Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday Morning Reflections

I'm avoiding doing the list of things I swore I was going to do today. They will get done but I wanted to put down a few thoughts about life, and the library program.

I've received my certificate months ago. My idea was to start working in a library as I continue other adventures. I didn't think that was going to be a problem. I did not anticipate the mortgage and related financial crises putting a serious crimp in my plans.

I also didn't anticipate a series of life events to knock the stuffing out of me. If this should happen to you I'd tell you honestly to do the best you can and quit worrying.

This is why they call it life, you take what you are giving, using the skills you have and find a way of dealing with the dreary and the impossible.

I am optimistic.

I've heard through the various grapevines that I am involved with that there are cities around the country that are closing libraries for two weeks cold. Not even the libraries web sites will be active.

Other libraries are having mandatory furlough days for their employees. In California, who knows how the hammer is gonna come down on state and certain local libraries but make no mistake there will be an impact.

Because there is still a need for what librarians, paraprofessionals, librarian assistants and technicians. It might be we will need to look at opportunities in the private sector.

Large law firms certain have librarians and library assistants but with the (hopeful) changes in health care there should be more options for our services.

I can tell you the software programmers and entrepreneurs definitely need our services but they don't know it. For those that have an interest in cataloging, open source development, taxonomy or programming you could make hand over fist money. You might have to convince folks of your value but I'm telling you the computing industry needs us.

That is one of the keys - having more than one skill set. I am doing a lot of writing these days. I will tell you that everything I learned in the program is being used on a daily basis.

Sometimes I use those skills to help colleagues find or verify information. I can use my writing as a way to point to credible or alternative information sources using the guidelines on how to evaluate a source.

Many times I'm researching topics I have little or no information about and I want to understand both sides. I can't tell you how many times I've been able to find what I need to prove a point with factual information by following the processes we learned in class.

You know, let me be straight with folks.

I know some of you are or were in the program because your job required it. All you want to do is keep your job, shelve books and do what you are told. You aren't interested in technology or the next new thing. You want the paycheck, health care and two weeks in July.

That is cool. I understand and respect that point of view.

There are others of you that want to be librarians in physical buildings assisting patrons, sniffing book dust and being of service, even if it means chasing the pervs out of computer room.

That is cool too. If I get the financials in place I hope to be one of Tsk-Tskers myself someday.

No matter how you see your life/work path keep learning. I don't care if you are 18 or 80 you have to keep informed. For your financial safety you have to have more than one body of knowledge or set of skills that you can call upon.

What do you know that another person might value?

I'm not necessarily talking about academic knowledge, thought that is certainly important. Knitting. Fishing. Knowing the difference between the Red Skull and the Red Claw.

Knowing the differences in BBQ styles in the country from mustard, vinegar or those that apply the magic rub. Whatever you know that is special, even if it is your family history, adds value to what you bring to any so-call job or employment.

This is a time of social networking. Well, networking has always been social but instead of face to face it is now includes keystroke to keystroke. You now have the opportunity to make connections beyond your immediate physical area.

The point I am taking way too long to make is to implore you to engage in some form of networking or electronic social networking. You should also continue to add to your personal knowledge base and take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Oh and have some fun too. Very important.

So I will be still posting on the blog from time to time. Not as much as I would like. I feel bad when I don't post a gem that I think the LT community would be interested in or you should know about.

Don't forget to dive into the archives - there might be something that answers a question from long ago that pops up again and again.

No comments: