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LIS Career Fair

Yesterday afternoon, a project I started about four months ago came to an end. Since January, I have been working closely with the Career Education Center and the School of Library and Information Science to put together a career fair for the SLIS student population. While the process was long and certainly not without its surprise twists, overall, I am very grateful that I was tasked with being this year's LIS Career Fair Coordinator. 
For those of you who didn't get a chance to read an article published at the end of March where I answered questions about the career fair and the preparation process, I won't bore you with the details. You can find the link to the article here. I will say that one of the most important parts of being the LIS Career Fair Coordinator was ensuring that I had invited exhibitors that represented the various fields within the world of Library and Information Science. Fortunately for Simmons, Boston and the greater Boston area is rife with all sorts of information institutions. Once the invitations were sent, the next big task was trying to figure out how I was going to manage to squeeze at least eighteen exhibitors into the Kotzen Room in Lafavour Hall. While in the past, the LIS Career Fair has been held in the Linda K. Pareksy Conference Center, due to a large group needing the space, the event was moved. Although things were a bit tight, the situation managed to work. I think for what we had to work with, things really turned out well.
For the event itself, everything went perfectly. By 11am, exhibitors were already arriving and getting settled, my volunteers ready to offer assistance if needed. At 12pm, I had a line of LIS students stretching down the hallway! Since this event is all about the students, I was really excited to see so many people waiting to get inside. For the following two hours, I watched SLIS students interact with all of the exhibitors, asking questions, trading business cards, and offering resumes. I took advantage of a lull in the crowd and wandered through the room myself, thanking everyone who attended. And at 2pm, it was over. Months of planning and preparing had paid off; SLIS and the CEC had done it again! 
Thank you everyone who had a hand in putting this event together. I couldn't have done it without your assistance and support.

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It's official! I work in a library!

Okay, well, I'm technically a library clerk, and a part-time one at that.  But still, it's a start!  I started my first shift at the Boston Architectural College tonight and I am extremely excited to sit in their high stools behind the reference desk and do a whole lot of homework on the catalog computers!

FullSizeRender.jpgTo be serious though, this is my first real job in a library since I was a shelver during my freshman year in undergrad.  Throughout the night, everything felt so familiar and yet so incredibly different. For example, I worked at the humanities library at my college, which was absolutely massive and contained the bulk of their print resources.  Here, most of the stacks start with NA, and the periodicals seemingly take up half of the library's collection.  But even with the limited amount of call number prefixes, there is so much to explore.  We have closed stacks and reserve titles that hold so much promise.  During my break I scanned the closed stacks and saw titles on theatre architecture, Japanese gardens, and ancient Rome.  If I weren't already working full time and trying to finish my internship via LIS438, I'd want to enroll in a few classes here at the BAC.

The one part of the job that I find a little daunting could be the reference aspect, which is probably the biggest aspect of the job other than manning the check out scanner.  I have little to no architectural knowledge - I know enough to sing along to Simon and Garkfunkel's "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" - so I'm hoping that I learn just as much as the students do here on a daily basis.  Thankfully, my fellow library clerk is a former student and current teacher so I can unabashedly hide behind her if my database searching skills fail me.  So everyone, please wish me luck and maybe I'll include some fun architecture trivia in my next post.

As an addendum, sadly I don't have any updates on the love triangle mystery that I discovered during my archival internship.  I'm worried that if I do research on the World War II soldier in question, I will learn something that will break my heart.  So once I find the courage, I'll let you all know!

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Like many others, I was inspired by this Humans of New York story.   It made me think about the impact teachers and principals can have, and, following that logic, public librarians in urban settings.  When I applied to library school, I wrote part of my application essay on the need for quality library services for traditionally underserved populations.  I want every child to have access to a great public library with materials and programming and technology and responsive librarians.  I want to be one of those responsive librarians.

Except that I work in a suburb with a decidedly not underserved population.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my job and everything about it. But the other day, reading story after story about Mott Hall Bridges Academy and the inspiring Principal Lopez (and the even more inspiring Vidal Chastanet), I started to think that maybe I should be working in an urban library. 

Then, I saw a job listing for the same type of position I have now, but in an urban setting.  I shouldn't have even thought twice, right? 


I'm learning so much where I work now.   I don't want to give that up quite yet, to work in a library with fewer resources.  I want to keep learning how things can be done, with healthy budgets and dedicated, innovative staff and active Friends and a community that considers libraries a priority.

Oh, I applied for the city job.  I haven't heard anything yet, so maybe I won't even have to make the decision.  But this has been a good exercise in figuring out what I really want to do after SLIS.

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