Mary’s Blog – What’s New


Don’t mind the mess! This site is still in progress. Learning is a life-long process, and as I learn and grow this site will change and grow with me.

As many of you know, I am approaching the end another student experience: the UK Master’s program for Library and Information Science. I began this degree several years ago, taking a slow path with only one class a semester while working full time. While this has delayed completion of the degree, it has also allowed me to show greater focus to each class as I take it and to continue working with what is, at its core, a member information database. Over the years I have learned about databases, searching, queries, and more. I have placed on this site several examples of my most recent work; these quick examples show some of the skills I have developed over the past few years.

Included on this site are four reference book reviews. These are all books that I have used in the past and have found helpful. Since I also have a Master’s degree in English, you will find that the majority of my work leans towards literature reference and research as I combine my learning. I have also included a comparison of two databases. These two databases require access through an institution (usually a school or library) for access, and provide access to a variety of different databases.

Pulling on my background in Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance studies, I also created a Medieval Information Portal (also known as a pathfinder). Included in this portal are some of the books I have found useful (and still own), and the periodicals are some of the most familiar under the subject. Additional online sources are also linked on the portal.

The last two items I’ll reference here concern a specific library, however please note these were hypothetical projects with no impact to the library in question. A nearby library was chosen in order to display the ability to evaluate and plan for reference services. Over the course of my learning, I chose this same library several times to practice and hone my abilities. In time, I have hopes to also share the strategic plan and technology plan that I also developed for the library (again, hypothetical). Though I have used this library system for many years, I have not had the pleasure of working with them; I am happy to state that they have made many changes since these were first developed, and the specific branch used in many of my samples is in the process of moving to a new location.

Though the examples posted here are simply samples of my work, created hypothetically, they show some of the skills I have developed over the years. I have also gained experience with the program R, with basic queries, creating and using databases, HTML, PHP, CSS, and more. As a professional, I have grown in my skills and abilities. I have already been able to apply some of my learning – queries, management, and research – to my current work. With the skills I have developed through both my degrees and self-learning, I hope to improve processes and help my coworkers by creating efficiency.

So please feel free to explore, ask questions, and take a look at what I have accomplished. There are more new things to come as I will always continue to learn and grow.


CiteULike: Studying Tags


So here we are, at the end of another semester, and it’s time for me to look back at what I’ve done and reflect on the choices I’ve made. My focus here is on my CiteULike tags, which have created a natural and organic folksonomy as a reflection of how I think of articles.

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Tacit and Explicit once more: Types of Knowledge and Knowing


I am blogging about Hara last because, to be honest, I really struggled with this book. There is just so much in it, and there’s so little I know about public defenders. But there was one section I came across that I had to write about: the three types of knowledge Hara presents. Hara writes that there is cultural knowledge, which he defines as “what it is like to be a member of a certain profession” (114); book knowledge, which is knowledge taken in from documents; and practical knowledge, which Hara states is knowing how to use book knowledge.
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The Trouble with Email


It seems a little funny that, after commenting to rhugenwrites about emails I chose an article discussing just that: emails for communication. Pillet and Carillo even mention information overload in connection with emails. I found it most interesting that they referenced a trail which “revealed that when emails were completely turned-off, workers focused longer on their tasks, multitasked less, and experienced lower stress (Mark, Voida, Cardello, 2012)”. Mostly because I can absolutely believe it. Continue reading

Vague Notions and Missing Thoughts


When you hear “Information Society”, what do you think of? Without any background, your mind might go to a club or an organization. You might think of something similar to the American Cancer Society or the Humane Society. That’s where my mind goes at least: to a group of people working with a common purpose. I knew that wasn’t exactly an information society, but that’s what it sounds like. Continue reading

Trust in the Workspace


If you’ve ever been part of a “fire drill” (actual fire or otherwise), then you know how important it is to trust the instructions given to you by firemen. You don’t think or question, you just do what the fireman tells you.

This is the kind of trust Ibrahim is talking about when he discusses trust during major incidents in the oil industry. Continue reading