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What is Nicholas Doing?

Photo on 10-10-17 at 11.53 AM
What is Nicholas doing?

Today I have an opportunity to talk to my WSU library faculty colleagues about what I'm doing, now that I'm working outside of the library. Organizing my thoughts on how to update them <waves at WSU librarians> seems like a fitting context to also fill the rest of you in on what I'm currently doing at work. <Waves at everyone else.>

At WSU, library faculty divide their work into three categories

  • Category One is our librarian work: primary job responsibilities
  • Category Two is our research
  • Category Three is our service to the library, university, profession, and community

The most significant changes occur with my Category One work. In the past, the work included reference and instruction, systems work, collection development, and liaison work. [1] Now this work includes acting as the Assistant Director of the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) and also working with the Electronic Literature Archive (ELA) at WSU Vancouver. Here we are working to archive and provide access to early (pre-web) works of electronic literature. We are starting with the collections of early scholars of electronic literature and expanding our collections to allow electronic literature artists to archive their work with us. We are also expanding to host the archives of other scholarly organizations with similar missions to ours such as Turbulence and the trAce writing centre. Current projects w/ ELL include pursuing grant funding to help us migrate our catalog to the Samvera platform, hosting a series of events including traversals of early e-lit works, hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to improve the public documentation of e-lit works and artists, and publishing our work. Dr. Dene Grigar, the director of ELL, and I have been writing a paper: Documenting Multi-Dimensional Works.  We have also put in a proposal to bring our work engaging undergraduates in the archive to the upcoming INKE meeting.

This summer, Dr. Grigar and I will be teaching a course at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute on the preservation of born-digital works. Our course focuses on preserving works through documentation. We'll walk our students (DH faculty, librarians and archivists, and graduate students) through the pathfinder methodology and

I am also working as the ELO Coordinator for the scholarly society Electronic Literature Organization (ELO). I'm working with the directors to keep the organization and it's annual conference running efficiently and effectively. Currently we are planning the 2018 ELO Conference in Montreal Canada. I am also, through the ELO and the Electronic Literature Archive (ELA-an ELO project) working to earn a certification from the Society of American Archivists as a Digital Archives Specialist. I'm also working with ELA to help implement the CELL taxonomy of electronic literature to help unite the literature and increase access to the field.

Finally, I am continuing to teach DTC 356: Information Structures a three credit course in search, organization, and finding information. Over the course of the semester my students and I move from organizing physical information artifacts, to organizing digitally in databases and then moving on the the particular contemporary challenges of organizing information at web-scale with particular focus on search engines, search engine optimization, and semantic markup of web content for increased search engine visibility.