Monday, June 8, 2015

You'll never find me behind the info desk at a public library again...

So my goal for this year, which I just made this evening, is to make it to 500 posts.  This is post 494 so you'd think that would be easily attainable, but one has to take into account the extremely lazy approach I have to this blog.  This is my first post of 2015, so even if I strive for the half-assed goal of one post per month that's kind of stretching it.

One of the reasons why I haven't posted is because I no longer work in a public library.  In a few months it will be a full year since I've departed that field.  I may not work in a conventional library with the rows and rows of shelves, but I'm still a librarian at heart. 

Ironically, when I found this job posted online, there wasn't any mention of "library" or "librarian" in the description or title but the damn thing read like a library job.  It was as if they intentionally replaced any librar* words with "information" or "research specialist."  When I asked during the interview process, it was because they assumed that librarians couldn't do the tech stuff that I currently do.

From what I have heard about my two previous predecessors who held down the library for as long as I've been born, neither adjusted to the shift to a digital world.  I also encountered that resistance with public library workers as well, but at this place there's only one librarian position so it's get with it or get out.

I'll admit that I did apply and interview for different public libraries in my hunt for a full time library position.  I didn't get them, obviously, and if you're one to believe in kismet or destiny, well, then I guess you can say things did actually work out better for me.  Everyone in the public library kept giving me the same encouragement, "Hang in there," "Something's gotta give," "There'll be more positions opening up soon."  I do recognize that they were just giving me support and a shoulder to lean on, but looking back I don't even think they believed in what they were telling me.

After working 7+ years in the public library field, it was a breath of fresh air to get out of there.  Things had gotten deathly stale and stagnant.  This blog has always served as a free method of therapy for me.  I do not see any drastic improvements in the near future for the public library.  It's still the same old ish, different day. All of my older library coworkers had put in their time with the system and were retiring from it, it was the last job they'd ever work before calling it quits.  I thought to myself, "It can't be that bad if so-and-so has worked here 20+ years."  Now I think to myself, how in the hell did they manage to stay there that long.  Whenever I get together with my old library coworkers and they mention a new person that started, there's always a comment or two about how naive they are about working in a public library.  C'mon, you can't help but become jaded during these times.

I wish that there were more positions like mine for my library friends who want out of the public system but there really isn't and I admit how lucky I am.  Our get together's still consist of them venting about the system and patrons, and when they ask me how my job is going I admittedly feel guilty and I just keep it short: "I can't complain."  I really can't, almost 3 weeks paid time off during the holidays, random days where they'll cater breakfast or lunch, regular pay raises.  I recently got back from my first fully-paid, professional conference which was held in a Disney Resort.  I know that's not much to some people---my sister is constantly out of town for work, but that's relatively unheard of in the library world.  I'm hoping to get a paid trip to ALA next year and the year after that and the year after that...

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