Tag Archives: Education

I’m a Librarian… get me out of here!

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely love being a Librarian, I love it! It is important that you know this before reading this piece because now I am going to have a little whine about just one small aspect of my job.

Originally from http://www.outblush.com/ I added text

Originally from http://www.outblush.com/ I added text

This post was inspired by The Daily Posts Daily Prompt – A Tale of Two Cities – we were asked if we could split our time evenly between two places only, where would they be. For some reason what immediately jumped into my head was what if I could be two places simultaneously?! That would be quite awesome and perhaps even have the ability to put one body in auto pilot whilst my consciousness is in the other one. Everyone I am sure thinks this from time to time for different reasons, but when it occurs for me it is very specific.

As I said before I love being a Librarian, but there is one aspect that is present in most Librarian jobs that I do not enjoy… the food battle.

What is the food battle? Well it kind of goes like this… Librarian roving the Library sees someone eating hot chips smothered in gravy. Librarian explains to said someone that they cannot consume hot food in the Library and asks them to please take the food outside. Said someone apologises and starts packing up, Librarian says thank you and moves on.

At this point I need to let you in on an apparently well-kept secret… Librarians are smart you guys!

 

But are you Librarian Smart?

Don’t remember where I got this pic, but I added the text. If you know please tell me so I can give cred.

We went to University for quite a few years in order to become experts in research, social media, promotion and marketing, development of programs on varying topics and many other things – we know our stuff and have an extremely broad knowledge. Many of us are also mothers and fathers so believe me when I tell you that we know that you just wait for us to get out of sight then start tucking back into your carbs.

We know.

So we have to do a loop and come back around and have another chat to you about the food – often you don’t answer us because you are trying to conceal the fact that there are fried goods currently in your mouth – we know this – in fact we waited until you put that forkful in before we confronted you so you couldn’t use the normal defence of, “it is there, but I am not eating it”.

I totally believe you!

I totally believe you!

Let me tell you something you probably don’t know…

When we have to repeatedly approach you to ask you not to eat hot food – especially when there is a sign on your table next to the hot food that states ‘No hot food’ – it kills us a little inside. It feels like we are babysitting unruly children for $4 an hour instead of an Information Professional who is qualified to do research in basically any field. There are Librarians working for most film companies and researchers work on many TV shows, who do you think gets your iTunes music into all those nice little categories and easily searchable? Librarians 🙂 We do a lot more than you think, a friend of mine works at a radio station as a researcher and researches news items on the fly and feeds through information to the on air team.

Did you know all of this?

Here’s something we don’t understand… we don’t understand why you do it? Why is it so important for you to sneak eat all your chicken nuggets, smell out the Library and make the Librarians feel like you have absolutely no respect or regard for them as human beings?

WHY?!?!

The thing that kills me the most is that we have to be polite to you while you are crapping all over us. Because that is who we are, we are professionals and you are our clients. Don’t you worry though, because even though you disrespect us on a daily basis it’s not like we will remember your face and we will certainly do absolutely everything in our power to help you when you don’t know how to find information for your assignment that you only have five hours to write because you spent all your research time smuggling McDonalds into the Library.

Sure buddy that's gonna happen

Yup, sure buddy, no problem. I’ll be right there to help you with that…
http://www.reactiongifs.com/

So here is my wish… I wish that everytime that tell-tale hot food odour started wafting about, my consciousness would transport to my other body and my autopilot would handle the humiliation so I would not have to be aware of it. Where would my other body be? Anywhere but here 🙂


Social Media Addiction

So a little while ago I read this post http://kristenlynnwrites.com/2014/03/04/if-our-great-grandmothers-wouldve-had-facebook-and-twitter-when-they-were-young-mothers/ by Kristenlynnwrites and I loved it, it struck a chord with me, but in a different way than I would have expected when I started reading the piece. As I kept reading and giggling my way through the tweets I started thinking about the fact that because they didn’t have social media etc. they probably had a lot of time for other things. Then I read a comment by http://mrhairybrit.com/ that basically said exactly what I was thinking, “… the next generation is going to be a little lost in the world of social media”. I completely believe this in fact in some cases I feel like this is a bit of an understatement 🙂

Social media use is a little bit out of control, there I said it. Don’t get me wrong I use it, I absolutely use it and having lived in a few different places I find it a fabulous way to keep in touch with people I possibly wouldn’t be able to afford to keep in touch with otherwise. In fact I have done a lot of research and study into measuring and getting value out of social media technologies (which is likely evident from my last post) so I am certainly no Noob when it comes to the 2.0 world. What I have a problem with is the people that get so involved with their social media platforms that they basically spend more time posting their life on one platform or another than living it, that is where I think there is an issue. I believe we need a rehab clinic for social media addiction because trust me it is real!

So here are some prime examples of things happening on social media that drive me nuts:

  • Mums and Dads posting every breath of their child’s existence. Guys your kids want to make a connection with you, not the lens of your smartphone, put that down and play with them; you don’t need evidence of being a decent parent. In fact if all your interactions with them are through the lens you are not really exhibiting great parenting skills, stop observing and get in there! Someone doesn’t have to ‘like’ it on Facey for it to have meaning.
  • This next one was over the line and a totally legit reason to de-friend someone – recently the wife of a friend of mine had a bub, afterwards she posted photos of her C-section on FB… not okay! I wouldn’t want to see myself cut open like that, let alone anyone else… keep it in the family.
  • My husband and I got married 2 years ago – people were really surprised when it took us a month to change our relationship status to married (I don’t really know why they cared to be honest, but apparently it was a thing for them). When we were looking for someone to do our ceremony we kept seeing references to a Facebook inclusion, when I eventually asked what it was we were told that a lot of people after signing the register like to have an extra part where they update their status’ on Facey to say they are now married… ‘umm okay, no we won’t be having that. Yes I understand it is popular, we still don’t want it’. Since when was the ring, ceremony and massive party not enough evidence of the ‘I do’?
  • Selfies have gone too far! Yes I have taken them, yes I have posted them, yes I love the famous Ellen selfie, it is fabulous! But enough is enough… I do not need to see Belfies (Butt-selfies) which are just pure grot and who thought of that anyway?! The sheer amount of duckfaces I have seen in the past year have made me irrationally hate Daffy Duck a much loved icon of my childhood. And I have to say it… WTF is with after sex selfies?! How is this an okay thing to do? Vent, vent, vent, whinge, whinge, whinge. As a Librarian I have to admit that I do enjoy Shelfies, it’s a guilty pleasure to be able to have a perve at others bookshelves from the non-judgemental corner of my own home 🙂

So people go on with all these conspiracy theories about Big Brother watching and the government spying on everything we do, the thing is that if they wanted to they wouldn’t have to work very hard. I mean seriously, we are posting our entire lives to social media, all they would have to do is write an extremely basic program with some search terms and it would pull all of your information up. I can literally go onto my Facebook page right now and tell you everything one of my friends had to eat yesterday; seriously he posts every meal… I don’t even know what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I know he had a full continental breakfast in the lobby of a hotel near his work… does that not worry anybody else?

We have basically created our own strange version of The Truman Show; we have done this to ourselves. We are too quick to post stuff and we don’t think about the consequences, for example, did you know people Google you when you go for an interview? If you Google my brother’s name a certain way you will find a video of him setting off fireworks out of his butt from 5 years ago. Once the information is out there, you no longer have control of it.

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

What do your uploads say about your personal brand? http://www.brandnewmedia.com.au/blog/the-facebook-makeover

So people please think before you upload and if you fit into any of the examples I have spoken about please seek a 12-step program in your area.


Brand New Year

2013 was a crazy whirl-wind for me. I honestly kept trying to get to writing Libraries of the future – Part 2, but every time I sat down to do the research for it I got distracted or called away (let’s be honest, sometimes I was doing the research and kept finding interesting things and got carried away in my surfing endeavors) either way it will be forthcoming… eventually (kind of like George R. R. Martin’s next book haha).

I have been finished my Professional Library cadetship for a year now so have been in the job market and I am recently officially graduated – hooray! I have to say after spending a year in the ‘I am awesome please hire me chair’ I have learnt so much about applications and interviews. I’ll be honest (and blunt) my first couple of applications were BAD, I knew I was right for these roles, but I wasn’t even getting to interview. I was completely frustrated and quite a bit desperate because who can afford to be out of work these days! Then one night as I was plugging away at yet another set of selection criteria I had a thought… what if I approached this like a Uni assignment. I looked at my previous applications and evaluated them, I found them to be at pass, maybe credit level – P’s might get degrees, but they don’t get you in the interview chair. Then I looked at the assessments I received HD’s for – BIG difference in language, layout, pretty much everything. So I wrote my next application as though I was writing an assessment and my goal was to fit as much vital information in there as possible in a small word count without waffle – I got to interview. The fit for the role wasn’t right for me or them and it wasn’t a Librarian role so it didn’t go ahead, but I was onto a winner. I contacted an agency that specialises in placing Information Professionals and I applied for one of the contract roles they had and was working a week and a half later 15 minutes from home!!! Dream come true! The contract which was initially 2 months was extended to 9 and I have had the time of my life here – even meeting a life-size working R2-D2!

R2-D2 and me!

R2-D2 and me!

With my contract ending at the end of January I had to get back on the application trail, the problem being as many of you would know that most people don’t do a lot of hiring at Christmas. So I set up all my alerts and RSS feeds for a variety of online job advertisers and one morning the tell tale *ping* of an email arriving held a surprise. The University quite close to my home (yes it is a good one) had a really good 12 month position available (long service leave fill – the role is retiring and will become available after this time). I wasted no time in applying using my new method, a week and a half later I was in interview, 3 hours after the interview they were calling my referees so I knew I had done well and 3 days later I have been offered the role of Liaison Librarian in a great University Library. A little side-note to this tale is that it was one of the Libraries on my ‘I want to work there’ wish list Woo-Hoo!

Now in my case with this role I got a fairytale ending, but it could have easily gone very wrong. Here is where the learning experience came in. Please make sure you know your referees extremely well, you need to know that no matter what is happening with them you can rely on them to give you a good reference. In my case I hadn’t spoken to one of my referees as they called so quickly after the interview and something was going on with them at the time (I have no clue what so I cannot comment on this, but their response was very out of character and I have never seen or heard of this person acting this way they have always been completely lovely!) and their response to the call was that they didn’t know what they were talking about and didn’t have time to talk. Queue the panel member calling me and asking what is happening, luckily I was able to contact another of my ex bosses and get her okay to provide her details within half an hour (she is a complete doll and totally saved my hide!). If they hadn’t have wanted me enough to call and advise me of what had happened with my referee (which most places WOULD NOT DO! I need to stress that fact!) I would not have got this job – because of my referee. When I called the person I apologised for not speaking to them before they were called, but they would not accept my apology and simply said, “I guess you have learned a harsh lesson today” – OUCH! Obviously they felt that after that I wouldn’t get the role either, while I understood that this person felt blind sided by the call I was also hurt that they were willing to cost me the possibility of a job (therefore an income) to teach me a lesson. This was someone I always looked up to as a boss – mental note: I never want to end up like that!

So here are my tips to ensure this never happens to you:
1. Contact the person you want to use and ask them if they would be willing to do it for you – most places require you to enter your references at the time of application now so you need their okay early.
2. If you get an interview, let the people you put down as referees know and send them the position description for the role you have applied for. This means that they will know the role you have applied for and will be able to talk to your strengths in this area.
3. After your interview, just give them a heads up. A quick email or message is fine, something along the lines of, “Just finished my interview, I think I went pretty well. Thank you for being my reference, I hope they contact you. Fingers crossed”.

Hopefully they will in turn let you know if they were called and how they felt it went. If anyone else has any tips in this area or applying for roles or wants to share their story please feel free!

This post didn’t really end up the way I had planned, but I think I like where it ended up. So in the spirit of ‘where the wind may take me’ I am not even going to go back over and edit this post before I publish it – this kind of makes me want to chew on my nails, but here…we…go…


Libraries of the future – Part 1

Libraries are constantly evolving, this we know. But into what? What is the end product? Or will we remain in a constant state of evolution for all time? It could take years, decades, millennia etc. to gain the answer to that last question, but it is great fun to ponder and give yourself a migraine with all the possibilities. But don’t we as Librarians or rather Information Professionals have to evolve with the Library? Are we doing that successfully and to the best of our ability?

Here’s my question to you… what do you want the next evolution of Libraries to be?

This is a totally open ended question, there are no marks or prizes and you don’t need referencing to back up your theories. They can be completely new! Feel free to debate also.

Personally I can see the possibilities to a shift towards running Library client services divisions more like a retail outlet. Staff aren’t hiding behind the desks, but actively out on the floor connecting with clients. Kind of a roving reference, but we teach them not to force themselves on students. Nothing worse than those staff in stores that hover and won’t leave you alone to decide.

Connecting with clients

In the way distant future (or possibly sooner who knows) I can see a move to something along the lines of ANZ mobile lenders. Rather than students/clients coming in for Research Consultations, Librarians go out to their homes and show them how to search from their personal computers at home. Librarians could show them everything from how to download and set up endnote (including showing them how to have a mobile endnote library),  to how to construct search strategies, identify important journals and set up RSSFeeds. This would also require Librarians to be much more technically minded which honestly I think is sorely needed anyway.

We must become Super Librarians!

I can also see a path for Librarians embedded within faculties and schools and even stay at home Librarians, which would work somewhat like stay at home IT peoples. You have your other work to do, but are also logged in to receive calls and IMs.


I almost got expelled at the age of 6!

I almost got kicked out of a Catholic Primary School, not for fighting or swearing, but because they declared me to be a blasphemous child. I find this rather strange because I had no idea what that meant at the time as I was 6 years old an obviously a total angel!

How did I upset the forgiving Catholics so much? Well I was brought up to ask questions and to enjoy learning (yes yes my mother is a teacher), so I was looking forward to Primary School even though I chucked the required tanty on the first day when I was dropped off.

I digress, back to the story… one bright sunny morning our teacher began teaching us about dinosaurs and when they roamed the earth (I thought dinosaurs were the bomb) then after lunch we had bible study. Here is where I got confused… ‘if god created the earth in seven days then when were there dinosaurs? I thought you said they came before man’. Apparently you can’t question what is in the bible, I was given an answer I don’t remember possibly because it didn’t answer my question, because I didn’t get an answer I kept asking the question. Then I started being ignored, I don’t know who on earth taught teachers that ignoring children will make them go away – what morons they were. My response was to go and ask other teachers, when they couldn’t answer me I went to the boss, I took myself to the Principals office because she must know everything because she is a Nun and a Principal, she told me some garble about how perhaps when the bible says seven days it didn’t mean days, perhaps back then days could mean many years. Ahh ok so why didn’t they just write that it took many years to create the earth, that’s a lie, why did God lie to make himself sound good. THAT was when they called my parents! Apparently I was a horrid child who taught the other student bad behaviour and they believed I was a devil child who was turning children away from God and the church with my incessant questioning. I don’t think it helped that they sat me at a table in the Principal’s office with paper and crayons during this meeting and I promptly began drawing dinosaurs, thinking I was being nice I signed it and told her I had made her a present and gave her the drawing. Oops! But when you are a kid you get obsessed with these things until you get what you need and then you move on.

Teaching evolution and creationism in the same school just does not work (especially an extremely strict Catholic one)… it messes with kids heads! When I was 8 I one day asked the Priest why there were only altar-boys not altar-girls, he said that women shouldn’t touch things of God. I said that God was a meanie and should learn manners because we are supposed to share and why didn’t God’s Mummy teach him how to share? And maybe God needed a time out. THAT’s when my parents were called again. Luckily my mother is quite into equality and so she took on the Priest and the Headmistress and said how dare they cast God in such an unfavourable light for her child. Women and men should be held as equals by God blah blah blah, I think I then ruined her tirade by interrupting and saying I didn’t want to be Catholic anymore because their God was naughty and I wanted to find a God that would let me play with his stuff!

Not long after this I had my long hair all cut off because I spent a lot of time at the beach and HATED knots, until it grew out the Principal always made comments about me being a boy – man she hated me!!! My parents never believed me enough to go down to the school about it though.

You have to be careful what you teach children, because you honestly do confuse them. When the parents demanded the inclusion of sexual education (this was spurred by the fact that there had been a sexual predator in our area trying to get kids into his car – they wanted us to learn what no meant) they really shouldn’t have held that after bible study. Many of us kids went home and asked their parents why God didn’t really ask Mary’s permission and if Mary had said no. They changed the sex ed classes after that, they then consisted of the girls and boys being separated… the girls were shown what happens when you put a tampon into a water glass – I have no idea what the guys were shown.

Is there a point to this? Hmmm wait let me make one up… ok here it it…

1/ Don’t teach your kids to question and learn unless you mean it

2/ Don’t teach evolution and creationism in the same school

3/ Try not to confuse God figures (whichever you may embrace) in kids heads

4/ Kids do get bullied by teachers, if your kid says something like they hate their teacher, find out why! I know a lot of kids say it, but sometimes there is a good reason.

5/ Don’t punish children for being smart enough to see that what they are being told does not add up! It makes them want to stop learning because they feel punished for it.

Tree of Knowledge