Hi! I’m Kimberly. I’m the mom of a preschooler, a doctoral student in information and library science, and a freelance librarian. I keep an open research notebook here on my site. I gave a keynote at IndieWebCamp New Haven 2019 on Connected Learning and the IndieWeb. I maintain a page tracking scholars of and readings on Fan Studies in Library and Information Science.

You can find me all over social media, but most of the stuff I post there originates here.

You can email me at kimberlyhirsh@kimberlyhirsh (dot) com.

I write in my blog about research, writing, parenthood (but not parenting), chronic illness (both physical and mental), fandom, the Internet, TV, books, movies, music, games, food, and anything else I feel like talking about.

All work on this website is published under a CC-BY license, so please be sure to give me credit if you use it. Also, I’d love to hear how you’re using it, so feel free to email me at the address above and tell me.

About This Website

I use this website to represent me in the online world. It’s not exactly a personal site. It’s not exactly a professional portfolio. It serves both of those purposes, but it’s more. If you see a post from me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I most likely posted it here first. If you want to learn more about the philosophy and technology behind that, check out the IndieWeb.

I write here about what I’m learning, what I’m creating, what I’m consuming, what is fun, and what struggles I’m having. It’s not that I’m not a niche blogger, it’s just that my niche is me.

I try to respect the privacy of my friends and family but will occasionally comment on places where my interaction with them is important.

More About Me

According to CliftonStrengths, my top five talent themes are Input, Learner, Communication, Empathy, and Intellection. According to the VIA Character Strengths Survey, my top five strengths are humor, love, creativity, love of learning, and curiosity. My top voice values are enthusiasm, helpfulness, and transparency.

I’ve been online since 1993 and building websites since 1995. I bought my first personal domain in 2001. I’m so the net girl.

I believe love needs to be central to everything we do. I believe that we give the most to the world when we are participating in activities we find interesting and meaningful. I believe that almost anything you might consider frivolous (TV, comics, fashion, beauty, games, and on and on…) has a deeper layer of meaning that is valuable and worth talking about. I believe we grow when we learn and vice versa.

I’m a proud long-time resident of Durham, North Carolina. I’m rather noisy about my experiences with chronic illness, both physical and mental. I’m a (not so) secret goth. I’m the kind of person who wears fairy wings because I feel like it and has a collection of crowns and tiaras.

My two most on-brand moments are:

  • This time in high school when I sang "Part of That World" in a mermaid tail at a chorus concert and made two boys carry me on stage because mermaids can't walk
  • When I did my first escape room and recognized a particular cipher and instead of just decoding the message, tried to teach the cipher to two of my teammates

One time, my brother asked my sister what “pedantic” meant and she said, “You know - like Kimberly.”

I’m the winner of one Can’t Stop the Serenity Trivia Contest. If my soul were a TV show, it’d be a combination of GLOW and Difficult People. I love showtunes. I think producing theater and comedy is the best job I ever had that didn’t pay. My TV avatars are Liz Lemon, Annie Edison, Jess Day, and Amy Santiago. The predominant pop culture text in my life is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and it strongly informs my life philosophy. My go-to Dungeons and Dragons class is bard. If I were going to marry an inanimate object, it would be the chandelier from The Phantom of the Opera. I have a crush on the Fibonacci sequence, because of an episode of Square One, and on the Feejee Mermaid, because of an episode of The X-Files. I’m kind of always cosplaying as Wednesday Addams.

When I have some time for leisure I spend it playing video or board games. I had to tell people to stop buying me mermaid-themed gifts because I was getting duplicates. I am searching for the perfect old-book-scent perfume, but I think I’ve found the smell I was always meant to smell like in Whisper Sisters’ Goth Club 89. I identify as Ravenclaw, but Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin, and I kind of get it. Kitty Pryde is my favorite superhero. I appreciate a well-crafted pun like other people appreciate a fine wine. I often find glitter on my person without any idea how it got there. If I had to identify only one defining characteristic for myself, it would be that I care.

About My Obsessions

I am both a simultaneous and sequential multipotentialite: I have many interests at any given time, but I’m usually only super intense about one of them at a time. Here are some of the things that have captured my attention to one degree or another, going all the way back to childhood: swimming, reading, singing, gothiness, theatre, cross-stitch, web design, Sailor Moon, Latin, Greco-Roman mythology, video games, roleplaying games, board games, the works of Joss Whedon, fandom, crochet, health and wellness, middle grade and young adult literature, personal productivity, personal finance, personal style, home decorating, the Maker Movement, cupcakery, content strategy, improv comedy, tarot, millenial mysticism, and podcasting.

About My Work

I’m a doctoral student at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My primary research interest is Connected Learning in Libraries. My dissertation work will focus on the information literacy practices of cosplayers.

I’m currently working as research assistant to Dr. Marijel (Maggie) Melo, collaborating with her on projects relating to critical maker culture and the development of equitable and inclusive collaborative learning spaces (e.g. makerspaces).

I was the research assistant on Project READY, a federally-supported professional development program that helps school librarians and their colleagues ensure that their library programs meet the needs of students of color. I co-wrote the grant application and created face-to-face and online professional development curriculum materials around culturally sustaining pedagogy.

I previously worked as managing editor/public communications specialist for a university educational technology outreach program, a middle school librarian, and a high school Latin teacher.

Kimberly Hirsh @kimberlyhirsh