I think I need an “out.”

I actually resorted to a private journal/notebook last night, for what I needed to write.  There is a lot of stuff going on with work, which — along with some symptoms I’m experiencing, are making me consider not doing Library work as a career.

I’m still irritated about what happened today at work, so I should probably not write about details in public.  Suffice it to say that today was a deterrent to working in public service.  Twice while I was on desk today, I was overwhelmed with patrons (and children of patrons), plus there was some joker who tried to pick a fight with me.

This is after yesterday’s second run of discarded-media-collection, which returned a very full cart of …media…to be checked in and sorted; I missed the stuff some kid had hoarded in one of the meeting rooms, though.  The first run returned less than 1/3 of the second.  I don’t know how people are carrying around 25+ books and then decide at 10 minutes to closing that they don’t need any of them.  There were at least 3 tall stacks — by tall, I mean about a foot high — of abandoned books.  Those were the ones I got to and sorted — not the hidden ones, which I had to check in before opening, today.

That’s not to mention staffing issues.  One of our staff has pretty much disappeared (and I am prime candidate to be her substitute — but if I substituted for her full hours and took my full hours, I think the only day I wouldn’t be working would be Wednesday), and there is an upcoming shift in who will be running the place, and who will be my supervisor.

So things are destabilized, which isn’t helping my mental state.

On the upshot, I’ve realized that I do have a lot of skills which can be employed in the right environment.  I think that because graduations have just occurred, though, that the career guides are suddenly missing from the stacks.  I checked out what I could…but I’ve also realized that I don’t have to work at a library to use it frequently.

I have started to work out a plan…an ideal plan, let me say.  I’ve realized that I can make some form of income by selling beadwork designs/instructions/recipes; I’ve seen other people doing it, and I’ve been helped by others’ designs, myself.  I also realize that I could do something like Joan Babcock, and write and illustrate a book or set of books which compile instructions on how to make specific projects.  I could also teach beading classes — given that I’m able to find a venue.

This would enable me to play with jewelry design and work out some form of compensation, which wouldn’t have me spending hours actually constructing the work and then charging U.S. living-wage labor fees for a labor-intensive product which can be much more cheaply produced overseas.  I would be designing the product, but I wouldn’t be making the product.  This will probably turn out much cheaper for the end consumer than it would, should I spend, say, three hours on a bracelet.  At least, it will turn out cheaper for them, if I sell kits.  Custom colors and materials, plus shipping, plus the financial risk of ordering supplies, plus tools(–!), are something that could easily run much extra.

I probably wouldn’t be able to provide the tools with each kit; quality pliers, for example, can run upwards of $40/pair.  These are only worth buying, though, if you are invested.  Cheap ones are available; they’re just a bit annoying — for example, hinges are a weak point, and can be torqued so that the pliers no longer align correctly in a cheap ($7) pair.  But this will likely not be noticeable until you’ve used them a few times (or with thick enough wire).

This would help me pursue something I enjoy.  The question also arises, though, of what I would do to actually survive while I’m designing this stuff.  At that point, it becomes a question of where I want to specialize.  For a while, I’ve been thinking about becoming employed by an art supply distribution outlet or an art supply company (for instance, Winsor & Newton), itself.  The most obvious point of contact in my mind, with this concept, is to become a copywriter; but I’m not sure exactly how much that pays, having never gotten a position doing so.  I have a book on business in Writing, which may help give me ideas or direction as to where I can go with this impulse.

It’s also obvious that if I work for an art supply company, I’ll want to be involved in the art so that I know what I’m talking about if/when I write about it.  This means that I’ll need to be involved in both art and writing, with (possibly) the beadwork on the side.

If I’m writing, I’ll also likely need to be reading.  Reading comprehension isn’t a difficult thing for me, when there is actually content behind what is written (I’ve gone off on this, before), so that’s not terrible.  Luckily, I don’t think I’ll need to be reading fiction in order to source information for a nonfiction publication.  I’m already really interested in reading books on art, so that’s not too bad.  I’d just need to be reading on art, practicing art, writing about art.  Plus, maybe (maybe!), doing all that stuff with the beads, and jewelry design.

I’m also certain, though, that the jewelry design is also going to produce one-offs that are too complex to easily teach others — and these, I can probably either sell or collect.

That right there, is a full life.

But where do I start if I want to work for an art supply company?  Or do I just get my chops as a copywriter, first?

I will need to do some research.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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