Bookgrrl, gap filler #blogjune

I have a tendency to get bored quite easily- witness the myriad of unfinished craft projects (actually only 2, or 3…), and the number of unfinished blog posts languishing in my drafts folder.

How does this impact upon forging a career as a librarian? For me, it has involved saying Yes to opportunities that arise and jumping across library sectors.

My first job was backfilling a maternity leave position, a twelve month contract which became ongoing and lasted five years. When I left it was because I wanted adventure. I’m not saying that working in public libraries weren’t eventful (Laurence the demon child at story time, Mr Poo Man, and Mr T the psychopath are characters which come to mind), but I needed a change.

I jumped to the State Library, working with staff in public libraries in promoting database usage, coordinating online content for a virtual library and putting out a library zine. From there I jumped to a Parliamentary Library, after going for an interview, for the experience.

Now I have been at my present place of work in an academic library for nearly 2 years and working in my fourth role. I have been involved in systems, statistical analysis, and research data management, and put my hand up for projects galore. Much of this role changing has been as a result of maternity leave, retirements and resignations. 

I think working in various library sectors makes me feel like a Librarian jack of all trades, a filler of gaps. I also feel very lucky to be where I am.

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Going to New York was a chance of a lifetime!

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the ultimate question #blogjune

We introduced the kids to The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy on the long weekend (the miniseries), which they loved. Master BG loved the storyline and the sperm whale as part of the Improbability Drive, and Miss BG liked how Arthur Dent taught the cave men Scrabble. 

I’ve always wanted a computer like Deep Thought, to help me with those tricky questions that pop up with irritating regularity. 

  • Why was I born me? I often wonder why I am who I am.
  • What happens to my consciousness when I die? Is there life after life? Is there reincarnation?
  • How on earth can Brussels Sprouts exists and people actually like these vile mini cabbages?
  • How can my cat thinks it’s a good idea to get up a bare mulberry tree?

  
If you had a computer like Deep Thought what questions would you ask of it?

Is there anyone out there? #blogjune

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Fiji sunset, April 2014

This blog post has been simmering away for a couple of weeks. Every time I feel ready to post another post appears on the blogging and libraries and I have to review it again!

I was more a reader of blogs than a writer in the early days, and really only engaged with social media when Miss BG arrived in 2007 (when I was introduced to Facebook,and TwItter). When I first started writing there seemed a wide group of people I knew from Twitter who were blogging, and I developed a good list on my Google Reader.

When I started in 2009, I had something to say, and blogging at that time was a convenient way to say things. Working part time, studying part time and having full time family responsibilities were no impediments to finding the time to write. I could easily ignore the piles of stuff on top of my dining table, Mr BG did his ironing, and as long as little people were fed, I could write and study to my hearts content.

I still have things to say, but now I can say them through Instagram, or I keep them to myself. Whatever is said online is hard to erase and as Sally said, I don’t want my online presence to be a series of rants.

I often wondered were people listening to what I had to say? Yes, you were and I have been gratified over and again with comments, likes and retweets. The medium of blogging has been a way for me to connect to people I would not have otherwise met, and that is probably the best thing to have come out of it. (As blogging does feel like a way of broadcasting my thoughts, my written words are my voice, so people reading my words are ‘listening’ to me and my voice- end clarification :))

I have been a librarian that blogs, not really blogging about libraries. At the time I started it was more to do with the my workplace’s Code of Conduct prevented me from discussing anything in great detail.  I think I still am prevented from speaking much in great detail about my time in Parliament other than to say

  1. Photocopying woes are ubiquitous;
  2. It’s a challenge to say no to someone who is used to being surrounded by people who say yes.

At the same time, I did feel like an impostor when it came to writing about the profession. There have always been writers who have been able to express and analyse libraries better than myself, and Sally highlighted many of them in her post a few days ago. With so many librarians already established in this blogging niche my thoughts were

  1. I work part time in a special library, and my postgraduate study is quasi librarianship, quasi IT- would my thoughts on libraries be listened to?
  2. Would I be limiting myself if I just spoke about libraries? (Because there is more to life than work)

This BlogJune there has been much reflection on library blogs- their “rise and fall”, as  conduits for driving change and conversation, showcasing innovation, and providing a forum for conversation. The conversations generated on Twitter and through Alisa Con’s, Kate’s Kathryn, and Katie’s many posts about creating a League of Librarians are fantastic to read.

There are a few hopes that I have about this endeavour.

  1. I hope we engage with people beyond those who already blog and who don’t necessarily use Twitter, otherwise we will be talking to the same people over and again.
  2. I hope we hear from new voices and a greater diversity in the people we hear from, from library students, graduates, from more library sectors, from different cultural backgrounds.
  3. Veering sideways, I hope we review the cost of conferences in order to make them more affordable for more people to attend. More voices, more energy, reinvigoration?

 

 

 

 

I get around

I am in a motel room, by myself, thinking about putting the kettle on and phoning Mr BG.

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This time I am in Brisbane for work, to meet with staff at the Brisbane campus of my uni, and to formally hand over the job in which I was acting to the person who has just returned from parental leave.

I am here because I am moving into a new role, though this is an acting position until the end of the year. My original contract was due to finish at the end of July, so the extension is welcome.

It was around this time last year that I headed up to North Sydney for an interview, was offered a position, got knocked back for leave without pay from my previous employer and decided to take the plunge anyway by resigning. My parents were a bit perplexed as to why I would leave a permanent position to take on a contract.

No position is permanent, and no one is indispensable. I have also learned that when opportunities come up, you embrace them, as you never know what will happen.

I got my life back, by working in Ballarat, and having more time with my family. I am less grumpy, and have more time for them (the house is still a mess, but what the hey). My working environment and colleagues are lovely and professional, and I feel I can make a contribution.

The kettle has boiled and my phone beckons.

Good night xx

I’m on a plane again/Challenged accepted- 5 years of Bookgrrl

It’s a strange day today, as I am buzzing with adrenalin and lack of sleep. I am going to crash very soon…

As I write this, I am at the airport, waiting for a plane to take me and Mr BG off on an adventure to the United States. The trip that has been talked about and planned for 6 months has finally arrived. I’m tremendously excited, as my last experience of Amercian soil was a two day stopover in Hawaii in 1988. I’m going to visit two amazing and iconic cities,and try and soak up as much of the American culture as I can.

I’m also scared, as I’ll be leaving my little BGs behind for a while in the safe hands of my sister in law Kerry. I KNOW they’ll be okay, but I am still a little anxious about leaving them for so long. A huge pang of sadness hit me when I was in Fiji after 4 days, and two weeks away will be a very long time. While the kids can be totally infuriating, exasperating and can test you physically and mentally, they are a joy and a delight.

I left at the crazy hour of 4am to head to Melbourne for a 9am flight (mental note- never book an international flight at this time again!). I got some sleepy cuddles and kisses before the taxi arrived to take us to the shuttle bus at the railway station.

Hurtling down the freeway, my brain churning as my eyes wanted to sleep, I realized something else big about this day.

Today is also a bit of a milestone as  five years ago today I published my first blog post. My blog was created, then my first post published within a day. Thank you to the wonderful PS for challenging me over lunch at the Recorded Music Salon so many years ago.

I have said a lot about my kids,  my studies, my life and love of Melbourne and its fantastic laneways and eateries. I have also written of my life in Ballarat, all 10 wonderful and crazy years that I have been there. I have written about books, food, people and places I have been. I have shared my life with you and it has been wonderful to see feedback, comments and messages. It has been wonderful to meet people who have read my blog and to develop friendships with you all.

I haven’t been as prolific as I was, and I guess this comes down to life getting busier with a full time job, and spending time with the BG family becomes a greater priority. Don’t worry, I still have lots to say, especially in the next couple of weeks 🙂

TGIF

I’m having one of those weeks, where the few glimmers of light are fleeting, and are usually found in a bottle of gin, in a little persons cuddle and in a warm bed. There have been several times this week when all I have wanted to do is stay in bed and forget about the world.

It has gotten frantic at work and I feel as if it’s progressing backwards rather than forwards. IT issues have flared up and the familiar knot of anxiety is beginning to settle in my gut again. My eyes hurt from looking at computer screens all day, and the icing on the cake is returning home to try and troubleshoot IT issues with the router.

This week I also learned of the sudden death of a former school mate. The Allison I remembered was a girl with a huge smile and big hair (it was the 80s), who loved life and her friends. On Facebook I remember seeing the numerous photos of her beautiful twins, and her vivacity. She brought so much joy to people’s lives and it’s heartbreaking to see such a person leave so suddenly.

BUT, as Scarlett O’Hara said ‘tomorrow is another day’ and thankfully it’s a Saturday. In fact it’s another month, another new chapter to embrace.It’s also the first day of autumn, my favourite time of the year, another reason to be thankful.

Retreat

I’m tired.

It’s the end of a personal tumultuous year, in which I changed hours at work, then resigned, started a new job and lost a family member. It was a year of huge learning curves, as I left a job after being there for 10 years to work in a new role in an entirely new library sector. Miss BG started school and it wasn’t an easy start for her, with my increased hours and her teacher being unwell at the start of the year, which resulted in a few behavioural issues. I also learned just how selfish and self-absorbed people in my life can be, which has resulted in a number of terse email exchanges, texts and phone silence.

When the proverbial shit hits the fan like this, I retreat. Sometimes it’s just physically into my bedroom, and other times it’s just being quiet, and lurking in the shadows. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, it’s just if I start talking, all the frustration and anger and sorrow will erupt and I won’t be able to hold it back. And I don’t like when that happens, as I upset people, and myself.

It hasn’t been all bad though.

I also saw my children grow up in so many ways, will celebrate Mr BG’s success at a pop festival in New York (fingers crossed his visa is approved), and have become more mindful in getting healthier and fitter through watching what I eat and being more active. I have also found my new job, while busy, is rewarding and I feel valued. My new colleagues, near and far are also quite nice too :).

I just wish my brain would switch off sometimes and I could sleep more easily, that kitchen and laundry fairies really existed and that I had enough leave to take off to cover school holidays. I don’t ask for much do I?