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Archive for the ‘libraries/librarians’ Category

Failure

Posted on: 11/12/2011

I am one.

I blame the system! The man is getting me down!

… Actually, school is eating my brain. Over the past couple weeks I’ve had two group project presentations to prepare for, and one ginormous assignment to do. Once I finally finished those, I barely had brain waves enough to enable me to function on the most basic level.

Y’all, grad school is a whole ‘nother animal. I’ve been in school for almost 20 years total (oh dear sweet Jesus, that is depressing) but I don’t ever remember feeling physically exhausted upon finishing an assignment or a class session. Now, that’s a regular thing. Once I finish a class meeting, I feel like someone has literally taken out my mind and strrrrrreeeetttttccchhhhed it just as far as it will go, and then put it back in. I continue to be amazed by just how much stuff the information science field encompasses, and how much I need to know and be prepared for when I become a practitioner instead of a student. I came into this thinking I needed to learn how to have story time for kiddies … things like collection development, censorship and intellectual freedom, computer systems, management, ethics – none of that ever entered my mind. Not to mention my newfound interest in reference librarianship!

And another weird thing? Although the work itself is certainly not easy, doing the work is easier. It’s endlessly fascinating and I enjoy what I’m learning and I’m so eager to learn more, the act of getting my work done and going to class is easier than it was in college or high school. I’m trying my best to finish up and graduate as quickly as possible, but I could easily stay another year and just keep taking classes. I actually felt disappointed at how many classes were offered but couldn’t be squeezed into two years.

What have they done to me, you guys. Who have I become? I DO NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE MYSELF.

Books in a series should always have numbers clearly printed on their spines. This way, you can make sure you’re checking out the correct books in the correct order before you even leave the library – instead of getting home and discovering, a week later on Sunday afternoon, that you checked out books one and three instead of one and two.

I’m a cranky cuss lately, aren’t I.

Also, how awesome is online shopping? You guys, I have already done 3/4 of my Christmas shopping from my bed, in my pajamas. We will totally become the fat people in the floaty chairs from Wall-E, and this is how it starts.

So, it’s November again! That fact just sort of smacked me in the face a little while ago, as I sit here among my flannel sheets watching season 1 of 30 Rock on Netflix and eating fun size Snickers I snitched from my sister’s candy bag. (What? She has braces, she can’t eat them! I’m doing it to help her out!) So, in spite of the fact that library school is slowly chewing up my brain and spitting it back out, I am gearing up to wade into NaBloPoMo. It was a struggle last year to come up with something every day … and that’s why it didn’t happen … but it was fun too! So I’m trying it again! Although some days you may get a tirade about cataloging and my crazy, nitpicky professor thereof and unenlightened fools who think librarians’ sole function is to know where all the books are.

*seethe*

That last one can really get me going.

I’m dealing with a little residual Halloween-flavored crank today, anyway. I handed out candy at my church’s Trunk or Treat last night (so fun, I love handing out candy!), but it brought me face-to-face with some Halloween pet peeves – that I didn’t even realize I had. It was a night of real self-discovery.

Number one: teenagers who can still legitimately trick-or-treat (barely) but don’t even bother to put forth 5 minutes’ worth of effort. We had teenagers taller than me in everyday clothes lumbering through the line with limp Walmart bags. Really, guys? Do you feel no shame? Taking candy from adorable 3-year-olds in their princess and fireman costumes? If you’re going to trick-or-treat, at least own that crap and wear a ridiculous costume. We’ll all have more fun.

Number two: grown adults trick-or-treating without even a baby in tow. Really? Sad. … Not to mention illegal.

Number three: parents taking their infants trick-or-treating. First of all, if you do/have done this, no condemnation from me. I can appreciate a baby in a fuzzy skunk costume as much as anyone. And if you also have older kids, obviously you get a pass. All I’m saying is, y’all I saw last night collecting a pillowcase full of candy “for the baby?” You get major side-eye. I know who that candy is really for, okay.

Ahh! Now that’s out of my system, I feel so much better. Blogging really is better than therapy, y’all. And so begins NaBloPoMo! Stay tuned.

I was just linked to a fabulous article on Facebook, from The Atlantic: “What People Don’t Get About Working In A Library.” (Apparently this is part of a larger article or series pointing out things about many careers that people don’t know or don’t understand. I only read the part Relevant To My Interests.)

At orientation last month, we got to hear from a panel of practitioners in the information science field. What impressed upon me the most were some words from a school librarian; she said that the most important thing for us to do is advocate for ourselves, our field and our jobs. As most people probably know, government funding for public libraries is in danger and in this age of Google, people are often questioning whether libraries and, by default, librarians are even relevant and necessary anymore. I can promise you, they are! People have no idea what is really available to them at the library, and our job is to get that information out there.

You can read the whole article here, but these are my favorite bits (especially the last quote!):

“We are not mere cart pushers, let me assure you. This job requires a Masters degree for a reason.”

“I am an aggregator, a citation machine, a curator, a specialist in whatever it is you want to know about.”

“I use Google, and I like Google, but no, not everything is available on the Web for free.”


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