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Last night when I was perusing blogs I saw the spider out of the corner of my eye on the corner of the wall. I decided to let it be for a bit.Side note: I try to let spiders live (especially daddy long legs). I even went so far as to let one live the whole time I was in grad school in my bedroom because he ate those pesky scout ants. I even gave him a name Norman (After Norman Mailer) . But then at the end of my grad career Norman Mailer came to campus and when I came back after the talk ( talk about timing)  Norman the spider decided that he was being adventurous and left my room and was squashed by my roommate. Poor Norman, hope you are well.

Back to Story

 I then went to youtube because I was taking a break and was watching Green Day’s “St. Jimmy” from the bullet in the bible. Anyway the spider started to creep forward until it was on the spot on the wall not to far from me and sat there for most of the song. If he or she came on the desk it was toast. (Sorry little Spidey) So after Greenday I was in an upbeat poppish type of mood so I played “get ready for it” “Upside Down” by A*Teens. (Corny I know, but itis so catchy) Anywhoo, as soon as the song came on Spidey whizzed up the wall and into the farthest corner of the room. So then I played Mary J. Blige and U2’s version of “One” and Spidey came back to me and then I played the Spice Girls, “Wannabe” and it ran for the hills.

So I guess the moral of the story is if you want to keep at bay European pop you must play!

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I was not tagged but wanted to play so here is mine. Hope no one minds! For those who are not aware of this exercise I first learned about this from Michael Stephen’s Tame the web  blog. Pretty much the blogsignment (see I made up my own word) is to “Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title” Then tag five others to keep the quilt going. However, everyone I read already had an entry ( I am fairly new to the blogging community) so I have not tagged anyone. (sorry!)

flexible guy!

Be Flexible

Fact: I am 24 years old. fact: I guess that makes me a millennial. Fact: Many of us are afflicted with the dreaded quarterlife crisis (yes it does exist). Fact: We sometimes feel as though every minute of our life is planned out! (Sorry, suddenly the Lysol commercials were popping up in my head 🙂 ) Last month I was sitting in Barnes and Noble in one of those insanely comfy chairs ( the ones you can curl into a ball and fall asleep in) and one of my buddies was in the next chair over from me and she was reading a book. In the other two chairs that made up a little square were these two teenage girls who looked to be either juniors or seniors in high school and they were discussing their lives. One said, “I know exactly  where I am going to be in five years.” My friend wanted to roll her eyes so badly and later was lamenting on that sentiment. She along with many of my other friends are planners and now that things are not planning out exactly how they like, it is as if their world comes crashing down, and that somehow they have failed as human beings. I often notice that students I work with self destruct if a class, test, or thing in their personal life does not go the way they planned.  I also notice that if students choose a database or a type a term in the catalog and it does not work they think the library does not have anything. I try to tell them to look around and experiment and they will be amazed at what they find.The truth is things are not going to always go as they planned but it is important to realize that it is okay. Believe me I fully expected to be working a full time job and not two part time jobs after grad school, but I have met some really great people and have had some amazing opportunities for personal and professional growth. I had this biology professor once always encourage us to step off the treadmill every once and a while and examine other options. He said we all have tendencies to stay on the treadmill with tunnel vision and miss everything around us. Pretty much he told us to breathe.

 I would like to instill in students the idea of when life closes a door, look for a window, which can be a window of opportunity. When they take that window they can do even more amazing things than they ever dreamed. I think the only thing you can really plan is to plan to be surprised!

 

 

 

Libraries are AWESOME Places…

 

Over the last week I have read so many examples of outreach events that libraries are doing. All I can think is how creative us library people are. I mean a mini golf course in the library! How COOL is that! Discarded books as art! Students serving as models for PR? Are you kidding me?

 

Her are some of the fantastic ideas: (I am shaking with excitement)

 

  • Monster energy drinks and other foodstuffs in conjunction with writing center and health and wellness center. I’m on my library high!
  • Librarian bakers extraordinaire bake cookies and get donations such as coffee, hot chocolate, and tea from the dining center. Now that is a sweet collaboration!
  • Poker/Scavenger Hunt where each item found gets a hand at poker and the best hand wins. I bet that gets a full house
  • Murder in the library! This is a mystery type hunt with the students broken into teams and they solve the mystery. I guess you can never trust those librarians!
  • Book cart races. What else is there to say?
  • Students making their own READ posters. I’m ready for my close-up!
  • A blank wall serving as a graffiti canvas for artists. Amazing!
  • A palm reader, belly dancing lessons, pizza/drinks, and pop a shot. I see information literacy in your futureJ
  • Amazing Library Race where students do activities to win prizes while learning about the library. There are no losers in this marathon.
  • Stress busters. At the end of the semester putting out coloring books, games, and all sorts of things to calm the kids down. I can hear the campus calming down now!

 

Last but certainly not least is what we did at one of my places of employment. We got candy, cookies, and some music and had an art book raffle on the Friday of library week. We only have about 140 students and 70 (yes 50% of the population) came to the event. We are very blessed because our students love the library and love books. When they came in, they said if there is free stuff I am here! We do not have a big area so 70 people in our library makes it quite full. The tables were all filled plus the 2 side rooms, plus the floor, and the floor in the stacks. To get anywhere you had to step around students (we were in heaven). My coworker and I who planned it were like on some type of high we were so excited. Faculty even showed up and said they had a really great time! Faculty and students were asking us what we are going to do next year. I smell pirates…

 

I feel so lucky to be in a field where people are so creative and passionate for what they do! J

 

In a few weeks I it will be one year from my grad school graduation. It means then it tis time to reflect, and after reading Meredith’s blog (The Monkey song) there is no time like the present. Currently, I am working 2 part time jobs and it is an interesting thing working part time. In one job I am technically classified as a clerk even though I work alone most of the time and do many librarian duties. The other job I have a librarian title. Being a part time librarian can be interesting because you are a librarian but you are not faculty. Ergo, you do not have the same requirements as faculty (scholarship, committees, and interaction with faculty members) and are usually there for a purpose. (In my case it is to sit at the reference desk) After reading about new librarian involvement I can say that other part time librarians use their part time status as a reason for not getting involved in the profession. (I don’t have time, library organizations are too expensive, they do not pay me enough.)To be honest part time status can make getting involved a little stickier (not impossible) but stickier. There are questions that arise because of part time status. Am I stepping on someone else’s toes? Am I doing too much? Will this disrupt the hierarchy? Will my ideas be considered because I am not faculty? Will other faculty respond to my ideas? Do I have the time to carry this out? Will I be here long enough to carry it out? Questions and concerns can crush you, but at the end of the day the only question that is important is “Why did I become a librarian?” My answer to that one is that I love students and want to improve their educational experience through the library. Knowing that gives me the ability to go around the obstacles I face and get involved so I can help those students succeed.

During the summer I love to take a short jog. Not a marathon mind you, the trek is between 1- 3 miles and at most a half hour. Running is so therapeutic because there is a mentality of getting through obstacles that calms me deeply. Every step is one closer to my goal. This mindset gets through a lot of things. So much so that when I am stressed or tired all I think is I wish I could go for a run.

This mentality helps me in my library career. Being librarians a lot is put on our table. People often ask me what do you do with yourself now you are done with school? Like I am lounging around and twiddling my thumbs all of the time? (Somebody forgot to tell me!) Especially because I am part time, and do not have faculty status I guess I am free. Here is the thing, I am still learning so much every day. Not only I am I learning how to do better reference transactions, to make handouts, and thinking how I would do instruction, learning management techniques, coming up with possible projects for myself and student workers, I am trying to learn as much as I can about fine art and business. Now most of you are going, fine art and business? What in tarnation does a former English major and history minor doing with fine art and business? One job I work in an art school and the students expect me to know everything there is to know about the art world and when I do no they are severely disappointed. Case in point: last week a student asked me if I knew anything about printmaking and I thought about it, and I really did not. (oops) I knew where the books are but not the content. I showed the student the books and was a little embarrassed, because as a librarian I am a chronic helper. It simply kills me if I cannot help someone find what they need. So after the student left I pulled out a book and got crackin’. Now at my other job I have become the defacto person for business. You never quite think you know a subject until you have to weed it. So in my spare time at that job I am reading blogs and keeping up on the business world as well. At the same time trying to keep up with what is going on in the field. So back to the point (after a long explanation) , my brain lately has been running a marathon. Some days I get overwhelmed: Frank Stella’s work from the 70s? Movie about Basquiat? Who killed Andy Warhol? Why do ticker symbols exist? What constitutes a recession? Why are food prices so high? Is corn ethanol really cheaper? Where can I find articles about all of this content? Gah! Whoever said, you should have learned everything you need to know in grad school is crazy.

Grad school did give me a good base, but it is up to me to add to the knowledge to become a valuable resource for students. My friends no matter what area of librarianship tell me that what we are all doing is nothing what we expected. We should all get tshirts that say Expect to be surprised!

At the end of the day I think we should all deal with it like we would a run, one step at a time.