Recently a friend of mine made a list of things not to say to a school bus driver. It got me thinking about all of the things people tell me when they hear what I do for work.It’s funny the preconceived notions people have about certain professions when they hear about what you do for a living. I understand librarians and books go hand in hang to a degree, but I don’t actually get to spend my entire day reading books. A lot of the reading I do on the job is trying to figure out the solution to a technology question or MARC records. Why is it when people hear you are a librarian they automatically think your job involves very little work? Have other librarians encountered this before? Don’t get me wrong I love the work I do and I do like to read books but that is not the whole of my existence. These days I don’t read as much as I would like too and in a few months a lot of the reading I will be doing will involve lots of pictures as I read to my little one. Sometimes I debate about writing up a list of things not to say to your local librarian. Maybe one of these days I will write a list and post it here on the blog. So many thoughts going through my mind these days.
I have not forgotten about the blog, but I do apologize for not posting lately. My life has been extremely crazy lately. I am finishing up the last of the credits (hopefully) that I need for my Vermont Library Certification. To me this is a pretty big deal because it is something I have been working towards for the last three years. My last class (fingers crossed) will be on Friday, May 16th! Outside of work and classes I am also busy planning my sister’s bridal shower and doing a lot of running around for that.
So as you can tell I have a lot on my plate right now. The class I am currently taking is all about basic cataloging. As a cataloger it’s great for me to be able to work with others to learn the new rules of RDA cataloging as opposed to AARC-21 cataloging. The class is a lot of hands on work mixed with lecture. This is great because of the repetition and breaking down the fields a little at a time to have it drilled in my mind what fields correspond with what type of information about the item in front of me that I am going to catalog. A lot of the cataloging that I do on a daily basis is called “copy cataloging” but there are the few rare occasions when I have to do original cataloging. In all honesty I try to avoid doing original cataloging like the plague. (Sorry listening to Dan Brown’s Inferno right now).
When I haven’t been in class, at work, or running around like crazy getting things done for the bridal shower, I have been able to spend a little time with friends. One friend in particular and I have been arguing about the roles of libraries in today’s economy. The reason for our argument is that we stand on different sides about our local library and a bond vote of three million dollars to redesign the current library. Being a librarian I do openly admit to being biased and also I know some of the people who work in the library we are arguing about so that adds additional bias to my side of the argument. I feel that libraries are important institutions in today’s economy because we offer so much more than just books. We provide technology to those who may not have access, programming, databases, technological help, classes, and so much more. We also see people of all ages come through our doors every day. Libraries are changing the way people see us and we are becoming more of a community center and the heart of towns.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that my friend feels strongly enough to argue with me about this because it’s not often I get to argue about the importance of libraries to someone who does not work in the field. It’s also great that as one of my best friends he can see something that is important to me and makes a conscious effort to argue and agree with me about the importance of libraries and books.
OK that is enough rambling for today. Until next time!
So I was going to write a post about collection development and how we decide what to add to the library collection, until I realized how uninspired I was to talk about it today. So I’ll talk about that another day. My personal life lately has been absolutely crazy, which is possibly why I was feeling a case of writers block. So bear with me as I try to free myself from my creative block.
On Sunday I was driving around with two of my best friends from high school, its been over ten years since we have done anything like this, and we talked about books we read and how we remember the old card catalogs. One friend shared a story with me about some kids on her bus who were talking about something and she overhead one of them say “just Google it”. As I was listening to her tell the story and how she suggested to the kids they go to the library the next day to find a book to answer their question, it made me think of when we were children and our lack of Google and technology at our fingertips. I pondered this throughout the day as we drove around going from shop to shop, using our phones for GPS instead of a physical map. On our way to one store the GPS misdirected us and it struck me to go through my “passport” to see if there was anything for directions or landmarks to help us find our way. Thankfully there was and we were quickly able to locate the shop within a few minutes.
To my amusement, across the street from the store was the local library. Throughout our drive we either saw signs for the local library or drove past the library which greatly amused me. All in all the day was a lot of fun and it was great to spend some time with friends who I do not get to see very often. Lets hope I can overcome my writer’s block soon.
P.S. It might come as a shock to some people but librarians don’t actually live at the library. Try to let others down gently if you choose to share this surprising fact.
There are many ways to try to stay organized while on the go. I use my phone for everything to stay on top of classes I am signed up for, meetings for work, birthdays, etc. What if there was a way to keep everything organized and send out e-mails to everyone when scheduling an event? Doodle is a great solution to staying organized while on the move. While there is an app for your mobile device, it is not a free download. Doodle will be a great tool for me in not only my professional life but also in my personal life. In the next coming months my personal life is going to crazy with birthdays, wedding events, and work. By using Doodle I can set up an event and suggest a variety of dates and times to schedule events and dinners with friends and family. It is important to remember you can’t work all the time without getting burnt out.
To test out Doodle I scheduled a dinner with my little sister and other members of the bridal party. I suggested three dates on a day we all agreed would work for everyone. I was also able to suggest a time and location for the dinner. It will be useful when I am organizing her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I can also keep track of who has responded. It will be a great backup to using the calendar on my phone. I was able to to link my Doodle account with my Facebook account to keep track of events I am invited too and events I schedule myself.
To tweet or not to tweet that is the question. Please excuse my paraphrasing of the Bard. This week I created a twitter handle, if you like you can add me it is: @kmbear623, to explore how twitter can be used in both my personal life and my professional life. I can say in my personal life it has had very little impact as twitter is not something my family and friends use on a daily basis. I suppose you could say we are old fashioned in the sense we prefer to send each other random texts or messages on Facebook. We have even been known to talk to each other on the phone. Personally I will add, I do love the fact I was able to link my twitter account to Flipboard to use a single app to manage several apps. If you are interested in hearing more of my thoughts on Flipboard, read the post “Exploring a personal unknown: RSS”.
The idea of using twitter in a professional manor, I have to admit intrigues me. I started to follow several libraries around the state and a few local businesses to see how they use it as a promotional tool in a very technology driven world. In my observations I can see how using twitter to promote a specific program or announcing closing the library early / opening late due to weather is a way to communicate with the community at large in a timely manner. The idea of only using 140 characters can create a challenge in finding a way to effectively grab the reader’s attention and promote a program in a way that is effective and efficient. As a creative stand point it is intriguing to see what keywords will draw the reader in and compel them to inquire further. It would be interesting to experiment using twitter as a library to see if it would strengthen our ties with the community and possibly use it to attract people who may not think to come to the library to check it out.
I believe I will try twitter for a little while longer, it is possible it will grow upon me.