To the Patron that just called me…

To the patron that just called me,

Yes we are closed this weekend. Yes I am certain.

No I am not giving you the number of the “most superior librarian” in the main library. Call the main number for their hours since you don’t believe me.

We are not National Archives. We share the same zip code, that’s it.

No we don’t have “all the shooting stuff” from Kennedy (see above).

No I cannot tell you all of the rules for getting a readers card off the top of my head for NARA just because I’m an archives student.

No I don’t know where you can find “all the genealogy stuff from not too far back, but kinda far back” unless you give me locations, names, dates, etc. I am not your hired genealogist, either.

I can’t tell you if we have “classic radio shows from the 1930’s” unless you tell me what they are. No I cannot tell you where to find them if we don’t have them.

To conclude, just because I am an archives student working in a library doesn’t mean I magically know where everything you’ve ever wanted to see or know about is located.

Do us all a favor and Google it.

Kind Regards,

A Very Patient Archives Student

Do I Spy a Glimmer of Hope?

Good news! Finally!!!!

I got a call asking me to interview for a Graduate Assistantship for Collections Access!

Of course I wont be moved down until a few days AFTER they wanted to schedule the interview so I am cursed with another phone interview. Now I did manage to win over one interview team over the phone but I wasn’t so lucky with a second. And as much as I am thrilled to be archiving the office of a certain politician, I NEED this assistantship. Health insurance, a stipend and (the best part) tuition remission? It means a world of a difference as I’m sure all of you college grads and graduate students know. To be educated is to be poor these days. Hopefully it eventually pays (literally) to have two pieces of paper after thousands and thousands of dollars are spent.

The interview is next week, wish me luck!!!

E-mail and the French

I’ve decided that I don’t like technology.

This statement is in fact extremely detrimental to my future career considering I want to be a DIGITAL archivist, meaning that technology is at the very core and soul (could you even say it has a soul?) of the occupation. But the reason I make this blasphemous statement as a blogger is all because of Gmail, well e-mail in general.

After a million e-mails sent to directors, coordinators, human resource administrators and faceless employers I’ve realized that no matter how hard you try it is damn near impossible to stand out on the interwebs. At least professionally. I know I’ll stand out if I eat two bananas and drink a liter of Sprite in 5 minutes because people finding puking videos on the internet entertaining, especially if it is a fad (thank you to Daniel Tosh of Tosh.O for your nauseating episode). But I cannot perform such a feat and expect to get a job in a library: Vomit is tough to get off of books (talk about not being acid-free paper, eh?).

I tried being polite, confident, humble, witty, peppy, etc etc etc and no luck. I do have one unpaid internship but like the rest of the free word, I need cold hard cash to keep my bedroom nice and full of lovely lovely books… and my kitchen full of food.

So today instead of banging my head against the wall hoping to get a job without any connections (connections that will supposedly come once I start school) I’m going to read.

Today’s book is brought to you by Elizabeth Robards. Her book With Violets is about the real life relationship between Edouard Manet and his muse Berthe Morisot.

After taking an art history course I fell in love with Manet’s impressionist paintings. Olympia, which is always the favorite, was a nice change up from the leggy seductresses of other paintings. And I like to think each of the subjects in Manet’s paintings have a secret.

So anyway, I was in Borders (RIP) one day with my friend and I said “I wish I could find a novel about Manet” and I looked down at a pile of books on a table, saw the impressionist style cover of With Violets, read the back and said “like this one”. It has been a favorite story of my friend’s for some time now. It was definitely meant to be.

But of course it has taken me some time to catch up on my Bible-length reading list so I have finally rediscovered this book. It is an easy read and very interesting to see into the world of French painting, though when I went to Paris I didn’t quite see the romance of it all. People always tell me about how they LOVED Paris and it was everything they could ever hope it to be but it’s pretty easy to love a place when you’re staying in a 5 star hotel, eating at all the best restaurants and have enough money where it doesn’t matter if you can’t speak French. I could speak a little French, but it doesn’t matter since Parisians wont speak it back. And for your entertainment, just picture me trying to speak French with a severe sinus infection trying to explain to a druggist that I need sinus medicine without psuedophedrine. It was an adventure to say the least. But after hiding in Napoleon’s tomb to cool off things seemed a bit better. Versailles made the trip all worth while.

Napoleon’s Tomb

The front of the palace at Versailles

Anyway, back from my tangent. It’s a decent book. It wont change your life but it’s entertaining and romantic and something good to read after a long day of writing, research and cover letters. And it’s a nice change to read paper after reading so much stuff online. It’s nice to be able to go from blogging to good ol’ fashioned paper sometimes.

P.S: If you’re ever in London and love French Impressionist paintings check out the Somerset House. I think the exhibit is probably still there, if not you can probably ask where it went because it was just fabulous!

A Wizard of Sorts…

Every time I tell people I’m getting my masters in Library and Information Science, my dad yells at me.

“You’re not a librarian! You’re a digital archivist.”

My dad thinks librarians are lame. No offense to librarians out there but he’s kinda right. But that didn’t stop me from getting sexy librarian glasses as soon as I enrolled in the program.

My new glasses

When people picture a librarian, they either picture a little of biddy with horn-rimmed glasses, a musty cardigan and a grimace…. or something out of a porno. (For the record, I’m totally feeding off of the sexy librarian role-play idea and I’m starting my own series of librarian-themed romance novels. Take that E.L. James). An archivist on the other hand, as my dad has told me several times, sounds like a wizard. I will be, with any luck, the master of manuscripts and the sole person standing between a historian and his/her precious artifact.

On a more basic level, an archivist is a history major with OCD.

I’m lucky I discovered archiving as a career. I graduated with a BA in English and History. In other words, I decided that reading 4 books a week wasn’t enough,and that I needed to read 8 books a week. Hence why the library became my home. You can pick out an English or History major a mile away because they’re the ones with hunched backs, bloodshot eyes, carrying 12 books that they THINK they’ll finish by the weekend but the truth is they’ll be crying in a corner Sunday night wishing they majored in Biology instead.

<;3 Jay and Grant

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And to all those bio majors out there, yes I understand your major is hard and your coursework grueling, but after a while I wished I had spent 10 hours in a lab instead of begrudgingly trying to avoid my roommates and missing a marathon of Ghost Hunters so I could read.

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Anyway… with apparently two useless majors (as countless friends, relatives and professors have told me) I felt stuck. I always got the question, “Are you going to be a professor?” and after a few scare tactics courtesy of the English Department I decided to run screaming in the other direction. So with no options in sight, I turned to any questioning mind’s favorite source. Google.

Yes it’s true, I decided on my path in life after typing in “what to do with and English and History major” into the search box. Technology is awesome right?

So here I am, 21 years old (and taking full advantage of the fact that I can provide myself with an endless supply of wine) and I’m ready to embark on the supposed final stretch of my education. In reality, I will probably go on to get a second masters in Victorian Studies because I’m that much of a dork, but I’ll ignore that fact. For now I’m just celebrating not having to take the GRE’s, finally finding a place to live near school that doesn’t smell like sewage and leaving behind a few people who are really getting on my nerves (drama drama drama).

The goal now is to obtain as many internships as possible (with pay, but who can be so lucky it seems) and make crazy good connections. Oh, and of course make myself a regular at the local Irish pub.