Saturday, July 08, 2006

From there to here....

I drove two very nice library practicum students to OurUniversity Sattelite Campus Library on Thursday. Both are finishing their graduate diplomas in library studies, which will qualify them to be ....LIBRARIANS....

C. had her mind on the "what job will I do when I get my bit of paper?", "how will I get it that job?" and was asking questions around it. I found it enjoyable, because it made me think about my own path from there to here.

I tried to tell her that often, it's "right place right time"...or making it so. Applying for "job I never thought I'd take in library sector that doesn't interest me that is available NOW"...and seeing where it takes you. Proving to an employer that you turn up regularly to work on time, don't offend your clients, can make your job interesting and are open to networking. Same as any job really.

So...where have I did I find the job and why do I think they employed me? The only one I thought I wanted to do at library school and seemed to have the best skill set for (law librarian) was the one that made me unhappiest.

1. Library Officer at OldStateUniversity. Ad in student newspaper. I was a second year student, probably with another 3 years to go. Didn't even get interviewed. Suspect academic record and name of colleges I'd attended helped. Rating on a good for me scale: 9/10 for putting me through uni and making library school a lot easier.

2.Law Librarian/Researcher at Small Private Law Firm. Ad on student noticeboard in library school. Firm wanted a cheap, unqualified student to replace contract librarian. I was cheap, unqualified and was planning to go back to studying law. Rating on a good for me scale: 10/10 for making me decide to never, ever be a lawyer, 10/10 for looking good on my CV and giving me great networking and useful skills, 3/10 for making me unhappy for 18 months.

3.Contract cataloguing all resources in state branch of Large International Accounting Firm.Ad in small print employment column in State newspaper. With inexperience I named an hourly rate that seemed like a fortune to me and very low to them. Running a special library had given me cataloguing skills that suited the job. Being a relatively recent graduate meant I hadn't yet forgotton all my cataloguing.
Rating on a good for me scale: 8/10 for getting me a job after extended holiday. 6/10 for interest.

4.Systems Librarian at Suburban Public Libraries Large ad in State newspaper. I still had "new graduate" gloss. My CV had a "familiar with" section where I listed any software that I'd been in the same room as in the last 5 years. No-one else really applied and their Good Person had just left and they needed somone NOW.
Rating on a good for me scale: 9/10 because I "grew up" in that job, gained a really useful skill set, was mentored and allowed to stretch my wings, loved the work environment and could set my own direction for most of my day.

Community Infromation Librarian at funky seaside TinyCity Large ad in State newspaper. I'd always wanted to live in fsTC and I get my kicks from promoting community cohesiveness. I wasn't the strongest applicant in any single area, but they told me they liked what I offered in all areas...and my boss at SPL had told them that I coped very well with b**chy staff. Rating on a good for me scale: 10/10 for learning new skills, loving the job itself, some of the colleagues, being at the centre of fsTC. 2/10 for staff environment and the 2 hour daily commute.

Systems Librarian at Suburban Public Libraries Large ad in State newspaper. Old work colleagues telling me job was availalbe. Ex-boss phoning me and asking me to apply. I already liked them and lived 5 minutes away, they liked me. It was my old job. Still had to have an interview (where I gushed over one of the interviewer's pregnant tummy and then realised that I should straighten up and be proffessional). Rating on a good for me scale:10/10 for even more encouragement and opportunity for professional growth. 0/10 for not being something I could still do with a new baby and when I finally moved to fsTC.

Reference Librarian at OurUniversity Library Ad on WAIN listserv, the library listserv for our state. Submitted CV via email. Don't really know why they employed me. I could work Sundays and funny hours and was relatively young? Rating on a good for me scale:10/10 for getting me back into the workforce, updating my skills, great work colleagues and letting me do a project that challenges me, but is nothing to do with the rest of my job.


CW said...

Nice post! Might have to do one for the jobs I've had...

Kathryn Greenhill said...

interesting to do it for the places you've lived in, or the friends you've had..even the books you've read.

Why this one, why then and what did you get out of it?

Hoi said...

Hi there, I am a MIS student working casually at libraries. This post relates to me a lot! Thanks for the post. Cheers.

Kathryn Greenhill said...

You're welcome. I'd be really interested to know the paths of other students in my year. I know that some were absolutely determined to work in a particular type of library. I wonder if they ended up there, or whether current students still think that way.