submit to: awesome job evidence

free ticket. free shuttle. bam!

if it weren’t for work, i’d hardly ever come out of my lair.

banned books week: technology poll

While we’re all celebrating the banned and the fact that we thankfully still have the right to read them, I thought it would be interesting to pose a question to all of you librarianistas and biblio-superheroes out there:

What technology or tools are banned in your library? What are you drooling over that you and other staff aren’t allowed to use? What is deemed inappropriate for patron access? #bannedtech

packing for pug


five lessons librarians can learn from conan the barbarian

Still of Jason Momoa in Conan the Barbarian

Jason Momoa as Conan the Barbarian © 2011 - Lionsgate, Inc.

Have you seen this movie yet? It delivers. In fact, I cried before the title of the movie even appeared on the big screen. And if there’s anything I want from a movie (or a book or art or…) is for it to illicit an emotional response.

So, I guess it’s not too surprising that I have spent some time thinking about how to apply Conan the Barbarian to my life – personally and professionally. It’s so much more than ogling. Really. But between you and me, I am thanking the casting agents. (This movie has helped me get through my Game of Thrones withdrawal.)

So it’s probably obvious…but here’s:

five lessons librarians can learn from conan the barbarian

1. Take your quest seriously.

This career is a quest to you, right? Good. Go after your goals like a Sumerian intent on revenge. Let nothing or anyone stand in the way of your cause.

2. Make alliances.

While you will have to do a lot of the work on your own, it’s important to make connections and friends. You never know when you will need to call upon a colleague for help, advice, or backup in a clinch situation.

3. You may have to face a monster or witch or two along the way.

A lot of people will support you, your objectives, and your good intentions. Some, though, will want to stand in your way and try to distract you with their negativity or outright resistance. Expect this. Meet these challenges with might of character and strength of strategy.

4. Remember the riddle of fire and ice.

Like the blade, you must be tempered by opposing forces  to be truly effective. Embrace the passion/support/fire as well as reflection/questions/ice. All of these experiences will make you strong.

5. Be willing to adjust your journey to help others.

It’s true, you have a quest. But others you will meet also have fates in which you will play a role. Be willing to go out on a limb for others. Support them, go out of your way, and keep your promises.

so this is my life: on the beach

I heard the call. I hit the road and I relocated. I became a beach librarian.

It’s been a little over a month since I moved from Sacramento to Monterey Bay. Ok, so the home office still isn’t completely unpacked or organized, but I am definitely settled in.

It’s a little surreal but I think I landed the perfect job. I remember reading the job description back in February when I applied and distinctly being shocked…it seemed like Monterey County Free Libraries (MCFL) was describing me in that job posting on calix. And many months later, here I am – Supervising Librarian of Technology for 17 branches in the middle of a grand new adventure.

As a part of the new gig, I’ll be providing digital literacy training to under-served populations. I’ll be focusing mainly on introducing users to basic computing and technology skills. I’ll be designing trainings for staff and patrons, as well as helping maintain the library’s website and manage social media strategies.

My mind is swimming with ideas, my heart is swelling with gratitude, and my mind and body are frequently swaying with exhaustion from processing all the new information associated with getting acquainted with a new job and new stomping grounds.

I still haven’t gotten over the awe of simply obtaining a professional position and feeling extremely lucky to have had the good fortune and opportunities to have made it happen. I’m extremely grateful to my Sacramento friends who went above and beyond for me and actually loaned me money out of their own bank accounts to make my relocation possible. It’s really all been with a little (or a lot) of help from my friends.

This Friday marks a full month on the job. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been with a new gig. I have absolutely no complaints; maybe the occasional eye-roll over the limitations of working for a government agency – but its benefits far outweigh its restrictions and red-tape. Of course it helps that I am generally a positive person and I tend to not be a complainer. But this kids, this is real love.

I feel warmly embraced by my colleagues – everyone has genuinely seemed happy and excited that I have joined this library system. I’m smart enough to know that I can’t really ask for anything more.

So I hope my new employment situation underscores the points I made in my last post and presentation (so many moons ago)  that it really does pay to be positive, flexible, and an enthusiastic dreamer.

I know that we don’t always get to take the most direct path to where we think we want to go professionally, but I really want to be a contrary and uplifting voice in the sea of naysayers who “helpfully” discourage LIS students and recent (or not so recent) graduates with snarky comments and lectures about how hard it is to find a job.

The fact is that there are jobs. There aren’t as many of them as we would like there to be, but, if you work hard, stay positive, and strategically cultivate some luck – you just might land one.

my first ala conference panel presentation

Been massively and positively busy with infodetecting, but as promised, here are my slides from today’s presentation at the ALA 2011 Virtual Conference.

I biked home for an extended lunch to present “enjoy yourself along the way” at Perceptions of New Professionals panel, moderated by Loida Garcia-Febo. My co-presenters Sue Hutley, Executive Director of the Australian Library and Information Association, Jessica Hernandez, Librarian, FDA Biosciences Library at U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Nathan T. Wright, Founder of Lava Row are simply awesome. I hear the archives will be available online July 18, 2011.

to #ala11 and back again

It’s a relief to rest road weary feet and begin to return to daily routines, families, friends, and cats. As I begin to reflect on conference, albeit with a very sleep-deprived brain, I realize how amazing it is we pack millions of tiny and potentially life-changing experiences and interactions into just a few days in New Orleans.

This was my second ALA annual conference and my first I attended after earning my MLIS from San Jose State University. This conference has been a game-changer as far as increasing my confidence in my role as a librarian, in ALA, and in our profession. Despite the lack of sleep that comes from saying yes to as many experiences as possible (and living in the Think Tank house), I am still excited, engaged, and ready to begin the post-conference work.

It’s time to organize business cards received and send the promised follow-up emails, not to mention beginning to unpack and mourn the loss of ALA Flash Freeze Mob destroyed high heels (worth it!) and dearly departed technology (exploding hairspray in luggage vs. netbook).

In conference as in life, there will always be challenges and dramas that require our flexibility and ability to create solutions (things like delayed flights, 2+ hour waits for dinner, and lost debit cards). Thankfully, the people, personal successes, and intellectual exploration at conference make it all worth it. Even the more difficult stuff gives us the opportunity to rise above issues to #makeithappen.

One of the biggest aspects of making it happen and having a great conference is focusing on the positive, connecting with great colleagues, and allowing our spirit and passion for the work to be reinvigorated.

My Top 5 Awesome ALA Conference Experiences:

Emerging Leaders
ALA Think Tank Mango Mania
LITA Top Tech Trends
ALA Flash Freeze Mob
International Relations Roundtable (IRRT) Reception

Look for more info on these…sometime after jetlag.

Hope you all enjoyed your conference experiences too & I would love to hear your top 5 lists of awesome!


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