I’ve been putting the finishing touches this week on our revised posting for a new external relations director position for the library.  We’ve worked closely with University Development on this and it’s been really helpful to understand how that group is organized and exciting to understand their emphasis on university-wide collaboration.  As you’ll see, our new position now has a bigger emphasis on identifying and developing grant funding opportunities, and also incorporates roles that will support parts of our communications portfolio.  We’ll be forming a search committee soon, and I’m hoping we’ll find a new colleague to join us in spring quarter.

This month Academic Services will be partnering with Graduate Education, the Writing and Rhetoric Center, and the Graduate Connection to offer a Graduate Research Fair (January 27 from 10-noon in the 2nd floor Learning Commons).  The fair will feature all kinds of resources to support grad students in their research.  This collaboration to support grad students also features the newly released “GTR” –  a collaboratively developed graduate thesis research portal.  Note the invitation to rate this resource (from “brilliant” to “awful”).  Who can resist?

I’ve returned to some earlier ruminations about the power of questions (“A librarian knows that a question is an engine of language that moves and directs attention in probing ways, starting at the surface of things, but then going deep.” – David Carr).  This connected up with a conversation I had this week about how to advance, well, anything! – through challenges, competitions, and questions. (Funding agencies, confedigital-challenge-digital-challengerence organizers, hackathons, and ‘quests’ … as well as teachers… use this all the time.)  In this case the topic was a more inclusive culture; but it might apply equally to something like digital scholarship.  What would our digital library initiatives look like if they were framed around questions and  challenges?  How might we use competition to advance digital scholarship at Cal Poly?  

Enjoy the long weekend,