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Congratulations to MLIS Class of 2010

13 Aug

It’s been a happy week for many of the MLIS-ers at FIMS this week. Many have completed their course work for the year, and have been celebrating with classmates before headed onto the next adventure.

This video has gotten around through FIMS at UWO, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share it with you, gentle readers and listeners.

MLIS 2010 from pocketlibrarian on Vimeo.

*Music is “Hallelujah” by Vitamin String Quartet

Many thanks to everyone – Emily and I will be back on the mic once the dust settles. 😀


28 Feb

As we near our FIRST REAL EPISODE, I thought I’d jot down some additional thoughts to our process, and why I think it’s taken a full month to actually get to the point of release the audio.

We’ve spent a lot of time searching for podcast safe music (thanks to to and and the many independent Canadian artists that I’ve approached over the last few weeks) and also working on tweaking the blog.  I’ve personally discovered how much a production can benefit from a “brand” and how much easier it is to have all these materials set up before you actually release the “product.”  Perhaps that’s just my own need to have things in place, however, I will say it makes networking and connecting with potential interview subjects much easier!

On the tech side, a lot of my concern has to do with sound quality and making sure we don’t turn people off simply because it’s unbearable to listen to.  The focus should be, of course, on the the content and not the format.  But just like me desire to have a clear brand and recognizable identity for the show, the presentation of the show is just as important for me.

The best part of this, however, is that this is very much a learning experience.  Despite the techy side of things, what I’ve quickly discovered (and in particular what I LOVE about producing, interviewing and editing segments) is trying to find the nuggets that make an interesting and hopefully entertaining story.

I’ve edited segments for podcasts before but they’ve always been just me, or an interview that was no longer than 6-10 minutes long.  Putting together a WHOLE SHOW, I must say is a much larger endeavour.  Like writing a paper, there is a need to have your final product be CLEAR and still have FLOW.

So… the first episode.  It’s coming. 🙂

Lunch: sweet potato fries, bacon, and omelette (my Sunday brunch of choice)
Couch potato status: hermit

Whispers in Museum London

25 Feb

Happy Thursday, all!

Lola and I met up today for the first time in a bit – what a crazy month February is! Between Research Week and heading to the OLA Superconference tomorrow… gosh.

Today we spent an hour in the top level of Museum London, overlooking the “ice fountain” and the Thames, recording what will be our main introductions and signoffs for the podcast, as well as a few of our “bumpers”… trying to add some local flavour to our audio, as always!

We are expecting to release our first episode within the next few weeks – so get excited, folks! Until the next update (for me, post-OLA),


Off on Adventures

11 Feb

Hello TPL followers!

I am heading off for research week to Kingston, Ottawa, and Hamilton, and taking my recorder with me and hoping to pick up on some great material! On the agenda is a visit to the Central Branch of the KFPL for Freedom to Read Week. I’ll check in with further details later on! Happy travels!


Setting up: the blog

5 Feb

A big part of the project is our chance to document, and also a place where we can house the podcast and show notes.

The goal is to get the audio and produce the show, but if you look at the whole picture, a podcast offers the opportunity to build a community. Part of that is giving that community, even if it’s just the three of us, a space to live and reflect.

Once we managed to come up with a name, the first thing we did was register the domain(s). Having a place to refer to when describing our project really gives us some legs. It also rolls off the tongue… don’t ya think? “The Pocket Librarian…”

I chose to use WordPress as our blogging system because I hadn’t actually used it before and always wanted to learn. I have been using Blogger for a long time, but was always impressed by the many different widgets other people were using and decided that it was time for me to branch out and learn another blogging interface.

It’s been WONDERFUL. I spent a good long while figuring out where all the little elements live on the wordpress system and I’m still flipping through a gazillion plugins to find the right utilities for the blog. I *love* that the world has pretty much developed a widget for anything and everything.

Bit by bit, you’ll see the blog getting tweaked here and there. But in the meantime, we’ve got a space to hang our sign and store our thoughts.

Lunch: homemade vegetable soup
Couch potato status: moderate

Adventures in the UCC

5 Feb

Greetings, all!

Yesterday, Lola and I went on a magical and nervewracking trip to the UWO UCC – the student centre in the epicentre of concrete beach – to record our first “Librarians on the Street” segment. We met with a pretty healthy variety of current UWO undergraduates, workers, and campaigners – and we were pleasantly surprised with the answers they gave to our questions! I’m going to leave the details of this experience for you to hear in the podcast itself, but trust me – it will be worth the wait.

Also, note to self: when the red light is flashing, that means pause, not record.


My first recorded segment – alone!

2 Feb

Hi folks!

Well, I went at it alone yesterday. I took the plunge, and recorded my first-ever media and pop culture segment, all by myself. I had to lay out my papers so they didn’t rustle, and hold the recorder at a level distance, and try not to trip all over my words… it was fun! After importing and grappling through a few Garage Band technical difficulties, I managed to do a dry edit and send them along to Lola for refining – after all, she’s the expert. I’m thinking next week she’ll show me how to add music to my own edits.


Reflections on January: Is this thing on?

1 Feb

It’s hard to believe we’re in the first week of February! The last few weeks have flown by, but we’ve managed to get all the start up stuff in place.

The great thing about doing a project like this is the amazing energy it seems to brew. We have had FANTASTIC support from wonderful supervisor Pam McKenzie and from Wendi Crouch on the Journalism side of the faculty. We’ve managed to acquire some excellent recording equipment (I’ll get into that later) we’ve managed to get some great material from the sessions we’ve recorded.

Em has been diligent at editing – I am so grateful for a podcasting partner who’s not afraid to jump in and try the technology. In the meantime I’ve been mulling on our branding stuff, and playing around with the blog behind the scenes.

The best part, however, is how organic things seem to be moving. Normally, I’d feel this pressure to schedule everything in a more regimented way, but somehow most of our sessions have been impromptu. Not that they were unorganized, but more “Why not just do it now?” moments. To be quite frank, it’s exhilarating to “jump in with both feet” as dear Emily would say.

This is not to say that producing and collaborating doesn’t need a structured framework. We definitely have our ideas at the ready and goals in mind. But I am starting to understand the need to stop burying one’s head in the minutiae of planning and just take action.

Lunch: taco pizza
Couch potato status: light

Reflection on the first three weeks.

31 Jan

Reflection on the first three weeks.

Hello world! (Ha, just kidding – we are NOT just another wordpress blog.)

Lola and I have been working on this project, as some of you know, since before the winter break, and it has quickly become our baby. Brainstorming for the title was perhaps the hardest, and so far, most time-consuming part. Note the so far. This project, though we have narrowed it down to approximately two to three podcasts, total, is way larger than either of us ever thought it would be, I think.

So, what have we been doing for the past three weeks? Well, we have met in a variety of different spots – including wonderfully kitchy cafes, the Department of Journalism at FIMS (with the wonderful Wendie, to whom we already owe so much) and the Westmount library here in London – and brainstormed, investigated, examined, honed, and drafted. We have way more ideas than we will ever be able to produce (or, at least, within the term.)

It has been a crazy road so far. But a pleasant one.

Today, we did our first skype interview! It was really fun, but was definitely an adventure. The blooper files are already stacking up as high as the smooth audio we will be broadcasting!

Also, I completed a part of our conversation editing! It took forever. But once you figure out Garage Band… super fun. I never realized how woefully inadequate my techie skills were, but as I’m improving, I’m realizing that I will be leaving this ‘course’ with – thanks to Lola – many more ‘hard skills’ than I ever expected to learn. Which is fantastic.

Reading my leadership article for Tuesday’s class and came across a quotation I thought adequately described what we are trying to do here. “The most important work in the knowledge economy is conversation.”  Later on in the article, the author says that “the quality of our learning process depends on the quality of the questions we ask” (Juanita Brown & David Isaacs, The System Thinker: Conversation as Core Business Process). We hope that we are asking the right questions, and having conversations that you will eventually be able to enjoy. Thanks for joining us on this journey.

Until the next!


Here we go!

30 Jan

This project came into being following a discussion we had regarding student, administrative, and faculty experience at FIMS (The Faculty of Information Science at the University of Western Ontario) being sometimes in a state of disconnect (for a variety of reasons, including the pace of the program and resulting rapid student turnover). We wanted to see a more engaged student population; we ourselves wanted to feel more involved. After a rushed conversation in the final weeks of our first term, the beginnings of The Pocket Librarian was scooped up and shaped into a solid academic idea, encouraged and supervised – to our delight – by Dr. Pam McKenzie.

Our aims in this project are not the world. With this podcast, something that has quickly become “our baby”, we want to help to alter the LIS (Library and Information Science) community at FIMS by talking about topics of common interest, by talking with the smorgasbord of bright minds in the department, and work to disseminate information about the FIMS experience that may not currently be accessible to everyone within it.

The Pocket Librarian is meant to both provide librarians and soon-to-be librarians with tools, and to be, in itself, a tool for the community to utilize and engage with. Our goal? To provide new and exciting perspectives that explore the realms of libraries and librarianship that may go unnoticed – even if these perspectives are just our own.