Cats Can Be Opportunities for Awakening, or They Can Be Annoying

I have two cats, Ingrid and Olivia.  My partner and I adopted them from the San Francisco SFCA last August, when they were only 4 months old.  As can be expected of kittens, they are full of energy and need to explore everything, sometimes repeatedly (such as climbing the curtains).  I also dabble in Zen Buddhism.  I say “dabble” since while I am drawn to Buddhist philosophy, and find a lot in it that makes sense to me and gives me peace, I don’t practice it very often, as I am just too lazy, and not all that disciplined when it comes to meditating.

However, I’m searching for employment in the library profession and have plenty of time on my hands to do so. I’ve found that I can get caught up in the logistics of the job search, and the resulting anxiety.  Does my resume look good? Does my cover letter look good? Did I say the right thing in my email to a potential contact?  Am I doing the right things in searching for a job (i.e., if I’m looking for job postings should I be networking instead, and if I’m networking should I be doing something else)?  The anxiety caused by the logistics feeds upon itself, and if not checked can lead to stress and sleepless nights.  However, anxiety, stress and sleepless nights do not lead to a job.

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A Feeling of Accomplishment

Today, I received my diploma in the mail.  It really underscores the sense of accomplishment I feel in having completed my MLIS degree at San Jose State University.  In addition to being a sign of official recognition and confirmation of my competence in the field of library and information science, it is also a reaffirmation that I can do anything I put my mind to.  This reaffirmation comes at a time when I am currently searching for employment as I launch my career.  The economic climate may be rough, but I have confidence that I will be able to find the place where I can make the best contribution possible as an information professional.  The job search continues, but for now, I’m going to savor this one, because it feels so good.

diploma

Thoughts About Reading (and Writing)

Today I read a very interesting article in the Sacramento Bee about the fear among experts that people are losing the ability for in-depth reading.  This is due to the rise of digital media, which people process differently than traditional print media.  One of my favorite quotes in this article is from Canadian author John Miedema, who says that “the Web is essentially a distraction machine.”  Each page of the Internet is filled with clickable links, all vying for the user’s attention.  In a sense, each hyperlink is a kind of flashing sign, saying “pick me, pick me!”  Nicholas Carr makes the point that each link causes our brain to stop and decide whether or not to click on the link.  Since our brain is forced to engage in the decision-making process, it can’t focus on the written material at hand.  The brain is multitasking and is not able to absorb the information that it ostensibly went to a web-page to find.

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Launching myself into the world

It’s a new year and I’m on a new path. I’ve recently earned my MLIS degree, and I’m ready to embrace my calling as an information professional.

I’m particular eager to work in libraries. I have long considered libraries to be not merely “places where books are kept”, but more importantly, a place where citizens from all walks of life have access to whatever information they need to enrich their lives.

During my internship at USF Gleeson Library/Geschke Center, I provided reference service to students.  It’s a great feeling being able to help people find the information they were looking for, especially when they didn’t know where to begin.  One student came up to the reference desk and said “I bet you don’t have anything on Hawaii pidgin.”  I did a search of the term “hawaii pidgin” and found a book on the subject.  We were both surprised, and he went away happy.

That brings me to one of the key things I learned about being a librarian.  Librarians are guides to the collections contained within their institutions.  And in the process of guiding the user in finding what he or she is looking for, the librarian is constantly learning more about his or her library’s collections, but also new ways to meet individual users’ information needs.

Providing information helps everyone grow and gain knowledge that can enrich their lives.  This is the world I am proud to enter.