Thursday, 4 October 2012

thing 20: library route

So this is how I became to be a librarian...
I always thought my story is unusual, but after reading some of the posts it seems it isnt.
From age 12 or so my dream was to become an architect. Well, all my life at school and University I aimed at getting one (though I had other interests, too), which ended up with a degree from a fairly reputable university. After some jobs I found myself not being very happy and was thinking that somehow I have to change my life. 
From school days on I spent lots of time in libraries and I remember always enjoying the environment. At some point when somebody asked me why I work as a librarian I said: Well, I like being in libraries, so I thought I like to be working in one. 
When it came to choosing my studies I very briefly considered librarianship, but it seemed to be very dull and only about numbers... As a student I took on a job as a student assistant managing a small special library, which I enjoyed a lot.
The turning point came when I was working on an art competition and spent some time in the architectural library at university researching. By then I was really frustrated by my job, which was the reason why I spent my holidays doing a competition. Sitting there I was watching the librarian and thought: this must be the perfect job! Being on top of whats happening in the subject but only the theoretical bit of it, and most important: delivering a service in a nice environment instead of having to argue all the time, working lots of time for not much money. I asked the librarian how she managed to get this job and she explained to me that there are options for academics to do a postgrad (as I didnt wnat to start from scratch) and you wouldnt be the one to stamp the books, but doing really interesting stuff. She managed to arrange a meeting with the subject librarian and what he told me about his job reassured me that this must be the perfect job for me!
From that day I tried to find out how to get there which wasnt so easy because of the federal system in Germany and there was age restriction for most routes :-( I cant remember how many places I applied for, but finally I managed to get a place for a Masters in Library and Information Science, which turned to be out very lucky as I later decided to go the UK, and this was a degree that was a accredited :-)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

thing 15 - conferences and other events

Well, I have been to quite a few events and its part of my job to give papers, so this is not new to me.
In my experience it is a very brave thing to give a paper in front of people for the first time. But librarians are very nice people and usually you dont get any nasty questions :-) Actually, it is very rewarding and often, people will approach you after your talk and you get to know like-minded librarians.
At the moment I plan to go to the next German national conference in March as I havent been for a few years and I have to get myself updated. Also I´d love to go to next LILAC in April as this is a brilliant conference with lots of nice people. I am not sure If I get to go to both...
One thing I was wondering is how you manage to encourage speakers from other disciplines to give presentations at a library workshop/conference.
We had planned to organise a one-day event on transliteracy and invited speakers from the industry and the educational sector, but we didnt g
Well, enough for thing 15.
I promise to get better...

thing 23 - promoting myself

Have some time, so hopefully get to rework some things - lets see how far I will get ;-)
Re. promoting myself: I think I know what I like doing because thats exactly my job at the moment :-) maybe a bit less in the same time, but that is another issue...
I am always trying to build and keep contacts (which I like doing anyway), maybe they might be useful at some point...