus gaining social credibility with my peers?

However, I am no longer a cataloger. I am a systems person who is being hurled into the realm of library middle management.

Perhaps I am experiencing the library equivalent of my inserting an “r” when I say “wash” when I forget that that is not the “proper way” of saying the word while in certain company.


Knowledge is power. Technology is power. Which one has more power, though? I have the knowledge and the technology. I can create the metadata as well as systematically work with it. There are people who have the knowledge and there are people who have the technological skills. However, we see the conversation between the two as more of a one way street.

“You have the knowledge? Here, learn the technological skill!”

Is that what we want from catalogers and metadata people? Are we expected to lean in, to pull ourselves by our bootstraps and code ourselves to relevancy in the current library landscape?

Lean in. I know many who did… only to fall, mostly through no fault of their own.


I watch the new round of conversations start, a #mashcat revived. Every year I feel less lonely; the odd TS person out is joined by other odd people, these hybrids, these “non-traditional” library people. Many folks wear many hats; one thing I heard from folks in the first #mashcat Twitter chat was that they work in both metadata and systems. Great!

And yet… I worry.

While I am excited about the resurrection of #mashcat, we will run into The Wall like the previous conversations did. Folks will hit The Wall hard like I’ve done many times before. There are so many times one can throw themselves against The Wall, but I’m still breathing and able to figure out how to break down The Damned Thing.

I am not sure what The Wall entirely consists of: stereotypes, inertia surrounding change, cynicism brought on by previous conversations. One big component of The Wall, though, is the apathy of librarianship at large about this conversation. They expect the technology to work. They expect the metadata to be there. They don’t care how things are made, like we don’t care how some things that we use in our daily lives are made. As long as it’s there, we’re fine. Status quo achieved for the day.

I don’t know if dragging every library worker kicking and screaming into this conversation is the way to knock down The Wall, but it has become apparent through observations that The Wall cannot be bypassed or knocked down by only a few. We can’t lean on The Wall to knock It down. We need tools: hammers, pickaxes, jackhammers, sledgehammers. We need people to not only provide these tools but to help us to knock The Wall down. It doesn’t do us any good if the same people try to take down The Wall time after time. We need all the help we can get.

A wrecking ball would help as well.


It’s time to have the conversation not be dictated by cowering to stereotypes, to power structures, to class structures.

It’s time for this conversation not be dictated by the actions of a few and being expected to excuse or apologize for these few, reinforcing the status quo every time we do so.

And it’s about time to drag every G*d-damned library manager and administrator by their ears, kicking and screaming, into this conversation.

Rumor is that they have a wrecking ball we can use.

An Experiment

Time to try something new.

I see various versions of “tip jars” for developers and artists online. While I haven’t been actively developing code-wise, there is quite a bit of work I do elsewhere: community building and maintenance, human RSS feed, and other bits of work with libraries/technology/fandom/etc.

If you want to find a way to say “Thanks!” for something I have done for you, I have created a new page to give you a couple of choices: the Tip/Word Jar. You can choose between two tokens of appreciation:

  • Monetary – Any amount is welcome. Funds raised here will mostly go to my neglected “It’s ok to spend money on something you want and not something you need” budget line. However, parts of the operating budget, like cat medication and vet bills, might receive a boost from donated funds. (This is what happens when you have a diabetic cat on one end and a neurotic cat on the other end.)
    I know that there are some folks that are not Paypal fans; if you have suggestions as to other online tip jars I can use, please feel free to point me toward them for my consideration.
  • Linguistic – Not everyone can, or wants to, give money. Totally ok! But folks might feel odd shooting me an note of thanks to my work address or Twitter – I understand that as well. I have provided a feedback form for those who feel most comfortable using that medium. You have the option to leave a name or email, but neither are required.

Again, this is something that I am trying out for this year. I’ll see what happens in terms of activity… and now, time to become a cat bed.

Gatekeeping the table full of cookies

Note: Comments are moderated on the blog. They will probably not show up to the public until the evening, when I’m back home from work. I can’t seem to train the cats to do comment moderation for me…

There’s been a lot of discussion going on around #libtechgender after the ALA Midwinter conference panel. I’ve been following and poking my head into the conversation stream every so often, but, for the most part, I’ve done a lot more reading than talking. The recent conversation has brought up some things that I’ve been struggling with in regards to #libtechwomen and #libtechgender. Some of those struggles deal with the nature of librarianship, and some of the struggles deals with trying to put some more sensitive internal discussions into words. The latter has seen people more elegant in their use in the English language than I put words to some of those internal discussions I’ve been having; for that, I thank you, and please forgive me for using some of your words to convey some of my thoughts.

I’m not sure if this is the right time for me to talk about the below things, or even if I’m the right person to talk about them, but, for what it’s worth, I’ll try to make it brief.

*****

Librarians are gatekeepers.

Barbara Fister’s recent post about librarians as (sometimes reluctant) gatekeepers touches back to some thoughts that I’ve mulled over since my cataloging days. Catalogers and metadata workers are gatekeepers in their own right. We create the data that is used for discovery and access to information resources. If we mistype a word in the title, for example, that resource might not show up in the catalog if a library user does a title search. We get the factual metadata correct, and then there should be no problem with that title search.

Then you have the subject field. Catalogers and metadata workers have a great amount of control over ambient discoverability and browsing due to the subject keyword work they do. If a particular resource is not given a subject assignment, or is classified a certain way, this excludes the resource from the user searching in a particular area. In short, even though that resource could have been what the user needed, that resource doesn’t exist to the user due to its classification in the library discovery tools.

I’m a gatekeeper, and you are too. Acknowledgment leads to action.

When #libtechwomen started, I wrote in my previous post that, despite the gender specific name, I hoped that the support network would become inclusive to other underrepresented groups. Over the past year, it has, which then #libtechgender was a spin-off of that growth. I still worry, however, that we are unconsciously carrying over our librarian gatekeeper tendencies to this realm. For example, Lisa Rabey has curated a page of #libtechgender writings from the community. This is what we as librarians do: collect resources and make them accessible to users through various ways. While Lisa has done a fine job with curating the page, there is still that gatekeeper element, that subject guide approach which might exclude certain voices and resources. Maybe migrating the list of resources to a more open platform, like a wiki or other collaborative platform, could lessen the gatekeeper aspects of documenting #libtechwomen/#libtechgender; it seems like an appropriate next step, a natural evolution of a growing list that is documenting the different types of voices in the conversation.

*****

Who sits at the table?

Andromeda Yelton talked about sitting at the table at her first hackathon. Since then I’ve paid attention at who’s at the table. Recently, however, my thoughts have shifted from the above question to the following one:

Who decides who sits at the table?

And, after the #libtechgender conversation about the place of storytelling, I don’t like where my thoughts are going with this one, because this is where well-meaning people that I care about do more harm than good.

Why are we focused on telling stories in order to ensure that we get a place at the table?

In our drive for diversity, we forget that some people are not comfortable sharing their stories for various reasons. Some people do not want to very publically come out; some do not want to publically relive the physically and emotionally painful process of becoming a man or a woman. Others are still dealing on how to handle their PTSD from traumatic experiences, and not publically speaking of said experiences could be one strategy that ensures that they don’t take two steps back in terms of managing their PTSD.

This has been a long frustration of mine, and the storytelling vs institutional structure discussion has given me words to put my frustrations into physical form, though my words are probably not as elegant as others. My observations and personal conversations with people surrounding #libtechgender have fueled this frustration. People who should be at the table are not because they feel that they have to tell stories to appease the gatekeepers to the table. If a person believes in a movement and is willing to work with others to achieve the goals of the movement, that alone gives them a place at the table. Telling a story, on the other hand, does not automatically give you a place at that same table. Pressuring people to tell stories in order to gain a seat at the table is unethical at best, dehumanizing at worst.

Perhaps we need to burn the table.

*****

The cookies are not for you.

This last part is the most personal out of the three sections, as well as the most frustrating. The frustration, however, is not with ally cookies. Allies expecting cookies need to be gently reminded (often repeatedly) that, no, you don’t get cookies when you support someone, make a change in the system that benefits underrepresented folks, and so on.

I’d like to address the other cookie seekers.

Those who solely use a movement for their own gain, be it for professional prestige, personal ego, or both.

Those who are insistent that their voice be a part of every conversation, every discussion, especially those where it is inappropriate for them to actively engage in that discussion without listening and understanding the context surrounding said discussion first.

Those who claim to listen, but otherwise show no evidence of such listening in their actions.

Those who keep telling their story, not to encourage, not to educate, not to mobilize change, but as a means to promote themselves.

Those who do not want to serve the movement, but expect the movement to serve them.

To those people, I have these three things to say:

1.       You don’t get a cookie just because you’re part of a movement.

2.       You don’t get a cookie for voluntary “martyrdom” in the name of the movement.

3.       Practice the following: Shut up. Listen. Adjust as necessary.

There are no cookies.

Some reflections

Note: I wrote this post last weekend, but have not posted it until today. This was written primarily to get some thoughts out on paper, and not a detailed overview of recent events, nor it was intended to be as such.

Also, the last time I checked the settings, comments are moderated on the blog. They will probably not show up to the public until the evening, when I’m back home from work. I can’t seem to train the cats to do comment moderation for me. Good-for-nothing, freeloading cats…


Here I am, sitting at my computer, processing what happened in the last couple of days. The following is part “going through what happened”, and part me thinking out loud.

How did I get here?

A few weeks ago, Bess Sadler posted on the code4lib listserv with a request that code4lib adopt an anti-harassment policy similar to those that were being adopted by other technology conferences. The initial post prompted many +1s and the anti-harassment policy began to take shape in github.

Then the conversation continued, and after a survey and more discussion, the suggestion for a code4libwomen showed up… and then more discussion. Technically, since code4lib is not a formal organization, anyone could do something in the name of the group, whether there is group consensus or not. However, since we are librarians, and librarians like going through approval processes, sometimes people ask. And when you ask for opinions on the Internet, you’ll get them. On occasion, you might even get one of mine, which is the case in the code4libwomen discussion.

My opinion? A code4libwomen group wouldn’t be effective.

Why? Twofold:

  1. While a separate group might be conducive to more women actively participating in that group, if there are no mechanisms to bring that participation to the larger group, then, effectively, the smaller group has segregated itself from the rest of the organization.

Point 1 is more of a procedural issue with the code4libwomen idea that could be addressed with a lot of organizational policies, prompts, and mechanisms that would have to be built into the group.[1]  Point 2, however, happens to be the bigger reason why I found myself not married to the idea:

  1. It doesn’t go far enough.

So, let’s say a code4libwomen group does form, and it functions well. Great, but that group only covers a subsection of the population of women in library technology. What about LITA? ASIST? State library associations? And what about those who don’t feel that they don’t belong in either LITA or code4lib? That’s a big group of people who wouldn’t benefit from such a group if that group was tied to an organization that they are not a part of. If we get all the other organizations creating their own groups, then we end up with a hodge-podge of subgroups with varying effectiveness and few chances of collaboration between other organizations. Again, this also leaves out folks who don’t identify with any organization.

And, after Lisa Rabey and I ended up in an IRC channel for further discussion on related ideas, #libtechwomen was born.

What do I think #libtechwomen should be? Here’s what I have so far:

  • A place for women to get training, advice, and encouragement in a neutral environment that is not tied to a single organization, so we can include all types from the library technology field: coders, network admins, sysadmins, tech managers, and those who want to learn about any of the above.
  • A group that want to advocate for women in library technology. That group is made up of anyone that wants to help – everyone on the gender spectrum – and can partner with various organizations when opportunities arise.

The biggest part for me about my hopes for #libtechwomen is this – that the people who benefit from the group go out and contribute to the greater library technology community. I plan to kidnap people from this group to various code4lib events, because code4lib for me has been a place where I could grow in my skills as well as meet folks who are dedicated to what they do. I know that there will be others in #libtechwomen that will lend a hand to those who want someone to help them navigate an organization such as LITA, code4lib, EDUCAUSE, state library organizations, and so on. The biggest potential benefit from this group is overall growth in participation in library technology by women and transgendered women. If we find ourselves with a majority folks in #libtechwomen that never leave the confines of the group, then the group finds itself in the situation that I hoped to avoid in the first place – yet another silo in the sea of siloes in the library community.

Perhaps I’m being too optimistic about this. I haven’t been on the receiving end of any blatant harassment in the library technology community, but I have heard stories of others that have encountered it. Some folks might say that I’m not going far enough with my thoughts on #libtechwomen, and I’m not sure if I’ll be comfortable with some of the directions that people will want to take #libtechwomen. That’s something that I have to deal with, like in any other area of my work life.

Also, #libtechwomen does not directly deal with other groups that are in a similar situation that women and transgendered women. I realize that even though I can be an ally, I need to let others take the lead for those folks who decide to tackle those issues for their respective groups. Then again, there’s starting to be discussion about the name of the group, and if the name – along with the focus – should change to something more inclusive to other underrepresented groups in technology. If that discussion comes to fruition and the name does change, I’d support the change.

So, here I am, sitting at my computer, processing the events of the last few days. It might be a while before I’m able to process everything.

 


[1] Formal organization and code4lib has had a mixed past. For example, post that code4lib should become a formal organization (501(c)). Make some popcorn and grab a soda. Get comfortable in your chair and watch the conversation unfold.

A year of troublesome catalogers and magical metadata fairies

first_post_cataloger

This month marks the one year anniversary of the twitter list of catalog and metadata librarians, yo_bj/magical-metadata-fairies (formerly Troublesome Catalogers). It’s been quite a ride… which calls for some naval gazing.

The list was started in October of 2009 when Twitter turned on the Lists function for my profile. I was keeping track of a small list of catalogers that I created on Tweetdeck, so I had something to work off of. A few #followalibrarian self promotion tweets later, the list gained popularity. There was even a blog posting! Even though I first started the list to keep track of catalogers, the list’s purpose has changed in the past year.

Throughout the year, I have a wide range of activity on the list. There have plenty of bitch sessions about bibliographic utility software, standards, rules, and the latest publication/post that reinforces the cataloger stereotype. That is to be expected, and one of the purposes of the list is to bring like-minded folks together, so, for many people, it’s good to rant about something very specific to an audience who gets what you’re ranting about. I have seen many more instances of catalogers helping each other out with cataloging questions and requests. I’ll admit that I smile every time I see a conversation thread resulting from a cataloging question; I’d like to see the list become a gathering place on Twitter for catalogers to ask questions, converse, and share resources. It’s already doing some of that now, but I know that there are more catalogers and metadata folks out there that haven’t been found or haven’t found the list yet.

When I search for potential list fodder, I find myself searching for the following terms through Twitter:

  • Cataloging (and Cataloguing)
  • Cataloger (and Cataloguer)
  • Metadata
  • AACR2 (RDA is less unique, therefore grabbing hits about dietary standards and gossip about a certain actor with the same initials)

“Cataloger” usually gets the most focused results, while the “metadata” results have a lot of noise from product/company/industry tweets. “Cataloging,” however, brings out the most interesting results. Not only I catch catalogers with this, I also catch non-catalogers (and not companies) tweeting about cataloging. I see a wave of cataloging tweets from library students every fall and spring, ranging from hate to love of the joys of cataloging. There are many other people tweeting about cataloging, but in a personal context. I’ve seen people catalog vinyl records, photographs, comic books, DVDs, CDs, yarn, action figures, clothes, jokes, pick up lines, friends, relationships, and life goals. The results show a glimpse of the need for humans to organize things, to give things their place in the person’s world.

But enough of the navel gazing – now for the fun facts about the list:

Followers (as of blog posting): 74
Following (as of blog posting): 155
Some of the countries represented:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • France
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (majority)

Who are these troublesome catalogers/magical metadata fairies?

  • Artists
  • Army spouses
  • Burlesque performers
  • Comic book geeks
  • Conservatives
  • Cooks (or is that Cookery?)
  • Crafters
  • Cyclists
  • Dancers
  • Gamers
  • Hackers
  • Knitters
  • Liberals
  • Musicians
  • Parents
  • Pet lovers
  • Reporters
  • Sports fanatics
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Writers

…. And those are just off the top of my head!

Happy anniversary, troublesome catalogers and magical metadata fairies. May you have many more years of wand-waving and Hell-raising.

Alternative Facebook Warning Messages

As of  this afternoon, illness has kept me up for 38 hours straight. I think I’m on my seventh wind now, so I bring to you the Alternative Facebook Warning Messages (that I’ve run across on FB or Twitter or other interweb goodness)!

The original one:

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically index all your info on Google, which allows everyone to view it. To change this option, go to Settings –> Privacy Settings –> Search –> then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Allow indexing’. Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all your friends ASAP

The alternatives:

URGENT FACEBOOK UPDATE: As of today, Facebook staff will be allowed to eat your children and pets. To turn this option off, go to settings, then privacy, then meals. Click the top two boxes to prevent the employees of Facebook from eating your beloved children and pets. Copy this to your status to warn your friends!

ATTENTION: In case you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically start plunging the Earth into the Sun. To change this option, go to Settings: Planetary Settings: Trajectory: then UN-CLICK the box that says “Apocalypse.” Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see….

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically start replacing human beings with Cylons. To change this option, go to Settings –> Colonial Settings –> So Say We All, then CLICK the box that says ‘frak a toaster.’ Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see…

IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ: If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically fill the skies with bats and drop you into the depths of an ether binge. To change this option, go to Settings –> Las Vegas –> then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Fear and Loathing.’ Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see.

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook users will irrationally overreact about a change to the settings. Making it sound like Facebook is putting all your information out there for everyone to see, but in reality it’s only indexing already publicly available information. To freak out with everyone else, go to Setti…ngs –> Privacy Settings –> Search –> then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Allow indexing’.

FACEBOOK UPDATE: Starting today, Facebook will be sending out Stormtroopers to do a search for two stolen droids. To ensure they do not expose your properties, go to Settings -> Jedi Mind Tricks. Check off the box labeled “These are not the droids you are looking for.” Copy this to your status and warn your friends!

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically initiate the zombie apocalypse. To change this option, go to Settings –> Living Settings –> Dead/Undead –> then UN-CLICK the box that says “Turn me into a zombie.” Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see.

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically start setting your underpants on fire when you least expect it. To change this option, goto Settings –> Spontaneous Combustion Settings –>underpants, then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Underpants”.

If you don’t know, as of today, Facebook will automatically impregnate you, wether you are male or female To change this option, go to Settings –> parasite –> maybe cute, then UN-CLICK the box that says ’18 years of “FUN”.’ Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see.

If you’re currently building a Death Star and haven’t heard, as of today, Facebook will automatically allow an thermal exhaust port to remain open. To change this option, go to Settings > Death Star Settings > Thermal Exhaust Port then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Allow Destruction.’ Facebook kept this one quiet. Please re-tweet for all Imperial work crews.

WARNING! As of today facebook will automatically begin stealing old people from their homes, starting with celebrity old people. To change this option, go to Settings–>Old People Theft Settings and uncheck the boxes for “Steal old people” and “Steal Betty White”. Thank you…for being a friend.

As of January 1st, Facebook will change everybody’s current Doctor to Doctor Who Number 11, played by Matt Smith. If you do not want to this change, go to Settings –> Special Episodes –> Doctor Who then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Allow Regenerations.’ Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and paste onto your status for all to see.

And probably the most important one:

URGENT FACEBOOK UPDATE: Facebook has stolen your soul and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. No settings to change. Resistance is futile. Transmission end.

Sadly, I have not found a HPL themed message… yet…

New, shiny things @ your neighborhood university library

Today saw the launch of two major projects from Miami University:

New website! We finally got to move away from the university template (which didn’t allow room for much of anything) and this is the product that was years in the making. The site was build with drupal and right in the middle of the front page is MULtifacet, our home-grown next-gen OPAC. We just finished a two-phased usability study on MULtifacet and its former incarnation, Solrpac. Still in the analysis stage, but once the report is finished, I’ll let you all know.

New orientation video! While a vodcast isn’t anything new to MU, producing a vodcast in Mandarin Chinese is. This is part of the Libraries’ plan to accommodate the near 500% increase in international students coming to MU in the last five years, with the majority coming from China. We have plans to create other videos in other native languages of our international and ESL students.

New, shiny things are good! Especially before the students come back…