Where are the blog posts?

I wanted to post a quick note about where I’m doing most of my blogging these days. I currently manage and coordinate my library’s social media content, including our blog posts. My posts on the blog are mostly about library collections, acquisitions, and events.

This past January, Library as Incubator Project co-founders Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Paige were nice enough to ask me to write a series of posts about my library as an arts incubator. This series is currently ongoing, with a focus on the benefits of a library-museum connection.

Look for more posts in both places, and the occasional post here as well!

Some thoughts about this mass of odds and ends

Can I take a minute to talk about this blog? Or should I say this space I’ve been neglecting? Over the past two years I have posted a total of seven blog posts: two photo-heavy posts, three link roundups, a reblog of a post I wrote for my organization’s blog, and a post telling you where to look for more recent content. Before that I had two years of semi-regular blogging (I averaged a bit over a post per month). There are plenty of archivists and librarians who average my total number of posts in just one month. Ouch.

Honestly, this is rather embarrassing. I’ve been the “social media person” at most of my jobs, and blogs are pretty standard when it comes to libraries and archives. To be fair, I have written regularly for each place I’ve worked at, both on blogs and other outlets (Facebook, tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, newsletters, etc.). I have also guest-blogged for a couple of sites and written quite a bit on my own tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I have no doubts about my social media knowledge and abilities, blogs included. Still, I feel like this site deserves a little more of my attention.

I took some time today to look through my 38 published posts (39 now – ha!). They’re a mix of social media advice, outreach projects, thoughts on being an archivist/librarian, highlights from the collections I have worked with, and updates from my professional life.

The various versions of my blog, saved thanks to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

The various versions of my blog, saved thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

In my first post, published on July 17, 2012, I wrote that I created this blog to “document my research on social media use in archives and special collections.” I started the blog as part of an independent study project, but since then it’s morphed several times to accommodate my changing interests and intentions. I’m still interested in social media use in archives and special collections – it’s a topic I hope to write more about – but I don’t want to limit myself to one subject. I don’t mind being the “social media person,” as long as that’s not my only identity. I’m also the outreach person, one of those people who sits at the reference desk, and that nerd who gets excited about weird stuff like manicules or a well-written finding aid. The same goes for this blog, which is why I decided to rename it “A Mass of Odds and Ends,” at least for now (inspired, like my tumblr, by this quote).

I’m not sure what this blog will look like in another few years, although I hope I’ll manage to outdo my previous totals (remember, if I write eight posts in 2016 I will beat my 2014+2015 total). Right now I intend to revisit a few of the topics I’ve written about in the past and explore new ideas that have come along since then. The good news is I have 31 drafts waiting for attention, some of which have been on my to-do list for quite some time. On the blog next week: “I just discovered this new thing called Thefacebook” (kidding, kidding).

Regardless of what’s to come, I look forward to reviving this site and rejoining the librarian blogosphere.

Libraries inspiring artists: Kiln Allegories

This past summer, seven emerging and established glass artists came to The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass to participate in Mel George’s Kiln Allegories class. When teaching a class, George takes her surroundings into account. “[I] try to give the students special experiences that the individual places can offer,” she explained in a letter. For this class, she was influenced by the mission and collections of the Rakow Research Library. “I have always known the Rakow Research Library is the best for glass in the world, and did use this as the inspiration for the first project.”

Each week while Studio classes are in session, Library staff members give students an introduction to Library services and collections. The introduction includes a tour of the collections, which incorporates a look behind the scenes in the room where rare and special collections are stored. George and her students came to one of these tours, and were inspired by some of the books they saw. They arranged to come back a second time to look at the books in the Library’s collection which incorporate glass.

Lyndy Delian reads to the class during their second visit to the Rakow Library.

Lyndy Delian reads to the class during their second visit to the Rakow Library.

During their second visit, the class got a chance to examine books such as Michael Glancy’s Infinite Obsessions and Modernt svenskt glas (ed. Gregor Paulsson). The students discussed the different thoughts and emotions each book evoked, and reflected on their own projects. An impromptu reading rounded out the trip.

The students returned to The Studio, and, as George explains, “[the] tour of the library, the items and library philosophies, seeped into [their] books.” Her assignment for the students was to “make a book, made of glass, which speaks to their personal story as artists. Essentially, each book is an artist’s visual poem that utilizes surfaces, images, forms, textures and light to harmonize as well as personal palettes of colors to evoke feelings related to their ideas.”

At the end of the class, George and her students invited several members of the Library and Museum staff to an afternoon tea. George spoke about the project and how the Library’s collections inspired the assignment. Each student had a chance to talk about their book and the story behind it. No two books were alike in form or concept. The students pulled their inspiration from their families, Aboriginal culture, memories, and experiences, as well as how books shape their readers, the experience of reading to another person or being read to, the thought that there are no new ideas, and the spaces in between things.

Two of the glass books were directly inspired by the oldest item in the Library collection, the Mappae clavicula. The glass recalls the textures and colors of the 12th century manuscript.

The artists donated their glass books to the Museum, which, to George, was a fitting way to end the class. To her, the books represent the time the artists spent here, and the donation was a “beautiful, poetic, finale for my class.”

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Just as the Rakow Research Library inspired Mel George’s class, libraries everywhere have long been inspiring artists working in all types of mediums. This topic will be the focus of the January Behind the Glass Lecture, given by Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore, co-creators of the Library as Incubator Project and co-authors of The Artist’s Library. Both are designed to bring together artists and libraries in creative partnerships. Be sure to join us at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 8, in the Auditorium, or live stream the lecture on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EST. 

This blog post was originally posted on The Corning Museum of Glass’ blog, Behind the Glass.

Link roundup | May 21

Here are a few things I’ve been reading from around the web:

On my nightstand:

Murder in the First-Class Carriage

Murder in the First-Class Carriage: The First Victorian Railway Killing by Kate Colquhoun (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Librarians and archivists in pop culture

These are some of the images I used in a slideshow last month for the National Library Week ice cream social at my library. Thanks to all the librarians and archivists who suggested characters/libraries on Twitter and tumblr! Here are some of their favorites:

(Sorry the text is tiny – click to zoom!)

Librarians and archivists in pop cultureWho is your favorite librarian/archivist in pop culture?


Link roundup | May 14

Here are a few things I’ve been reading and watching from around the web:

On my nightstand:


 BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Link roundup | May 7

Here are a few things I’ve been reading from around the web:

On my nightstand:

Consider the Fork

Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Happy first day of spring!

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the "Mother Gooseland" themed 1928 May Day celebrations. This image is also featured in the 1928 Reveille yearbook, page 273.

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the “Mother Gooseland” themed 1928 May Day celebrations. This image is also featured in the 1928 Reveille yearbook, page 273.

It’s grey and gloomy in upstate New York, but I have hope that spring is on its way!

Check out more University of Maryland May Day images here.

What Did You Do Today?


Check out my post on Librarian Design Share!

Originally posted on Librarian Design Share:

Often we create a single design to promote a library event, but every now and then an event is so important that it deserves an entire marketing campaign.  This was the case for Maryland Day.

Rebecca Hopman, Special Collections Coordinator and Instruction & Outreach Team Member at the University of Maryland, says:

Each year our university hosts Maryland Day, an annual open house for the community, prospective students, and current students, faculty, and staff. The event is a chance for academic departments, campus offices, and local community organizations to connect with visitors. The UMD Libraries ran several events, most of which were held in Hornbake Library and McKeldin Library. Our team created promotional materials to advertise the UMD Libraries’ events and our “What did you do today?” social media campaign, including posters, a library website ad, TV monitor slides, and postcards for people to take with them or mail to…

View original 201 more words

Archives on Facebook: A social media posting guide

This post expands on one of the guides I created for archivists and special collections librarians using social media.

Why Facebook?

Facebook, without question, is one of the most popular social media platforms today. People all over the world use Facebook to connect to friends, family, and people with similar interests. Because of this huge potential audience, many archivists and librarians consider it essential to have a Facebook page for their repository. Many worry not having a Facebook page marks them as outdated or out of touch with current technology. While I agree that Facebook is a good place to have an online presence, I strongly believe that repositories should make the decision to create a Facebook page based on their individual circumstances. Each repository should choose the platform(s) most compatible with their community of users and with the types of material they plan to post. So – as I say for every other social media platform – don’t feel like you have to have a Facebook page.

If you determine that Facebook is a good fit for your repository, it offers a number of options for sharing information and building an online community. You can post text, photos, links, and videos; share, comment on, and like other people’s posts; and host conversations on your own page. Currently you can’t customize your page much beyond your profile photo, cover photo, and “About” section, but this also puts everyone on an even footing regardless of time and technical know-how.

Using this Guide

The following posting guide is a quick, ready-reference guide for archivists and special collections librarians using Facebook at their repository. It is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things you can and should do as a repository, but it is a good basic guide for what to post and how to improve your Facebook presence. I created this guide with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, so with that in mind feel free to share, post, and print it! If you do use this guide, please provide a link back to rebeccahopman.com/socialmedia

For a detailed breakdown of the guide and additional resources, continue after the break. Continue reading