You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘GeorgiaO’KeeffeMuseum’ category.
Now that I have accepted a job here in Santa Fe, suddenly I’m being inundated with interview invitations. Sigh. I really like my job and know it’s an experience I would never get to have otherwise (particularly allowing me to stay in Santa Fe and get to meet people and experience the whole art scene here, which is amazing). It’s the right thing for me now, but it’s still hard to turn down some of the other opportunities that I applied for. Most importantly it’s a very important lesson learned – don’t lose confidence, as the opportunities will eventually come with determination and patience. The process will always take longer than expected. I’d like to develop these observations into an expanded description of lessons learned by the job searching process, and hopefully an article to help other anxious soon-to-be-grads in similar situations! Taking the plunge is worth it. I haven’t had time to do much writing lately as I’m finishing my last class (Intellectual Freedom) and swamped with papers and presentations, but that’s the next thing on the agenda.
It gives me a better perspective on how the game is played, and what works and what doesn’t in the application process, for the next time around.
I had a great conversation with Eumie Imm Stroukoff at the Georgia O’Keeffe today about how these things have a tendency to work out for the best, if in fact you end up taking the least predictable route. I really admire Eumie, and she and Jenni James have definitely become my mentors and art library role models. These internship experiences have been such valuable experiences for me, and I really feel involved in the New Mexico library community because of them.
Well, I missed out on ALA yet again…anyone who went feel free to contribute some commentary. For the most part, personally I find more localized or focused conferences such as MPLA, VRA, or ARLIS to be more useful. Or maybe I’m just bitter about ALA’s virulent recruitment efforts.
After spending so much time last week setting up the ledgers and funds for the Georgia O’Keeffe serials collection, today I did indeed have to reinvent the wheel. Because we were booted out of the system abruptly last week, all the changes were lost. I had to recreate the whole thing, which was pretty frustrating. The good news is that I have a really good grasp on how the system works now and how to work with the subscription maintenance. After today, many of the titles are ready to be checked in.
Eumie also mentioned trying to get grant funding or some other source of money to add a position at the library…and that she would like to hire me, even if it was just for a temporary project. That would be an incredible opportunity. It feels good to know that I am making a real contribution there and that she admires my work. A job would feel even better, but I’ll take the admiration for now. And it’s good to have daydreams to sustain me while I’m waiting for the job offers to come.
Keeping up my zen outlook to this whole adventure, something will come along…
I definitely have a better grasp on Voyager after realizing that is a very strictly hierarchical database built upon the Access relational model. Unfortunately, rather than setting up the acquisitions/checkin workflow in a systematic step-by-step manner, the Voyager manual leaves the user to his or her own devices in figuring out the order in which the steps must be completed. If you miss one step, you can’t set up a record. It’s kind of like parsing an XML document – as long as the tags are perfect and nested in a precise hierarchy, your document will appear. If not, you must keep going backwards through the steps until the missing link is identified. This is somewhat different than how the Innovative Millennium system is set up, and takes some getting used to.
We ended up having to create a ledger and allocate periodicals funds before any titles could be maintained as serial records. If I had known this from the beginning, the process would have been much simpler. Now it should be fairly straightforward process to add the individual titles as line items. Why couldn’t they just explain that in the manual (another gripe from my inner indexer – the Voyager help manual is very poorly indexed and hard to search). I ended up creating a workflow document for the library to make the process much easier in the future.
As Eumie pointed out today, teaching myself a new ILS and creating a module from scratch will look pretty good on my resume. So…I guess frustration is a fair price to pay.
I also cataloged several records and created holdings and item records. It’s amazing how much I can get done if I only have to work 2 days a week and recuperate with long days hiking. I’m all for abolishing the 5-day work week, at least here in New Mexico.
I rode my bike out to Lamy yesterday, about 8 miles south. It’s a tiny little town with a railroad depot, dining car restaurant, and railroad/history museum. I started a conversation with the director of the museum, and he immediately mentioned that they are looking for volunteers. When he found out I’m getting my MLIS degree, he exclaimed “That’s exactly what we need! Someone to catalog our library!” So I got a tour of the collection, mostly historical books about trains. They mostly have books and a few videos, and no kind of organizational system whatsoever. Of course, against my better judgment my inner cataloger was reflexively inching towards the books, murmuring “must catalog and apply subject headings…” It wouldn’t even take all that much time to organize it in a very basic way, but for now my better judgment prevailed and I politely declined. If I have some free time later in the summer I may head back to Lamy.
In the meantime, I have started my internship at the Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center/Library. I really enjoy working with Eumie, and she is grateful for my “expertise” with automated ILS systems (I realize that’s redundant, but it just sounds silly to say “ILSs”). Eumie started out working at MOMA and is quite active in the ARLIS community. She is a great contact to have here, and even mentioned wanting to add a librarian position in the research center (fingers crossed, and drooling a bit). Though I haven’t worked with the Ex Libris Voyager system in the past, I figure it’s similar enough to Millennium that I should be able to figure things out. Of course, I’ve never automated a serials and acquisitions system from scratch, either. That’s the learning curve – a daunting but interesting challenge.
I’m in that purgatory between starting to apply for professional jobs and actually getting my degree. It’s challenging, because the general consensus is to begin sending out applications 6 mos. or so before graduation, but most all jobs require the degree in hand. At this point, it is likely the jobs I’m applying for wouldn’t start before my August graduation date, so I’m stepping up my efforts and finding some really interesting opportunities. I’m getting much better at writing cover letters to suit the jobs I’m looking for, which is actually a really helpful exercise in self-esteem boosting. Every time I sell myself in a cover letter I end up feeling really confident and excited about my prospects. Who needs psychoanalysis?
I seem to be doing something right. Yesterday I was contacted for a phone interview for an adult services job in a public library. Yay! My first librarian interview. I’m running through my mind the kinds of questions I should be thinking about. I’m usually pretty good at extemporaneous delivery in interviews, but I think I also need to be prepared for trick questions. There’s nothing worse than dead silence at the end of a phone line as I wrack my brain for something halfway intelligent to say. The thing is, I’ve never interviewed in a public library, and I’m not sure how differently they approach things than a university. It was really great experience for me to be on the search committee at UNL this year – I learned a lot about what to put in a cover letter and what the search committee is looking for. So hopefully that experience will help me out. I’m also glad that I so recently took courses in collection development, adult services, and ethics. I think the information I learned in those classes will be really useful for the types of questions I will be asked.
This last week at UNL has been bittersweet. I’ve come to realize that my work with electronic resources has really been appreciated, and I’ve had so many librarians and staff make the effort to tell me how much they appreciated my efforts. That means a lot to me and makes me feel like I really accomplished something here, even though often I felt like my work went unnoticed. That’s the trouble with cataloging and database maintenance. If you’re doing your job well, no one knows about it and you never get feedback. It’s only when there are problems that people take notice. It would be nice to work in public services and get some face to face validation. But I feel like I have learned so much from the people I work with and all the challenges of implementing ERM and troubleshooting database and e-journal problems. I know I’m at a really good place right now to move forward into the next challenge.
I talked to the librarian at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum on Friday about a project automating their serials holdings. They just got a new ILS and at this point still have their records in paper. I think with my serials background this will be a good project for me. So the plan at this point is to split my time this summer between the Georgia O’Keeffe and the digitization project at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Both of them sound really interesting – I can’t wait to get started and meet people in the museum/library community in New Mexico.
I’ve begun a new blogging adventure as I stare towards the horizon of my looming library school graduation, move to New Mexico, and all other adventures that lie ahead. Que sera, sera. Today I heard back from the Institute of American Indian Arts, one of the institutions in Santa Fe where I offered up my librarian skills as a volunteer this summer. This would be a very neat experience in digitizing their image collection, so I am quite tempted. Of course, the Georgia O’Keeffe opportunity still gets my heart thumping as well. Too many choices are infinitely better than none, so I will count myself lucky.
My metadata blog is still available through the blogroll, but any metadata related musings will now be penned here along with my general observations about the field, Library 2.0 and Museum 2.0, my professional development, research, and career exploration in general.