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Blogging from Flickr

September 18, 2006

Pogue Library Special Collections

My first time to blog from Flickr and my first blog entry from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

As I try to catch up on the feeds in my aggregator, I notice some discussion of Flickr in libraries. It seems a logical step for those libraries (public, academic, special, school) that have budgetary restraints that prevent investing in digital imaging software. If Flickr remains stable (and no reason to suspect it will not but….) it can provide a quick and easy way to share images for patrons. The added functionality of Flickr with comments, groups and contacts makes it a very attractive alternative to the proprietary software offered to libraries.

The image is the Special Collections where I will begin my new position and where my office will be located. It is a beautiful building, built in the Renaissance Revival style. Along with bookplates and signed bindings, I am interested in architectural design, especially this period and earlier. Perfect combination, eh?

Beginning a new position in a new town 2369 miles from where I lived for six years has been a bit of an adjustment. The drive across the west and upper midwest was…. well, interesting and stressful and beautiful and tiring. The usual adjectives for any type of long-distance move.

Getting settled in this area has been easy. I attribute it to the southern influence. One thinks of Kentucky as not particularly a southern state but I feel quite at home with not only the climate but the culture reminds me of growing up in the deep south.

It has been good to have a couple of weeks to adjust before beginning my position. As new librarians, well, the ones such as myself that are able to relocate are lucky in that geography isn’t a restriction. Drawbacks, of course, no family, no acquaintances or friends yet and the inevitable adjustment to new people, places and cultural norms. Community seems highly valued here and, it is such a cliche, but it truly appears everyone knows or knows of everyone I’ve met. For a naturally shy person, it is a bit of a challenge but will be quite interesting from a sociological perspective!

For younger librarians with the freedom to move, it would have been a great opportunity. It is for me, as well (a not so younger librarian). As a subscriber to the Newlib list, I feel for those who graduated the same time I did and still are looking for that first full-time job. I read of such discouragement in the job search arena for new librarians. I know of no easy answer, the typical response is to acquire experience, be willing to relocate, develop flexibility in one’s job search and, this from direct experience, perservere.  This is one of the keys, I think, to being marketable. Not always true but it helps, if one has libraries willing to either work with recent graduates in crafting volunteering opportunities or in allowing some type of unpaid or paid (much better) internship.

I believe librarianship is such a rewarding profession, a vocation in some instances, and one thing I want to do in this position is to be open to encouraging my fellow co-workers to enter this field or go for the degree *if* that is of interest to them. I was encouraged by such a wonderful cadre of really excellent librarian/mentors and, while I know I am not in their league, I do want to pass on that encouragement if the opportunity presents itself.

In future posts I hope to discuss some of the issues I’ll be facing as I start the position. I will be attending the Kentucky Library Association meeting next week in Louisville  where Michael Stephens  is one of the presenters. Hopefully, for this very new blogger I anticipate a productive conference. It will be cool to meet some of the people whose blogs I read and whose opinions I respect.

Blogged originally from Flickr, edited in WordPress with IE7, Beta 3 (which after being unconnected to the wired world for over a ten days–seems to be working better? At least, it is easier to search and utilize editing tools with IE7, hmm, could it be the Dell Inspiron? Nah, probably not).

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