Saying No in Academia

I can’t tell you how many times I have started my day thinking that if someone were to ask me to be part of a new project or to join a committee I would (and should) say “no.” And usually, that very same day (there must be some cosmic thing going on), someone asks me these exact things. And how do I respond? You guessed it: “Yes”.

So why can’t I say “no”? I say “no” all the time in my personal life and I have no problem with that. But when it comes to my job, several things fight in my head. First, I am convinced that if I don’t join the committee on reevaluating the color of a particular flyer (I am making that one up by the way) or if I am not part of this new project that looks at rebuilding our library underground (again, making it up), then I will be missing out on something great, on networking possibilities, but perhaps more importantly, that I will be denied tenure.

Yes, in my head, I somehow convince myself that saying “no” to yet another thing when I am already burning out from all the work I have will somehow be the reason why I will be denied tenure. Nevermind the fact that I am a hardworking woman who excels at her job (yes, totally flattering myself here) and that being granted tenure depends on so much more than one extra project or committee. Because in my head, I worry that saying “no” might mean passing on a great opportunity and destroy my dreams of being tenured.

But that’s not all. Another reason why I can’t seem to say “no” is because I feel that I am never doing enough. Yes, I am overwhelmed. Yes, I am currently reaching the maximum of my multi-tasking abilities. Yes, I am working on several articles, book chapters, projects, and even a book! But I always feel like I am never doing enough, like my colleagues do so much more than me and therefore that I should do more. This is so unhealthy and so untrue. But it does not matter because the little voice in my head tells me I need to do more, more, more!

I guess the first step is to recognize and admit the problem. The second step will be to learn how to say “no” and not immediately regret it or worry that it might affect my career. This is yet another way in which I am learning to care for myself and my well-being. It won’t be easy but I already feel slightly better writing about this.


Workshop Announcement: Information Analysis: The Role of Visualization Tools and Cloud Computing Platforms in Collaborative Research and Teaching

It is my pleasure to announce the following FLDH sponsored workshop that will take place just before HASTAC 2017.Capture.

See here the full workshop announcement:

Self-Care in Academia: A Follow-Up

I wrote my post, Living with Alopecia: On Self-Care in Academia, because I felt it was important for me to share my story. Academia can make you feel so lonely and insecure, to the point that you try to hide your mental and physical issues from everyone for fear of appearing weak. But you know what? Sharing openly what you are going through, well that’s being strong and powerful.

I received so many messages of friends, colleagues, people I had never met, who are going through similar issues, sharing with me how stress has affected their lives, and thanking me for writing my post. You are welcome and thanks to everyone for being so open as well. I am not alone, you are not alone, and together we can strive to take better care of ourselves.

I also received a few suggestions on how to deal with stress-related issues. For instance, some make sure to sleep for 8-9 hours a night while others focus on having hard limits to their work day and leaving work out the door once home. Some don’t work on the weekends and instead focus on their families, outside activities, activism, etc… Others practice yoga or meditate every night before going to bed. Personally, I went back to working out a few times a week (I really like the free videos at Popsugar) and to cooking. I have also started this membership at a spa where I can either get a massage or a facial every month. I LOVE this. And my cat is the queen of being relaxed so I try to follow her example! Everyone is different so find something that works for YOU.

Am I cured all of a sudden? No. I have not become the least stressed person in the universe. And my hair has not regrown magically yet either. But I do enjoy my work and my life more. I am less bothered by the little things over which I have no control. I am happier. While I still suffer from the imposter syndrome and I am still a stressed-out person, I do find I am making progress towards a better work-life balance. So thanks “Alopecia on my head” because you helped me realize how important taking care of myself is.

Position Vacancy Announcement: Electronic Resources Librarian

POSITION: Electronic Resources Librarian
RANK: Assistant University Librarian or Associate University Librarian
REPORTS TO: Chair, Acquisitions & Collections Services
SALARY: $48,492 minimum salary at the Assistant University Librarian rank
$56,098 minimum salary at the Associate University Librarian rank
Actual salary will reflect selected professional’s experience and credentials
DEADLINE: August 14, 2017 (applications will be reviewed beginning July 24, 2017)
Please note the specific instructions to submit application materials on our website at and in the APPLICATION PROCESS section below. Failure to include all required documents may result in your application being disqualified.

The Acquisitions and Collections Services Department seeks an experienced Electronic Resources (E-Resources) Librarian to serve as Head of the E-Resources Unit. This is a 12-month, tenure-track faculty position that provides leadership in the management of the complete e-resource lifecycle, coordinates the unit’s activities and workflows, manages the work of, and supervises five full-time staff, and sets goals and objectives for the Unit. The E-Resources Unit is responsible for the acquisition and management of the Libraries’ e-resources and engages in a variety of activities, including licensing and acquiring electronic resources, processing over $8 million dollars in annual e-resource expenditures, managing access via e-resource access and discovery systems, liaising with subject librarians on all e-resource related matters, loading e-resource MAchine Readable Catalog (MARC) records, and creating reports and statistical analysis for collection assessment.

In support of the mission and strategic directions of the Smathers Libraries, the incumbent works collaboratively and fosters positive working relationships with colleagues and with publisher and vendor representatives to ensure patron information needs are met while continuing to build collections that satisfy long-term goals. This position may negotiate license agreements and purchasing arrangements and represent the Libraries by serving on consortial committees. As a tenure-accruing faculty member of the Smathers Libraries and University, the E-Resources Librarian will be expected to pursue research, engage in scholarship and creative activities that generate impact nationally and internationally, including publications, presentations, and grants; as well as professional service activities that meet library-wide tenure and promotion criteria for distinction.

The E-Resources Librarian is expected to include individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and perspectives in work activities to support all students and faculty and foster excellence in a diverse and global society.

– Supervise unit employees (5 FTE) and manage the activities and workflows of the E-Resources Unit, including planning and goal setting, workflow review for effectiveness and quality assurance, hiring, training, and evaluating professional staff and student workers
– Plan and coordinate e-resource lifecycle management efforts, including license review and record maintenance, invoicing and activation, access and authentication, MARC batch record loading and other metadata activities, discovery system and e-resource management system configuration and maintenance, and analysis and report creation for collection assessment purposes.
– Maintain effective communication channels and excellent working relationship with subject specialist librarians, library administrators, and publisher/vendor representatives to ensure collection goals are met, including timely renewal and processing of subscriptions and invoices; investigation, planning, and negotiation of new and existing services, purchases, and license terms; and analysis and assessment of e-resource collections and cost effectiveness.
– Continuously improve user interaction with library created and third-party systems, including reviewing settings, investigating and troubleshooting complex access/authentication issues, and advocating for users’ needs by providing constructive feedback on product and platform design and delivery to vendors and publishers.
– Monitor and evaluate publisher and vendor products, services, and costs; provide input to the administrators responsible for collection budget management and library systems selection.
– Contribute as part of the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department leadership team to development of department goals, policies, procedures, priorities, and staffing decisions.
– Maintain active involvement in appropriate professional and subject related national, regional, and state organizations, particularly taking a prominent role in representing the Smathers Libraries with regional and state library consortia e-resource and acquisitions-related committees and group initiatives.
-Engage in professional activities, scholarly research, and service opportunities at the institutional and professional levels as related to assignment and in accordance with the Libraries’ tenure and promotion criteria.

– Master’s degree in Library and/or Information Science from an ALA-accredited program, or equivalent professional experience, plus an advanced degree
– Appointment at the Assistant University Librarian rank requires two years of relevant experience; appointment at the Associate University Librarian rank requires eight years of relevant experience.
– Experience supervising, managing, training and motivating team members
– Experience with integrated library systems (ILSs) and e-resource management, access, and discovery systems
– Experience creating documentation and reports and generating statistics to assess collections and/or acquisition plans
– Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member to accomplish common goals and adapt to rapidly shifting priorities, goals, and deadlines in a complex, evolving, and diverse environment
– Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills, including verbal and written communication
– Evidence of excellent analytical, organizational, and problem solving skills
– Evidence of working independently and meeting project deadlines
– Evidence of a strong commitment to customer service
-Knowledge of trends in scholarly communication and academic libraries, specifically as related to e-resource management; acquisitions; collections; cataloging and metadata; and/or scholarly communications.
– Record of including individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, and perspectives in research, teaching, service and other work.
– Strong potential to meet requirements for tenure and promotion (outlined at

– Experience reviewing and negotiating license agreements, purchasing terms, and/or vendor services for electronic resources in an academic library
– Understanding of business and licensing models and their budget implications, and the ability to clearly communicate that understanding
– Experience planning and monitoring library collection funds
– Functional experience with Sierra ILS and EBSCO Discovery Service
– Project management experience
– Strong presentation skills
– Experience with Demand/Patron Driven Acquisitions (DDA/PDA), Evidence Based Acquisition Selection (EBA/EBS), or other “just in time” acquisitions models
– Basic understanding of cataloging principles and experience manipulating and batch loading MARC record files
– Involvement in professional development activities, including research and participation in professional organizations.

The University of Florida (UF) is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state’s oldest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation’s most academically diverse public universities. UF was ranked 9th among public universities in Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers 2015.” UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. In 2013 the Florida Legislature designated UF as the state’s preeminent institution which grew into an opportunity to achieve national and international recognition for the University’s work in serving students and the world. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities. UF traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853 and is now one of the largest universities in the nation, with more than 50,000 students. For more information, please consult the UF homepage at

The libraries of the University of Florida form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida. The UF Libraries consist of seven libraries on the Gainesville campus and three off-campus facilities; six of the campus libraries, and all of the off-site facilities, are in the system known as the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. The remaining library is the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center. Collectively, the UF Libraries (the Smathers Libraries and the Legal Information Center) hold or provide access to over 5.45 million print volumes, 8,100,000 microfilms, 1.25 million e-books, over 152,000 full-text electronic journals, over 1100 electronic databases, 1.26 million documents and 1.35 million maps and images.
The UF Libraries have built several nationally significant research collections, including the Latin American and Caribbean, Judaica, Florida History, Children’s Literature, and Map and Imagery collections. The UF Libraries are a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). The library staff consists of more than 300 FTE librarians, technical/clerical staff and student assistants. The organizational chart is available at

The primary mission of the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department is to efficiently acquire resources and materials in a wide range of formats to meet the Strategic Directions and mission of the Smathers Libraries in supporting the academic and professional programs of the University of Florida. The department is divided into three units (Print & Media; Accounting & Serials; and Electronic Resources) and one program (Gifts & Exchange). Each area of operation is expertly staffed and dedicated to a specific set of responsibilities. The units function as a team to perform workflow and implement a variety of initiatives. Most notable daily responsibilities of the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department include allocating, encumbering, and expending a twelve million dollar materials budget; implementing and tracking vendors, invoices, order records, and payments; managing license agreements for e-journals, databases, and a multitude of resources; project management including projects that traverse other departments; handling subscriptions for thousands of print/online serials and standing orders; overseeing several large approval/slip plans and firm ordering for print and e-books from booksellers and publishers across the world; and being the principal department for batch-loading thousands of vendor, publisher and OCLC bibliographic records into the library catalog.

Gainesville, Florida and the surrounding community are home to approximately 257,000 people and both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. Situated just over an hour from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the city is surrounded by over 40 nature parks, including many spring-fed lakes and rivers. In 2015, Gainesville was named the “Best Midsize College City in America” by WalletHub and ranked no. 7 on “Top 10 College Towns”. Gainesville is known as an innovative municipal government and an innovative city. Gainesville continues to receive national recognition as a top-rated city. Some of Gainesville’s accolades are listed at the Gainesville Awards and Recognition link. The Guide to Greater Gainesville combines award winning photography and compelling articles that capture all the reasons for calling Greater Gainesville your next home. The area has numerous cultural institutions and is a haven for sports fans. Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and St. Augustine are all within a two-hour drive. Gainesville is an affordable city and area to live in – using a cost of living calculator you can compare cities across the United States. See how affordable Gainesville really is!

Vacation days, paid holidays, and sick leave days; retirement plan options; insurance benefits; tuition fee waiver program; no state or local income tax. Prospective employees should review the information about employment and benefits at UF available at

To apply, submit 1) a cover letter detailing your interest in and qualifications for this position; 2) a written statement on how changes in the e-resources landscape are affecting users and collections at large research institutions (250 words); 3) your current resume or CV; and 4) a list of three references including their contact information (address, telephone number, and email). Apply by August 14, 2017 (applications will be reviewed beginning July 24, 2017). Submit all application materials through the Jobs at UF online application system at Failure to include all required documents may result in your application being disqualified. If you have questions or concerns about the process please contact Bonnie Smith, George A. Smathers Libraries Human Resources Office, at

The University of Florida is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minority group members. We are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment; we strongly encourage applications from women, members of underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. As part of the application process, applicants are invited to complete an on-line confidential and voluntary demographic self-disclosure form which can be found at: This information is collected by the University of Florida’s Office of Human Resources to track applicant trends and is in no way considered by the Smathers Libraries in the selection process.

Final candidate will be required to provide official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at