Sunday, September 28, 2008

On the Move

How long can a librarian go without blogging? No, there is no deep philosophy suggested; the answer depends upon what is happening from one day to the next in the life of the blogging librarian.

For several months I really had nothing to say, though I was ranting a-plenty. There was too little to offer a readership, other than the experience of a job search. I wasn’t having fun with my job search, so I didn’t expect a readership to listen to my job search ‘Moan & Groan’, 'Piss & Rant', 'drink too much and feel like I'm Citizen Librarian'.

During this time, I was relegated to the shadowy world of the under-employed librarian. Not familiar with the shadows? Lucky you! You see, the shadows are an area that many employed librarians acknowledge only peripherally, and then only with derision and suspicion. “What did that person do to end up in the shadows?”, “Why aren’t they working? What’s wrong with them?”

During my five months of under-employment, (I did maintain a part-time public library contract at this time), this law librarian of five years professional experience and assistant experience stretching back to 1995 prepared and submitted nearly one hundred application packages for positions located from one end of our country to the other. I interviewed high and low, kept my fingers crossed, met some wonderful people, but was the target of some of the most outrageous comments made by interview committees and the like.

After reviewing my resume, one interview committee stated that it was highly unlikely that I had accomplished all that I had presented for their perusal. So, what were they saying: That I was lying on my resume and misrepresenting my career and accomplishments? I did the honours of scratching them off my list of prospective employers myself, before they had a chance to say, “We’ll be in touch”. Who would willingly work in that kind of job atmosphere? Not me.

At the point I had been away from law libraries for three months another interview committee suggested that my skills were “now too out-of-date” and that I should “seriously consider returning to school for more up-to-date training.” (Sure, update this, Ma’am.) How a professional in our field could be so rude to a professional colleague is beyond me. It is stunning, in fact. (Incidentally, this TO law firm did hire another individual with ‘stellar credentials’ (or so the firm informed me). However, the individual did not last the firm’s three-month probation period. Whether the individual failed to meet the firm’s standard, or vice versa, I am not aware. Makes one think, though, huh?) Luckily for me, by the time the position became available again I was gainfully employed full-time as a law librarian. I still am.

OK, I have to cut this short; work beckons. Before, when I had so few words to share, I had all the time in the world to write. Now, when I might actually have something to say, I haven't quite so much time available.

What I meant to do this time, but will have to wait until next, is write about how a librarian can build a law library where once there reigned chaos. Felted dust on creaking selves and thirty-five year old magazines....