Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Well Dressed Objection

look at my boxBecause I can not join the army, what other way can I possibly serve my country? Rather, what way has my country figured out that I can serve them?

Just in time to start my brand new, high profile, slightly glamorous job, I have been called to jury duty. This is the third time in as many states as I have lived in. I was called to jury duty in New York, but was excused because I was moving to England. The second time I was called to jury duty, I made it into the final pool-but was excused because of my strong connection to the African-American community. Now, here in the almost square state, I have been called a third time....will the third time be the proverbial charm? What an awful way to make my entree into the world of administration...and just when I thought I was done serving the public, I am going to be put in a box with 11 other people who I don't even know. Yet.

In New York, I played the part well. I tweeded it up, wearing a tie, tweed sports coat, gorgeous chocolate silk necktie, and carried an umbrella. Chicago forced me into cooler shades of lavender, with a sass-colored violet tie. I don't know what the almost square state warrants....perhaps coveralls and a flannel shirt? Surely, I will not be shopping to outfit myself for this adventure. I think I'm going to go for the geek-chic librarian look, fitted cardigan, vintage tie bar and cufflinks, and a pair of pinstripe trousers. Of course, my accessory du jour is my murse, the german medic bag that I carry everyday. One never knows if they will need a handkerchief, or a band aid, or even a bit more ink for their fountain pen.

I hate introducing myself to the jury. I speak well publicly, but am worried that my fellow potential jurors will all want to be my room mate if we are sequestered, if only to find out what kind of under-eye cream I use, as I sleep and they rummage through my carry on that I will bring to the budget hotel where we are sequestered. My luck, I'll have to bunk with a schnorer...which would just make me crazy, and force me to render a verdict without hearing the entire case laid out neatly by the prosecution.

Last, I have no period movie references to guide me. 12 Angry Men is from 1957, which will not serve my purposes. And to top this, I am slightly depressed that Isamail Merchant, of Merchant-Ivory fame died today. Being a fast track librarian is so trying. I feel like a flower in a hot house that has gotten cold, what to do?

Moral of this blog: Guilty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Desk Set

bunny watson Gentle readers, I write this sitting in the desk chair that my Grandfather ran his business from. It was one of the many things that I scored while shopping in my Grandmother's attic, basement, and china cabinet while I was home.

I spent all day Thursday working in the garden with my mother, which outside of the outstanding aesthetic Gertrude Jekyll-esque results, provided me with a delightful farmers tan. That aside, I must get to my point. We broke for lunch (which was equally delightful) when my cell phone rang. It was the HR department, offering me the job I had applied for. I thought it suspect that they asked for my NY contact information before I left the interview (had the interviewer made up her mind that quickly?)but nevertheless, I provided them with the appropriate numbers. As I stood in the bakery, where we picked up fresh bread for our sandwiches, I became the Assistant to the Director of Public Services. Quite a memorable moment. I earn about $2000 less than a beginner librarian, but this I don't mind. I have a job right out of graduate school, and for that I am grateful.

The rest of my day was spent moving the half ton of soil that my mother had delivered, and planting the various 150 plants we purchased for the new gardens. While I could easily charm you with Beverley Nichols style tales from the garden, I will save that for another day. Needless to say, I am delighted to use my newly acquired skills to support the directors of such a prestigious organization. And it is. It is ranked #4 Public Library in the nation, I've got my work cut out for me.

Another bonus of the job: my boss is a total fashionista. During my interview she wore a simple black skirt that dropped just past her knees, a fitted white blouse, and a strand of pearls carelessly knotted. Divine. Her almost snow white hair was worn with a diagonal part, cut in a fashionable bob. I may learn something from her!

I will miss my colleagues from the neighborhood branch, some more passionately than others. I will miss serving the colorful public of my neighborhood, but now I will be in a position that will support the managers of the branches-and they in turn can give the best service to the adoring public. OK, maybe not so adoring, but I do tend to write with flourish.

Best of all, I will have a desk again, located in the new construction with a view of the old Carnegie lobby. Perhaps now, I can really channel my fictional hero Bunny Watson. And its an excuse to dress the nines every day.

Moral of this blog: Sexy librarians + sexy offices= content Well Dressed Librarians

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I took it in the rear

oopsSo, what does a librarian do after graduate school? Garden, read novels, iron french cuff shirts, polish cufflinks, AND run into cars.

Whats this you say? That part doesn't sound very domestic! And worse, I can't blame it on driving in heels.

My neighbor was having his lawn looked over by a very hunky landscaping man. Landscaping man parked right infront of his garage, which is right behind my driveway-we share the alley space between. So, while backing out, and talking about how much I loved my new ALA LIBRARIAN pin, I wasn't really paying attention to the huge, green pick-up truck behind me. CRUNCH. oops.

My fabulous sunset pearl-orange SUV was now missing most of its passenger side tail light, and the truck had a nice old dent on the fender above the wheel well. Worse, the landscaper was standing there the entire time that I was doing this.

I hopped out with my insurance card, and began writing all my information down with my Waterman fountain pen...and he said "forget it...its not worth it". With a bit of relief and regret, I said "OK".

This started my adventure, that eventually my dear friend S--- solved. The part, despite the fact the manufacturing plant is here in the almost sqare state, would take 2-3 days to come in. I am leaving for NY Wednesday at 6am...not gonna work. I called 7 garages, no one had the part, etc. etc. etc. Then the last dealership in the yellow pages confirmed one on a shelf in the back. So I told them to hold it, and I drove way east to buy it. $157.00 worth of tail light. They wanted to charge the same to put it on, in "two days, we can fit you in". Forget it.

So, S--- told me about this Mom & Pop (well, just Mom) garage on the Northside. Without an appointment, they squeezed me in, charged me $32.00 for a half hours labor, and handed me back my keys with a smile. That rocks. The other places all quoted me over $100.00, and one said it might cost more because "we've never installed a tail light on one of those before". What? You're going to charge me to figure out how to fix a brand new car that your dealership specializes in? Oh Lord.

At any rate, my car is fixed, gassed up, oil changed, and I am jazzed to go back to NY to see my Mom, Gran, Precious (my 20 year old cat), and assorted other loved ones.

Moral of this blog: My bottom hurts just thinkin about it. (um those are lyrics from the Dick Tracy sound track, dirty minds).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Well Dressed Accessories

Do you remember me wondering if when you graduated you actually got a cute little enamel pin that read "librarian?"

Turns out that you do get them! Who knew. Only they aren't just enamel. They are red-enamel cloisonné with bold brass lettering. Even better.

I think its the most swell gift a guy coulda got. Shucks. Thanks.

moral of this blog: Go ahead, pin it on me.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Well Dressed Ending

hell yeah Well, I'm finished. I've officially become a librarian, I've no doubt my grades will ensure the receipt of a diploma. I thought that I'd be overcome with emotion, instead I feel like I just had a drink and took a hot shower. Its all over. I will not be walking at graduation. Too much effort for a lemon colored sash.

One wonders, well I wonder, what I will do with this degree, and if in years to come I will have actually made an impression on the field of library science. I've been told that I "exhibit unparalleled enthusiasm", I hope that will be apparent for my entire career.

I am officially the Well Dressed Librarian now. Carry on.

Moral of this blog: I'm not used to finishing first. (dirty minds, my boyfriend has another year of grad school...)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Well Dressed Finish Line

typa typa typa First, a huge thank you to all of you for your feedback and input. I think my final decision will rest on the offer of the job as the executive assistant. I completed round one of the interview process yesterday, and I did well enough to be invited back for "ROUND TWO" of the process. I will say 'yes' if offered the position. Now its a matter of lets wait and see what happens.

I'd also like to take this time, because the rest of the week will be finals, to thank all of you for sitting and reading, and responding to me for the last two years. This has certainly been one of the most wild rides in my life.

My corporate aspirations are still alive and kicking, however the world of libraries as I know them has changed. The June issue of Martha Stewart Living discusses her "prop library". What an amazing job that is, one I would have never considered to be part of this field. Archives, cataloging, academic, public, administration, special and school. Who knew all of this existed? Perhaps, gentle readers, you knew they did, and were just letting me happen upon them. This blog on the web has brought all of us together into one room. In the field of library science that is almost unheard of. The Academic librarian does not look down their nose at a public librarian here, the archivist doesn't scoff at the cataloger here. Amazing.

I think the things I will miss most about library school are not things at all. I think that its appropriate to thank a few people at this point in the venture..and so in order:

Mrs. L-my high school librarian. Thanks for putting up with me and helping me write my carreer day paper on librarians. I think you knew all along this is the path I'd take.

Mom: Gratzi. You've stood by me for 2 years of nursery school, 13 years of grade and high school, 4 years of undergraduate, and now 2 years of grad school. I think I'm happier that I'm done than you are, but you never once wavered in your opinion that I could do it.

Grandma: Thanks for being a set of ears every morning for the last 28 years of my life. You've listened to me bemoan the educational process, and always offered advice to me. Advice that was well taken, though I think your comforting New York voice made all the difference when I was too homesick to go on. I love you.

College Boss E: Your letters of support, and professional references have been invaluable. You've helped me write a resume, and told me what to expect during the process.

Corporate Librarian L: You shoved me into the pool, and made sure I could swim. Without your advice and constant assertions that "I could do it", I wouldn't have applied to grad school. Now I can count myself among your professinal colleagues. That is something to be proud of.

Public Librarian S: You've opened my eyes. Librarianship is a powerful thing. You've proven that one person can make a difference to an entire community. I'm glad I was part of that community.

My dearest friends I & S: Cataloging is over, but we're not. Thank you for your late night e-mail replies, editing, proofing, and team work. When I think of grad school, the two of you will always be on my mind...you've helped me define who I hope to work with someday.

Advisor B: 6:30 am phone calls, 9:30 pm phone calls. You've been there for every turn I made, offering both personal and professional advice. I look forward to keeping in touch with you as the years roll by. I promise that I'll "worry less" and will seriously consider yoga, but for now, chain smoking works best.

Coworker S: Long chats, coffee afternoons, and moral support. Thanks for making this happen for me, and always listening to me go on. Your laughter has been good medicine on days that I didn't think I could make it.

My partner & best friend Michael: You don't even read this, so I think my thanks will be best expressed in person. The love and support has been larger than life, I'm so glad you were with me during this process.

Last, but not least: MY READERS. What would I have done without you? Pointless ramblings to the wind otherwise. A special thanks to Jonny Angel, who I am indebted to for filling out surveys, giving advice, and inspiring my blog. What a wonderful bunch of folks you all are. I'm especially happy to have brought every corner of the library world together in one place-albeit online.

So for now, as I spread my librarian wings and learn to fly-I'll keep you all abreast of what is going on. I'm just going to polish up my last paper, and begin to study for my last final on Thursday. Then I'm done, and officially will become the Well Dressed Librarian that I've apsired to become for my whole life.

moral of this blog: The end is just the beginning.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Which one???

The joys of graduating. I was so worried I'd be destitute and pan handling on the street with a sign around my neck reading "I'll answer reference questions for money", and having a partially disabled dog laying on the ground next to me for dramatic effect.

Instead, I actually find myself with a few job offers. But now I'm confused, and thought maybe I'd ask my gentle readers for professional advice.

Should I take the full time job as an admin-assistant to a library director? This comes with full benefits, and all the nice perks. Starts out on the low end of what a librarian would earn just graduating from grad school. Not professional, no room for advancement. But the inside scoop on library management, hob nobbing with board members and other various directors. Its only 5 minutes from my house.

Should I take the part time job as a professional archivist for an historical society? A fair hourly wage (as much as an Librarian 1 would make an hour)This doesn't come with ANY benefits, but I start out as a professional, right out of the blocks. Great opportunity to meet and mingle with the Jewish community, and its leaders. Possible room for advancement if the job goes full time, but it is for a not for profit group, and I have little grant writing experience. Its only 7 minutes from my house.

Choice #3 is to take the full time job, and volunteer for 10 hours a week at the historical society.

Choice #4 is to take the part time job, keep my current part time job, and purchase health insurance through an independent contractor.

Choice #5 keep waiting.


Mind you, I've decided to stay here in the almost square state. This limits my prospects somewhat, but not in a bad way. So, let all your librarian voices ring out. I'm waiting for you.

Moral of this blog: When it rains, it pours.