Caro Pinto’s Media Diet

Howdy folks, my name is Caro Pinto and I am the social sciences & emerging technologies librarian at Hampshire College. I am pleased to be a guest blogger here for the next two weeks to talk about strategies for for locating and managing web resources for research and learning.

Inspired by the Atlantic’s Media Diet feature that queries journalists, techbiz thought leaders, and musicians what they read and how they keep current, I thought I’d share my own media diet. My media diet’s goal is keep me current with trends in higher education, digital humanities, technology, librarianship, and my faculty’s subject areas.

I generally rise at 6:00 am and immediately check my email on my iPad. I do a quick browse of Chronicle of Higher Education articles to get a lay of the land. I usually have some coffee and my day beings to hum along. I then grab my Macbook Pro and fire up Twitter and begin to look  content I subscribe to in Google Reader.

At this early stage of the day, I only scan articles and decide if I want to read them later (come back next week to learn more!) or if it’s critical news that I want read immediately. I go through the Chronicle of Higher Education through the email blasts they push daily. I go through my Google Reader lists that are organized topically: librarians, archivists, higher education, digital humanities. I subscribe to individual librarians, archivists, and digital humanists and relevent organizations like 4Humanities and the Scholars’ Lab. Though I am the social sciences librarian, the digital humanities movement resonates with types of digital projects I want to spearhead at Hampshire.

While my folders on Google reader are focused on librarianship, higher education, and digital humanities, my Twitter account is far more varied. I follow media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Slate,  and The Wall Street Journal, political reporters like Ryan Lizza, Ezra Klein, Dahlia Lithwick, and Ana Marie Cox, library and info science thought leaders like Stephen Abram and Lorcan Dempsey, technology sites like Cult of Mac, TechCrunch, and AllThingsD, and collection development resources like The New York Review of Books,  The London Review of Books, and a long list of University Presses. I also follow various vendors like JSTOR, EBSCO, ProQuest among others to track larger trends in library services and to learn about outages or other technical updates.

Many librarians/archivists have robust Twitter presences and I follow several hundred of them. The info pro community on Twitter is strong and I often ask questions of my colleagues or respond to their inquiries. These relationships are central to my work and professional development.

I engage with Twitter all day long while I work and save relevant articles to read later on my iPad. I synthesize while I read at night and keep notes possible research questions or trends I need to track. This process helps me set priorities for possible projects and potential research quests.

Even though I do technology and my office is nearly sans books, I also receive various print publications at the Library that I read weekly and monthly. I always read The New Yorker, Bloomberg, The Harvard Business Review, Library JournalThe Economist, Harpers, The Atlantic, and The New Republic, College & Research Libraries from cover to cover.

I also have subscriptions to scholarly journals like the Journal of Modern History that I read in JSTOR and EBSCO. Those services push content to me via email when new issues are available.

Keeping current with news, information, and technology is a core part of my job and central to my continuing professional development. I count myself lucky that I am empowered to read widely, ask lots of questions, and work with such amazing students and faculty. Serving the Hampshire community inspires me to stay current, test my assumptions, and imagine new library services.

Come by next week to learn how I organize and manage all of content streams.

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