That’s right, coming to you live, from a computer near you! It’s me, with my actual degree and a new position as the Visiting Education Librarian at UF for the Fall semester. I finished my degree officially at the end of July, and now I have a MSI (not an MLIS, and let me tell you I’m extra strength salty about that because it was advertised as an MLIS and that’s what I thought I was getting). I’m also moving to the Education library at UF (making my fourth branch I’ve worked at, including West, Smathers, and AFA) while the education librarian is on sabbatical and taking over her duties.
I’m really very excited to be moving into the realm of liaison librarian work. I enjoy the technical aspects of library work, working the desk and in the stacks and getting hands on with the books. But it’s not my dream. My dream is to be an academic librarian, which aligns closely with my old dream to be a professor. My academic interests have diverged and multiplied since I wanted to become a professor, and I like the flexibility and diversity that library work gives. I also feel like there’s less pressure to be an “Intellectual” as a librarian. We’re free to be nerds, expected to communicate with the public in an accessible way, and not necessarily feed into the academic jargon that tenure-track professors often get stuck in.
My duties are going to include collection development, which I’m terribly excited about even though I’m also nervous since education isn’t precisely my area of expertise. But I get a budget! Specifically to buy books! And since I’m in the Education library, and a good part of our collection is children’s and YA books that could be used in the classroom, I can go wild adding some of my favorites! Ok, maybe not wild, I will have a limited budget and be expected to use it for other types of things too. But, I can make sure we have some good new LGBT titles, such as the mid-grade book my son and I are reading right now, Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff, which is available in our Library West collection, but might also be good to add to our collection. It’s a book about an 11 year old trans-boy discovering his identity, grief, and ghosts. Maybe teachers couldn’t put it in their classroom right now, because of the new restrictive laws and rules governing what can be put in classroom and school libraries (I need to write a post about that, because BOY DO I HAVE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS). But it’s still a good book to have available for new teachers to read and know about, since not all our graduates will go on to teach in restrictive states like Florida.
I’m also going to be doing Library Instruction, which I’m very nervouscited about. Everyone always tells me I’m a good teacher, even though I have a bit of a tendency to wander off the point. But it’s been a long time since I’ve taught in a classroom setting versus a one-on-one setting. Plus, I feel like I’m still learning new things about the libraries all the time, and in no way feel like an expert. I’ve been practicing a little bit in my personal social media spaces by creating posts about how to do research, but there’s still so much! Luckily, they’re not tossing me in the deep end without a raft, but my fellow education librarian will be having me shadow her instruction sessions to begin with, to get a feel for it.
So anyway, wish me luck, and if you need anything, please feel free to reach out to me!