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Sometimes Lady Luck does pass my way.  I was recently awarded this year’s Winberta Yao Travel Award from the Mountain West Chapter of ARLIS, which means that not only do I get to attend the joint ARLIS/VRA conference in Minneapolis, network with colleagues and attend useful workshops, but I don’t have to pay for it.  Win win.  During the conference I will also be meeting my new mentor as part of the year-long career mentoring program.  She is the librarian and San Francisco MOMA, so is sure to be a great source of advice on my career development.

The recognition I have started to get as a result of winning this award is very validating.  The art librarian at UNM invited me out to coffee.  My boss at Bunting was kind enough to forward the announcement to the art history department, so I’ve been receiving congratulations from fellow students and professors.  It seems this kind of thing may truly be the key to the kingdom – get your name out there (for a positive reason, of course!) and the ball will start rolling.  Let’s see where it goes from here.

I have never been terribly good at using my professional connections to my advantage. It’s not that I don’t realize the importance of networking in the insular world of librarianship, it’s just that I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable asking people to make the effort on my behalf. I even feel bad asking people to take the time to provide references for me, even though I know this is how the profession works and they are more than happy to do it. Without a doubt I should be more confident and proactive in this regard, especially now that I am seeing just how important a strong advocate can be in the right place at the right time.

Since my internship with the Institute of American Indian Arts last summer, I have stayed in pretty close contact with the librarian there. Just recently she heard through the grapevine about an art librarian job opening up with our state museum – which just happens to be my ABSOLUTE DREAM JOB. While the job will not be officially advertised until June, she contacted the director on my behalf and let me know they’re interested in receiving my resume and a letter of interest. I have a real feeling of synchronicity on this one, but we’ll see. I always hear how job-hunting success comes primarily through who you know, so this may be my prime example of that phenomenon.

Fingers crossed as I take the next week off for a much needed birthday trip to the Yucatan peninsula…