Friday, October 28, 2005

Well Dressed Autumn

its fall It is at this precise time of the year, when we set our clocks back, and the leaves start to change that I always tend to get introspective. I think it is because everything else is starting to sleep, or die off that I start to take stock of my life. Perhaps it is just Sunlight Affective Disorder, but I prefer not to lend myself to self diagnosis.

I also find myself wondering what jacket to wear, if it's time for gloves, hats, and heavier jackets. Of late, I have found myself wearing a cashmere camel colored over coat, my burberry scarf, and my black flat cap. It does look particularly dapper on days when I also carry my stick umbrella. But all this is actually besides the point.

I am finally working as a professional in a library setting. Kind of.

I like the behind the scenes look at library life that administration offers. I know, that someday, ideally, I'll work as a full fledged administrator. I have been fortunate to work with two of the most ideal administrator-librarians that anyone could wish for. Very different backgrounds, often divergent ideas about what constitutes a great library.

This makes me think of what my idea of a "great library" is. For starters, its urban. Multiple branches. Listed with HAPLR as a top 10. Funded. I was heart broken to see that not one of my libraries from back home made it onto the list, but NY never has been a state that cared deeply about library funding. For heavens sake, Niagara Falls Public Library is in litigation for their funding. That is not attractive at all - I can't imagine being saddled with that each day going to work.

I also think a diverse staff is important, as well as a well stocked collection, that appeals to all levels of society.

I was distressed to learn that Wal-Mart sells more books than and Barnes and Noble combined. Think about it. The NYT carries a Sunday "best sellers list". Wal-Mart is driving the sales for those books, and they are selective in what they sell. Remember George Carlans "When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?". Wal-Mart doesn't. They didn't sell it. Not christian enough. Essentially, Wal-Mart is generating that NYT best sellers list. That is scary.

People say they shop at Wal-Mart because there isn't any where else to shop. Think about it kids. That is WHY Wal-Mart is there! Everyone quit shopping at the local Mom & Pop stores, because Wal-Mart sold something for .10 less. Enough of that, this is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

I do not want to live in the South. Plenty of public libraries down there, I'm sure. But I want snow for a few months out of the year, this time of the year always makes me excited for that weather, and not just because I can crack out my ripping collection of vintage cardigans, sweaters, and sports jackets. So the North it is. I'm still partial to the East Coast, but the Mr. is keen on exploring the west. I've reminded him he did NOT marry Sacajawea. Plus I look awful in suede.

Overall, librarianship means serving people. I guess I'd be happy in some cozy New England town, with a little library. I would still be able to do what I love.

I'd also need technology. No dial-up computers for me. I want wireless, I want fines paid online, I want a fast connections - and scads of databases.

I want an office with a window. Sorry catalogers, I am no longer hoping to play ball with you. I wouldn't mind the library being a Carnegie building either....sort of posh in a way.

My hopes and dreams for what librarianship is and will be to me keep me moving forward. This is not a profession to get comfortable in - if you do, you've lost touch with the entire field. Information changes daily, so do the ways we receive it. I found myself talking the other day and mentioned RSS feeds...I might have been talking in Chinese (only I know I wasn't, I only speak romantic languages so far).

That is it. Fall makes me dreamy. Librarianship is dreamy. What a nice couple.

Moral of this blog: Think big, and you will be.

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