Eating (and everything else!) in Austin for ER&L 2015 Attendees

In just one week I’m heading to my first Electronic Resources and Libraries meeting – I won one of the DLF/CLIR + ER&L Cross-Polinator Awards for this year! I’m really excited to go to a conference that’s a bit different than my standard, meet new people, and learn some new things. I’m also really excited for FOOD in Austin – I lived in ATX way back in 2010 and have family and friends in the area, so I’ve visited a bunch, too. Here are my recommendations for eating and other Austin activities for first-timers:

Tacos or DIE, taken at Torchy's in 2010.
Tacos or DIE, taken at Torchy’s in 2010.
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Year’s End

This is going to sound odd, but I just realized it’s a new year. As in, now that it’s 2014, I guess I can accurately reflect on what happened in 2013, which as it turns out, was quite a lot…

GRADUATION. I completed my MSLIS and MA in May of 2013, after three years of study at Simmons College. Grad school was one of the most simultaneously difficult and rewarding things I’ve ever done, and graduation was definitely bittersweet. My last semester was the only one that took place during 2013, and it was also without a doubt one of the hardest for me – I was working on my thesis, taking a demanding digital libraries class, and working at two amazing-but-time-consuming jobs (Adams Papers & metaLAB). I constantly miss taking classes with amazing professors, writing papers, seeing my old grad pals, and getting student discounts on everything. Of course, finishing my degrees means I also finished my…

THESIS. Completing MA History thesis was similarly a challenging and rewarding experience. “Going Down in History: The Collective Memory of the Titanic” ended up netting me a travel grant and a departmental award, and allowed me to (almost) fully explore a topic I’d casually thought about for years. I wouldn’t trade all those tortuously long reading and editing hours for anything (except perhaps for more reading/writing/editing hours – I’m still playing around with ideas of how I can delve further into Titanica…).


WORK. Perhaps the biggest change of my year was accepting a position at Davidson College and moving in North Carolina in October. It’s my first salaried, full-time gig and changing jobs and moving to an entirely new region has been a bit of a challenge, but overall, I’m very happy with my professional home and the things I get to work on there.


TRAVEL. I went to the UK (London, Southampton, Belfast), Ireland (Dublin, Cork, Cobh), and Canada (Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria). Stateside, I made lots of trips to Providence, NYC, DC, and Philly. I spent a weekend hiking in the Catskills, and a weekend work-ish trip on Cape Cod (Provincetown & Truro). Since moving to North Carolina, I’ve made weekends trips to Asheville, NC; Atlanta & Athens, GA; and Richmond, VA. I went to conferences/ workshops in: College Park, MD; Victoria, BC; Atlantic City, NJ; Cambridge, MA; and Durham, NC. I feel like I’ve gotten to travel plenty throughout 2013, and I’m hoping for similar/ new travels in 2014.

So This Is Commencement

I finished graduate school two months ago, and sometimes it’s still hard to remember that I’m not going back in the fall – to be honest, I already miss going to classes and writing papers! Some commencement-grams, including silly-sleeved gown, and brag-y photo of the thesis award I won:

Can you tell that my Dad made me pose immediately after leaving commencement?
Silly as it is, getting nominated for and then receiving this award is probably my most proud moment thus far in my life. My advisor and readers are amazing women who really pushed me to do better.

But now that graduate school is well and truly over, I’ve set some summer/ fall goals – some things I wanted to do during school but never had the time, things I want to accomplish in general, and some things that I just think would improve the quality of my life. In no particular order:

  1. Re-read all of the books I was assigned in class and thought were really interesting, but had to skim a bit. The top of this list is Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, followed closely by Ross Harvey’s Digital Curation: A How-to-do-it Manual.
  2. Speaking of reading, maybe finish all of the titles I haven’t gotten to yet on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list?
  3. Learn to play that ukulele I bought 2 years ago and promptly put away in a closet.
  4. Update this blog more regularly!
  5. Learn to ride a bike, finally.
  6. Present at a conference.
  7. Publish – in professional organizations newsletters, journals, on my work’s blog, wherever!
  8. Pare down closet and bookcase to essentials – I own way too much stuff…
  9. Make sure to keep in touch with everyone who’s moved away and I miss, with my favorite old professors, with my cousins, with former coworkers and bosses. It’s so easy for me to get busy and forget to do this.