With all the excitement of the last few weeks (events, work stuff, and writing), I completely forgot that July 1st marked my 1st full year as a professional librarian :). Quite a milestone after so many years of school, part-time jobs, and paraprofessional positions. I remember applying for the position and thinking someone else would surely be more qualified than I for the job, regardless of my desire/drive/eagerness to get started as a real librarian. More awkward still, I had applied where I was working… If I wasn’t hired, it would be weird as anything working with the person who was hired. But I did get the job and I was overjoyed and ready to roll.

It’s been a year filled with learning experiences–many of them time-consuming, but all well worth the effort. I’ve gotten to meet some great people, take part in lots of fun events, and become a presence at the library (I even have my own groupies… some would say stalkers). I’ve also become aware of my weaknesses and things I have to work on. For instance, I really do want to get more involved with faculty and more active in my professional organizations, but these are two areas that will require me to get out of my introvert bubble and be social. It’ll be my goal for this year.

I look forward to more anniversaries and ways to grow.

And since I am in narcissistic me-mode, I may as well announce my new portfolio:

on my first year

At the end of this semester, I’ll reach the 18 credit milestone, my first full year of library school. Recently, some of my friends have started asking me about librarianship and what it involves… it’s complicated. There are different sides to librarianship. The most obvious is the reference librarian, since this is the type of librarian that most people associate with the library experience, but there are technical service librarians, catalogers, archivists, special librarians (music, medical, law, corporate, etc.), librarians who work for museums and non-profit organizations, metadata specialists and digital librarians, and more. I chose this field because I have an MA in English and no interest in teaching (and going into the publishing industry is a moot point). I like research. I like discovering information and helping others discover information (teaching students how to research was the one aspect of teaching that I did like). I also like computers and doing all manner of techie things. Library Information Science is a pretty dynamic field if you’re into all these things, and I am. That said, I won’t lie and pretend that it’s the most stable field; with budget cuts, the role of libraries is changing. Librarians and libraries are adapting and making the best of the situation. The more classes I take, the more I am fascinated by the thought of going into one of the more technical/digital areas of librarianship (hello, metadata!), but I also know that I’ll take whatever position I can get when I officially enter the job market as a full-fledged librarian. If I start in Reference, great. If I end up in a public library, rather than an academic one (I’m a bit attached to the Ivory Tower), I’ll take it. No, going into librarianship does not mean guaranteed, lifetime job security, but it’s not so grim as it may seem either. I know chances are that I will have to adapt along the way and continue to learn new skills to remain relevant and ahead of the trend, but I think I’m up for the challenge.

down the rabbit hole

The thesis defense went great, though I has something of a rough start to my day…

I got up at 6 to get ready and avoid the crazy election day traffic situation, but overdid the early thing and ended up on campus about an hour and a half before I was scheduled to defend. I grabbed some coffee and roamed around a bit, took some campics of a beautiful flowering tree that I found on my ramble, and decided to spend some time relaxing in one of the little wooden gazebos by the lake near the building where my department is located. I used to spend hours there when I was an undergrad and had not been around there in a while, so I thought I would reminisce and have a nice alone moment.

I stepped into the gazebo and fell straight through a rotted floorboard.

I didn’t realize what had happened for a moment. I thought I took a bad step, until I realized that my right leg was sunk into the floor of the gazebo. Up to my thigh. And I only stopped myself from a worse fall by bracing myself with my left knee.

I pulled myself out and saw the hole I feel into. Later, I realized I should have taken a picture as evidence, but I was too shocked at the moment and worried about not being able to defend that I left. I reported the hole to public safety and got some neosporin at the clinic and was off to my defense.

I really should have taken a picture. My leg is in pain. Nothing terrible, but I wonder if I may have chipped a bone since it hurts a bit much when I rest on it for too long.

Of course, my friends all assume I live in fairyland, so whenever I mentioned that I fell down a hole they would ask, “Like Alice? Down a rabbit hole?”

Seriously. I got this from a number of people. No dearies, I really fell down a hole.

The bruise is going to be epic.

But the defense went great 🙂 my director even surprised me with a celebratory lunch. And since I work for the athletics department as well, I got ice from the training room to dull the pain later this evening.