As the end of the year comes to a close, I generally make time organize and synthesize what I’ve been up to across different parts of my work each year. You can see my reflections at the end of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. I’m a big fan of metacognition, so I get a lot out of taking time to round up, reflect, and try and synthesize things at least once a year.
Looking back at those blog posts from years gone by just draws attention to how dramatically different the world feels now. I also don’t think I’m really at the point where I can process the year. Marjee and I rang in the last New Year with hikes in the Torres del Paine, at the literal end of the earth. Then… so much of the rest of the year feels like a blur. As the Pandemic hit and we both shifted into being in and around our home and our very local community. On multiple levels this felt like “going inside”, which also makes me think about one of my favorite John Fursciante songs. We ‘re inside our home far more than we have been in any previous year and I think we were inside our heads and reflective in ways that we haven’t been in previous years.
Growing as a supporter and facilitator
As the team at work shifted to an all online mode, I’ve been consistently impressed with how much I’ve seen folks help to support each other and find ways to grow and learn and get things done together. I’ve been increasingly transitioning my efforts in my work to focus on how to be a better supporter and facilitator for a team that continues to grow.
I was excited to interview some folks who joined our team this year about their work and goals. You can find those interviews here: Web Archiving Virtually In Residence: An Interview with Meghan Lyon, Diving into Digital Content Management: An Interview with Mark Lopez, 10 Weeks of Digital Content Management at a Distance: An Interview with Junior Fellow Randi Proescholdt.
I taught two grad seminars, my Digital History Methods Seminar started out face to face and shifted online in the spring as the pandemic hit. Students worked up some really fun and creative projects and I was impressed by how they rolled with transitioning into an online format for the second half of the semester. My library organization theory seminar ran entirely online. It was the first time that I taught the library org theory course, and I found it really rewarding to engage in that kind of meta level discussion about navigating and working to improve library, archives, and museum organizations. In working on that course, I also read a lot more scholarship and work in management, business, public policy, and related fields which has been helpful in my own development of ideas about how organizations can better need the needs of both their constituencies and the people that make them run.
Reading and Sharing
While the year has been challenging, i’ve gotten a lot from the introspective space of all of it. I read a lot more than I have in previous years, we rode our bikes around the extensive trails in our community. I had a lot of fun talking about my digital preservation book on the Archives in Context podcast. Even before the pandemic, I was reflecting on my relationship with the end of the THATcamp era. I got pretty into TikTok, which, at one point sharing out a bunch of links to how people play with history on TikTok and also reflecting a bit on how folks told the story of the election in maps on the platform. Along with that, a few essays I’d collaborated with others on over time made their way into publication in 2020, one on digital sources and digital archives and another on studying digital culture in web archives.
I decided not to start writing a book, which feels like growth for me. I’ve got a tendency to just keep piling up projects and it felt good this time to really try on the idea of a project and then just deicide I’d rather spend that time cooking, organizing my closet, and reading.
I enjoyed learning more about how to work with video editing and had a ton of fun helping Marjee work on her documentary film.
I was really thrilled to end up being a finalist for the Digital Preservation Teaching and Communication Award. I made this video about it for the review panel which I think underscores how meaningful that particular distinction is to me.
I was invited to contribute to the Biblioteca Nacional de México’s Día Mundial de la Preservación Digital 2020 video series. Which will also ensure lasting documentation of my brief stint of having a goatee during quarantine.
Looking and Seeing
Thought I would leave off with some “How it started, How it’s going” run through photos. This is just a smattering of pictures from my phone in order.