Saturday, February 26, 2011

#Curling Librarian: Can I/We Do More?

I love my job. I'm a university librarian. 

Now, you're all thinking that all I do is checkout books all day. Wrong. In fact, I don't check out books at all: I order books, work on a variety of projects, sit on a number of committees, help students with their assignments/papers, teach information searching skills and work with a variety of programs to ensure their relationship with and experience of the library is awesome. This week alone I prepared two teaching sessions for next week, co-presented twice during our university professional development day (Mobile User Experience - including a show and tell of our library's iPads, and Navigating The World of Consumer Health Information), worked 5hrs at the reference desk, and used my charm to get a tour of the university residences. Not bad for a four day week!

Lately though, I've been thinking about how I could mesh my passion for curling and my library skills together.

The last couple big events I volunteered for allowed me to use my friendly people skills, and when I was tweeting for the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) I guess I was using my technology abilities (as a friend said though: "anyone can tweet"). Being on a board at one club, and the committee for the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships certainly takes some brain power. Doing all the online/social media for the Wheelies event is going to be a big challenge for me, one I'm excited to take on! And I love doing all of this just as much as I love my libraryland job.

But there's got to be more. I've been pondering an article by Jean Mills posted on the CCA blog titled "Around the House: Curling clubs get the academic treatment." It highlights current research going on regarding: how clubs are important to communities, how curling benefits womens' health, and then all that engineering excitement about the new brooms and sweeping techniques that were studied before the Olympics.

Shortly before the article was posted, I attended a scholarly research seminar (university librarian, remember, it goes with the territory). At some point I'm going to have to get more fancy letters after my name (I'll likely do a second masters degree, the whole PhD thing is quite terrifying). This also involves doing presentations and publishing papers. 

And that got me thinking. Someone somewhere is going to want to publish some of these, and other research studies like new types of deliveries, or the most effective way to teach curling or whatever else is going on in the curling world. When I say publish I mean academically, in academic/scholarly journals, perhaps in the areas of science or engineering or physical education. 

And someone somewhere in the curling world is someday going to need an awesome curling librarian to research and write up a literature review for their awesome yet-to-be-published paper! 

All you curling-scientists or curling-academics out there: you know where to find me.

Most of the time my colleagues think I'm nuts, but being a curling nerd has been an extremely fun experience for me! I've met so many awesome people (online and in real life)! Tweeting scores and interacting with fans while watching live curling games on tv has become one of my favourite things to do! And isn't a happy curling nerd a happy and productive librarian? I certainly think so. 

It's not just about me though: what can you do for the sport of curling? Teach a little rock program? Write up a grant proposal? Volunteer some time for a local or larger CCA event? Sew crests on jackets? Knit vintage curling sweaters to auction off for a fundraiser (I'd buy one!)? Write a piece in your local paper about playdowns? Create some advertising for a bonspiel at your club?

I bet you've got some skills and abilities that could help grow and improve the sport of curling. Don't let me hog all the fun!

Honestly, sometimes I just feel like an 8yr old in a toy store, and need to share all the goodies I see on the shelves with my friends. Thank you for humouring me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#Curling on TV: Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Starting Saturday February 19, and right up until the final on Sunday February 27 - there's going to be some awesome curling on tv! It's Scotties Tournament of Hearts time!

Teams are:

Territories/Yukon: Kerry Galusha
BC: Kelly Scott
Alberta: Shannon Kleibrink
Saskatchewan: Amber Holland
Manitoba: Cathy Overton-Clapham
Ontario: Rachel Homan
Quebec: Marie-France Larouche
New Brunswick: Andrea Kelly
Nova Scotia: Heather Smith-Dacey
PEI: Suzanne Gaudet Birt
Newfoundland: Stacie Devereaux
Canada: Jennifer Jones

This year, ladies nationals is Charlottetown, PEI, so not so good for watching in my time zone (they're 3hrs ahead). All games are on TSN, and here's the schedule in Mountain time:

Saturday Feb. 19 - 11:30am/4:30pm

Sunday Feb. 20 - 6:30am/11:30am/4:30pm
Monday Feb. 21 - 6:30am/11:30am/4:30pm
Tuesday Feb. 22 - 6:30am/11:30am/4:30pm
Wednesday Feb. 23 - 6:30am/11:30am/4:30pm
Thursday Feb. 24 - 6:30am/11:30am/4:30pm
Friday Feb. 25 - 11:30am tiebreaker/4:30pm 1vs 2
Saturday Feb. 26 - 9:00am 3 vs 4/2:00pm semi
Sunday Feb. 27 - 4:30pm final

The draw schedule is here. Who knows which game TSN will feature - but I guarantee they will show the Jones (CAN) vs Overton-Clapham (MB) game Wednesday night. Both skips say it's just s regular game, but considering what happened in the summer, it's bound to be a bit tense!

Who am I picking to win? Well, I enjoy following Jill Officer on twitter, and have great respect for Jennifer Jones after hearing her answers at the Up Close & Personal bit during the Continental Cup last month, so I will be following Team Jones/Canada. I'll also be following Team Homan/Ontario - I've been following the lead Lisa Weagle on twitter for awhile, long before I figured out she played for Homan actually. And of course I'll be cheering for Team Kleibrink/Alberta, because I cheered for them at the Olympic Trials and the Alberta Scotties and I met Amy Nixon's mom and she was lovely so hey, they're my pick to win!

I'm looking forward to watching a bunch of the games (likely via PVR, so no live scoring). I'm seriously considering volunteering for the Scotties next year in Red Deer (either with the CCA web team if they'll have me back, or as a regular volunteer) if I can find a couch to sleep on, so consider this year's Scotties advanced research.

It's going to be a good week of curling!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

#Curling on TV (Maybe): Alberta Men's Provincials

This week is one of my favourite curling events - it's time for the Alberta men's provincials! Starting today, from February 9-13, the best Alberta men's teams will be in High River (just south of Calgary) playing for a chance to go to the Brier. Teams include: Appelman, Ferbey, Kennedy, Koe, Martin, Meek, Petryk, Powell, Schlender, Virtue, Walchuk, and Walker.

Yes, you read that right: Ferbey, Koe, Martin - it's tough to get out of Alberta!

You can follow along from the 2011 Boston Pizza Alberta Men's Curling Championship website.

Apparently the whole event sold out weeks ago! I went to the final weekend in 2008 and 2009 and can vouch for the fact it's some of the best curling in the world. I'm still kicking myself for missing the 2010 final when Koe won (oh the sacrifices I made to earn a masters degree) and can't go this year because it's a bit too far. Maybe I'll try make it out next year (I hear it's in Camrose, so far but not too far).

Unfortunately you can't really watch the event unless you're live in the arena (well, there used to be CurlTV but don't get me started on that) - but they usually show the final on Shaw TV in Alberta - the final goes at 2pm on Sunday, February 13. I'm making a special effort to visit a home with Shaw cable around that time, so I hope it's on - perhaps I'll live tweet the scores for y'all.

Predictions for the winner? Of course I'll cheer for Koe, but I reckon Martin will take it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Music Monday: Provincial Archive/Wool On Wolves/Deep Dark Woods

Finally, a Music Monday post! For all you new curling followers - time to discover some fantastic new Canadian alt-country folky music!

It's a triple bill this week with The Provincial Archive, Wool On Wolves and The Deep Dark Woods. There is a fantastic concert happening this Friday, Feb. 11 at the Myer Horowitz Theatre at the University of Alberta. Unfortunately I can't go because I'm at a course (Government Information Resources - it promises to be fascinating, and that's not sarcasm*). The show starts at 7pm and it's cheap ($17.50). There will be banjos!! Someone go and tell me all about it. Video would be a nice touch.

What?! You've never heard of the bands? Well, here's your chance...

The Provincial Archive (official, myspace)

Wool On Wolves (official, myspace)

The Deep Dark Woods (official, myspace)

*Seriously, government information is a fascinating topic (remember I'm kind of a law librarian), and I'm super glad my library let me go on a weekend long course to learn about it! I really wish I wasn't missing this concert though. I haven't been to a concert since December and have nothing planned for awhile. And there will be banjos! Le sigh. At least there's lot's of curling stuff going on.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

#Curling on TV: Canadian Juniors

Have you been following the Canadian Junior Curling Championship this week? Nadine Chyz from Alberta has been on fire! And the Saskatchewan guys team are undefeated! Wish I could be in Calgary: from reading the Canadian Curling Association blog it sure sounds like some good curling.

Lucky for us then TSN is showing the finals (times in Mountian):

Saturday Feb. 5 - Women's final 5:30pm
Sunday Feb. 5 - Men's final 5:30pm