Category Archives: library

Changing Things Up

There’s nothing more dulling than the same-old, same-old. It’s good to shake things up. No, I’m not doing anything radically different on this here blog (other than hopefully getting back to, er, updating it again.

I’m talking about my book club.

When I started my current job almost two years ago, I inherited a book club. A flagging book club, but a book club nonetheless, and it has become one of my favorite parts of my job. Oh, and it’s not flagging anymore. Continue reading

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2016 in Review

By many accounts, 2016 seemed like the year that wouldn’t end. The phrase “dumpster fire” comes up frequently in relation to it. And it certainly wasn’t without its share of awfulness. It becomes very easy, though, to overlay the big arc of things over personal triumphs. But when one of my friends issued a challenge to list off good things that we’d experienced last year, I realized I had a growing list of accomplishments and things to celebrate.

The biggest one, the first thing I’m likely to boast about when given half a chance, is completing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It took about another 20 days and another 20k words past the end of November, but I completed my first long piece of writing in… ever, really.

I don’t know that I would have done that if not for the spark to revisit writing that was kindled with attending WorldCon and a local sci fi con in 2016 and chatting with different authors, sitting in on panels with so much speculative food for thought. My to-read list grew, but more than that, I’ve realized there is a conversation to a genre, one that I’d like a seat at eventually.

I still have so much to learn with the craft of writing, but I know one thing already: it can’t edge out my time for other crafts. The ability to make yarny things is important to me, and in spite of my crafting grinding to a near halt in November with drafting a novel, I still managed to make a ridiculous number of shawls and burn through about 15,000 yards of yarn, after revising my goal up from 10,000 in September. I didn’t get around to really learning to use the spinning wheel my dear husband gave me for our anniversary, but that’s right at the top of the list for this year.

One of my annual goals is to read 100 books, something I managed to first achieve in library school, of all places. I guess grad school can unlock reading superpowers. I’m sure that goal will creep upward with time, but for now, it’s a comfortable, achievable goal that I’ve met for the last three years running. Pretty proud of that one. I was able to participate in Library Reads top 10 books of the year for the first time, having made a goal to better keep up with current publications. I plan on a few end-of-year reading retrospective posts, too. Soon. I’ve got some more librarian- and personal-development-oriented goals in mind for next year, which I’ll also share.

Oh. Yeah. Library school. I finally finished that. I think it’s testament to the self-actualization and branching out of personal goals that this year has brought that it’s consistently something that falls mid-list of achievements rather than first. Am I officially using it yet? No. But I’ve got my eye out for opportunities, and while my dream job at my former library system didn’t pan out, there will be other opportunities. And hey, people rarely get the dream job right out the gate. One thing that is awesome about my current job? One of my long-distance friends is now my coworker, and that’s pretty cool.

Friends, as always, remain awesome. This was a year full of plenty of gaming, both board games and roleplaying games, and good friends to enjoy them all with. We rang in 2016 with friends and rang it out with friends over a tabletop game, pausing long enough to take note of the arrival of 2017 before going on to win against a villain bent on destroying the world. Not too shabby.

I suppose this retrospective begets a question of “what’s next?” I’ll hold that up as a teaser for a future post. For now, happy new-ish year!

How about you? What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of?

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Here’s to a better 2017. *fingers crossed*

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Belated Thoughts on WorldCon

If there’s a phrase that encompasses my overall sense of self these days, I think it’s growing pains. I have a big-girl librarian degree now, but being a paraprofessional means I’m not technically using it. I’m happy enough in my current gig that I don’t have the frantic sense of needing to get to the next phase with a desperate hunger yet, but the occasional offhand comment about paras from peers further along the career track puts me right back in my place, whether the slight was intended or not. But this isn’t a post about imposter syndrome; it’s about finding other spaces to belong and grow.

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[Insert profound metaphor about growing where you’re planted here]


It’s a restless sort of place, this growing pains spot, and in the absence of the whole finish-the-MLIS life goal, I’m finally seeking out other ways to develop my skills and interests and hobbies. And I’ve realized there’s a synergy to some of them, a discovery I made watching a panel at WorldCon this year.

Continue reading

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Trying to remember how to blog

Well, I had bold words about not being stressed out about the end of grad school. Ha! Youthful optimism is not yet beyond me! It started off OK, and then comps hit, and all my best intentions of keeping up with blogging and reading and making pretty things went out the window as a very stressful semester wound down.

My to-read goal has fallen behind the nice healthy lead I built up.
My yarn stash exploded between retail-therapy yarny purchases and reduced crafting time.
My poor cats had to triple their efforts at obnoxiousness just to get my attention.
My laundry… sorta didn’t happen as frequently as it should have.
But… it’s done now. (The semester, I mean. Laundry still is a little behind.)
All those places where I refer to myself as an almost-librarian need to change; I’m not sure that’s sunk in yet. I’ve achieved the goal that’s dominated the last three years of my life. I don’t have the paper, but I do have the transcript, and that suffices for the moment.
So what’s next? New goals, of course. I’ve got a few.
First and foremost, now that the bulk of my learning isn’t coming from structured classes, I’m ready to start exploring things I’ve wanted to learn, like new fiber arts. It’s time to learn to spin, I think. If I’m feeling bold, it might even be time to figure out the mysteries of my sewing machine. It’s all up to me now.
Get back to my reviewing. I feel so rusty after a few months of barely having time to read, much less review. I’d also like to branch out and start doing more pre-publication reviews. To that end, I’ve invested in a device to help me accomplish this. Yeah, totally a professional investment >.>
I may be inordinately pleased that my Kindle case matches the knitted cozy a friend made me :).

My precious. First book I downloaded was Cat Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making because the end of grad school demands wit and whimsy as an antidote.

And, generally, get back to the things that got put on hold with school – the gym, crafting, blogging.
I gave myself permission to put those on the back burner, but it’s time to start cooking again. So here’s to a reboot of the blog.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes; Or, Almost There

Barring any screw-ups of my part or sudden and bizarre roadblocks from the universe at large, this is my last semester of MLIS coursework. In some ways, this will change a lot, and in others, it’s a blip on a radar. I’ve been here before though, on the cusp of graduation, and I have to say, this time is much, much, much better.

Last time I was poised on the brink of graduating, I was terrified. OK, sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and in the throes of a full-blown existential crisis didn’t help things too much either. Who would hire me? What could I actually do with a master’s degree in English? Who would I be once school no longer defined who I was? Besides being good at school, what could I offer the world? To say nothing of the personal things I was also sorting through. That semester was marked with panic attacks and frequent tears, and you could not pay me to relive that time. In hindsight, that probably had a lot to do with being 22 and in the midst of Sorting Shit Out, but it felt like being a butterfly  emerging from a cocoon and finding that my wings were still wet and crinkled, not enough to take flight with, with the ground looming up fast.

Truthfully, I didn’t hit the ground, but I spent years hovering in a holding pattern of a good-enough job and a good-enough life. Until neither were enough anymore. Things started changing. Continue reading

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