My MLS Degree: An Experiment in Abnormal Psychology: The Final Chapter!
The saga finally ENDS. Click here for part one, two, and three.
Second Fall Semester (Aug 2009 – Dec 2009) Portfolio of Doom
· Last classes! I sign up for Advanced Children’s Literature and YA (yes, more kiddie lit. They never said what electives we had to sign up for. I went for easy.) Also, I take the dreaded Library Management with Dr. S.
· I die laughing over Dr S’s rules for class. My favorite: We do not service patrons. That is a sexual act. Haha. Clearly the poor man has been there too long.
· Immediately the stupid people in class start making idiotic comments. I wait for Dr. S. to pounce. He doesn’t. And some of them are just asking for it.
· Advanced Kid Lit is run exactly the same way as Multicultural Kid Lit and regular Kid Lit. I love Dr. V.’s classes. Especially how she tells us to remember the honor policy and not use our books on the quizzes. She had to be kidding right? Not that I really need the book, but it’s fun to go wild and flout the rules.
· Now is the time for the PORTFOLIO. It’s like Thesis, only you don’t get two semesters to take it and you do it along with two other classes. If you don’t pass it, you don’t get your degree. Since this is such a major deal, they decide to send us to Denton for the Fall Festival on a lark. We are going to learn all about the PORTFOLIO here.
· We learn a whole lot. Like how to get confused. First they put us up at a hotel that is all the way across Denton and costs 3 times as much as the ones that are close by the university. My poor mother and I get so lost we nearly lose it. Finally she dumps me at the restaurant with my luggage.
· We spend the first evening griping about how much we hate our professors. Well, most of us. A few nerds go and do actual productive homework.
· At the Fall Festival (which sounds way more festive than it is) we are lectured on how the PORTFOLIO works. And we get more confused. Also, Kathy points out that over 50 percent of students fail the PORTFOLIO the first time. How helpful!
· From what I can tell from the slide show (that could have just been emailed to us) we have to put together some work products that go along with the professional development paper that is a rehash of the professional agenda which is a paper full of B.S. about what we’re going to do with our degrees. I personally plan on curing Cancer and building huts in Africa.
· I decide that, according to the paper, I’m going to be a youth librarian, since I’ve taken all these kiddie lit courses. It sure sounds better than admitting I took them because they were easier. And that I don’t actually like children that much.
· Kathy decides that we should give Dr. G. a gift to thank her for all the insanity. When no one goes for it, she says it’s a group gift and demands 10 bucks from each one of us. I pretend my wallet is in my other red cohort bag.
· We do a leadership activity involving a personality quiz using a scary Satanic-looking Pentagram. This is supposed to make being a leader so much easier. I’m sure that selling one’s soul to Satan makes things infinitely easier. It sure explains my boss.
· People organize themselves into different numbers relating to their personalities. Unfortunately, some people do not know themselves. At all. My boss puts herself in with another cohort, peace loving hippie Jane. Ah, of course.
· Dr. Golden explains that she is a “1” because she’s a perfectionist. This is very true. She never stops screwing up until she’s got it done exactly right.
· We get back home and start working on our PORTFOLIOS. Dr. G. offers to proofread our papers and give suggestions. She looks at one page of mine and tells me I’m totally off the mark. But not how. Great!
· My boss goes into full on whacked out panic mode. While I’ve always known she’s nuttier than a fruitcake, most of the staff is now giving her the same berth as one would a live hand grenade. Methinks she’s worried that she’s not smart enough to pass. Bwahahaha.
· No one does much on their regular course work. Freaking out over the PORTFOLIO takes precedence. My boss has my 6th grade English teacher proofread her paper. God rest that woman’s soul. Afterward, my boss has to paste on a smile and put back together the shreds of her “paper”. Aws!
· The papers go in. We wait for our scores like people do for biopsy results. There is just no way any of us can survive doing this thing again. They finally send back the results with much fan fare. Next to my name are the words: PASS. No comments. Nothing. Just PASS. I find out my boss passed as well. Clearly, they exaggerated the difficulty of passing this thing.
· Next comes preparation for graduation. We discover that they aren’t paying a dime for graduation. Most of the cohort is a-okay with paying for silly gowns, a hotel room, travel expenses, etc. to stand in line for hours and walk across a stage. Two other mutineers and I say to hell with that. I’ve already been through 3 ceremonies. People are bored with me graduating by now.
· I am invited into an honor society. For 100 bucks everyone can know how smart I am. Or they can just look at my transcript for free. I figure there is some sort of intelligent process to this, but nope, they just draw names randomly from a list. Which means some people with 3.75 get in while some 4.0s are left out. Makes sense to me. Some cohorts are really mad that they don’t get the cheesy honor cord. Those are useful. My girls used mine from my last degree as a jump rope.
· The message boards get more and more tedious. Some fellow students in Library Management start talking about making library tree houses. I guess they’re going to have Tinkerbell checking out the books? Dr. S lets that go. He should have insulted those people for their own good and the good of society. The dean has apparently had him fixed somehow.
· Last up in that class is a group project that the group members – one is named “Missie” – take way too seriously. I know it’s too late in the semester for him to read it. My daughter is ill and in the hospital. I’m still expected to do my share. Good luck with that.
· I have several job applications in but no interviews or offers yet. I have to fax a paper to the grad school saying I’m not going to graduation. My boss interrogates me on my use of the fax machine. Despite not having a job lined up, I give my notice the next day. It’s either that or the Looney Bin.
· My boss takes such delight in my notice that she fails to realize that I work more hours than any other part timer and never take vacations. They have no idea how to fill in all the hours I worked. Merry Christmas!
· Graduation time! The others take off. I stay home and relax for the first time in a couple of years. I find out later that my boss says that she has NO IDEA why I might have quit and is CONCERNED. The other cohorts are deeply suspicious of us mutineers who didn’t go to the ceremony and have FUN. Oh, well, don’t have to see them again.
· Oh, wait. There’s still one more TLA. Hey, didn’t we graduate already?
TLA 2010: FUN with Leadership
· The previous December, I received an early Christmas present. After only a few dozen (it seemed like) interviews, I got offered a job at the university library in Special Collections. I’m still not totally sure what that is, but since I was ready to mop the floors of the place just to get a position there, I’m thrilled.
· My new boss turns out to be the polar opposite of Mrs. Satan. She actually likes my work and tells me so. My training under the Evil One has not prepared me for this. It takes me a while to adjust to not getting in trouble every single day.
· Yet despite having graduated, I’m not completely free – I still have this one last conference with her. I forgot to check the fine print. Turns out there’s going to be a leadership conference at TLA just for us. It’s Tall Texans, only not, because we don’t actually get the title. Just two days of meetings. Oh, joy.
· A fellow cohort Linda – one of the Three Mutineers – and I can’t imagine what leadership skills these wackos are going to impart to us. We start googling leadership games and laugh ourselves silly. Possible leadership activities: wrapping ourselves in Saran Wrap, pulling off pieces of toilet paper, sitting on one another’s laps, fighting with pool noodles, butt head tag, and an activity that involves yelling the word “Hooowaa!” I swear I am not making these up.
· We make it to the final TLA with the cohort. This time we are roomed at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio right across from the Alamo. It is rumored that the upper floors of this hotel are haunted, so my boss and her unfortunate roommate decide to change rooms in hopes of meeting one of the ghosts. If there were ghosts, I’m sure the ghosts were scared off.
· The other cohorts start to realize my former boss isn’t quite right.
· At the first meeting, I get to tell everybody about my brand new super job that I love and my awesome boss. My former boss tries to force a smile, and her face cracks.
· As it turns out, we don’t get to do any of the fun leadership activities. Mostly we listen to boring stuff that I can’t remember. At one point my boss asks if people who are no longer at public libraries should be allowed to be at this activity, or to breathe, or something like that. She looks right at me.
· Fellow cohort Linda and I mouth “Hoowaa” to each other during the boring workshop and try not to giggle like eight-year-olds.
· The leadership meeting finally ends. Now on to the actual conference. Weee.
· I do try to go to as many of the conferences that are related to Special Collections (turns out these are archives) as I can, but most of them turn out fairly useless. The speakers are not prepared, and don’t even have enough handouts. It’s like being back in school.
· I visit the Alamo and realize that it is wedged between several huge hotels. Kind of takes the mystery and awe out of this symbol of our independence.
· It is next to impossible to catch a shuttle to the conference center, since they only run once or twice a day. So I get a lot of walking in back and forth. This involves cutting through a mall, darn the luck. I discover Macy’s.
· This time I get a roommate who has to leave early for a funeral. Sad for her, but happy for me. I get a room to myself for a while.
· I run into my former boss over and over, but it gets easier. I can tell she’s frustrated that I am out from under her thumb. And happy. At one point I smile her right out of the room.
· Finally, TLA ends. And so does the online MLS experience. Hooowaaa!
My MLS Degree: An Experiment in Abnormal Psychology
As most of you know, I work at a university library. Before I got there, I was a public library underling who worked for a boss some employees nicknamed “Satan”. Since librarian seemed like a great career choice at the time (I was smoking something), I jumped at the chance to enter a cohort of public librarians who were given a a “free” online degree. The same grant also allowed us to attend three library conferences. It sounded like a really great opportunity. Then I found out my evil boss was also in the program. And stuff went downhill from there.
I happened to keep a log of my time in the program. The other day I stumbled upon it, and thought it might serve as a warning to others. I put it into four parts. Here’s part one.
I will not detail the joy that was getting into the program in the first place since no one really understood or kept to the rules and procedures (first warning). Also, I’ll forgo explaining the trials and tribulations of getting enrolled in a university from a distance of over six hours travel compounded by the fact that at this particular university the right hand not only didn’t know what the left hand was doing; it didn’t know that there was a left hand. I’ll just start with the first part of the program – our orientation in Denton.
Orientation Ahoy (January 2008)
· I make plans to attend orientation with another student from the program. My certifiable (and I don’t mean degrees here) boss informs me that she too has been accepted into the program and has decided to join us on the six hour car trip. My coworkers begin penning my obituary.
· My mother steps in and offers to carpool with me and visit her sister while I’m in the meetings. She is immediately promoted to sainthood. My boss expresses (repeatedly) her disappointment in not getting to torture me for hours in a trapped space.
· I arrive in Denton and have no idea where to go. I find others who also don’t know. Little do I know that this will become a pattern from now on.
· Eventually, we find where to meet. First off is a “fun” activity involving asking people dumb questions about where they’re from etc in order to be eligible for some prize. Or something. I forget now. But I said screw it and didn’t complete mine. We are also given nice red bags with our group title on it (though no one can remember what it stands for already) and neato folders and a binder. I love free stuff. At this point, I still don’t realize that nothing is ever free.
· We go to a room with lots of computers. Dr. M, who seems like an intelligent, amiable individual explains the program. Dr. J, the dean, also speaks to us though we have trouble seeing her over our desks. We then meet the faculty who deviously appear to be normal humans. We experiment with computers and the faculty rapidly discover just how technologically stupid the majority of us are. Dr. M. begins debating early retirement.
· We meet our pseudo-mom graduate assistant Cherri who plies us with chocolates, most likely laced with something that turns the majority of the group into Stepford Librarians.
· I’m pretty sure this is where we were first introduced to the concept of “mentors”. I wonder if they will be training us to be Jedi (help me Obi Wan!) but it turns out they only want to train us to be librarians which is strange since most of the cohort already work as library directors. Maybe they’ve been doing it wrong all this time. We meet Dr. G. who has been specially brought here for her expertise in Jedi – er – librarian mentor stuff.
· We go to the hotel. I am roomed with another cohort. They apparently think we are from a very different sort of group because they give us one bed. Some of the group members have trouble finding their names on the reserve list. Obviously this is the fault of those silly hotel people.
· The next morning, the program heads discover there is no free breakfast (totally not their fault either) and so arrange for free full breakfasts for our group. The hotel room is really nice as well. Welcome to my parlor, says the spider to the fly!
First Spring Semester (Jan – May 2008): The Horror that is Blackboard (Bb)
· First one bites the dust. One student quits immediately following orientation. Naturally she is a member of my “group”
· I discover there is group work. In college. With fellow students miles apart.
· Except one student – my boss – who is rapidly resembling the Evil Queen from Snow White. Guess who’s the stepchild?
· I am put in her group. Someone in the program hates me.
· Our first professors are Dr. M. and Dr. B. Dr. B., who has a fantastic personality in person, has no personality online. In fact, he repeatedly ceases to exist leaving us to the mercy of his grad assistant, George “Cut and Paste and Good Luck” Yi.
· No one understands how to use Bb (our online classroom). What’s with all the links? Why have so many links that don’t go anywhere and some that go everywhere at once? Why isn’t homework just put under a homework tab? Why don’t the links work? What planet am I on? We ask George who cuts and pastes the original instructions that no one understands.
· Eventually, we figure out that Bb is another word for “scavenger hunt”. Several people have their first nervous breakdowns. Cherrie becomes chief psychiatrist as well as grad assistant. She starts counting the days till she graduates.
· The message board fills to the brim and resembles the Internet at large. Roughly 1 percent of posts have to do with anything remotely important. The rest is crap. You have to click on every one to figure out which is which.
· I learn that many of my classmates got their bachelor’s degrees from Cracker Jack boxes. Some don’t understand basic punctuation or grammar. And naturally, these people are all in my group.
· The cohort discovers the joy of Wiki and start pages with cell phone numbers and birthdays. One student begins celebrating our birthdays whether we like it or not with posts on the cohort board. We all say happy birthday to each other. Over and over. This student ends up having to congratulate herself because no one else ever reads the Birthday Wiki but her.
I A fellow student and I bond over bad bosses (she calls hers “Dead Alien Soul Boss”). In order to combat the insanity, we take it upon ourselves to entertain the class with our wisecracks on the message boards. My boss sneers “They sure do think you’re FUNNY, Alice.” I detect a definite hint of green to her skin. Heh.
· My elder daughter spends two nights in the hospital with dehydration. (My pediatrician says she dehydrates faster than any kid she knows. Yay, we’re number one!) I email my professors with the situation. Dr. B. replies roughly a month after she’s released.
· First TLA meeting!
I wriggle out of another carpool offer with Senora Psycho and book my plane as soon as possible. I have to dig the money out of savings, but hey, we’ll get stipends as soon as we get there that will pay us right back.
· We discover that to use the stipends, you have to go to a bank. In Dallas. Guess how many people have banks in Dallas?
· At TLA, we find out another one bit the dust. Sherri has left. I’d have at least taken the free trip on them first.
· Some worry about homework and actually attempt to do it while there. I take part in a first mutiny of people who refuse to do squat the entire time.
· I discover that our food stipends are to pay for real food, not conference and hotel food. At 25 bucks for breakfast alone, I find myself eating so much granola I nearly turn into a squirrel.
· Boss lady (fellow cohort!) decides to play “nice” which makes her even scarier.
· Who cares about the actual conferences (except Dave Barry who was awesome)? 70 percent of my time I spend in the exhibit hall grabbing every free book in sight until I am loaded down like a deranged bag lady. I don’t even like half of the books, but they’re free! Also, the exhibit hall is a good place to hide from you-know-who.
· 20 percent is spent in line getting book autographs.
· 5 percent eating – mostly granola, but also free nibbles at the parties. There are no free drinks, but plenty of open bars. I mean absolutely everywhere.
· 4 percent in the actual sessions
· 1 percent sleeping. Why the heck did they give us actual hotel rooms anyway?
· Oh, also we meet our mentors for the first time. Except for the cohort whose mentor dropped out. But it’s okay, cause they will soon fix her up with another. Who will also drop out.
· I discover that things like taxi fare and parking are not included in the travel stipend I cannot access until I get home.
· We survive the rest of the semester, and then cry when we realize that there are 5 more to go.
To be continued . . .
I Hate Everyone
Haha, but not you guys! I mean, unless you choose not to read this post or leave comments; then I hate you. It’s nothing personal. I hate pretty much everyone a large portion of the time. That is why this is one of my favorite songs. It’s sort of like the anti-Barney song. Here’s a clip on youtube. Someone went to the trouble of slapping some lyrics on the screen while it plays. I hate that person. Probably.
But that’s not all. Since I didn’t bother to think up a real post, (this is always a promising beginning to a post isn’t it?) here are people I hate.
That guy in the drive-through at McDonald’s that cut in line. Fuck you, stupid car. Wait your turn. Didn’t you go to freaking kindergarten? That IS where you’re supposed to fucking learn everything. I hope someone beats the crap out of you on the playground today.
Patrons. I mean, wtf, they want me to serve them? Get away from my books.
People who call with the wrong number but then ask if my number is really 555-5555 and I’m like yes, come to think of it, that person is here after all. Let me go get him and have him hang up on you.
Adults who freak out over cuss words. Fuck off, Mary Poppins. These are awesome words. Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuckballs.
Stephenie Meyer. E.L. James. Whoever copies E.L. James. Whoever copies that person.
Kirsten Stewart – just fucking say your lines, will you? I know it’s a stupid movie, but you’re getting paid millions. Stuttering was only charming on JIMMY Stewart.
People who think they are parenting experts. I hope your kid writes a tell-all book about how much you suck. This would make me very happy.
The Religious Right. Shut up. And stop denying people rights. If Miss Four Eyes wants to marry a depressed pony and a manic squirrel then she can! Is this not a free country?
Patrons again. If we don’t have a magazine in, we don’t have it. We aren’t hiding it. We librarians cannot magically pull periodicals out of our asses. If we could, we would make better money.
Children. Always asking for food and water and attention. Get a job you little brats.
People who think filtering computers is a good idea. I can’t get into perfectly reasonable sites, but I can get into my own blog. This means your filter isn’t working, douchebag.
The publish button. Just – push – it. Push it. Do it. Go on.
People like me, who are given awesome ideas for posts, (Satanic Yoga!) but just come up with this crap.
So there you go. My favorite lines from that song? Right here:
I bet you think I’m kidding
But I promise you it’s true
I hate most everybody
But most of all, I hate, oh I hate yo-uuu.
Do YOU hate anyone, boys and girls? Please say so in the comments below!
Back in January, my loyal readers – all like two of you – might remember me mentioning that I was applying for another job in the library. Specifically, I was applying to be an official librarian – a reference librarian. So I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat wondering if I got it. The answer is no, I didn’t, but not because I was rejected. I rejected the process.
Because, you see, we just now found our candidates. In July. Seriously. Last summer, we lost a librarian, and another moved to a higher position. So two candidates needed. 75 people applied. Again, seriously! I’m thinking these people must not have realized where we are. They probably got confused and thought we were one of those big universities with money and stuff, located in a city with people and entertainment and not so many cows.
So I was a bit daunted by this, but what the heck, I could hack it. But time at a university moves like a penguin. If you’ve ever watched these birds, you know they aren’t exactly speed demons. They waddle, and spend lots of time huddling together. That’s what happens here too. We’ve needed these two positions filled since last July. For six months the position was “frozen” (like a penguin homeland) until they decided to open it again. But that was just the beginning. They then had to come up with a job description. And post it. And wait for applications. And cry when they realized that by leaving the position open for an extra weekend, the number went from 55 to 75 applicants. Which just goes to show how bad our economy really is.
The position, while a huge raise for me, is not what most would consider highly paid. But the little addition of “salary commiserate upon experience” doesn’t exactly tell people “Even public school teachers are paid better than this.” With all these candidates, I figured they’d find some scientific way to eliminate people, like say all candidates with names starting with M. But no, it is required that every single application be reviewed and assigned a numerical score. Every. Single. One.
No one person could do this without losing all mental faculties. So a committee is formed (remember the huddle?) of seven people, only one of whom is not on staff. So this means about half the staff was involved in the hiring process. Of two people. Who will make less money than a public school teacher. But it’s not about the money. It’s about the prestige that a title like “librarian” brings with it. I mean, sure, you could be a lawyer making six figures, but if you’re a librarian, you still get to do research, only you make a tenth of the salary. Awesome!
As time dragged on, I felt my stress-o-meter go up. I filled in at this position since they were short handed, and to give myself experience. Unfortunately, this experience showed me that not only is this a rather difficult job, it is also extremely annoying. I’ve done reference work before, but not with university students. It turns out that university students have a lot of questions. And they will come up and ask you for help with everything. You might help twenty people in an hour. And the questions range from “Where is the bathroom?” to the more complex “Why is the computer melting?” Let’s not forget the phone either, which you’re expected to answer. Upstairs, at my regular position, most of my phone calls come from people trying to reach somebody else.
It’s tough when you’re sitting at a desk that is literally labeled “Reference” and you know absolutely nothing. They’ll ask you lots of homework questions, and after a while, you’re willing to just do their homework, because you have no idea how to explain it. That is, if you understand how to do their homework. One student I helped was an ESL student working on law, which meant I had to try and translate two different languages. My brain was pudding by the end of that session. And then there’s the issues with the computers and printers. The I.T. people downstairs have locked us out of most computer stuff, for good reason I’m sure, but unfortunately this keeps us from being able to access things we need, like the ability to put a travel drive into the computer. You have to call them when a student needs to use a travel drive to upload their homework. Every. Single. Time. I’m pretty sure most of I.T. assumes we’re all brain dead, although they are usually polite enough not to tell us so.
I’m not a real people person. I am what you call “introverted” which translates to “nerd”. It’s not that I hate all people, just most people. More than once, when a student came to me with a question I wanted to ask, “What???” Sometimes I would work on my Jedi mind powers, trying in vain to direct the students away from me with my mind. “You do not have a question. You want to return to your dorm . . .”
So anyway, this experience combined with the length and stress of the application process, caused me to change my mind. And just in time. We finally brought two people to campus to interview, and only one ran away screaming once she realized where we were. Luckily, the next candidate we interviewed decided to come. I’m not sure what they told her, but it had to be pretty good. In a funny twist of fate, one of our new reference librarians has the same name I do. So it’s like another me got the position, only this me is younger and more accomplished! Yay!
Seriously, I wish our two new people well. Maybe in a few years I’ll be ready for that step up. For now, I’ll waddle back to my safe little cubby in Special Collections. Which turns out to be more special than I ever realized.
Let Your Psychiatric Disorder Work For You!
There are so many stereotypes about librarians. They are stuffy old women covered in cobwebs, armed with date due stamps, shushing everyone, maniacally hoarding their books and looking suspiciously at those who dare to check them out, etc. I have to say that some of these stereotypes are not true. Not all librarians are old, although they all get that way if they stay long enough. Some of the other things, well, let’s just say the stereotypes often develop from at least a grain of truth.
- Fear of losing or not having things you might need.
- Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up “just right.”
- Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches.
- Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning.
- Ordering or arranging things “just so.”
- Accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers.
|These books are not straight.
Someone will pay
Yeah, that’s nothing like librarians! I mean, just because most like to shelve books in a certain way (all edges lined up on the end of the shelf, sitting up ramrod straight and tight, but not too tight, with the call number showing) means absolutely nothing. Not even if they have to periodically check on this, dusting and cleaning and straightening books, even if they aren’t in their library, or even a library for that matter. And when they see that a book is say, shoved in backwards, or maybe when they start to tumble over, or possibly someone squeezed a book in too tightly, wrinkling the pages or scratching that brand new dust cover, or loosening the call number sticker, or getting chocolate fingerprints on a brand, new expensive book that BY GOD TOOK THEM A LONG TIME TO PROCESS, CATALOG, AND CAREFULLY PLACE ON THE SHELF DO YOU THINK ELVES DO THIS JOB WELL NO IT’S YOUR LOCAL UNDERPAID LIBRARIAN, THAT’S WHO!
We have rather loose standards for what goes into archives. Obviously we want materials that are relevant to our university. But relevant is often implied through degrees of separation. So we have a book that has nothing to do with the university, wasn’t written by anyone having something to do with the university, but was once owned by someone who had something to do with the university. Or who had wanted to do something with the university. Or who donated a lot of money and / or is elderly. And it just stands to reason that if one copy of such a book is good, then multiple copies are even better. What if one gets ruined? We’d need spares! So we store them all in boxes – in the same place!
|I found it! Hey, where’d
the patron go?
So our archives room is stuffed to the gills with these treasures. And don’t get me wrong, there are true treasures in there, like yearbooks from 1910, back when it was hard to tell the students from the profs because everybody dressed nicely, and engaged in debate instead of football. (Yes, there was a time when sports were not the highest priority at an institute of higher learning!) Also, there’s the old issues of our school newspaper, back when people cared about news, and bitched at each other through editorials and letters to the editor, back and forth, sometimes for six or seven issues in a row. Basically, it was the precursor to our modern online message boards. So that’s why there are stacks of newspapers in there – they’re important newspapers, thank you very much. Not just some uncontrolled mess of regular newspapers stacked to the ceiling.
|Our archives room|
However, there’s a lot of other stuff in there, stuff that is important, or maybe important, but we just haven’t figured out how to organize it properly yet. Or where to put it when it is organized. Or maybe it’s a cart of books that got tossed in there because our “workroom” is also a fancy room where we have luncheons and must be periodically cleaned out. So it’s difficult to find what we need in there, what with the stacks of unorganized stuff, and the fact that there is no light because light would damage the treasures. Not that this matters, since there is rarely time for organization anyway. And when we get a few spare minutes to try, we start having panic attacks, and run out as fast as possible. Basically, it’s a hoarder’s room, but one that, rather than being forced to be torn down by the city, is actually sponsored by the state.
I can’t say I have these disorders to the extent that some of my coworkers do. For one thing, sometimes the saving of EVERYTHING (for a while we had some archival thirty-year-old rubberbands in the supply closet, but I threw those out, shhhh) kind of gets to me. Maybe because it reminds me of my cluttered house. And while I care about this history deeply, and want it respected and maintained, sometimes I don’t have quite as much enthusiasm for making everything look perfect. I’m not a perfectionist, at least not in everything. My motto has generally been “good enough for government work”. You will find that this does not go over well with most librarians. There is a perfect, and by golly, you’re going to maintain it or deal with the wrath of your coworkers.
|No, no, no, you’re being
fesitve all wrong!
So I usually go along pretty well, because I’m good at obeying authority. Though I will admit to a slight rebellious streak. When decorating the library Christmas tree, we use paper decorations (that have been meticulously saved for years and are ironed out before decorating) that we put on in a specific order. The swirly paper decorations are smaller, and make good accent and fill-in pieces, so are not to be put on the tree until after all the other pieces. I was informed of this during a group decorating session. So when they weren’t looking, I put the swirly pieces up first anyway. Just because.