Looking back at 2014
I just realized that I skipped my annual retrospective last year! I guess I wasn't in the mood, since I started my maternity leave for Arthur right after the New Year, and I certainly wasn't interested in looking back. But here we are, a year later, no new babies or pregnancies to deal with, so it's time to get back in the groove.
It's been a great year, but definitely challenging. I returned from maternity leave right at the beginning of April. Our University Librarian had announced her retirement while I was on leave, and she left at the end of June. We didn't hear anything about the search for her replacement for a long time, so the general mood of people at the library was pretty dark. No one likes being on board a plane without a pilot. Fortunately, the successful candidate was announced at the end of October, and I think we're all trying to temper our excitement until he actually joins us in February.
I decided not to travel this year for work, but I did attend the AzLA/MPLA Joint Conference in November, which was a lot of fun. I really enjoy and value both of these professional associations, so it was great to have them combined in one conference!
As for accomplishments this year...you know, there just wasn't anything big, but there were lots of small steps forward. I feel like my position has become more cohesive and it really feels like I have more direction than I did in the past. I had more one-on-one discussions about open access, publishing issues, and copyright with faculty and students. I was on the search committee for a new Digital Projects Librarian, who started today! I'm on a new workgroup that focuses on data management and repository services, and I'm excited about the directions we may be taking over this coming year. And, with the help of some of my seriously awesome colleagues, my ASU Scholarship Showcase collection has almost 200 scholarly articles published by the ASU community!
I actually had my most successful Open Access Week programming yet, with a series of interviews of ASU faculty on the Library Channel. These were tweeted and retweeted throughout the week, and I think they had the most impact of anything I've done to promote Open Access Week so far.
I don't think I made any resolutions this year, so I can't really use that as a measure. But I feel like I've come a long way since last January. After all, I have a little boy who will turn 1 on Thursday, and another one that will turn 3 in a couple of weeks! I've learned how to juggle both of them (well, we're always learning), and I feel like both Chris and I are getting better at balancing our needs, their needs, and work. I really feel like I'm emerging from a fog - we're getting more sleep, I'm not exhausted all the time, and life is looking pretty good.
And now: 2015
One of the biggest unknowns is how much Dr. O'Donnell will change about the libraries when he gets here in February. I'm so excited to have some new leadership and I'm working really hard to keep that in check. I'm sure that he will certainly make decisions that I don't agree with. But I'm ready to support whatever priorities he sets - just tell me which direction to go - I'm waiting on the bus!
But I'm also excited to continue some of the work I've started that's been building up steam. I'm working more closely with our Graduate and Professional Student Association about open access and copyright issues. Interest in the digital repository is growing, and I'm hoping to really get my content harvesting project out of beta and into my main workflow. I think our new workgroup is going to be doing some exciting things. I'll probably go to Wyoming for this year's MPLA conference, since I'm on the MPLA Executive for my second stint as Leadership Institute Co-chair. So I'm really optimistic about the opportunities this new year will bring!
I'm working hard on increasing my productivity and workflow at work. I've been working a slightly compressed schedule to allow me to get home to help with the kids for dinner, and I want to optimize what I'm doing when I'm at work. I'm experimenting with Trello as a to-do list/project manager, and also starting a work diary to be more mindful about how I'm spending my time (my friend Lindsay's last ACRLog post inspired me).
Also, I'm going to learn how to take better care of myself. For the first time in 4 years, I'm not pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking care of tiny infants, and there are no plans for any of those things in the future! I've lost touch with what my body needs, now that it belongs just to me again, and I'm getting older so my old habits don't necessarily match what I need now. I need to listen to it again to learn how much I really need to eat, what to eat to feel good, what exercises I can do given my schedule, and build up some core strength again so I can get rid of some of this back pain I've been having. And, I'm giving myself permission to do some things for me again, such as go to a work happy hour, or go out shopping with a friend, and plan dates with my husband. Chris has encouraged me to go out now and then, but I haven't allowed myself to do it. So now I'm going to. It's okay to relax and enjoy the catnip now and then!
Also, I haven't posted a cat picture in AGES!