Keeping Words with Friends and Work separate

I’m working with a lot of tech related trends in a new job of mine and BYOd (Bring your own device) is probably one of the biggest deals besides Cyber Security. It’s talking about bringing your own device to work, meaning you would use your personal iphone for work and play. Personally I’m not a huge fan of mixing the office with home, I’d rather leave it at home (as you can probably tell I’m not yet working in an archives…). But this new device seems really cool and might be the answer to making the portable workspace a reality without encroaching upon happy hour.



The once ubiquitous and now seemingly forgotten computer company, Dell, may finally be making a comeback by answering all of our BYOD related prayers.


Ophelia, Dell’s newest “Cloud Key” project may soon be used by every major company.


What Dell is working on is a small device that connects to the HDMI port of any sort of device.

It will use the power from that device and then will connect you to your company’s cloud and then to your work desktop. By using wifi and Bluetooth, it will also connect to a keyboard or a mouse so the device can be used like a normal computer. When they say any device, they mean over 250 million devices, such as TV’s on display at stores. In theory, you can finish up an emergency project at Best Buy while you pick up the latest season of Dr. Who.


Why is it Awesome?

  1. No quality is lost from Ophelia to the device
  2. IT departments can manage the device through Cloud Client Manger Software (and it comes free with Ophelia!)
  3. Once Ophelia is removed, no data is left on the device that had been used.
  4. Data cannot be stolen because it is not stored locally, but rather on the cloud.
  5. It will sell for “well under $100”


What Does This Mean for Employees?

  1.  It’ll be much easier to make your personal device a temporary work-device, protecting your data and being able to “turn off” work, separating that often muddied line.
  2. Work materials wont fill up precious space in personal devices
  3. Teleworking can become more spontaneous and can happen almost anywhere.


What Does this Mean for Employers?

  1.  Eliminating the need to have to decide on a certain type of device (Android, iPhone, etc)
  2.  Saving money on providing devices or IT services for personal devices
  3.  Data protection is easier and more accessible
  4.  IT departments can monitor activity in real time to fix problems and maintain security.


Right now it sounds amazing, so hopefully it will be as great as it sounds. If anything, it seems that technology companies are moving in the right direction.

Side Note: And in case you’re wondering, “Ophelia” is just a project name and will be renamed when it officially goes on sale (supposedly during the first half of 2013). I’m anticipating the device will have a much better future than Shakespeare’s heroine did (maybe it will even be waterproof)


I’m really into the whole “outside the classroom” learning, maybe because I’m a bit jaded about the limited things I have been learning in the archives classroom verses what I’ve learned on the job. Definitely worth a look, I’m interested in the Harvard copyright class!


No matter how great a MLS/MLIS program is there just isn’t enough time and courses to learn everything. HLS alum Annie Pho previously discussed the interpersonal skills we don’t learn in school and identifying what you want to know, and Lauren Bradley contributed a guest post on continuing education after library school. It can be very frustrating to look at job postings and think, “What does that even mean? They didn’t teach me that!” But with an optimistic and do-it-yourself attitude the gap between what you know and what you need to know can shorten.

Take advantage of free online courses
Video tutorials or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) take DIY to a whole new level.

Two great resources are the free Khan Academy and the subscription based lynda. Khan provides a library of high-quality instructional videos, and lynda offers software training through video courses. So far I’ve…

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Karen Zgoda

UPDATE January 28, 2014: Now available in doll form! Courtesy of reader Deanna Foster who writes, “A very good friend of mine is doing her PhD, and I was inspired by your blog to give her a “Graduate School Barbie” for Christmas. I made some modifications to a barbie I picked up at WalMart. She really enjoyed it – thanks for your blog post!”

xmas2013 A

xmas2013 C

xmas2013 B

UPDATE November 26, 2013: Now available at the USA Today!

UPDATE November 4, 2013: Now available at the Huffington Post!

UPDATE August 8, 2013: Currently this post is at ~300,000 views (298,742 to be exact). THANK YOU INTERNET!

UPDATE December 6, 2012: Folks, I am deeply humbled by the attention this post has received. Here are recent stats:


Welcome!! Over 48,000 of you, most likely current or former graduate students, stopped by to say hi and laugh just yesterday alone. Most of you found…

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If You’re Already Sick of Christmas Music…

… try these songs on for size! While I myself am NEVER sick of Christmas music, many out there (many whom work in retail) would rather saw their arm off with the metal part of pencil eraser (called a ferrule, actually) than have to listen to Christmas music anymore. Well to those who want a little something else, listen to these songs listed in this mixtape put out by FlavorWire.

10 Best Songs About Libraries and Librarians

A friend from library school wrote this blog about some projects we were assigned. It’s a good point to make about the pros and cons of certain styles of assignments. Let me know your thoughts!


Your task is to develop a persona, and make up a research question that persona might ask.  It can be anything you want.  Once you have a question, take it to a reference desk at a library/archive/historical society of your choosing. Then write a paper about the experience.

Sound familiar? No, it’s not a rejected subplot from Skyfall.  It’s an assignment I’ve encountered in two different classes this fall, which is my first semester of library school.  And from talking with other LIS students, it seems like this is a common assignment regardless of your school.  It’s the “secret shopper” theory of observation at work.  An anthropologist might call it “extreme participant observation.”  The theory says you’ll learn more about something if you immerse yourself in it, giving no impression that you’re REALLY doing research.  That the other participant doesn’t know they’re part of an experiment should make their…

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