Tuesday, December 12, 2006

dishcloth link; let's pretend.

I just wanted to say how much I like the blog Dish and Wash Cloth Mania. A wide collection of cloth patterns to peruse during my dull hours (and i have many of those.) Lately I haven't been doing much of anything.

Aunt Sue! I can't blog about my job. My employer is twitchy about this. People have lost their jobs! I need to eat. Hmm. . . let's see how to do this. OK how about this:

If I *were* a librarian, and some really cool people that sometimes read my blog in GA were interested in *why* being a librarian is cool, I could hypothetically say the following, as per request by the wonderful above mentioned Aunt. (though she could say it better!)

First the boring background: I didn't know all my life that I wanted to be a librarian, or even really consider it until I fell into it on accident. I have an English degree and really hated *really hated*teaching. Then I took a job as a library assistant at a local high school, because I needed to buy food (always with the food!) and there was nothing else out there, and I was really tired of bartending at the grotty biker bar I had been toiling away with. (jargon demystified: library assistants are called by many names, but they all mean doing a lot of library work without the master's degree or getting much money)

It was like I finally remembered what I was supposed to be doing. After screwing around for what apparently was an embarrassingly long time for my parents, I finally figured out that libraries were where I wanted to work. Here are some unscientific, unscholarly reasons why I love my job as a public librarian. (Just don't ask me where. And I only blog from home! Check the time stamp!)

First of all, I love books/movies/comics/reading/free speech/information/computers, and working in a library means I get to talk about these things on a fairly regular basis with other people who value or are interested in these same things. Power to the people! I am a nerd when it comes to these things and really enjoy talking to people who want an idea of a good book to read, or helping some kid find books on Zeus for a report and showing them how to use a database to get more information. In an average shift at the reference desk, I get to talk about anything from horror movies, Danielle Steel, where the nearest soup kitchen is for free meals, how to become a US citizen, book clubs, manga, and the address for Kellog's Corn Flakes all in an hour. It's never the same, and I like that a lot. I can't stand cookie cutter days.

Secondly, I'm not cut out for any kind of corporate or "suit"lifestyle. I have a lot facial piercings, multicolored hair, and visible tattoos. These things are all acceptable in most public and academic library settings (unless you are working for some freakish conservative biblical school or something, I imagine) I find that for the most part, other librarians are a bit weird themselves, and are the last ones (generally) to label others as weirdos. (you can imagine that eyebrow rings are not viewed as desirable in teachers, which is another reason why I was not the teacher of the year.)

Another thing is, I am totally into all the things set up by the American Library Association Bill of Rights. I'm really committed to advocating what libraries stand for: free access to information for everyone, intellectual freedom, literacy, etc. I like that no matter what color you are, how much money you make, what you look like, where you were born, etc., that you can come to the library and get the same information and level of service as the next guy. I am all about making information that was once privy to a select few (coughing! rich white guys!) available to everyone. In fact I am such a library dork that I am putting here a link to the Library Bill of Rights: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/statementsif/librarybillrights.htm

You might play around on that website and see if what the ALA says sounds good to you. I have no idea what your political or personal beliefs are, but I can say that if you are the least bit interested in protecting civil rights, etc, then you will feel good working as a librarian.

I have worked as a lot of things: substitute teacher, bartender, waitress, picture framer, cleaning lady, caterer, lingerie department clerk, aromatherapy assistant, hired tutor for junkies in rehab, and no other job I have ever held made me feel like I was making a difference or helping people the way that being a librarian does. (not even when i sold daytime hookers new bras. )

Even if I have a bad day (and who doesn't?) I can usually find at least one instance in my day where I truly helped someone in a meaningful way. This is super important to me, because I have never wanted a job where I make widgets, for example, and go home and feel miserable that I just make widgets. ( "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed... or buy anything sold or processed... or process anything sold, bought or processed... or repair anything sold, bought or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." --Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything)

so to my ladies in GA: xoxo from your pal in SoFl. Thanks for reading and digging on my hats, you guys, you know who you are.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Rock On Skully! I am sending your post to Scratch, who is presenting his final projects for the semester tonight and tomorrow. Come May he will go from "Library Assistant" (a truer definition than yours I cannot find) to full-on Librarian!