libraries, LIS, work

New job should help me know what to do next.

I realize it is late at night and I have begun to see things I shouldn’t see; however — today (yesterday, rather) — was my last day as a Library Aide. Tomorrow (or, technically, later today), I have a meeting with someone whose goal is to help me get a job. Another one…I guess. The help was offered, so I took it. Maybe I shouldn’t have…? I’m not sure. At least I’m learning how to write a resumé.

I still haven’t decided whether I would be more suited to information organization, or to Public Service. It would seem I could help more people, more quickly, doing the latter. My major issue here is that I am not really a, “people person,” though I suspect few Librarians get into the field because they are. (Altruism, however, does seem to be very common; as is introversion.)

Of course, this new job will really help me see whether I will do well in Public Service. From the initial time at which I was assessed, to now, I’ve gone through a major change in comfort level in dealing with the public. I’ve also grown to realize the limitations of interacting with the world through a screen.

I suppose it has been almost ten years.

At least I got hired as a Library Assistant before my decade marker of service to the County. It…could have been less than great, to have them announce that I’ve worked for them for ten years and that I was still an Aide (which is almost the lowest rung I could be at, if I don’t count being a Volunteer; though job titles and definitions vary across systems).

Speaking of which, I should really look for that article I printed, which surveys job titles in Academic and Public Libraries. (I think it’s in a pile of stuff on my desk, or maybe in a folder on my bookshelf, with the career stuff.) It could be useful, at least as help in getting an orientation as to what I could actually (specifically) do, having started with a Digital Services concentration. I also might want to ask the person who has been helping me, and the Career Center liaison at my alma mater.

My major issue at this point is not knowing quite where to focus my energies, because I still don’t know exactly where I want to be, yet. Academic? Public? Reference? Digital Library? Web Development or Metadata? Collection Development? Cataloging?

(Of course, yes, I now realize that most of these fall under “Technical Services”…)

Right now I’m trying to focus on Reference Services, which is a specialty in itself. However, a Library Assistant or Librarian is going to be doing a lot more than answering Reference questions…which I’ll come to know more about in the coming weeks.

I still haven’t gotten back to the JavaScript course, which I’ll likely want to, as I reported being enrolled in it to my job search people. I’ll also want to finish Defusing Hostile Customers, and break into Online Searching, though I think I’ve mentioned that, before. I can also review my text on Reference & Information Services…though I think reading through that last 300 pages is a pretty tall order. If I had been going through one chapter a day, it would be something else…but it isn’t an engaging read, and I might be able to find a simpler and more concise version of the same information.

(Note: take some of these books in, tomorrow!)

Or, at least, I’ll want to isolate myself so that I have no distractions and can buzz through it quickly. I also recall a Librarian telling me that it might be more practical to look through the resources we have in our system, as versus reading a book which cites references that we just do not have access to. So maybe I can study our Reference sources, and get into free online sources, and that will be better!

I’m also remembering something from a while back, where it was observed that I’m great at generating ideas, but narrowing my focus to one thing to work on, is itself a challenge for me. So the challenge is to focus. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to leave off of one activity in order to work more intensely with the hand I’ve currently been dealt…but, I also have a tendency to wander (I was rambling earlier tonight and may be rambling again now, for example), which isn’t good when it comes to targeted job searching.

Maybe I’ll want to work on focusing on the Reference Services part of this for the very-short-term, as it’s coming up and will be my life for most of the next month. After that, I can focus on driving (so I can be hired as a Librarian after getting my license), and finding a more permanent (more permanent, not necessarily rest of my life permanent) vocational position.

Of course, being a substitute…I’ll get to meet a lot of people and sample a lot of environments. If I can, from that, work out at least a hierarchy of where I would most like to work, I can then prepare to move into a position as a rooted Library Assistant or Librarian, as my next step. That would come with more stability in hours, job benefits, likely more responsibility (programming!), and I could log my time so that I could find a location I wanted to work at. It isn’t really until I might become senior that I would even have the opportunity to work within the Virtual Library, I think — at least, within my current system.

I’d also have a pretty broad spectrum of skills, by that point…and I would know more about where I wanted to be. Is learning multiple Web Programming languages, and staying on top of them, my best bet? Or can I work with people? Would I like working with people, if I were fully empowered to work with them? How much of my emotional imprint of working with the public been skewed by not being able to try to help our patrons as fully as I’ve wanted to? How many negative reactions stemmed from lack of skill on my part, and have I learned from those interactions? (Every time.)

That’s got to help, in some way…

beading, Business training, embroidery, macrame, planning, sewing

So maybe I will open this blog to search engines…

Apologies for the delay.

I’ve been editing Categories as I intended to do some years ago.  Really?  Did I mark that many posts as “fiber arts”?  I can’t seem to alter the size of the “fiber arts” category in the right column, and I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t worry about it too much, given that only Tags are shown at the bottom of each of my entries.  But maybe I can alter that, as well.  It’s been a while since I’ve toyed around with WordPress.

I’m almost done with classes for now, though I am thinking of taking a class which in the past, at least, has been a prerequisite for other classes that I’m pretty clear on wanting to take.  I’m also pretty clear that I’ll likely need the structure.  What I really want to do is spend the summer being creative with beads, macrame and sewing/embroidery, but the big threat there is that I’ll just end up with my sleep schedule way out of whack.  I suppose I could also apply for — or volunteer for — a different job which would give me additional work experience.  Think outside the box, yeah?  Though naming rote confinement as “the box” would seem to be a bit rote (…I’ll try and get off of this train of thought).

Plus; I can’t really make a good living off of beads, macrame and sewing/embroidery…at least not unless I put a lot of effort into it.  Considering that three out of those four categories are newish to me, as well…it’s looking like I’m just trying to keep my mind stimulated.  But I’ve read that people with my type of mind tend to do that, which makes me a good candidate for IT work, because I won’t mind learning new things routinely for the rest of the foreseeable future.  Plus, IT actually does pay a living wage.  I’m thinking of keeping my crafts as a self-sustaining/somewhat-profitable avocation (probably as a hobbyist, not a business — there are a lot of regulations for businesses that I didn’t realize were there until this last round of research papers) while going into Web Design as a way to stay alive.

The reason I’ve kept search engines out of this blog is that…well, privacy, anyone?  It’s not like there’s much privacy online anyway, or that the world is actually trending toward being less connected, but being suddenly linked to the entire worldwide web — or anyone searching key terms, at least — is basically not having privacy.  Right now it’s like being out in the open but having a burrow well-hidden amongst the leaves.  Hiding in plain sight.  (Maybe that’s just my totem talking to me, though.)

I already know that dealing with the general public is not one of the great joys of my life.  In the past, this blog was linked to Ravelry, which is how I gained web traffic.  At this point, the material here is a bit personal to link directly to my identity.  It’s like the people I talk with online don’t know who I am, and the people who know me from real-world interaction, aren’t interested in my personal life.  And I haven’t been back to Ravelry in a very, very long time.

But I am interested in starting up some dialogue with other crafters.  My posts tend to be so long and intimidating to some, though, that they aren’t conducive to responses.  I think people get to the beginning of the third paragraph and go into absorption mode instead of conversation mode.  I know people read these things, they just don’t respond.  And pushing for responses just gets bad responses.

Anyhow, I’ve probably written long enough.  I have a couple of days to get my take-home Final done, and read the last chapter for my other class.  I hate feeling like I’m behind, but I actually do think that the vast majority of people are doing worse than I am, so maybe I shouldn’t grate on myself too much.

All right.  I think I’ll go and do something productive now, even if that is only something creative rather than career-related…


I’m back :)


I don’t have a lot of time to write right now, but I was about to post to a log on a forum which I think I’m about to exit, and thought to myself, “why am I doing this here?”  I remembered that I had this WordPress blog, then, and dug up the link, etc.  Interesting to read over my own materials from years past.  I suppose I could say that a lot has happened in the two years I’ve been absent?

The most pressing of these issues is one which I wasn’t worried about until recently; this is gaining full independence.  Because of this, I’ve been attempting to find a way to make a living.  Right now, I think that this will be centered around jewelry; and right now, I have the inkling that it will be centered specifically around “craft jewelry”…beading, beadweaving, wirework, and fiber art.  I’ve thought of going into full-on metalsmithing, and I have taken a couple of classes in that.  Basically, though, metal usually doesn’t have a lot of color, and so I find myself wanting to work with my seed beads more again when I confront the idea of designing for fabrication.  Otherwise, I’m kind of stuck working with reactive metals or craft wire.  There’s also the possibility of using a lot of colored stones, but that’s still pretty limited, relatively.

I originally got into metalwork because I wanted to use cabochons and stones, but I didn’t think that the way they could be set, within beadwork, was the most…what’s the term? economical? simple? way to do things.  Particularly, I was thinking of bezel-setting.  This can be done with cabochons in bead embroidery and beadweaving, but these methods…at least from my current perspective, seem to cover up a lot of the stone.  This is kind of counterproductive when you want to display the stone — when the stone is the focal point, as contrasted with when the weaving or embroidery is more in focus.  But what I’ve found is that when one is working in metal…it’s an entirely different way of working.  There is potential in it.  If I do it, though, I’ll have to find a way to satisfy my own goals and aesthetics, and not just produce pieces of fine art jewelry that look really formal and expensive, but which are relatively aesthetically conservative.  Or maybe, “restrained,” is the best way to put it.

Today I picked up a couple of books, given that I did pick up a couple of cabochons recently to design around, and now have the dubious task of creating with them as centerpieces.  I now have about five little stones which I can work with.  I’m wanting to look into bead embroidery for this.  I also am thinking about embroidery on fabric, as embellishments for clothing — as I’m thinking to myself that if I’m going to be making things to sell, why would I necessarily limit myself to jewelry, especially considering that I have almost all of the materials I’d need not only to bead-embroider, but to just plain embroider?  I could work on embroidered purses or coin purses or something…just little special things to make people feel good.

And then I could work in sewing as well, if I made the purses myself.  I’m just finding myself really wanting to work with needles, at this point.  Right now I’m in two Business classes, both on an entrepreneurial track.  But they’re taking time away from what I might otherwise be using to practice my crafts and build my skill and aesthetic senses.  So if I keep going the way I am, I’ll be able to sell things, but not have anything to sell.

My drive isn’t to be a businessperson; my drive is to create.  I’m thinking, actually, of hiring someone to deal with the Business side of things while I focus on Design.  I’ve just got to have a good head about myself so that I don’t get taken advantage of.

Right now I’m torn between taking time off of classes to work on my arts and crafts over the summer, or taking an intermediate-level Drawing course.  Maybe I should give myself a break, yeah?  I’m thinking of taking Watercolor, come Fall.  I can also take Intermediate Drawing, then, as well.  I just want to get my hands on colors again, and learn to draw in color; the two Drawing classes I took previously only had an introduction to color (monochrome techniques were taught first).  I’d take Drawing, but…I’m thinking that at this point, maybe school doesn’t have all the answers.

There are other ways to learn what I want to learn — including continuing-education and private classes, and classes at local Art Centers; plus the Small Business Administration, local Chambers of Commerce, and professional and special-interest associations which I could join, to meet people and gain a sense of what the field is actually like.  And, of course, I could work at home.  I could build up a repertoire of things which I could sell whenever someone says, “I’d like to buy something from you,” which has happened at least 3-4 times in the last 6 months.  I could experiment with selling things at flea markets with my godmother.  You know?  Maybe it’s time to do something, instead of preparing to do something.