Monday, September 04, 2006

Housekeeping, Good

The Perfect HousewifeTime does fly. Now that I am more Northern than ever before, I had no idea what the library community was like here. So, what is a librarian to do? Jump in neck deep and take two jobs.

I am working half time as an academic librarian, and full time as a public librarian. How different the two are. It is a thrilling prospect to see both of these worlds through one set of eyes. Oddly, I enjoy the gentle art of librarianship over the facility I am working in. People say "So, which do you like best?" and I always reply "I like being a librarian."

My job description at the public library made me believe I was to be working with children. I was wrong, I did not ask for clarification when they said outreach. I wrongly believed I would reach out to shut in communities. Instead, outreach is the term they use for P.R. Yes ladies and gentlereaders, I provide a path for external publicity of the library, and I also function as an Adult Services Reference Librarian. Crazy fun. I hope the public adores me here. I worry about fitting in - but I think people always worry about fitting in. I'm younger than most of my colleagues, and I'm not a native. I have decided out loud that I can not worry about these things until they prove to be real points of fact... if indeed they ever do. I want them to like me, really like me. (to be read as if Sally Fields was saying it.)

The second job is half time, an Art History slide librarian. I have a nice little refrigerated room on the second floor - and a fab collection of images to maintain and circulate. I serve the faculty more than the student body. I am excited to create the first catalog of these materials! Again, age plays a card. Most people think I'm a student, and ask what I study. My first staff meeting was fun - I was introduced as the new department librarian. At least those 21 people know that I'm not going to be in any of their classes!

And all the while, I am a new home owner. I have slavishly worked on this historic home - making it 1940 perfect. To hide the technology in the living room, we splurged on a flat screen television that is nicely hidden behind the doors of the built in mahogany bookcase that surrounds the fireplace. Now one is forced to look at the oriental rugs, and the art on the walls.

Our first point of business was to remove a closet from the dining room, that was not original to the space. The room was painted curb marker yellow, and had a dated looking ceiling fan. All of that is gone now, and replaced with a cafe au lait color on the walls, and an updated gas light chandelier. We finished the room with a sage and milk coffee colored Persian rug. It looks divine. Now, finally, I need to find a period buffet to finish the room.

With all this work, I want to make sure my home is the perfect nest. When I come home, I want to be surrounded with comfort, sensible yet sturdy furniture, and the sound of Benny Goodman mixed with slight hissing that can only be emitted from a record player.

Best of all, I have a lipstick red kitchen with bright white cabinets. I can finally use all my vintage cherry embroidered dish towels that I've been collecting for just such an occasion... the occasion being buying the perfect house.

And making friends with neighbors who have lent me books and photographs. Its nice to know that my home was actually the south wing of a large Greek Revival styled all girls school in the mid 1800's. My house was moved to its current location in the 20's, and given all the charm of that period. The facade was changed as well. This house has had a good life, I hope that it likes what I'm doing now.

I'm off to water the lavender hedge that I planted my first week here. I'm going to savor this time with my house, because it seems I won't be getting to spend much time inside it at all!

Moral of this blog: Double librarianship is all worth it.

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