Sunday, July 3, 2011

Great News

So, I haven't posted in a little while.  I'm sorry.  I want to post at least twice a week, but with everything going on that hasn't been happening lately.  It may not happen in the near future either.  I have a job.  At Murray State University.  As a reference librarian.  With Business liaison (I really like that word for some reason) duties.  I'm an emergency hire (which means if they just hate me or I suck at my job, they can get rid of me next year), but I'm not worrying about that right now.  I'm gonna bust my ass.  Hopefully, that'll work in my favor come Spring.

The paperwork is mostly done.  I actually started work on July 1st.  I'm not allowed to mess with the tech stuff yet (have to go through all the HR stuff next week), but I did get to settle in a little.  One of the reference librarians showed me around and walked me through a few things.  The librarians and staff are just great.  They don't mind answering my silly questions and seem pretty relaxed as a group.  They all seem to get along and play off each others' strengths and weaknesses.  It's nice to see a group of people mesh that way.  I've worked several jobs where the people did not get along as a group and couldn't get work done.  MSU is way different.  I already feel included and like my work will be valued.  It's a damn nice feeling. 

I've got lots to do this Summer and during the Fall semester.  I've got an entire set of LibGuides to play with, accreditation work, instruction duties, reference duties, collection development duties, etc.  I'm also going to be working with a couple (few, dozen, ?) committees.  I find I don't mind the prospect as much as I thought.  Throughout all of this, I'm going to be working on some of my own research and attempting publication at some point. 

I'm overwhelmed, overjoyed, and looking forward to this coming week.  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time, and it's got my stomach all in knots.  But it's wonderful.  I love library work.  Especially academic library work.  It just never feels like "work" to me.  I get to help people find info, help people learn how to find their own info, research, write, contribute, and feel productive.  And I don't have to stay in one spot at a little cubicle all day.  I have various duties that keep me moving (mentally and physically).  It's just...wonderful.  So damn wonderful. 

Ok.  I'm done with the sparkly-eyed wonder of finally being an academic librarian.  I'm sure I'll find something to bitch about this semester.  Life's no fun without a few complaints.  :)

I'll try to keep up with posting.  Maybe a few things from my work.  But I'm focusing on the reference position, so the blog comes second.  I'm hoping I can blog on the weekends, but I make no promises.

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Personal Happy Post

So, I was all freaking out about my 29th birthday.  It’s one year from 30, boo hoo.  Woe is me. 

But apparently 29 is going to be an awesome year.  I got asked out while walking the corgi pup, I’m tan, I have a job, I got asked out again at an auto parts store, I figured out how to recharge the AC in my car all by myself, I helped start a community garden, I got a job, I got a Kindle (thanks Hubby), I found some wonderful art by a local artist, I got a job, a new accessory store opened in the mall, I have wonderful shoes, I got a job, and I got a job.  And all that’s been in the last ten days.  Seriously, I’m employed!  At an academic library!  I actually had to turn down another potential job in order to take this one.  How awesome is that? 

I met with the reference team and the Dean last Thursday.  They are such a cool bunch of people.  The Dean was helping move shelves for frack’s sake.  I’ve only met a few people in higher up positions willing to do grunt work.  It’s nice to see.  They’ve got so many things going on right now.  The library is getting some renovations, including some new tech.  I’m really excited about working at this place.  And I’m nervous.  I always do this.  I get nervous.  Then, the first day I’m all badass and sassy.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll post more about this once all the paper work goes through.

Oh, I also received a copy of The Digital Cuttlefish Omnibus for my birthday (thanks Mom).  In celebration of such fantabulousness, I am posting a pic of a truly geeked out collection of cephalopod paraphernalia. 

Yes, I will be wearing that necklace.
I'll be back soon with more library topics.  I'm in the middle of a few at home projects I need to get out of the way. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Webinar Participation: The Fine Art of Weeding

I’ve developed a love of weeding in libraries.  Libraries need healthy collections.  Weeding, much like in gardening, helps them accomplish this.  And I’ll admit it’s taken me years to gain an appreciation for this task.  I think working on a mock collection development policy for a hospital library helped raise my awareness.

Keri Cascio presented “Culling Your Collection: The Fine Art of Weeding” through ALCTS.  Cascio is a branch manager for the St. Charles City-County Library District.

She started off with several reasons why librarians should weed collections:

Space – Libraries need shelf space, and even utilizing compact shelving may not solve all the space problems a library has.  Books sitting on shelves also cost money-just sitting there.

Time – Getting rid of unnecessary materials can help streamline shelving processes.  It can also help patrons find the items they need quicker.

Appeal – As much as I like antique books and jewelry, I don’t like “old” or “dirty” books and jewelry.  You know the difference.  One has value and enriches a collection.  It has history.  The other is a piece of junk, sometimes an unsanitary piece of junk.  If you have a bunch of junk in your collection, patrons are going to lose interest.

Reputation – Are you up to date?  Can your patrons find relevant and reliable information?  Or do you still have books listing Pluto as a planet on your shelves?  Textbooks outdated?  Medical and technical texts more than a few years old?  I’ve walked into libraries with out of date testing manuals, out of date technical certification manuals, and out of date medical books.  And I’ve walked right back out.  There is no excuse for that.

Collection Needs – Weeding can help you see what’s missing in your collection, what you have too much of, and what you need to repair/replace.

Collection Strengths and Weaknesses – Weeding places librarians into the thick of the collection.  They gain a familiarity with items they may have never seen.  Librarians also come away from the weeding process knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the collection and possibly how to work with those variables.

Cascio also discussed the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission CREW method.  CREW stands for Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding.  Check out the link for more info.

Weeding seems, at least to me, to be based on common sense.  Don’t keep irrelevant and outdated titles.  Keep your collection up to date and appropriate for your patron base.  I know it’s difficult to let go, but it’s necessary to maintain a relevant collection.  And, keep in mind that if you can get a title elsewhere (ILL anyone?) why bother keeping it on your shelves, especially if it hasn’t been checked out for years?

Cascio did mention some very important points concerning weeding.  It takes time.  Sometimes, it takes lots and lots of time.  You have to plan.  And starting small is better than not starting at all, especially if your librarians are new to weeding.  Also, make sure your library has policies regarding weeding (on purchases, gifts, etc.).  It saves libraries trouble in the long run.

The webinar closed with some sample policies from various libraries and some options for disposal (sales, recycling, donations, etc.).  All in all it was a good presentation and reinforced my admiration for weeding and the librarians capable of getting this important job done.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Early B-day Present

I got a Kindle!!! My hubby just gave me my b-day present early. Bloody hell! I got a Kindle!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's the End of the World as We Know It! Or Not.

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  My neighbors, their kids, and I dug up a garden bed for a small community garden.  I've got blisters and bug bites.  :)

We decided pizza and beer would be a great idea last night.  We all wanted to celebrate the world not ending in addition to the garden.  I didn't come inside until about four this morning, so I'm tired and sore.  But I feel accomplished about the garden.  And snarky about the world not ending.  I guess all those rapture morons will have to wait for the sun to go flooy just like everyone else.