Posts Tagged ‘ubc’

#hashtaggery & information control

Tonight I participated in a Twitter chat thingy about libraries. Interested people submitted questions and librarians/libschool students/interested in library stuff people paid attention to the #libchat hashtag which everyone participating used on their tweets. It was pretty fun. That kind of collocating is what hashtags are all about. The questions were fairly routine as far as library angst/information questions go (“Are people who’re hiring looking for Academic Credit or Library Experience?” or “Does Library School need to be a graduate program?”) but it’s interesting to see what people outside of SLAIS think about these things.
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jobs jobs jobs (and not a steve in sight)

There is disappointing news and great news in my world.

Disappointing: Last week I had an interview for a student coordinator position with the Digital Tattoo project at UBC. I was pretty excited about the opportunity. It’s a project that deals with teaching students about managing their online identities and why it’s important. Another project I’m working on recently posted a decent explanation of the concept. The interview went fine but as you can guess from me filing this under “disappointing news” I didn’t get the job. There will be more jobs and it’s not like I’m hurting for social media experience on my resume. It would be nice to get some actual project management experience though. That felt like my biggest weakness in the interview. Selah.

The really cool thing is that I’m going to be doing my practicum at the Center for Cartoon StudiesSchulz Library in April. The CCS is a tiny grad school in a tiny town with a tiny library and it’s dedicated to comics. It’s kind of amazing. I talked to the librarian the other day and she’s excited to have me out there for a couple of weeks. They’re doing cataloguing projects now but might be moving on to other things by the time I get there. I’ve been told I won’t be bored and I can’t imagine I would be.

One of the things I’ve read about library school is that you have to make it work for you and take advantage of the opportunities you have that you won’t once you graduate. Just calling up the Schulz Library to see if I could come hang out for two weeks might not fly if I was just a person who liked libraries. (Even if it might on their end, I personally wouldn’t be able to just do that.) But now that Michelle at the SLAIS office (who is awesome) did that initial contact I get to do something supercool. I mean, really, I would love to be a comics and zines librarian. There aren’t many jobs like that, but when they show up, because of this experience I’ll actually have some proof that “This dude likes comics and knows some stuff about them.” So yeah.

I’m also trying to pull comics into all my projects this term, to try and build a bit of a focus into my program here. It feels weird thinking about this stuff and crafting this whole school thing into a means to becoming the kind of librarian I want to be. Anyone who knows me knows that thinking ambitiously hasn’t been a big part of my life. But being a techie/blogging/comics & zines librarian is the kind of niche I’d like to occupy if I’m going to do this. If I could telecommute/live somewhere awesome while doing it, that’d be even better.

career track

Yesterday I sort of began my library school career with a new grad student orientation dealy. It was for grad students in general, not just us wannabe information professionals, but that was good. It was good because it was this weird parallel universe where success is some sort of attainable goal. A world where people weren’t coming into a dying field with no jobs. A totally imaginary world.

It was neat looking at it from this perspective. This idea that “The success of our grad students is the success of our university!” and “Here’s how to be successful as a grad student” and “Succeed!” is kind of foreign to me. I mean, I wonder how many fellow new librarian students have this idea of success even being possible, and how many are just in it for some sort of job. A job the profession might not have.

So now read this post from the.effing.librarian. It’s about how libraries’ll bounce back, how we aren’t quite a dead profession, but it’s a hard time right now. My favourite bit is below:

The problem with being a librarian is that you can’t really do it yourself. You can’t open a private library down the street as you would if you were a dentist or an accountant. I don’t know any librarian with a business card that reads, “Have Books, Will Travel.”

Or maybe the librarian travels from town to town with a laptop performing Internet searches for people in exchange for a night in the barn and a slice of peach pie. And that’s how we’ll survive, leaving librarian chalk signs for each other about which towns are librarian friendly and which ones google everything and will run you out of town on sight.

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

See, that’s the kind of existence I would love. I want that business card. Or I could just be in some out of the way place, making sure information is available. That’s the kind of success I’m looking for. All this bigger Success talk sounds wrong, or misguided or something. Naive maybe.

I shouldn’t be cynical about my (future) job just yet, right? Getting into Titanic metaphors when I’m just starting school? But this might be the best way for me to find an edge, a fringe, a periphery to do something interesting. Not just a traditional library job. Selah.

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