Do You Love Stories?

I Love Stories
One of the stickers the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library was handing out to story-loving passersby

Last Sunday (June 12, 2011, to be exact), I had a fun old time volunteering at the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library’s booth at the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, an annual tradition that takes place not from my house.

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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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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.

Back to School…

Hi Everyone,

School has started again, and I am getting into the swing of it. This semester, I’m taking Intellectual Freedom, Designing Web Interfaces, and JavaScript. So far, so good. This semester seems to be somewhat easier than the last two, but of course, I speak too soon.

My next step is to contact my advisor and see where I go from here. There are many possibilities in the library world, from collections development, to developing online databases. A combination of the two would be very exciting.

Anyhoo, I’m sorry I’ve been away so long, but I’m back now! I hope you all are well, and I look forward to seeing you soon in the ether.

Jonathan

Eco Library Cards in San Francisco

Hello Readers,

Here’s a fun one. San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has recently introduced eco library cards, made of corn starch They’re free for new members and $1.00 for current members.
As the author of the blog points out (click here or on the title of this post), libraries have always promoted free, re-usable materials, so why not the card as well?
It makes perfect sense, and I’m all for environmentally friendly measures, but I also remember receiving a paper library card from my local NYPL branch in the Bronx, waaayyy back in the 70s and 80s. I wonder if there may be room for paper library cards to make a comeback? It would be environmentally friendly and totally retro!
Jonathan

Hello World!

Gentle Reader,

This post is to announce the launch of my new website: www.jonathanleff.net, by which I hope to take the library and information world by storm.

This site shows what I have been up to in the world of Library Science, as well as in my current career as the Education Coordinator for the UCSF Division of Geriatrics.

Please go have yourselves a visit. I look forward to hearing from you all soon!

Jonathan