Saturday, April 12, 2008


I went to Miami University of Ohio (about 17,000) and Indiana University (40,000) when I was in college. When I got a job at a small school (1,500), I didn't know what to expect. Now that I am finishing up my second academic year, I can't imagine being anyplace else. I know some of my classmates are on their second jobs already, and it seems like the normal track for an "ambitious" librarian is to want to move up the ranks at a research library. That's not what I want.

I'm doing exactly what I want here. We have limited resources and our salary leaves much to be desired, but we don't have the bureaucracy. I wanted to do more Web work, and got to take over the Web site. I have the respect of the college Web designer and the head of IT and they are very helpful when I need something. I was given time to learn how to use Flash and create tutorials. I will be taking time this summer to learn some basic programming. I get to do a lot of creative work and get support for any program ideas I have. How many big state schools would let us take over the library for a Harry Potter Night? It was an incredibly successful outreach event, and so much fun to put together! We have a wonderful sense of community and I do things with professors from all different disciplines. I also have a lot of opportunities to spend time with the students, and recognize many of the students that come to the library. I hate administrative work, but have to do very little of it that I don't enjoy. I definitely don't need to write reports that no one reads.

I have this abstract vision of making our Web site have more interactive, educational aspects to it. I'm not quite sure how to do this, but I'm finding bits and pieces of cool stuff that could be used for this. This will take some studying on my part to implement, and I won't have much other than moral support and feedback from other librarians. However, I am passionate about it so I know it will get done well.

I can't imagine being anywhere else right now. It's such a challenging time with technology, but also so exciting. I'm starting to move my position to be the technology leader among the librarians here (though I won't touch ILL!). We're usually ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies, but I want to do more than just what comes already packaged from vendors. There is so much out there that is free and cheap, and it's just a question of how you put it to use.

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