So it’s been over a year since I’m really even looked at this blog and I am ashamed.
I would say the biggest news in my school career would be that I may ACTUALLY become some form of librarian. GASP!
I realized very quickly after I was doomed to accessing a local senator’s mess of an “archive” (also known as a bunch of mismatched boxes with no rhyme, reason, labeling, or hint of organization) that I hate archiving. And it’s not even the tedious work of sorting through nonsense, or desperately trying to free photographs from decades old picture frames, or even trying to make heads or tales of a person’s career that I have no familiarity with; it’s the loneliness.
I don’t know if all archives situations are like this or just the ones I’ve encountered, but archivists seem to dislike.. social interaction.
I like to talk. I talk a lot. I like to share jokes, chat about current events, and show off some of the crazy things I’ve found while processing (commemorative mmerchandise for Clinton’s inauguration including a rhinestone saxophone lapel pin? yes.). But it seems that most of the people I work with prefer to sit in a room alone (usually without windows) and silently sort through boxes and folders without being disturbed.
I simply cannot work/live like this. Sitting 8 hours in a chair staring at a screen, or standing and sorting through cool things that I cant talk about with someone, or even ask the opinion of a fellow archivist how certain materials should be handled. No, this is not my kind of career.
So, like I usually do. I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been doing outreach since last August (in addition to archivey stuff) at my school’s special collections and it’s awesome. I work on exhibits (albeit with some difficult people to work with, but I’m learning office dynamics, yay?), I work on social media, and I come up with fun public programs to get people excited about our stuff.
Granted, I hit a lot of walls: People are either afraid of progress, don’t think a special collections library on a university campus should cater to students, are heads of outreach but don’t have any formal training in librarianship (it makes a difference, I promise), or programs have been castrated because people suck at budgets (keep ALL of the managers but decapitate the budget for the people who actually do library stuff. You know, retrieve books, shelve books, accession collections, process materials, etc.)
But I’m still trying to be hopeful. I’m going to use this extra year in school to explore more options in the field through internships, conferences, and more. I’m even taking an English class and all seems right again in the world.
I guess I should start considering another name for this blog…?