Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My temporary job was set to end on Friday, but I just got the final okay for a two-month extension. This final extension--it's the third--will just bring me to one year of service here, which is somehow more satisfying than ten months. I guess the round number looks better on my documentation, too. So, more teaching and projects await!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My project is finished! The presentation went well and I got the impression the clients were pleased with the report. I wish I could talk more about what I did, but it needs to stay in-house at the client organization for the forseeable future. I don't know that I ever want to do consulting on a full-time basis, but it was great experience. It's nice to have the chance to do some real hands-on research and in-depth analysis. I haven't written anything really meaty since I graduated and it was good to exercise that part of my brain for an extended period of time.

It feels weird but nice to be back on the reference desk and picking up new, smaller-scale projects. I spent this past two months working mostly on my own. I still had my office and went to meetings when I could, but with the time I spent on other campuses and holed away crunching numbers and writing, I was alone a lot. I'm looking forward to working in a team again. It's also exciting to see students on campus again. As it's the first week of school, I mostly spent my first reference shift of the quarter linking barcodes and giving directions, but it was fun and relaxed. Back to the routine!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm spending the weekend in my office, editing madly to finish the report for a project I've been working on for the past couple of months. I present my findings in the morning and then I'm done. The project has taught me a lot about parts of library operations I hadn't before thought much about and given me some new perspectives on collection management. That said, I'm glad to finish and move on to something new.

In other news, I caught the Library Thing bug. Check the right sidebar to see the latest books I've added. In just over a week I've added more than 200 books from my personal collection. One thing I wish I could do is list my catalog in LC call number order. I know it's one of the tables, but I haven't figured out how to display the tables differently. In any case, I'm obsessed with adding books and finding out how many other users have books in common with me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Insomnia is driving me nuts. It's so hard to get my mind to stop racing. What's worse, on the rare nights I start to drift off to sleep, I get restless legs and/or foot and leg cramps. Getting up and walking around helps with the cramps but does nothing to make me sleepy. The other night, I was so happy to fall asleep at 10:00pm but was wide awake again before 4:00am. Sucks, man. I hate being a complainer, too. This post is making me crankier.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I don't post about job hunting all the time, but it's a constant activity. Postings for the kinds of positions I'm interested in have been scarce lately, but I did send out a batch of applications last week. It's amazing how few acknowledgements I've gotten for the number of positions I've applied for. With one exception, I've gotten at least a phone interview at every library I received acknowledgement letters or emails from. Some places don't even send rejection letters when the search concludes. It can be discouraging, for sure.

This stuff is on lots of our minds right now. Not 24 hours after I posted the article below, a former MLIS classmate of mine called me at work to ask how I landed an academic job so soon after we graduated and to get some advice on her own difficult search. I was sorry I had to tell her that my job is temporary and is over at the end of the month. Which is next week--yikes. We talked about how for the first six months or so after graduation, it was embarrassing to admit not having a job, but now we realize how common an experience it is.

Most of my friends from school have struggled and I only know of a few people who have secured permanent positions in the industry. These are smart, capable people who have solid library experience, but it just hasn't worked out for them yet. It took me five months to land a temporary job and I firmly believe that mine was a case of being in the right place at the right time. It's not news that the job market for librarians is rough here.There are many complicating factors besides low librarian job turnover. The cost of living is outrageous and commuting between several part-time gigs is hard to do in our traffic. I'm pretty committed to looking out of state; not everybody has the ability to move.

There are many variables in the job search. A library director I really admire recently offered me part-time, temporary work, but she needed somebody before my current full-time job ended. I would have loved to have worked for her and at her college, but it just didn't work out. Something will stick one of these days.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Check out this great post by Meredith Farkas at Information Wants to Be Free. It really sums up the difficulty of finding that post-MLIS job.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I've been a long time gone. I have lots of reasons but no excuses. So, Gentle Reader, the last time we met I was about to enjoy me some Bumbershoot. I sure did. Sunday started out well. Melanie and I walked down from her place in the beautiful sunshine. We ran into a friend of hers and went to catch Math & Physics Club. We wanted to avoid the crush by hanging in the beer garden, which wasn't open yet. Then yours truly had the genius idea of hitting the Liquid Lounge, adjacent. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a whisky at noon, but it was nice. Next on the list was the John Wesley Harding and Friends thing, Songs of Misfortune, at Bagley Wright. I admit I was skeptical about the concept--a performance of folk songs from JWH's novel about an orphan boy baby raised by a rich man as a girl--but it was fantastic. Robyn Hitchcock was the narrator! Kurt Bloch and Mike Musburger played in the band! So awesome. Anyway, we came out of the theater in the early evening and it had rained. The sky was grey and ominous.

Now, don't get me wrong--I looooooove the rain. I get cranky when it gets above about 75 around here. But I do not love the rain when I'm dressed in all natural fibers and plan to stand outside to watch the Posies. "Good thing we were inside during the rain," I said smugly to Melanie. Ah, hubris. Not twenty minutes later, we looked like this:

The latest in Seattle style. I particularly like the way the wind is blowing up the trash bags so we are twice our normal sizes. We were not alone.

But it was all worth it. The Posies were off the hook, y'all. Check out Ken's special raingear:

I leave you with one of my favorite things in the world. I can't walk past one of these things without posing for a picture.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I haven't had much to post lately. The news has captivated me and I've been finding it hard to concentrate on work.

Bumbershoot opened yesterday, and I went down with M. to see some friends play an early evening set. I haven't seen them in a while, so it was fun to catch up a bit. I'm skipping B'shoot today but will be back Sunday to check out Flatstock and see Math and Physics Club, John Wesley Harding, the Posies, and Elvis Costello. If I have any energy left on Monday, I'll try to see Buttrock Suites and Tegan and Sara.

I'm sure the crowds and the insane crowd management strategy of making people walk all over hell's half acre will drive me mad, but I keep coming back, year after year. The price is outrageous, though. It was $6/day in 1993 and it's $28/day in 2005. I wish my income would inflate at that rate!