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As I mentioned earlier, I had an interview this week for an Adult Services position in a public library. The process has been pretty intense – round one was a lengthy email questionnaire (more like an essay exam or MLS comps), round two was a phone interview, and round 3 is in-person interviews. This was my first experience with a phone interview, and it was a little rough. First of all, my cell phone reception is a little patchy out here. I’m not sure they could even hear all of my answers. The interviewers were using a speaker phone, making them sound as if they were trapped inside a tin can. I had to have questions repeated several times, which really cut into my concentration. The questions themselves were also not what I was expecting – I spent all morning preparing to discuss my qualifications and experiences relating to the position, and in fact the entire interview consisted of “what would you do if…” scenarios (such as “what would you do if you heard a coworker giving a patron misinformation?”) I hear these types of questions discussed all the time of nexgen and newlib, so they didn’t come as a surprise, but I wish I had more opportunity to showcase my knowledge and ideas. It seemed more or less a way to see how well I could think on my feet.
Today I met with Jenni James at the Institute of American Indian Arts to discuss my project. I’m really excited to be working with them on a digitization project from the ground up. She gave me a tour of the facility, which is quite new and impressive. They have a great collection of Native American art resources. Some of the instructors are pushing for teaching images, so they eventually want to get their slide collection digitized. Right now they have about 700 images scanned as tiffs, but with no accompanying thumbnail jpgs or metadata. The first order of business is to decide on an image cataloging system suitable for the needs of a small collection. Jenny mentioned the Image AXS system (freely available for non-commercial use and based on Microsoft Access), which I have not worked with before. I told her about my experience with CONTENTdm and the VRA Core, and I think my knowledge will be applicable to what they want to accomplish. It will be really great experience to create some original metadata using VRA Core – and also a great way to integrate my interests.
On a philosophical note, this summer is more than anything a personal exercise in embracing uncertainty. I realized I have become all too tethered to the limiting safety net of staying in one place longer than it suits me and settling for opportunities for security rather than fulfillment. I am uncertain about where this path will lead me, and that is frightening. But for once I am going to take that fear and transform it into momentum. I have the rest of my life to work, and I do not want to regret missed opportunities.
I finally reached my destination of Santa Fe, my vantage point for the next 2 months. The trip was long but fulfilling. I stayed with friends in Cortez, Colorado (just a hop skip and a jump from Mesa Verde) and got a “behind the scenes” tour of the Yucca House ruins from my friend who is an archaeologist. The ancient culture there, and around here, is just amazing. There are potsherds all over the ground and ruins everywhere. I am constantly reminded by the artistic and natural beauty around me why I am down here.
Yesterday I had my first interview (more about that later), and to bolster my courage and give me that tough librarian edge I applied one of my special library tattoos. Did it work? Maybe not, but I still look cool. I need whatever mojo I can get!
I drove into Santa Fe just minutes ahead of a ferocious thunderstorm. I’m choosing to take it as an augury of cosmic forces building to help me along in my journey rather than a foreboding message…
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.