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Another library interview down

June 28, 2006

My library interview is past and now the waiting game.

I find it fascinating to visit these libraries as a candidate and observe the differences between East Coast/West Coast, academic and non-academic. This last one was an academic library, special collections librarian. Tenure-track, the whole deal.

The previous interview was West Coast and very different. I’ve got to say it, the East/South is so much more laid back than the West Coast (contrary to popular perception). I had a presentation on my vision of the future for this particular special collections. Received some much needed positive affirmation.

I am a Southerner. No matter how long I live not in the South, I spent my formative years, and a majority of my professional years, in the South. So, I felt connected. Although, the smallness of the town and the extreme rural nature of the area gives this librarian pause.

What surprised me the most was the difference in how application of technology for library services was applied. The prevalence of active blocking of sites such as MySpace (which I understand is more common than I thought on campuses). It is interesting to see the evolution of technology at different rates in various areas of the country. 

The whole MySpace issue and blocking certain sites bothers me. It is so counter to what I perceive as academic freedom for our students. Even in a rural, conservative state, these public universities must acknowledge students of the 21st century are handicapped if the are not provided access to the common social networking sites along with the fostering of intellectual curiousity and exploration.  

Lovely area. Low cost of living. People that embody the characteristics I grew up with and fall into a very comfortable pattern with (except for the conservative political aspect).

The previous interview I met with many outside of the library. I was asked what my “hobbies” were, what I did for “fun”. That threw me. I so wanted to say something completely unexpected. Such as “crocheting cat booties” or “tatoos”. Alas, I just said I was a runner and amateur photographer. Was that the reason I wasn’t offered the position? Too one-dimensional? Who knows? Who cares? Not I.

Thankfully, that isn’t the norm in the area I was interviewing last week.

Word up to anyone traveling on United. Don’t. Absolutely the worst flight experience I have had (and I’ve flown quite a bit).  

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