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. 

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