Today was another day of work, down. It wouldn’t have been as tough as it was, but …we still had backed up shelving from over the Labor Day holiday. That, and we were understaffed. As long as I was there, I was the only shelver; however, I did get to meet a new applicant, who might actually be able to help. (I hope she didn’t feel that I snubbed her by not speaking; it’s just my way not to speak unless I have something of effect to say.)
The really nice thing about my work is that at this point, to the best of my knowledge — at least — people are generally decent. There are some quirks and things to be ironed out, of course, but it isn’t my job to deal with them.
I meant to let one of the higher-ranking members of my staff know about a specific patron interaction which …kind of highlighted one of the reasons why things don’t work ideally. Patrons will often come up to me with questions which I’m not prepared to answer, and which — because of my rank — I’m not expected or permitted to answer. But apparently, I’m easier to approach than anyone sitting at Information, waiting just to answer questions like the ones that are frequently lobbed at me.
When I can’t answer them and redirect them to Information, a relatively high percentage of them will go without an answer, rather than ask the person who can give them a correct answer. In turn, what prohibits me from answering these questions is, in effect, both reasoning which indicates that I am not expected to know all of this stuff (like who wrote what book series, off the top of my head); and also a political climate that we all have to deal with.
I’m fairly certain that professional standards inhibit me from disclosing the nature of the one particular exchange I’m thinking of…but I do mean to tell at least one person about what happened. When I go in next and see this post on my break, I should remember the exchange.
This post will probably mean nothing to me in a year’s time, because I will have forgotten the content.
Well, the only other big thing going on in my life, rather than — well — life (and my Vocational program), is the University program. I did successfully submit my Database assignment last night, and got full credit (and a nice comment)! I was really happy about this, because that project was a substantial amount of work. It was also hands-on and analytical work, which I appreciated. Theory isn’t everything, you know?
I’m a little behind in my readings, and just now have been able to fully concentrate on next week’s assignments. Because I was up until around 2 AM this morning, though, it seemed like the thing to do after getting some food into my system was to nap. I’m hoping this doesn’t become a pattern (again)! The good thing is, largely, that I have no other major responsibilities than caring for myself, work, University, and the program which should help me obtain a higher-paying job…so everything is pointed in the direction of really eventually becoming financially stable and independent — with a focus, more or less.
I do still need to figure out what to do about asking what would be required to succeed as an Art Librarian. It is a dream; I’m just not sure if it will hold up to reality. My major problem here is fear, around making a poor first impression. And fear, around not being sure that I will indeed have enough time to educate myself on Art History at the same time as I am intensely engaged in classes.
I’m just not certain how much work it would take to become qualified: in particular, I don’t know how much background knowledge I’d need, that I don’t have. I am pretty sure that I want to work in the Special Library field, though: it just seems like there is a much wider range of roles than in the traditional library settings (Public and Academic). Managing vast amounts of data in a manner which makes it findable and usable seems like something I’d like to do. I wouldn’t say I’m naturally talented at it! But that is what Information Science (as versus Library Science) seems to be about. It would have been nice to know this before having entered the program, though.
For that matter, maybe I should have taken that work-study job at my University Library, back when I was an undergrad. If I had done that, I would at least have known what it would be like to work in an Academic Library setting. Right now…the only experience I’ve got is in Public Libraries…and though the kids can be cute, I’m not sure I want to stay here for the rest of my career.
Maybe I should bring this up with my Vocational counselor…it will give me some direction, in the short-term. If I take a job at a University library, it should help me know whether I want to work in an Art Library for an educational institution, or whether I want to concentrate on Museums and/or Business, within an Art-related field. (Of course, that’s a hope. I am uncertain just how much being in a role like a research assistant [which I’ve never been, so I’m not sure it is similar] will require my actual knowledge of the subject matter.)
Then again, speaking of fears: I am thinking that this Database course may turn out to be one of my favorites, although I was afraid of it at first. Apparently, this course intimidates a lot of people. Maybe I don’t need to be afraid of meeting some Art Librarians?