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Interview angst Part II

June 13, 2006

After spending six weeks submitting resumes, working on some projects (both for pay and for love of the work) I fly back to the east coast for an interview next week. This one is located over 2.5 hours from the nearest airport and it is rural. Really rural.

Maybe the "universe" is trying to tell me something. Nah, I don't think the universe tells us anything personally but chooses to deliver messages in terms of natural disasters. I mean, really, how many more humans can we crowd on this planet and how many more ways can we destroy the environment? Well, probably many more. Maybe rural America is the place to go?

So, another presentation. My presentation skills haven't improved since the last one, however, this one is a brief talk of how my experience and background could be applied to the position. No PowerPoint. Maybe some really low-tech handouts. I may even leave the laptop for my blogging cat Huxley…. Of course, I will still be searched. It's inevitable. Every flight since 9/11 I have been searched. Considering I'm 5'0 and 90lbs and a woman of a "certain age" I can only think I'm on some terrorist suspect list, possibly the IRA? I've become quite jaded about it but it does slow down the line and these flights are at 6:00 a.m. Laptop withdrawal seems prudent.

As an unreformed idealist, I always think the best will happen. Truthfully, since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in May 2005, I haven't worked as a librarian, but I would hope the skills I've gained over 20 years in libraries will not fade so quickly away. That keeping up with the literature and being involved in committee work will serve me well.

So much talk these days in the library world (or some parts of the library world) of Library 2.0 and Web 2.0. I believe, after examining this university's website, strategic vision documents and other materials, these 21st century "hot topics" won't be the focus of my interview questions. A good place for a semi-techno librarian, I would think. Though, again, that's the idealist writing.

I believe that special collections and archives should adopt the new technologies. Not wholesale adoption, by any means. But, judiciously looking and evaluating the best way to provide our materials to our users. I also tend to call everyone our users. Information is what librarians disseminate. To anyone who asks. We help find it, we (hopefully) help evaluate it and we are open to ways of providing it to all manner of folk. From the 80 year old World War II veteran searching for genealogy resources on microfilm to the millenial accessing WPA photographs from LC. If we can open those doors, show the way to search effectively and efficiently for good results, then everyone is our patron, our user-base.

This job prospect may not suit me or I may not suit them but I relish the opportunity to visit another special collections (it's my favorite way to vacation, after all) and learn from the experience.

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