Archive for December 2007

I’m Perky!

One commenter over at The Annoyed Librarian is apparently “disgusted” because I write “perkily about a dying profession.” (I’ll know I’ve made it in the biblioblogosphere when the AL targets me her own self, but will take it! I don’t think anyone’s ever described me as “perky” before, though; it makes me feel all rah-rah-rah.) Meanwhile, on newlib, a perennially disgruntled poster suggests that I write a book on “The Librarian’s Guide to Marrying Rich.”

I’ve gotten somewhat used to people slamming my writing and points of view — the NextGen book pretty much brought that to a head, and one of the points of writing professionally is to stir up discussion. I find it fascinating, though, when people object to the very idea of someone writing positively about professional issues — this seems to say more about their personal problems than about the work itself.

Over at Get Rich Slowly, a personal finance blog, J.D. occasionally posts on topics like “You Are Your Own Worst Enemy” — or, basically, on people’s inability to get “unstuck,” to take the steps they need to take to get out of debt, budget for the future, solve their personal finance problems. We face similar issues in librarianship: Yes, maybe the librarian shortage was overstated when you went to school, maybe the job market sucks in your geographical area, maybe you’re woefully underpaid in your current job, maybe your current workplace is tradition-bound and bureaucratic and enervating.

So, how do you get unstuck?

Spending precious time and energy blaming your library school, the ALA, or even me might feel good, but it’s fairly unproductive. At a certain point you need to take responsibility for getting yourself unstuck, for moving your career forward, for taking the steps you need to take. Maybe that means moving. Maybe that means changing careers or looking for alternative ways you can use your library degree. Maybe it means taking a crap-paying job for a couple of years to gain the experience you need to move up. Maybe it means getting someone to look at your resume and cover letters and give you advice on why you may not be getting interviews. Maybe it means taking online courses or learning how to design web pages or making professional connections or otherwise gaining the skills you need to become more marketable. Whatever it may be in your particular situation: make it your new year’s resolution to take one step toward getting unstuck.

I can’t apologize for writing “perkily” about this profession — I chose it for a reason, and most of my writing and online activity has one goal: to help people get unstuck and move forward professionally. It’s all here when anyone’s ready to listen.

Murmurs from Memeo

The good folks over at Memeo apparently engage in some egosurfing — I received email from a very nice person there apologizing for my technical issues and suggesting that their recent upgrade would solve the problem. I’m not giving it a try, since I’ve already installed an alternative (fool me once…), but kudos to them for reaching out.

Memeo Autocrap

Just a friendly consumer warning. I bought an external western digital hard drive to back up my data. When I plugged it in, it gave me the option to install Memeo autobackup software. Not until the software was installed and the backup started did it mention that this was a 30-day trial of $29.95 backup software… nice.

24 hours later, my initial backup finally completed (!). My system has been running slowly ever since, and the ‘autosync’ and ‘autobackup’ options don’t want to stay out of startup. The windows uninstaller keeps crapping out. If you buy a hard drive with this product on it, my advice is — STAY AWAY.

(this message brought to you by the letter “A,” for annoyed.)

Spam one-liners photoset

Spam one-liners — these, are wonderful.

(On another note: am I the only one who occasionally gets her news from spam headers? I’ve been prompted on occasion to look one up in google news to see if it’s a real headline…)

E eats everything, or, thoughts on futurism

… or, a couple of random notes that might even come together in the end.

I’ve been reading Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, which addresses the question: “Why do we so often fail to know what will make us happy in the future?” It’s worth reading as a whole, but talks in part about the fact that when we err in our predictions about the future, it’s almost always because we predict that it will be too much like the present. (His discussion includes a hilarious run-down of “futurism” books from the 50s that depict happy white Donna Reed families in which Dad just happens to go to work each day in his flying car…)

I graduated library school 11 years ago, and remember wondering in the mid-90s if I really did need to spend that monthly fee for a dialup home Internet account. What a difference a decade makes… A while back, my dad sent me a Slate article by David Shenk, author of Data Smog: “The E Decade: Was I Right About the Dangers of the Internet in 1997?” which talks about what he now feels he got wrong — and right — back then. (Wrong: on blogs, right: on too much connectedness.)

Along these lines: when we think about projects like, say, librarians’ presence in Second Life, maybe it’s best to keep an open mind or at least to admit that our perceptions of relevance might change over time — because not doing so is perhaps more a failure of imagination, limited as it is by our present experiences and concerns.

Monday Bible Funnies

The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses (language warning). I remember some of these passages launching much discussion when I was TAing introductory classes lo these many years ago, but not quite up to this take on things.