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Looking Forward, Looking Back

Edward Shaddow in GLAM Blog Club, Learning, Library

In trying to figure out what I want to learn in 2018 I looked back at what I had learnt in 2017 and it turned out it was quite a lot. The way I learn best is through practical projects. The mixture of real-world applications, deadlines, and passion really drive my learning. Inversely, I find learning something for the sake of it frustrating, which is why I tend to struggle in purely academic settings. Sitting down and learning a programming language while not having a project seems a bit useless to me. That said, I did manage to learn quite a lot last year.

In no particular order:

  • I learnt how to set up a MediaWiki platform and will be presenting on it at VALA2018,
  • I learnt a lot helping organise the VALA Tech Camp 2017 with an amazing team,
  • I presented at NLS8 and learnt a lot talking to the wonderful people there,
  • I learnt how to record events (kinda, mostly, sorry Clare) and produce podcasts,
  • I ran a CryptoParty at my library, as well as train-the-trainer sessions to teach other library staff how to run their own,
  • I set up a CoderDojo in my library and have been learning how to work with young people (not something I'm inherently good at),
  • I helped set up an Internet lending program and wrote my first peer-reviewed paper which I will be presenting at VALA2018,
  • I found out more about cosplaying in setting up a series of events for my library,
  • Isopropyl alcohol + BuildTak = amazing 3D prints,
  • I migrated my hosted Ghost blog to its own Linode server (which I set up from scratch) and modified a theme,
  • I'm still learning to say no to things like presenting, and adding a 'but have you tried X, they are awesome!' and promoting other people in GLAM above me,
  • My involvement with newCardigan has taught me a lot, and setting up Perth events has taught me even more! I look forward to learning even more this year.

In non-library related learnings I've:

  • Learnt to love GM'ing - So much so that I want to expand my GM skills into more narrative based games like Noir World, Fung Shui, It Was A Mutual Decision, and Shooting the Moon #lookingforgroup
  • Learnt a new bagua staff form that is super fun and pretty awesome. Figuring out all the changes and practicing is something I look forward to every week.

Looking forward to this year I have no doubt that I will learn many, many things. While no new projects are in my immediate horizon the things I do know I will learn are:

  • Sewing! I attempted my first dress this year with mixed results. I look forward to making many more.
  • Archives. I'm hoping to learn more about archives and expand my GLAM knowledge into this area because archivists are pretty cool.
  • Data. I really want to get into data and see how GLAM professionals can help. One day I'll have a use for Open Refine.

A writer with weird ideas and a polytheism fixation. My alter ego lives in the library, soaking up tech and designing pretty things.

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