Location: UAB Sterne Library
Current gig: Reference Librarian for Arts and Humanities and Associate Librarian
Current mobile devices: iPhone 5s, iPad 2, 4th gen iPod touch (kept in car for audiobook listening)
Current computer: Dell desktop PC (work) and ASUS netbook (home)
One word that best describes how you work: Mindfully. That can be positive (taking time to think of the best way to complete a project) or negative (working something out from beginning to end in my mind before getting it down on “paper” and starting). Early drafts and revision aren’t my strong suits.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Evernote. Evernote. Evernote. I can collect and organize notes in all formats (e-mail, webpages, photos, audio, video, pdf) and everything is searchable. I use it for work (e.g., saving information about books and other material to order for the library) and home (e.g., saving recipes and knitting patterns). Evernote also helps me cut down on the amount of paper I use. I started using the Dolphin browser on my iPhone and iPad because it has the Evernote Web Clipper built in. And yes, I’m drafting this post in Evernote.
In second place (maybe tied for first) is Lastpass. There’s no way I could remember the passwords for all the websites I access for work and personal use.
What is your workspace like?
It’s stack city on my desk. I do most of my work on computer or iPad, so my desk space is mostly storage. I don’t think I’ve ever put up family photos at any of my jobs, but I have library-related swag and gifts from coworkers on my desk and shelves.
What is your best life hack?
Working in a few minutes to sit with my eyes closed. I don’t meditate, but it’s relaxing to take a break from all the screens we deal with everyday.
What is your favorite to-do list manager?
You’d think I’d use Evernote, but that hasn’t worked for me as a daily task manager. I keep track of deadlines and appointments in Outlook and use Wunderlist. My daily and weekly to-do lists at work still end up on a notepad.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I guess my iPad. I use it daily at home and at work.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to Spotify or Pandora, usually on my iPad. I just discovered Spotify’s “Focus” playlists and started using them as background music while reading. When I’m writing, I listen to Spotify playlists of 80s hits or jazz. I created playlists of songs from my old cassettes (which I no longer have) and CDs (that I rarely play) and love listening to those for a memory lane pick-me-up. Sometimes I listen to podcasts on Stitcher.
What are you currently reading?
My Goodreads profile says I’m reading The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Ring in Yellow and Other Horror Stories, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, A Song of Ice and Fire, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood, and World War Z. I started reading all of those, but I’ve read some books in between. I just finished listening to Devil in the Grove as an mp3 audiobook. May I give a shout-out to the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) for their mp3 audiobook collection? I guess I just did.
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
Introvert. Small groups are fine, but I need time alone to re-energize after being in large crowds.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I average six hours a night. I’m still working on powering down an hour before bedtime, but the screens are winning.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Learn when to say no.” It helps me from becoming overextended and focus on projects that are most important.