Gallery of our travels – Spain

Somewhere over our years together, Toby and I became art collectors. We started, like any good college couple, with posters to adorn our walls, we even framed some of them. Next we added weapons to our collection, mostly thanks to the local Renaissance Fair. From there to prints, then souvenirs from our travel in various forms, and on.

Right now our art is only appreciated if you visit our home, our own gallery. I’ve decided to take a look at some of our collection here, and tell the story behind the works.

In 2009, Toby and I traveled to Spain, Ireland and England to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We had those large backpacks you see on Americans taking long vacations in Europe, carrying around all we needed, except laundry detergent.

One of our stops this trip was Madrid, a city to which we had not been before. We were near the city center, had lunch in one of the restaurants in that plaza, then walked around to see the nearby shops.

It was at one of these local stores that we found the cut-out art of the Bull Fighter, and the Dancer. By this point in our travels, we were seasoned enough to know, if there was something you like, get it. You will regret it if you don’t. After a brief discussion of where the pieces would be placed in our house, we purchased them.

The shop wrapped them in paper, and put them in a large plastic bag. Let me tell you, those suckers are heavy. Fortunately we found a better method of carrying them for the remainder of our 2 week trip; our backpacks were large enough that you could place them near the bottom (i.e. against your back), with a layer of clothes between you and them, and the weight distribution was taken care of by the waist straps our bags sported.

Today this couple hang in the lone hall in our house, casting memories along with their shadows.

Concerts 2018 and 2019

Since I didn’t write much last year, I’m taking the opportunity this year to look back and ahead at the same time.

Last year Toby and I traveled three times to see shows. In September we headed to Atlanta to see the Welcome to Night Vale show; A Spy in the Desert, and to Orlando for a joint concert of Epica, Lacuna Coil and Insomnium. November we headed with Orlando with our niece, Tessa, to see a recording of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz. I enjoyed both shows very much.

Christy on a balcony pointing at the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me sign
After the live Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me show.
This will be our 4th time seeing Weird Al in concert.

Toby went to more concerts last year, but mostly to metal bands, which are not my thing. Fortunately he has a couple of friends that go with him.

In June we are driving to St. Augustine to see Weird Al Yankovic – Strings Attached. In October we are driving down to Tampa to see Anneke van Giersbergen perform, along with Delain, and Amorphis.

Toby has a few metal concerts, Iron Maiden, the Welcome to Rockville festival, etc, but I am excited for the 4 (so far) that we have planned together.

This year we have a few more shows planned. In early March we are headed toward New York, NY to see Within Temptation. Since this band is one of Toby’s favorites, and because he is amazing, he asked if there was anything I wanted to do while there, any show I wanted to see. Which is why we also have tickets to see Wicked on Broadway.

1924 Copyright restrictions expire

The US signed on with the Berne Convention1 for copyright, and enacted changes to its copyright law in 1978. Under the new laws, copyright no longer required to be registered, nor even denoted in the work itself. A creative work subject to copyright earned those protections upon being recorded to media. The restriction period also lengthened, to meet the international treaty’s minimum of life of the author +50 years. For works where the creator was anonymous or used a pseudonym, and works made for hire the restriction period was 75 years from point of publication.

This would have allowed works published in 1923, or whose authors had passed in 1928, to move out of copyright restriction and into the public domain in 1998. However, in 1998 president Clinton enacted an extension to copyright protections known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. This shifted protection for authored works to life of author +70 years, and works that were anonymous, pseudonymous, or works for hire to 95 years from point of publication.

Since I began my library career in 2006, I have been very aware of the 1923 date. We used this date as a marker for which works were in the public domain, and which still remained under copyright protection.For me, this date was key in our Retrospective Dissertation Scanning Project and corresponding outreach efforts, as well as digitization of print collections. Anything domestic work published in 1923 or earlier was good to go without further consideration. Anything 1924 or after, well, we only did the extra research if we really felt a strong need for those works – otherwise we just passed them by until the day they would slip into the public domain.

The start of 2019 saw the completion of that 95 year protection, and as such, we move the public domain date in the US forward by a year. Our workflows will have to be adjusted (slightly), and documentation updated not only now, but every subsequent year. I know it’s kind of a weird thing to geek out about, but I was giddy when I was at a conference in mid-2018 and learned of this new wave of materials that, as of yesterday, are open for reuse, digitization, derivative works and more.

So there it is, a post about work and something in the outside world that is making a positive impact on my day-to-day. And it makes me smile.

  1. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (here is a starting point to learn more:
  2. Some works may have moved into the public domain earlier, depending on the date of death of a known author, or other factors, but having a single date to pin-point made good sense for library workflows.
  3. Link to the PDF explaining the change, clipped above 

Managing Expectations – 2019

Happy New Year

Image of a 2019 yearly planner with pen.

January 1st, the day of new beginnings, the day of resolutions, the day of tradition, the day of imagining our best selves.

Over the years I have had many strategies for facing a new year. Waking up to watch the sun rise. Doing only the things I love, and not things like cleaning the house- because what you do on the first day sets the tone for the year, completing the “Unravel(ing) the Year” packet (or attempting to), setting goals and sometimes a reward system or other hack1 to encourage me keep with them, and of course, going back to writing in my journal and/or updating my blog.

This year, however, I’m looking at the new year in a different way. Of course there are things I’d like to improve, but they are the things that I always want to improve: reply to letters more promptly, create and stick to a budget, declutter, reduce time on e-devices, do my physical therapy exercises more regularly. But I’m not setting specific goals to meet regarding these goals, with the exception of an aim to try to write (loosely defined to include all work around writing) every day, and this is a shared goal among my critique group.

With no hard and fast goals, my main focus to reach those improvements will be to reflect more on the decisions I am making, to not see straying off the path or having the direction I am heading changed mid-journey as failure, but rather growth. To acknowledge that I am only human, and that, as my former boss2 used to say, “Change is hard, Barbie.”

There are things that I am looking forward to this year – several concerts3, turning “the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything4” years old, celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary5 – but I want to keep things as low-stress as possible. Not only do I believe that will help with my depression, but also could result in a more productive me.

  1. Some examples of hacks I’ve tried in the past: 38 ThingsThe Least I Could Do List from 2017; and a creating a Points System.
  2. Cathy Martyniak, who was Chair of the Preservation Department at UF Libraries (now at UCLA)
  3. Within Temptation, New York, NY; Weird Al, St. Augustine, FL; Delain, Amorphis and special guest Anneke van Giersbergen (solo acoustic), Tampa, FL
  4. Forty-two (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  5. Photo of Toby and Christy's wedding, along with parents.