Would you believe I started writing this blog five years ago? Many of you have been with me the whole ride and some of you may have just joined up last week from one of the incoming links. Either way, I’m glad you’re here.
A lot has changed since I began blogging a half decade ago. Gah, that sounds like a long time. In July 2006, I was just leaving my position as an Associate Editor for a medical publisher. Taking only some freelance work with me, I moved half way across the country without a job offer waiting. It was one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve taken to date. I’d just started using RSS Feeds, Ravelry didn’t exist yet, social networking as we now know it was really just starting to take off. I had far fewer passwords then.
Since then I’ve been a children’s librarian, first for Chicago Public and then La Crosse Public Library, going from a branch of a major metropolitan library to a library that was the resource collection for a multi-county consortium, and now I’m a tenure-track faculty at a health sciences library at UIC, which is part of the Association of Research Libraries. Three states, three interstate moves, four jobs. I’ve grown a lot as a librarian along the way, holding only shreds of what was taught at library school as I scramble to combine common sense, people skills, the ability to teach preschoolers (and other ages), knowledge of event planning, and whatever else I could teach myself along the way.
Even though I’m settling into the rhythm at UIC, things are still very new. I’m past the where IS the bathroom and how DO I find xyz for most instances of xyz but the institutional knowledge takes time. And while I can pattern storytimes to classes, acquisitions is acquisitions everywhere, and outreach and marketing are still priorities we’re scrambling to ensure we do well…I’m a little less worried about whether or not a book purchase will start clamors of censorship, I am thankfully not doing a summer reading program this year (though really, perhaps we should), and I’m a lot more concerned about access to data sets than I used to be. I still freelance, though these days the majority of that is copy editing for a non-profit. RSS feeds are still a huge part of my reading day, Ravelry is my preferred knitting way of life, and here we’ve all just spent the last few days talking about the launch of G+ (yes, I’m on there).
Some days I’m thrilled with my accomplishments: chair of a national committee, was solicited for an article by IDPA, won an essay contest on LISNews, hosting Code4Lib-MW next week with the Beerophile SysAdmin, doing lots and lots of things. Other days I look at what my friends are doing and I feel dreadfully inadequate. Surely I should also be teaching three or four SLIS classes, publishing two books and six articles next week, and being paid to present on two other continents? Right? Something to work towards :-p
Ultimately though, I want to be a good librarian. I want to help connect people and information, whether that be one on one consults, staying late and hanging out in the Dentistry computer lab, figuring out everything I can about data science (just wait til I assault you all with that stuff), coordinating outreach programs with CPL, writing and presenting.
And I want to keep writing. I have always identified myself first and foremost as a writer and the blog, though periodically quiet, is always a place I like to return to where I can share my thoughts long form, express my ever evolving opinions, and talk about my cat or my hair.
Here’s to the past five years! 🙂