Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sad days

Although I am technically done with my internship in terms of hours, I am going to keep working up until I leave to go back home. Even with two additional weeks that I am staying, it is still very bittersweet. I have really enjoyed my time at MCPL, both last semester while working the main reference desk, and here in the Indiana Room. MCPL is populated with an amazing and supportive staff, and I have made some great friends there. Of course I will miss some more than others, but I just hope that whatever my future job is that I will be lucky enough to be surrounded with such great people.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that a few of the other librarians have made clear that they think I do a good job (I do believe one has referred to me as one of her favorite interns ever! I do have to share that distinction with Mary Roebuck though, but I guess I'm okay with that (: ).

My task for the upcoming weeks is basically to do whatever Christine needs me to do. I'll be rechecking all of the profiles that the History Center is sending over to MCPL for the timeline to fill in any holes and double check information (we learned that not all of the profiles are what anyone could call "professional" or even "good"). I'll also be working the desk pretty often so Christine can do some off-desk stuff. We are right in the thick of things for this project and it snuck up on everyone! Even with the craziness, I'll be extremely sad to see it end.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Article #9: Once a librarian...

Anderson, A. J. (1986). Once a Public Librarian, Always a Public Librarian. Library Journal, 111(17), 51-52. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.

This article follows one librarian's plight as a job hunting librarian. After many years working in various public libraries, including a five year stint as an assistant director and eight years as a director, the librarian took her glowing recommendations and published professional articles and began applying for academic librarian positions. She felt as though she had accomplished what she wanted in public libraries, and was ready for new challenges and a new type of library. She was rejected by the academic libraries and told that her skills were best suited for the public library field.

This lead to her questioning of why are the different branches of librarianship so different, and why do they find it so difficult to understand and accept each other? Are the skills not the same? Why, unlike so many other fields and businesses, aren't libraries willing to court those from different fields? Librarians become "branded" once they take their first job as being that type of librarian. Although no answers are given, if there are any, this article brings up a great point to think about for librarians just leaving school and entering the job market. It is also, in a way, a word of caution to pick carefully and to be as broadly educated and experienced as you can.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just a few words

I am finally done with scanning my City Directory. I guess "finally" is a little strong of a word to use - it only took about three shifts, but it was so boring and I would much rather do other research related work. Although I could do some of that while scanning, as each page took about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes to scan, it was distracting to try to do that and keep track of it all and work on something else. However, I did catch up on my celebrity gossip!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ego stroking

The trust and faith that my boss, Christine, has in my abilities really strokes my ego. It is such a great feeling when we are talking about some research topic and are just thinking about where else to look for information, and she'll just say that I ask great questions and things along those lines. As a newbie librarian working amongst many tenured librarians, it really feels great when any of them tell me I'm doing well or ask me my opinion. It helps show that I am on the right track, and that I just may make it as a librarian!

We were actually quite busy tonight. It wasn't so much the amount of patrons coming in, but rather the types of questions being asked. I also ended up being on the phone with one homebound patron for an hour, although I had to put her on hold quite a few times for other phone calls and patrons at the desk. The homebound patron was actually really fun to talk to and great about having to be put on hold, so I really didn't mind being on the line for so long - in fact part of the reason we were on so long is because we were just chatting about this and that. She wanted me to look through some of our vertical files (files we keep on many different topics and anything from the newspaper on that topic is cut out and placed in the file). I had to go through two huge files and try to find what she was looking for - which I did - and then photocopy them to be sent to her.

I also had a crazy patron call, and ended up having to get Christine to deal with her (I was still on the line with the homebound patron and also had no idea how to deal with the crazy lady). She started off asking a question for a phone number or some such, but then began ranting about how Tiger Woods and other rich men have sex slaves, and then started wondering if Donald Trump has sex slaves and that he probably did. I rushed her to hold and Christine took over from there. The woman did end up asking for numerous businesses phone numbers along with her crazy rantings. Thankfully, those calls are few and far between, but it definitely ended up making my day a little more interesting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is it just me, or is it weird when a patron calls asking for another library's phone number...

As the title of this post may suggest, a patron called the Indiana Room today wanting to know the phone number of the phone number of another county's library. She then called again a few minutes later asking for yet another library's phone number. Should I be insulted?

I was desperate to ask why she wanted the phone numbers and why we could not help her here. Are we not good enough? Our library is far and away better than these other libraries. My precious librarian's heart was crushed (well, not really - I was just curious). I did not end up asking such an impertinent question and have instead chosen to come up with my own outlandish reasons why she needed those phone numbers. I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to come up with your own stories.

P.S. - the phone actually rang about 6 times during my shift! I think that's a record.

Monday, April 11, 2011


We finally got the City Directories unbound for us to scan (actually it happened a little while ago, but I just started my scanning as I was in the middle of a different project). Once these are scanned into the computer, we will be learning more about ContentDM and uploading them into that. Although the scanning itself is deathly boring, I am excited to see a bit more about ContentDM. It'll also be pretty great to actually see something that I did in the Indiana Memory collection online. I'll be able to point to it in the future and say "I did that!"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gotta love newspaper microfilms

The Republican Progress newspaper on May 7, 1884 had a column titled "Humor" (this was not unusual for newspapers back then, but it was unusual for the column to be on the front page). These columns usually just had a bunch of one-liners, just one right after the other with no real pattern or main topic. Here are a few of the good tidbits:

"A lady and gentleman accidentally touched each other's feet under the table. 'Secret telegraphy,' said he. 'Communion of soles,' said she."

"A ready-made rejoinder: He - 'You made a fool of me when I married you ma'am.' She - 'Lor! you always told me you were a self-made man!'"

"A Baltimore man killed himself because his wife would not support him. It beats thunder how lazy some women are getting nowadays."

"'No, love,' he said, 'I cannot afford to take you sleighing, but I"ll do the next best thing. Come down to the store any day and I'll let you see me shoot a rat.'"