An Open Letter to the #c4l16 Program Committee

Thank you.

As I’ve begun the processing period of what a Code4Lib conference does to you, there has been but one thing that has remained the same, working with you all has been one of my best conference experiences. All the hours spent in analyzing proposals, drafting up many many potential programs setups, it was worth it.

Thank you for the support and willingness to try something new. I’ve been on a few conference committees and none of them, have made it feel like we could try something new, until now. Ideas were not shot down, they were taken into consideration. As an outsider looking in, this is a place where if I’m going to put in large quantities of energy, it would not be wasted. I’d willingly do it again.

Thank you for providing a space where I felt less intimidated to say something. For a space where, if I did decide to say something, you were listening to understand and not to respond. As someone who felt like they didn’t belong at Code4Lib — you’ve helped me find my place.

We tried something new, we did not fail, and in fact in my eyes we succeeded. The program was strong and broad reaching. This was something we wanted to happen and worried (given our excitement when the panel came together) that maybe we were overreaching, but what matters most is that we were given the power to try – that says something about the Code4Lib community in general. Thank you to those who helped in paving the pathway so we could do this.

I want to apologize for my falling short on delivering the lightning talk we all envisioned, but thank you for making it an opportunity to be delivered. For standing behind me, in person and by live stream, so I wasn’t up there alone. Thank you for the constant encouragement.

It’s been an honor to be a part of this but most importantly, it’s been a pleasure. Hard work is less hard when you’re on a supportive team and a team that carries the burden together. Because of my experience working with you all this year, you’ve secured my buy in to Code4Lib, for this I am grateful. Thank you for restoring my faith that we can actually be the change we want to see in an organization.

Sincerely,
Me, a very lucky volunteer.

PS Thank you Ben for the extra nudge to join the committee & for putting my name on the list and for your constant encouragement to speak up.

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Being Successful as an Online Student

A key thing to remember is that to be successful as any student is to be organized. Have a calendar and schedule time blocks and give yourself room for error. Life doesn’t always happen the way we want and we should plan for that. If I know a project will take me 2 hours to complete I will plan 3 hours to complete it. I find this to be super helpful, so if I finish it without interruptions I have extra time, but if something came up that did not permit me to finish it on my timeline I know I still have a small window, sometimes large window, to finish it on the instructors time line.

I have been always been an organized person, especially in my studies. I love to have time lines, my time management skills are super important to me. I enjoy sitting down and plotting out how and when I will complete certain tasks and how long it will take me. I recommend setting aside a day of the week (I use Sunday) to plan out school assignments for that week. I add all my MAJOR deadlines  in at the beginning of the semester so I see them before I plan something over them.

When I started this program I already had my Master’s planned out to how many credits I will take a semester, what I will need to have saved to pay for it (in the case I do not get any scholarships) what classes I plan on taking, as long as they do not change the scheduling that is already posted and when my projected graduation date is. I love having this mapped out for me it gives me a sense of not only control but of relief knowing I have a plan.

As a student you will collaborate with others; it is important that you are open about your ideas and your concerns.
I loved what Ken Haycock expressed on conflicts and confronting issues, Don’t talk about an issue you won’t put on the table to respectfully go over. To me that is like asking a question you don’t want an answer to.

I don’t mind working in teams but I also love working on my own, its easier. However, if you have a successful team you can achieve tasks much greater in a shorter amount of time as a team and like I said before I love managing my time and know where it is being spent and on what, so effective teams win my heart over individual work.

As Enid Irwin said, “Team work IS planning and communication and a process.”
I loath pointless meetings, if we are going to get our team together in one spot and one time we need to be productive of the time use. Having a meeting is teamwork, bring something to the table every time, don’t come empty handed or that is how you will leave.