Sunday, January 29, 2006

The World Is Small . . .

So I've told you I applied for a couple different jobs. I also read Heidi's blog Quiddle, which is about a lot of things but is recently mostly about her experiences applying for jobs, the interview process, and so on. Quite excellent for all newer job seekers in the library field.

So the other day she posted about a telephone interview, including the questions and the vague description, "a public library in a small town about an hour away from a major city."

And I thought, nah, couldn't be. Heidi lives on the west coast of Canada. She's applying for jobs all over the country. But I emailed her anyway. And actually, it was one and the same job.

She was really gracious in the exchange, and I learned a lot, namely, a) that if that's the caliber person being interviewed, I'm out. But also b) if that's the caliber person willing to seek out a job in po-dunk NH, I need to step up my game if I'm serious. I didn't know before if I was, and this has only muddled that issue for me. Not the question if I would be serious about the job (I most definitely would be, it sounded fabulous in many ways), but if I didn't get that job, I hadn't really thought through how far I'd be taking this job applying thing. Still haven't thought it through thoroughly, but it is on the brain now.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Not 1, but 2 library related secrets in today's new batch.

If you are unfamiliar: the author encourages people to send in, anonymously, a secret written on one side of a homemade postcard. They are endearing, they are funny, they are disturbing. They create a connection with a stranger. Mostly, I love the art of it.

Now there is a book.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Small news

When I first talked to my wonderful current boss about applying for a different job, she took a look at the job description, nodded, said she'd be happy to write a recommendation, which she did, wonderfully.

Now another job opportunity has come my way. I went through the same thing, told her about it, asked what she thought, and she got really bummed. Paraphrasing, "I thought you'd go to the interview of that first job and say 'forget it.' The job description showed nothing promising. This position is worth applying for, and taking if it is offered to you." So she will give me the recommendation, and it will be a good one, and she will keep me without reservation if I don't get the job, but she is bummed.

So yeah, I'm applying for a job that looks really good. I didn't set out to do all this, I just needed something to give me a fresh perspective on my own job, which is great but pays poorly and is tiresome and repetative. I think this second job is much more of a reach and I am much less likely to be a super-strong candidate, though I think I'll make candidate status.

As I told my reference writers, I've never applied for a professional position before, so I consider these excercises in that - part of my grad school education.

Other small news - I'll be giving two talks at NHEMA later this spring. My wonderful boss is organizing the conference, so there's that. But there's also something I am still coming to terms with: in comparison to a lot of library folks, I am very techy and cutting-edge. If I compare myself to librarians online, I am ten steps behind. But the people I give the talks to are comparing themselves to me - and I am 20 steps ahead. It's all very weird to me, but since a lot of the stuff I talk to my cool boss about is new to her - and she is smart and in general keeps up with stuff - that makes me sure I have things to share with all these other school librarians. One talk is on digital audiobooks, the other is more generally on "Library 2.0" (gasp! I used that buzzy term! I didn't on the conference thingy though - I entitled my talk, "Keepin' Up With The Kids: The interactive web and how it can work with and for school libraries and their librarians.") So blogging, but also rss feeds and aggregators, social software spaces like LJ and myspace, flickr and other photosharing spaces, and so on and so on. You get the idea.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thinkin' about moving on . . .

I'm applying to a different job. A public library job.

As I told my boss, I'm not necessarily leaving, and it'll be a miracle if this new little library (just opened last summer) can pay me enough that I can actually go, and on top of that be populated by a director as cool (read: supportive, progressive, risk-taking, relaxed, and able to let people do their thing) as she is. So it's not that I am jumping ship here.

I've just been really run down lately by the little things. The endless non-stop process of asking kids for passes in order to make sure they are really supposed to be in the library is number 1 on the short list of things that are making me look elsewhere. (What happened to the school library being a place for geeks and nerds? Ours is full of those kids, but also is destination central for all kids skipping class. A lot of libraries struggle with bringing patrons in. We struggle with only allowing in a number that can sustain learning.)

Also as I told my boss, sometimes it takes looking elsewhere to know how good you got it where you're at. I've gotten to do a lot of things that library aides like me don't get to do in a lot of places - collection development, cataloging (yeah, I love it, so I'm a dork), book club blogs, knitting clubs, teaching classes, developing lesson plans, bringing audiobooks on ipods to students . . .

But it would be nice not to have to ask for passes all day, and to work in a different and new place (I *heart* change), and mostly, not to have to get to work until 10am.