About Me

Mary A TreacyUpdate note 12/13

After several hundred “pokes” it’s probably time to edit this section.  Though I have written often about the broad issue of open government, the theme may be appearing more often.  As of last month I am the ‘outreach coordinator” for OpenTheGovernment.org, a national coalition of civil society organizations working in tandem to make us all more aware of the what it takes to assure open government.  Though I’m as interested as ever in free-wheel poking around, I’m learning so much about open government that I want to share what I’m learning as I poke around the complexities, the who’s, what’s and why’s of what it takes to assure our right to know in a rapidly changing political, economic and technological environment.  The tone may change, but I’m still poking….

A friend urges me often and persistently to write a series or post a blog on the theme “Poking Around.”  She observes correctly  that I am always  poking around either in real time and space or digitally – always exploring places, people and ideas.   Because of recent changes in my quasi-professional life, I’ve decided that the time has come.  Welcome to Poking Around….

Focus of my Poking Around is fixed on information frontiers.  Life is all about yet unexamined opportunities to learn.

Poking Around in the real world usually starts with learning frontiers  in my immediate neighborhood, Northeast Minneapolis, or  places in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area that are reachable by public transit.  While others rush by I poke around by foot and by bus or light rail transit.  There’s no end of things to see and hear and learn.  On a good day I just hop off the bus and check out a neighborhood or a building or a park.  I’m not so much into museums as into the treasures that are overlooked.  Same goes with people.

In the digital world my favorite frontier is access to public information and to the public institutions, especially libraries and librarians, that rise to the challenge of enhancing access to public information.  When you get through the endless discussion of “pipes” and get to the hard core of live information, it’s a fascinating information frontier.  Though the technology may be 21st Century, the tools of the trade of librarianship has passed down through the centuries.  And the more information there is, and the more people who need the information, the more those tools become indispensable.

A second digital frontier encompasses ways in which digital data are stored and shared, my particular favorite being podcasts because they are so efficient and so overlooked.

The reality that energizes is that Poking Around may just be the essential skill and habit for the time.   It’s the fruits of Poking Around I’d like to share here.  My conviction is that information is only as good as it is shared.  It’s a concept well formulated by Harlan Cleveland, the renowned prophet of the information age, wh reminded us that information, like a kiss, is best when shared.

My definition of information is inclusive – data, ideas, people, places, recipes or proverbial wisdom.  The opportunities to Poke Around and share are endless.

I hope you’ll join me on my Pokings – and that you’ll share your Pokes with me and others.

Mary Treacy

7 responses to “About Me

  1. Please keep me posted! I’d love to read more as you poke and probe around..

  2. I understand that you attended St. Joseph’s. I am trying to find any living relatives of Mary Alice Kennedy who graduated from St. Joseph’s in about 1942. She was a flight attendant for NWA and died when her plane crashed into a home on Minnehaha Parkway in 1950. We are dedicating a memorial marker to commemorate the event this August 27th and I am hoping to invite anyone who would have a memory of Ms. Kennedy. Perhaps St. Joseph’s has an alumni association.

    • Mark – I did contact the SJA alumnae association and the archives – it was over the weekend so no response yet, of course. I also have the B. Flanagan and B Hudson pieces. Tomorrow I am going to Special Collections at the Central Library and will try to find 1950’s vintage reports. I would like to post something on my blog – with a pitch to TC Daily Planet to use the same piece. Do you have additional information , e.g. decisions of the Park Bd, that I could cite, include in a full report? If you have materials you could email, my regular email is mtreacy@onvoymail.com. My home address is 2224 Stinson Parkway, Mpls 55418. I will definitely let you know what I learn re. Mary Alice Kennedy – I’m guessing there will be something re. her being a stewardess in the 40’s and probably something re. her death in the crash. I do suspect there are women of her vintage who will remember her either personally or by reputation. She must have been a very modern young woman to have joined Northwest Orient Airlines in those days. I will keep you posted. Thank you for any info you may have to add to what I have now re. the crash and, more important, the dedication on August 27. M

  3. I did track down Mary Alice Kennedy – with help. She is a 1940 Graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Paul. I have a photo which will try to attach. If you send me your email I know I can send it – I’m just not sure how to do it here.

    Also, when you do get a time for the August 27 event, please let me know.
    The info is going out through the SJA channels.

  4. I love that you dig around in our community, looking for the meat of what is out there. I read your most recent few articles and am feeling quite refreshed to know that someone is actually paying attention. I would love to read more about your “poking around” into different usages of our Henn Cty library system- I’m an avid user but could always use some mind-broadening ideas.

    • What a delight to get your note – I was thinking readers might be over-libraried, but I do get so excited I want to share! Today it’s a couple items from the Clubs and Organizations files. The buried treasures at the library are wonderful beyond belief! I truly appreciate your taking time to let me know you read these posts. You made my day! Let me know if you have ideas of places I should be poking around and sharing. Best, M

  5. MN Gov. Council on Developmental Disabilities: Dr. Colleen Wieck: “I do want to thank her for the nice tribute given to Moments in Disability History”. Thank you Mary – Bonnie Jean Smith

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