Archive for September, 2007

School Daze

Posted: September 28, 2007 in Professional News

I’ve been in grad school about four weeks now, and that’s lead to my blog being more quiet than usual. But I am going to attempt to be much better about posting here more regularly. I even have a guest blog set up, a friend who’s a library student at Oxford University has very generously written up a post that I’ll post here in the next few days.

I am a good egg!

The shiny newness of school is starting to wear off, as the reality of RESEARCH PAPERS starts to set in. I’m still loving it. It’s still going well, and I’ve gotten nothing less than A’s/100 % so far, but I’m realizing now that I have TWO BIG RESEARCH PAPERS hanging over my head, and very little time to actually think much about them right now. It’s a little scary, especially when you’re like me and you can’t really abide getting anything less than an A in a class. But last time I was in school I didn’t have kids, or a job, or the equivalent of another job in writing/reviewing. That really ratchets up the excitement!

I need time in my special place right now.

I’m taking two courses this semester, one on the history of librarians and librarianship, and the other on information and information users. If you’d told me, just a few weeks ago, that people wrote entire text books on the theory of information I would have said YOU’RE NUTS! Oh, but they have. And they do. This is all necessary background information. I know that. But it can be mind-numbingly dull at times, too. I read it all, every required bit, but some days I long for the simplicity of the olden days, when information was just something I took for granted. Well, no more!

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For the history of libraries course we read Matthew Battles’ book Library: an Unquiet History. It just so happened I’d bought that one when I visited the Newberry Library downtown, over the summer. Go figure! Battles’ book is fantastic. It gives great history, plus it’s written from the perspective of someone as smitten with books as I am. Or nearly so.

Both courses have assigned loads of articles, some more interesting than others. Some of the pieces have actually angered and perturbed me, which was a surprise. I didn’t expect that from this profession. Then again, I don’t know why I expected there was no division within an entire professional field. It’s been an eye-opening month.

Did I mention I’m also taking a non-credit memoir writing course through UIC? It’s only a month long, though, and since it’s non-credit, guess which course work gets bumped when I’m too busy? It’s been a really informative class so far, though. I know I don’t show it, but I like writing. I’ve also been taking notes in anticipation of a future memoir for a while now, so when the notice for this course popped into my inbox I didn’t wait too long before signing up. This course is completely online, which helps. It also doesn’t have intensive requirements, though there are also articles, extracts from memoirs and the requirement of a couple freewrite memoir pieces a week. I can handle that.

I think?

So, that’s the school update from me. It’s going fine, and keeping me busy and out of trouble. Just poke me with a stick if I go quiet again. There’s a good chance I’ve fallen asleep from the sheer exhaustion of it all, and I probably should be awake and doing homework, anyway. So feel free.

Brian Dettmer, Book Carver

Posted: September 8, 2007 in Art & Artists

Wow.

Check out artist Brian Dettmer’s website. He carves books. It’s truly amazing.

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Announcing an ongoing weekly essay contest I’m operating over on my Bluestalking blog.

All you wonderful bookish types should like this. It involves FREE BOOKS!

Come visit and learn more about it. And while you’re there, drop me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

I have two tidbits of really great news to report. Good thing I have forums from which to blare or I’d explode.

First, keep a lookout for me in the Sept./Oct. issue of Public Libraries. My interview with author Amy Cohen will be published in that issue.

Second, the NY Times cited my freelance blog (Bluestalking Reader) this past Sunday:

All that, on top of starting grad school this week, is pretty overwhelming. I need to find a paper bag to breathe into. Now retreating to my “special place.”