Everything (in this post) is Miscellaneous

Posted: September 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

Last semester of grad school, lovely library people! Ahhh…

I started in the fall of 2007, and am rounding out in the fall of 2009. A very neat and tidy package.

For those of you who’ve been assiduously following my graduate school adventures (Hi, mom!), this will be incredibly good news. For the rest of the population of Earth, a polite smile will suffice.

NOTE: graduation gifts welcome, and may be sent to:

Algonquin Area Public Library District

2600 Harnish Drive

Algonquin, IL 60102

All major credit cards accepted, as well as cash, check or money order.

This semester I’m doing my practicum through Northern Illinois University, working in their rare books/archives dept. My first task is to organize, archive and record (to post the info on the web) the professional papers of a former CUNY professor of anthropology. I’ll be there once a week through the semester, totalling 120 hours. The worst part is the one hour each way commute, but that’s why books on CD were invented now, isn’t it.

I’m taking just one course this semester, in cataloging. I thought it would be an improvement over last spring, when I took three courses and nearly died of apoplexy. But after seeing the syllabus – and mammoth textbook – I think cataloging promises enough work to equal at least two courses.

I have special interests in many avenues of the profession. I’d like to narrow my focus down to one main area and really educate myself on it – reading everything I can find, networking with others in the same area, etc. Even if it’s not something traditionally done in the public library setting, that’s fine. I  need to keep my brain occupied with something I can care about passionately. Besides George Clooney. Once I have the degree, that’s my plan.

RA is one such interest, but I already read for personal and review reasons, and have permission to attend all meetings on this topic in my library system. That’ll pretty much cover it, as the meetings tend to focus on one genre at a time, and discussions produce a lot of useful information. Plus, there are loads of websites to consult when I need help.

Intellectual Freedom… That’s a big one. Huge, actually. Threats to IF worldwide are something worth fighting against. I had an entire course in IF. That introduced me to the varieties of injustice I could easily spend my career helping to combat.

Library 2.0/the future of information storage/archiving… This one’s in strong competition with IF. Very strong. I think this may become the single biggest information issue related to library studies, if it’s not already.

Bibliotherapy… Rather than a main interest, this may be something better suited to a paper or book, doubling up with RA for librarians and psychologists. I don’t know that it could be a stand-alone specialty.

But for now, I’d be wise to concentrate on the semester at hand. The problem is I distract easily. And not just pertaining to George Clooney. So much info on library topics either comes across my desk or via my inbox (my own fault: Google Alerts). I am constitutionally incapable of ignoring it.

I’m also subject to the distraction of  review books being sent my way, requests to interview this or that author, or host a stop in a blog tour. Oh, and did I mention the New Books shelf here at the library? The ready availability of the New York Times Books Section? Bookmarks Magazines? Booklust fed by “doing homework” in the cafe areas of bookstores? Bookstores in which it’s my professional duty to “check out the new books.” And even a few older ones, lest I make them feel inferior. I care far too much to do that.

In any event, the end is in sight. Within six weeks after the end of course work in December I’ll have that degree in my paws, nudging aside my husband’s Master’s degree already hanging in my office at home so I can better see the glory of my own.

I can’t wait!

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