Starting the year off right

2016 will be better than 2015. My year ended with a busted foot, bedbugs, losing a good chunk of my possessions, and the sudden and unexpected death of my beloved cat, Wilshire Boulevard. Here she is in a photo I call “Capitalism”. A black-and-white cat draped over the back of an ugly couch. The drapes are hung backwards.Maybe I should properly eulogize her on this blog.

2016 began with a squirrel falling through our skylight. Soon after, a new school year started in the concrete turkey, and it’s kicked off well for me. I’m working on a big web redesign project, exercising the best parts of my brain, in order to make the awesomeness of where I work more visible and discoverable. I’m also working up an article on the violence that Library of Congress cartographic classification & cataloguing rules obscure for a presentation at a Toronto staff library conference this summer.

On the school front, I’ve only got four!more!years! in the MI program as a part-time student, and am happy to be enrolled in Managing Audiovisual Material with Brock Silversides of UTL’s Media Commons, who is letting me write a dream assignment on Ken Burns’ Baseball. I’m taking a data analytics course too, in which I hope to create some geographically-enabled visualizations of American political sentiment with textual data mined from Republican campaign transcripts (sigh).

I am also continuing a research collaboration with Jane Schmidt into the recent rise of Little Free Libraries® in Toronto, a “community-building” project that has raised some eyebrows with us. Stay tuned for more, and keep your fingers crossed that I never see a bedbug ever again in my life.

If I was actually a decent blogger

I’d hope to be half as good as my buddy Netanel Ganin, a cataloguer whose compassionate critical politics shone through in his postings to typically pedantic and argumentative professional listservs I subscribe to. I stumbled across him on Twitter a few months after his name caught my eye, and was happy to see he is also a tuxedo cat parent. Anyways, his blog I Never Metadata I Didn’t Like documents his explorations and critiques of cataloguing and metadata standards, with a wonderful sense of humour. Note that he created an authority record for his cat.

INF2186: Wait, more meowtadata

One last note! While we’re on the topic of cats and metadata, I wholeheartedly suggest following @HistoricalCats on Twitter. It’s an bot that tweets cat-related metadata records harvested by the Digital Public Library of America from various digital collections. Cute historic photos abound, though occasionally the “cat” keyword turns up some less-than-happy cats-in-science materials. Check out the DPLA’s application profile, a derivative of the Europeana Data Model.

image: “Bull dog pushing six kittens in a wheel-barrel, ca.1930”