december 11, 2018

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“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ~ Nora Ephron

 

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Over the past two days I had the chance to see many of my beloved colleagues from my days at the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The always completely delightful Gina Costello (above) was the last NDNPer I ran into, but we made up for lost time with a nice chat before the last session. She’s at LSU, and naturally, continues to do the good, important work. LSU is darned lucky to have her for sure.

 

awwww 2

 

Santi Thompson (above but unaware he’s being photographed) shot up the ranks, moving from the South Carolina NDNP project to Houston U where he’s kickin’ butt and taking names. He did a segment for our online microfilm-to-digital tutorials, and let me tell you, he’s a hoot and a half. SC’s loss was Houston’s gain for sure. It’s little wonder he’s making waves in the profession. Karen Estlund (below) was destined for greatness from the start, so it’s little wonder she’s got most of the Penn State Library answering to her these days. And in her spare time she’s almost done with her PhD in….computing archeology, or some such as that. She’s whip smart in case that wasn’t already apparent, and she’s as generous and kind with her knowledge as you’d expect someone with that smile to be. Then there’s sweet Ivey Glendon (above and below), the first NDNPer I ran into at this conference. She’s also doing incredible things for the library profession. She gave a great presentation today on her latest project at UVA, and she’s soon making a major move back to DC. I’m super excited for her, and what an absolute joy to run into her multiple times over the last two days. She was always a ray of sunshine and she still is. All of these people hold a special place in my heart. They made some of my best librarian years exciting, engaging, and super positive. I will forever be grateful to them.

 

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september 15, 2014

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“When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
~ Buddha

 

best of the best
best of the best

 

How do you get a group of people to smile broadly after sitting all day in a meeting? You lay down in front of them. Works every time (this is the only time I’ve ever done it, so I wouldn’t take my word for it). This group of current NDNP awardees, NDNP graduates, and a few outside organizational representatives assembled at the Willard Hotel beside the White House to figure out how we’re all going to continue to produce and deliver newspaper content to the world. Newspapers are the single most accessed digital collection any of our institutions have. The numbers bear that out. Between us, we have more than 14 million pages (not a typo), and we continue to produce 4 million pages a year. What we have done is remarkable. I have no doubt our collective dreaming will produce something more spectacular than anything we’ve done so far. I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet to be associated with such incredibly smart people.

 

the hippest grandma going
the hippest grandma going

 

But wait, there’s more! BFF Lisa Banyai met me for dinner. We went to this super cool bookstore in Dupont Circle called Kramer Books where I had one of the best shrimp and grits dishes I’ve ever tasted. And it really is a bookstore! We perused an incredible selection of books as a weird mix of James Brown R&B and early 80’s dance music filled the air. Lisa picked up Kentuckian Noah Adams’ book, and she forced me to buy C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. We rambled for a few blocks, even passed a Scientology Church, before I bid my dear friend adieu down the Metro hole. One of the things we talked about over dinner was how many things we have to be thankful for. Each person in this post, Lisa Banyai at the top, they are just a few things for which I am grateful.

 

read well, well read
read well, well read

march 12, 2014

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Self worth is so vital to your happiness. If you don’t feel good about you,
it’s hard to feel good about anything else
.” ~ Mandy Hale

champion
champion

News came that Vermont colleague Birdie MacLennan died after a brief illness two days ago. We met when she attended our first meta|morphosis: film-to-digital institute  back in 2006. I last saw her at the annual National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) awardee meeting in September 2013 (above). She was approachable and kind, soft spoken, inquisitive, and genuine. There is a special place in my heart for my NDNP peeps like Birdie, in part because we worked collaboratively to build one of the most important and sustainable digital newspaper collections in the world, but also because each of us share a passionate belief that we are professionally duty bound to save America’s records of history: the newspaper. I was inspired by Birdie’s zeal and fortitude. My hope is that the young men and women she mentored in Vermont absorbed some of that wisdom. Thank you for your service, Birdie, and thank you most of all for your kindness.

november 18, 2013

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In life you only get as much peace as you make.” ~ JD Carruthers

from beginning to end
from beginning to end

Marie and I boxed up the microfilm for the last National Digital Newspaper Program award for Kentucky. I would say it was bittersweet, but it really wasn’t. We fondly reminisced about the program. So much has changed in the eight years since it began, not all of it good – certainly not for newspapers – but not all of it bad either. For strategies within my control, I did my level best to represent The Commonwealth and her people fairly, and equitably. Our national prominence in the program speaks to those efforts, and that’s something to be proud of. I met a lot of wonderful, lifelong friends. I learned how to be a better manager of people, money, and things, and I learned how to be a better person. Running the NDNP program was one of the biggest honors I’ve ever had. I can’t think of a better way to end it than with the same person there from the beginning: my bestie Marie Dale.

goodbye old friend
goodbye old friend

september 12, 2013

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I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world.
And I do believe in taking care of each other.
” ~ Harvey Fierstein

gathering storm (autostitch and snapseed)
gathering storm (autostitch and snapseed)

Today was my last day with my NDNP peeps. It was a wonderful day. Everyone was so kind. Many told me how much they enjoy the teaching videos I made for the program. They got the jokes – always good to hear. But one thing I noticed that many of my colleagues said about NDNP in general is that it has been a success because of the people. That is 100% true. In all my lives e.g. careers, I’ve never worked with a more kind and giving group of people. THAT is what makes it so hard to walk away. After dinner with friends (with Spike Mendelsohn whom I’m told is a celebrity chef – see photo below), I walked alone to my hotel taking photos of the Capitol building. Just as I got to Union Station I ran into my colleagues from Missouri. Gerald Hirsch paid me perhaps the kindest compliment of all when he said I never made him feel nervous about asking questions, that I had been gracious and kind. Then he thanked me for all I have done for them and for the program. I am truly the most blessed woman to be in the company of these people. Thank you Gerald, and NDNP. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

hey Spike, whadya like
hey Spike, whadya like

september 11, 2013

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Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.
~ Eckhart Tolle

Oyamel corner
Oyamel corner

I started my day late to my presentation. I ended my day with dinner with friends at my favorite restaurant, Oyamel. In between were great conversations with new friends and old. I have loved every minute of my time with the National Digital Newspaper Program. I’ve seen some of the incredible work digital humanities scholars are doing with our content, and the doors we’ve opened for young students. The experience has enriched my life beyond measure. I am forever grateful.

september 27, 2012

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There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets credit.
~ John Wooden

federal triangle (snapseed)

I’ve come to love and appreciate DC. The Metro almost always makes me ill. Or maybe it is the recirculating air in the plane. Whatever the case, this cold has made for a real effort filled day. However, I gave my presentation. It was well received, and I was once again told I’m famous. I’ve never felt more welcome in NDNP as I have this trip, and I will surely miss them. I have a feeling that I’ll see them again.

from above (snapseed)