Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an event for the same organization where I completed my Directed Fieldwork this past quarter.
The event was the King County Library System’s Library Foundation Literary Lions Gala. Essentially, they pretty-up the Bellevue Regional Library, bring in caterers and bartenders, a keynote speaker and 10-15 local authors and copies of their books and have a fancy party right there in the library! It was an exciting opportunity to get dressed up and rub elbows with people in evening gowns and tuxedos, but the best part?
All of these people LOVE the library.
In a previous post – a preview of Winter Quarter, I mentioned LIS 590 — Directed Fieldwork (DFW). Essentially, it was an “internship” at the King County Library System — Bellevue Regional Library. I received credit for the DFW, learned PRACTICAL information related to libraries and spent time IN a public library instead of a classroom.
My role was researcher. I observed, interviewed and collected data about the adult patrons, services and programs at the library. The final result was a written PEST analysis report and a couple of executive summaries that will be used in the library’s bigger project — as they complete a User Needs Assessment for adult programming at the library.
My school, the iSchool, at the University of Washington has been named a possible consolidation/cut in the latest round of UW budget cuts. I wrote a post about it on the Hack Library School blog. Please read it and act quickly to support the future of IS education at UW.
We’ve created a Facebook group (Save the UW iSchool) and will have several other initiatives going in the next week. We need your help!
When I was 7 or 8, a huge blizzard wrapped my family into our house in southern Minnesota for a couple of days over the New Year Holiday. We all huddled in the basement next to the stone fire place. It is even possible that we didn’t have electricity because of the storm (although I could be mistaken) and so we sat in that room and played quietly. My mom handed me a book to read. I could tell it was one of her old books from when she was a little girl. It had “a lot” of pages and smelled like a combination old newspaper and homemade bread. It was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods.
I sat next to the warm, glowing fire place in an old rocking chair and read that book for hours that day. I became lost in the Big Woods and in the Ingalls’ family’s story. That may be why I want to think that we didn’t have electricity. This is one of my richest and most comforting memories.
On New Year’s Day 2011, I found myself curled up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow. I had electricity, the Internet, and dozens of DVDs to keep me occupied, but I ached for an afternoon of getting lost in a story. It was a wonderful way to start the new year — a year where I will be moving to a new part of the country, beginning my life with new (and old) friends, and hopefully finding my place in the world of librarianship. The afternoon lacked only one thing — I wished for the soft glow and crackle of my parents’ warm fire place to keep me company. Of course, if I’d have been in my parents’ house in front of the fire place, I would be reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods for the eighth time, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that it is a new year and another chapter of my story is ready to unfold.
Happy New Year!
Here ends Fall Quarter 2010. And here begins Trips to the Airport — which is where I take people to the airport to go home to their families and then pick them up as they return. My first trip will be tomorrow at 5 a.m. No worries, I, too, will be heading to the airport to make my way back to the lovely and snowy Minnesota.
These trips to the airport remind me of the last scene of the movie Love Actually where everyone reunites at the airport and hugs and cries and rejoices. These activities (hugging, crying and rejoicing) all happen at the end of a complicated, stressful quarter of library school, too. Heart-bopping music doesn’t fill the classrooms and hallways, though it should.
|Mt Rainier from Discovery Park, Seattle, WA. 11.11.2010|
Being a graduate student is a full-time occupation for me. I love it — the education, my classmates, the theory, practice, readings and reflections. But, every once in a while, it is nice to escape for a day (or several) and put it all behind you.
That’s what I did this weekend. Last Wednesday I tweeted: “I will not be doing any more homework tonight. Or tomorrow. Or Friday. take that #libraryschool!!” And now it is Monday. I spent the entire weekend enjoying the company of friends and reading for fun and watching movies and going for walks. I’m ready for this week — I’ll be returning to the classroom and my readings with clear eyes. I need to do this more often. Live a more balanced life.
Act. Rest. Eat. Drink. Study. Sleep. Talk. Listen. Share.