A few things I have learned.

As an instructor, I like to show students the basics and let them learn by doing. I don’t do gimmicks. It’s just not me. I prefer to let the topic lead the session and handle questions as they come. I prepare PowerPoints and/or notes, but ad lib most of the presentation/lecture/discussion. I have no problem standing in front of a crowd and talking about what I know; I lost any sense of timidity after my first semester as a TA back in ’06.

As a Circulation supervisor, I like to show by example. I hate the thought of being the sort of supervisor who doesn’t know what the work actually entails. I prefer to take part in the “menial” tasks from time to time (shelving, shelf reading, shifting, etc.), know what it involves, become familiar with the problem areas, then delegate tasks so that my student workers see how it’s done and learn to do it in the process. I’ve had a few great supervisors in academic libraries and some not so great ones when I was involved in teaching and tutoring. I hope to emulate the ones I liked and catch myself if I start to act like the others.

It always freaks people out when I head into the stacks to shelve, though I actually get a kick out of it… must be my weird desire to organize things. Plus, it’s a great workout for the arms 😀 .

slight change of plan

Seems I miscalculated the number of credits I have to take in order to graduate from my program… I thought I needed to complete 36 credits for graduation, an even 12 classes, but I really need to complete 39, which means I have to take an extra elective during the summer term unless I want to endure the madness of full-time coursework while balancing a full-time job. After careful consideration, I’ve decided that is one bit of stress I can do without. I’ll just take the extra course during the summer and so be it. With any luck, I’ll get to sign up for one of the courses I’ve been unable to register for in the past.

I’ve also discovered that the name of my program was recently changed (seems most of my classmates were also unaware of the change). We are no longer the “School of Library and Information Science,” we’re now the “School of Information”. Plenty of library schools have initiated similar changes, combining information technology with information science and confusing the hell out of people who think that IS means IT and vice versa. It doesn’t make much difference in the long run; at least, not for me, but it would have been nice if this change had happened earlier so I could have taken some IT classes to compensate for the lack of digital library courses that are available.

So it goes. I am a busy book keeper and these are my long neglected charges (like a zoo keeper, I keep the books in line).

First week

My first week at the new job seemed to go really well… at least for me. I am still getting used to the earlier wake up hour–I was spoiled by my midday schedule, but it’s not bad and it feels good to get things done earlier, though I’m still figuring out how to balance full time work, school, and personal endeavors. Sadly, this has meant less time for some of the things I like to do, such as reading, writing, and blogging. Partly, this is because it’s also nearing the end of term and all my major projects are coming at me at once. Perhaps things will settle down a bit once the term is done. I’m definitely looking forward to finishing up library school. I love learning, but I’m tired of assignments and tuition costs.

It feels a little strange being a supervisor, but I’m starting to settle into it and am coming up with projects and ideas to set my students to work. I try to let them in on what I’m planning, so that they know that they have a part in the planning as well as the doing. That was one of the things that I really liked about my previous supervisor–he always consulted with us, even if he had the power to just tell us what to do and leave it at that. I’m also trying to connect actions with results, so my students know that there is a purpose behind the tasks that I’m setting. Several mentioned that they felt as if some of the tasks assigned to them in the past were pointless because they couldn’t understand how it served a purpose in the library, so I’m trying to help them understand. I don’t want them to think that I am giving them “busy” work just to give them something to do. I hate doing that kind of work and wouldn’t like to assign it in turn.

Of course, being the new person in the group, I’ve become the puzzle to be cracked. The results are kind of fun. Some have also taken to mentioning who I remind them of… my favorite comments:

1) One student says I remind her of Kat von D… I wonder if it’s the nose?

2) Another says I remind him of Evie from The Mummy… it must be the librarian look.

Oddly, no one said I remind them of Michelle Williams… which is one I’ve been getting since her Dawson’s Creek days.

It’s been a long day.

Went to work, worked on school stuffs, made a ginormous baked ziti for Em’s farewell, and am now finally catching up on web stuffs (though not quite as much as I’d like to).

I guess I can officially say that I’ve been hired by another library and will be leaving the library I’ve been at for the last year. It’s been a bit of a melancholy but happy transition. I’ll really miss the university I work at–it’s my alma mater and I just seemed to feel a part of the place–but I also really like the university I’m going to… it’s smaller, private, so there’s a greater chance to really get that feeling that you’re more than just another person in the great academic machinery. It’ll also be a shorter commute, better hours, and better pay. It’s terrible, but the pay was definitely an issue with my current job. I loved my job, but I hated that I was barely making ends meet. I really think this new job will make me feel much more at ease in that regard. And there just might some room for growth in the future, something else that I found lacking in my soon-to-be former position.

So what made it so official that I felt the need to share? My job went up on the uni’s HR website today. This time next month, I’ll be in a whole new library with a whole new set of patrons and coworkers. I am looking forward to it, but I still feel all the nervy anxieties that I usually do when I don’t quite know what to expect–a little thrilling and terrifying all at once.

Wishing and hoping for the best…

My dream Victorian literary studies collection

The extended term project that I’m working on for my Collection Development class requires that I play at being a collection development librarian… I chose to pretend to be a collection development/subject specialist for an academic library’s English collection. If I were really managing such a collection, I would be like a kid in a candy store! There are so many wonderful new publications on Victorian literature (I selected the LC classes on Victorian lit for my development & acquisition action plan), my profs in the ol’ English department would be ecstatic if they could get the uni library to order some of this stuff. Hey, I would be ecstatic if I could get them to order this stuff. I always had a terrible time finding recent publications when writing papers and conducting research 😦