Monday, February 22, 2010

In case you were wondering what happened to me...

No, I haven't fallen of the face of the Earth (I know you were concerned).  Life just got in the way and I stopped blogging in those final days leading up to the end of the semester.  So what have I been doing since November?

  • graduated graduate school!! 
  • spent Christmas with my family
  • went to the UK on the most amazing post-graduation trip ever
  • moved out of my apartment and back in with my parents
  • applied to lots and lots and lots of jobs.
  • started a new blog!
My new blog, The Adventures of an Unemployed Librarian, is up and running.  You should jump over and check it out! Leave me a comment over there and let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Thanksgiving!

It's almost Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays. All the wonderful aspects of getting together as friends and family without all the pressure of giving gifts. But Thanksgiving is also wonderful because you get to really think about what you are thankful for. This year my list is numerous. I am thankful for...

  • My parents for all they do for me and for generously allowing me to come home after graduation since I don't have a job.
  • My amazing friends for not giving up on me whenever I disappear or whine about not having a job.
  • The opportunities I've had this semester to gain valuable library experience.
  • A career path that will provide me with lots of personal and job satisfaction (once I actually get a job :) )
  • My professors for being so willing to write recommendations for me and to give me advice whenever I ask for it.
  • My readers! Those of you who are out there (lurkers or not), I'm grateful that you find me interesting enough to read!
I am also thankful for the little things, like the fact that I have some place to live, something to eat, and people to love. I know this year, especially with as bad as the economy has been, there are a lot of people who don't have that. I'm very fortunate, I think.

What are you thankful for this year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Internship: Week 13

Big news this week! I've finished the physics LibGuide! Want to see it? Click here. I'm excited because I think I have created a good template to continue working with. I think the guides are engaging and interesting. I have a little more time left here at Rodgers, so I'm hoping to get another completed, if I work really hard. I only have 5 more days left at Rodgers after today. With the holiday next week, I'll only be working Monday and Tuesday, and after that, it's just one more week. I'm actually ahead of schedule on my hours because I've working extra to make up, but I plan on coming in extra so that I can (hopefully) get another guide done.

Besides finishing the guide, I've attended the public presentation portion of an University Libraries interview. The presentation lasted about 20 minutes and questions took about 15; I thought the candidate did very well and I definitely picked up on some good tips for my own job search and interviews (if I ever get one!) Today, University Libraries is sponsoring Capstone International Coffee Hour and I'm helping out and representing Rodgers. It should be a nice outreach opportunity and a chance to interact with some of my colleagues.

Things are really starting to wrap up around here; I've learned so much this semester (more on that and a final evaluation of my time at Rodgers to come in a few weeks). I think my confidence on the reference desk has increased and I am so much more aware of what goes on in an academic library.
I'm starting to get really excited/anxious for graduation!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Does the Public Library Have the Right?

Today I came across a story about a book challenge in a public library in Kentucky. The scary part? It was a library staffer challenging the book. The situation is this: A library staffer in a county public library in Kentucky came across the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Black Dossier in children's/YA section of the library. She felt that it had way too many sexual situations and was not suitable for children, so she took it to her director who disagreed and put the book back into circulation. Her next step to stop children from checking out the book was to check it out herself, and keep renewing it. This was working fine for almost a year until she went to renew it on September day and discovered that an 11 year old girl had requested the book. The library employee was so distressed that a child would want to read what she considered inappropriate material that she asked a colleague to override the hold (can we say invasion of privacy?!?!). The director found out about this and both women were fired from the library. You can read more about the story here.

I obviously find a number of things were distressing about this story. But the worst thing (to me) is that this woman took it upon herself to decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for children. Who gave her this right? No one, that's who. It is not up to the library, or the school, or the teacher, or the general public to decide what is or what is not okay for your child to read. The only person who can make that decision is the parent of the child in question. Another thing: the book in question had been purchased for the library, which means that it was reviewed and someone made a decision to buy it knowing that it was going in the children's/YA section. It also survived the first removal attempt by the library worker when the director had it put back on the shelf. If there had been a real concern, the book would have not survived this process.

Do you think this library worker crossed the line? She and another colleague were fired for accesses records and removing a hold request on the book. Do you agree with the library board that firing these women was the right thing to do? I do, but I want to hear your opinion!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Overdue Books Find Their Way Home

I was driving to work this morning, listening to the radio (gotta love Christmas music in November!) and low and behold, there was a story about libraries! You can also read it here.

In 1959, a student at a Phoenix, AZ high school checked out two books from the school's library. His family moved to another state before he could turn them in and the books were packed along with the rest of his stuff. 50 years later, they have been returned to the library with a check for $1,000.00. The former student, who wanted to remain anonymous, sent the check to cover overdue fines at $0.02 a day, which adds up to over $700.00 for both books. The extra money is in case the fines have increased over the years.

The librarian said that the money would go to buy more books for the library and the two returned books would go back on the shelf.

I thought this was such a cute story. Not sure why the books are being returned after all these years, but this former student could have done a lot less than send the books back with such a large check. With the holiday season fast approaching and more news every day about the tough economic situation for libraries, doesn't it make you feel good to know that there are nice people out there?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I've Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

If you are a regular reader of my blog (I know there are so many of you out there! :) ), you've probably been wondering why I haven't been blogging lately. Not to sound like a whiner, but it mostly has to do with me being super tired all the time. My crazy schedule of 2 grad classes, 1 undergrad French class (that's everyday!!), my internship, my GTA, and my job in the reading room is finally catching up with me. I leave my house before 8 and only get to come home before 9 one day a week. So naturally, I'm exhausted. Not to mention the fact that I have a twenty to twenty-five page research paper due the Monday after Thanksgiving hanging over my head...but that's another story.

The other big thing in my life is trying to find a job. I'm applying to 2-3 jobs a week, but have yet to get more than a "thanks for your application, we'll let you know something some time soon" letter/email. I've started having trouble sleeping and often find myself panicking in the middle of the day about being unemployed. My mother lovingly added to that stress by informing me that my insurance expires January 1, when I'm out of the country. How fantastic is that?

So school and job hunting are overwhelming my life right now. Graduation is officially 29 days from today (yay!! and glup!!), and turning in this paper is my last school project (maybe forever? scary thought), so hopefully, things will flow fairly smoothly over the next few weeks and I'll actually get stuff done. Highly doubtful as I do love to procrastinate; however, I have high hopes on being productive.

I'm going to a grant writing workshop next week, and planning on posting something about that. I also have completed a project for my public libraries class that I would love to share. So look for those two things in the near future. Have a great day!

Internship: Weeks 11 and 12

The push towards the end of the semester has begun. Exams will finish in less than a month, and I need to have my internship hours completed by the end of dead week (December 4). Technically, I'm behind, but I've made a strict schedule and I'm sticking to it, so I can get my hours completed and get my course credit.

Even though exams and final projects are approaching, Rodgers has been really quiet. I've sat at the reference desk 5 times over the last two weeks and have maybe answered 2 real reference questions and only a few directional questions. Of course, no library is hopping at 10 in the morning, so that could be why. I think I'm becoming more comfortable with answering questions and thinking through the question and my response carefully, which is definitely an improvement. I just wish I had more questions.

LibGuides is progressing nicely. I expect to have the physics guide completed next week. With some hard work, I could have the mathematics guide done before the semester ends. During a status meeting this week, we discussed the possibility of me staying on for few weeks in December and some time in January. I don't have a job yet (yikes!) and my lease isn't up until January 31, so some extra money and some experience would go a long way in helping me. I hope that we can get something together to make this a reality. I really like it here at Rodgers so I hope that this works out. I've learned a lot, and hopefully, I can continue to do so.

That's about it. It's been pretty quiet around here; I'm sure that will change as we get closer to exams!