Breaking radio silence

The following conversation is what reminded me that I do, in fact, have this blog that was supposed to be (at least in part) about my library job search experiences:

me: well I can’t do this all day…I read about anne hathaway which led to reading about germaine greer which led to The Australian ugliness which led to cultural cringe which led to A. A. Phillips
Colin: welcome to my life
me: i can only think to break the vicious cycle with another one though
netflix
or working on applications
Colin: yes! work on the maryland thing
me: which has become a Sisyphean thing for me…
work on resume, work on cover letter, fill out endless online application, hear nothing, rework resume, write new cover letter, fill out online application, hear nothing…
Colin: yea :/
me: i will be pushing this damn boulder up this fucking rock for the rest of my stupid life
lol my cover letter at some point will just say “JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING JOB”
Colin: 😀

So… Hmmm… It has been a very long time.

Let’s see… so many things I could have blogged about since my last post… picking up where we left off in 2013… Dad died; that you know. I got a job in Pensacola. That you also know. Ah Yes. Then Max died. I got a full time position at the library in Pensacola. Then I took over the position of Head Cataloger when my predecessor became Head of the children’s department. I found out my identity was stolen via my social security number. Then, 2014… I finished with all of the 6+ month backlog of new fiction and AV cataloging, and 90% of the donations that I started with as a Copy Cataloger. My student loans were “reassessed” and I ended up charged 7 times more than the previous year which left me without enough money to… anything… despite having a full time job and a raise. I found out my dog has cancer. Consolidated loans with possibility of public service loan forgiveness. My mom got cancer. My paternal grandma, with whom my family lived until I was 12, was gravely ill. (Both of these I found out about in the same phone call.) I visited my mom toward the end of her chemo treatments. I got a kidney infection. My grandma died. (Both of those I found out about in the same day. I didn’t get to go to the funeral.) Mom got better and was pronounced all clear… 2015: Celebrated 10 year anniversary with Colin by riding in a helicopter (something off of my bucket list). Mom is back in chemo with a devastating prognosis. I am at home from work today with supposedly a strained knee, but the doctor said she didn’t really know what the problem was so if treating it as a strain doesn’t help in a week, I should call her to get a referral to an orthopedist. And Colin and I have been living apart this whole time. So there you have my rest-of-2013, 2014, and 2015-so-far; almost 2 years of mostly suckage in a nutshell. You’re all caught up, blog readers! I have been trying my best to be as positive and proactive as I can manage about all of those things, with varying degrees of success.

I have been applying for other jobs any/everywhere, but mostly only for jobs that will point me more in the direction of where I want to end up (and so that Colin and I can move somewhere together again “as soon as possible”). In over a year, nothing at all has come of applying for jobs except total, crushing, discouraging silence or (much less often) unhelpful, generic rejection form-letters about volume of applicants.

BUT

If not so much my health, at least I have my sense of humor! And chocolate. I have some chocolate, too. Though not for long…

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Mom says I’m a Professional CopyCat.

Hi there! It’s been a while. It’s my second week as a Copy Cataloger and I’m still just getting used to it. There’s so much to learn! And I’m only at the very beginning of what I’ll have to learn to do!

Just an example of the fun cataloging I get to do: Yesterday I got to look up whether “Combustion, Spontaneous human” is an authorized Library of Congress subject heading. (It is.) And today I used my Google skills to find out whether or not to catalog a book in a series or not since the book itself says absolutely nothing about being part of a series, but the OCLC record for that book contained a note saying that it was a sequel. (Answer was yes. Added proper series statement and series added entry.)

Anyway, I am staying in the guest house of one of my coworker’s in-laws and have been carpooling with her since she drops her kids off and picks them up there every day during the summer. Then, on July 13, I will be moving into the cute little house that one of my coworkers is renting. I feel like I’ve been very very lucky.

I think I’ve been doing ok with the cataloging stuff thus far, and apparently I’ve impressed the Library Director with my Information Architecture know-how because she said she might give me a few extra hours so that I can help the folks who are supposed to be working on the website. (We were asked during a staff meeting if we had any suggestions for improving the website… and I had many… which were then forwarded to the Library Director by my department head.) I have also been helping to sort out all the parts and necessary bits that make up 2 cubicles, and am good at it, so they have to keep me because I’m the only one who will know how to put the things together when they need to. So… I may just make myself useful enough to end up with a full time, permanent position. (; We’ll see.

Finally! I am employed!

I got a job! Yay!

I will be working as a Copy Cataloger [staffing agency required that I sign a confidentiality agreement; can’t divulge the name of their client company… not even on resumes. Weird weird weird.] in Pensacola, FL. Had interview via phone yesterday at 3pm and at 5:45pm I was called and congratulated on landing the job. It’s part time, no benefits, and I’m only guaranteed a job until September, BUT it’s a start! Come September 30 there is supposedly some possibility that the position could become full time *fingers crossed*… or it could be eliminated altogether… but I’m not going to worry about that now! New job, new town, new possibilities! I’m excited!

Lots of positives going on here: The ladies who interviewed me seem super-nice and one of them, head of tech services, will be my direct supervisor. I get to use OCLC Connexion again (I’m not an expert, will need a little refresher, but it’s stuff I know!). Hopefully I get to use Cataloger’s Desktop again too. (I’ll have to ask about that next time I talk to the new boss.) Apparently, I will mostly be cataloging adult fiction and proofing library records for accuracy (the OCD will actually be an advantage!). I’ve been told that the library director is keen on everyone being cross-trained, so I’m excited about that too. I’ll have to become less shy and ask the collection development folks lots of questions.

Now, however, I have to move to Pensacola ASAP. Apartment hunting and packing will be happening simultaneously (2 things I hate with a burning passion) and I will do my best to stay sane despite that whole process. I hope to be starting June 24 (or earlier if at all possible).

I’ll still be applying for other library jobs in the hopes that I’ll have something when September rolls around, just in case  my job ends up being eliminated. And I’ll still be tweaking my resume, so updates and posts and things here will continue in their usual, sporadic fashion. (:

As always, I wish my fellow library job hunters lots of luck.

Learning new things

While in school, I got some hands-on experience using different programs and tools through my courses (i.e. Cataloger’s Desktop, WebDewey). Now that I’m out of school, I’m having to find new ways to teach myself things that will be useful on the job. I’ve found that several jobs that I would like to have list knowledge and experience using PastPerfect, either as a requirement or as a preferred skill, in the job descriptions. Since PastPerfect recently launched an interactive version of their latest User Guide, PastPerfect 5.0 User’s Guide, I am RTFM so that I can have a clue how to use (and discuss with potential employers!) the software.  It’s not the same as actually using it, but it’s better than nothing! Now I’m on the lookout for user guides for other library, archive, and museum software.

I’ve also seen Power Searching with Google recommended on LinkedIn by current librarians as a great course for boning up on search techniques. Anyone have other online courses (preferably free) and user manuals to suggest? I love to learn!

P.S. After I posted this, I checked my email and, lo and behold,  the group digest for Librarians in the Job Market on LinkedIn included a discussion where this article was linked: 20+ Awesome Free Online Courses For Librarians. How’s that for serendipity?!

Hi!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy applying for jobs and redesigning the site. How does it look? Better? (I hope.) There’s still more to be done to the resume part, but the major visual and layout changes are done, I think. Blog looks happier now. (:

That’s all I have to say really…. Since that was so short, I’ll share a picture with you all to make up for it.

So much to look at!

So much to look at!

 

On Saturday, April 27, Colin the boyfriend decided that he wanted to see what Jack the dog would do at Lake Ella, so we went and found out. What did he do? He walked around happily, ignored all the ducks (surprisingly), let calm children pet him (unprecedented!), and greeted every dog in a friendly and courteous manner. He also got very tired. He is about 13 years old, after all. Photo was taken on the ride home. Doesn’t he look happy? (: