It’s Off to Wyo We Go

Going to the mountains is going home. -John Muir

I have lived in the Houston area for 32 of my 38 years. Those that are missing, I was still in Texas, just up the road in College Station and then Dallas. This is the place with my roots and my large extended family. As an adult, it has also become the place where I have started raising my own family and found a church that is like family. There are many wonderful things to recommend Texas, but this is never the place I wanted to be forever.


Mr. R, as many of you know, is an engineer and his job has kept us here, but it is no longer his passion or what he feels called to do. This shift for him and my strong desire to be in the mountains has led us to look elsewhere. This past weekend, my wonderful husband accepted a position at Blacktooth Brewing Company in Sheridan, Wyoming.

We are moving our family to the edge of the Big Horn mountains! I will finally be in a place I always wanted to be and Mr. R will have a job he finds fulfilling. We have deep roots in Texas, so we will be back to visit. We hope some people come visit us and see the beauty of our new home state.

I plan on chronicling some of our move and transition in this space because there is a lot of things I need to learn about living in a cold climate and you will need to laugh at me as I learn. In the midst of all this, Plagues of the Heart (Turning Creek 4) will be released so there are a lot of exciting things ahead.

Off to a new adventure!

I Can Has LOLjob?

This job ad, for a developer at I Can Has Cheezburger is one of the funniest I have seen in a long time. I wonder how many applications they will receive.

The web has made it possible for companies and libraries to advertise for new employees in many different ways. I have seen job ads for library positions posted on blogs, listed on LISJobs, and traded around on Twitter. Many librarians I know say the job searches at their libraries routinely receive a large number of applications, anywhere from 50-100. This is especially true for entry level positions.

Using the internet to circulate your job openings, will increase the diversity of your applicant pool and thus provide you with better choices. This seems simple, but there are many libraries who still only advertise in the same old places and then wonder why their applicant pools are so low.

Do you have a blogger on your staff? Someone who uses Twitter regularly? Ask them to post a link to the job opening at your library. Encourage them to write about your library in their own words. As prospective employees, people want to know about your library, so make information about your organization easy to find.

–Jane, use the great people you have to be your best recruiters

“The Last March of the Ents”

Leaving Letter

(picture inclusion with a nod towards Helene Blowers)

This post has been a long time coming. If all works out accordingly, this post will be published directly after or right before I hand the interested parties my letter of resignation from the University of Houston Libraries where I have worked for three and a half years. I am sad to be leaving my friends and colleagues behind, even though I will see most of them often enough. Those who know me or have been paying attention will not be surprised at my departure. I have needed, searched for, even longed for a change in work scenery for quite awhile.

I am trading my crazy, traffic filled commute for domesticity and working from home. Instead of a Social Sciences Librarian, I will be a stay at home wife, mother, and Geek Librarian At Large. In addition to changing diapers and walking around with a baby attached to my chest, I plan on engaging in the following professional activities:

  • Blogging in this space and over here
  • Writing for ALA Techsource Blog
  • Working on a book on Strategic Planning for ACRL
  • Writing a chapter for an upcoming book on Millennials
  • Serving on Jim Rettig’s Presidential Advisory Committee
  • Serving in LITA in various positions
  • Possibly working with SOLINET as an adjunct
  • Consulting
  • Rabble-rousing from afar
  • Friends and long time readers will surmise correctly that I am going to continue to do the things that I love the most about being a librarian, teaching and advocating for technology education in librarianship. Due to the impending arrival of Baby Rochester, I am placing a hiatus on most professional travel for almost a year and half. I expect my next conference to be ALA Annual 2009, though one never knows what life will bring you. Box of chocolates, anyone?

    I plan on writing at least one more post reflecting on working in an academic library, based on my experiences in the one that fostered me these last few years, and the kind of job I would love to have some day. Those should be coming along shortly.

    Until then, I am excited about this new phase of my life, happy for the change of pace, and pleased to be able to finally tell you, gentle readers and friends, my plan.

    –Jane, tickled baby boy blue

    New LISJobs Forum

    This is just awesome. Rachel has gathered a wonderful group of moderators for this project. I foresee this as a place where people go to get real advice, instead of lip service.

    –Jane, fabulous

    On Managing Anxiety, Work, Life, and all Things in Between

    This Spring, you may have noted that I posted a little less and bitched a bit more than normal. I have long considered writing this, but Karen’s post recently and the evaluating one’s life posts that have been floating around for the past year convinced me that now was the time.

    Karen’s post talks about what we do to our motivated leaders. We overburden them. We steal their shiny with promises that never come. I am sorry to say that this has happened to me gradually over the past year. I am still an optimist, often annoyingly so, and I still love my profession, but this past semester made we rethink what my job and my life was and where the lines needed to be drawn. I needed more lines.

    In between TLA and CiL this year, I spent a day on my couch, crying, overwhelmed with anxiety that I would not get my house clean ever, and thus become the worst wife ever (and later a terrible mother) and that I would never finish all the things at work that were on my plate and thus be a terrible person. I had too much to do and I was only one little person in a big, big world.

    Was my To Do list that terrible? Well, it was pretty full, but not crying over it full. I realized I had some anxiety issues that I needed to deal with and I found a professional to listen to me. I feel better about things and I am handling my To Do list better. Self Awareness is a powerful thing.

    I also realized a few other helpful things:

    • This is my job, not my life. I can go home and go home. I can leave all the drama, malfunction, and swamped To Do lists where they belong, in my office. It is hard, and some days I fail, but I try.
    • I can say no. Boundries are a good thing. I am saying no at work a lot lately and to some of my professional organizations.
    • I can say no to enabling malfunction too.
    • Doing small chores every day makes house cleaning easier.
    • I define my own success, it does not look like yours, and I am ok with that.
    • My family (right now only consisting of a husband and a slobbery dog) is more important than anything else in my life. Period. No negotiations.
    • I am still a librarian no matter what my job title says and what I do, because sometimes you just are.

    All of those things are important, but the last one was what has really affected my thinking. I am starting to consider possibilities for jobs that I never would have pondered a few months ago. (and if you are surprised that I am looking, you should not be, most of us are always keeping our eyes open) A new addition to my blogroll is the Brazen Careerist, which I have mentioned before. Penelope Trunk has been writing lately about balancing work and home life and defining your own success. I find myself nodding emphatically to many of her thoughts. I would love to meet Penelope one day. She seems like a great person to share big ideas with over coffee.

    I think that as long as I am doing something I like and can feel like I am doing something worthwhile, I will be content in my job. It does not matter if I have librarian in my title. I will always be one in my heart. *big sigh of relief*

    I suppose the real point of writing this post is so that you, my readers and friends, would know why I have been behaving oddly. I also want to encourage those feeling overwhelmed to step back, let go, and find someone to talk to, professional or otherwise. It is amazing what a few words and a listening ear can do.

    It also does not hurt that I have the Best. Husband. Ever. God knew I needed a man like Mr. Rochester. What a lucky wife I am.

    What is next for Jane? I have a handful of projects I am working on this summer, some big, some small, small related to MPOW, and some not. I am excited about all of them and will share them as I am able.

    Now, I am going to cross some things off my To Do list. 😉

    –Jane, thanks world

    Reference Librarian for Emerging Technologies

    Thanks to Eprahs for the heads up.

    UNC Chapel Hill proves that ARL libraries can think ahead with their new job posting for a Reference Librarian for Emerging Technologies. From their ad in the Chronicle of Higher Ed:

    Develop and deliver high quality outreach and instructional services to faculty, students, and scholars in assigned academic disciplines to support the discovery, use, and integration of the library’s collections into research and the curriculum. Participate in management and evolution of the Davis Library Knowledge Commons. Lead the departmental Web Team and assist as needed with library-wide
    web initiatives, including usability testing. Share in the development of the reference collection in assigned subject areas. Investigate and work with other library groups to implement, as appropriate, Web 2.0 technologies. Design, pilot, and assist with creation of instructional programming, including web-based guides and tutorials, using emerging technologies. Manage scanning services. Provide general and specialized reference service at the Davis (Main) Library Reference Desk and via online chat, IM and email, including night and weekend rotations.

    –Jane, way to be on the Cluetrain UNC

    Academic Technology Specialist for Students

    What a great title! This job was posted today for Colorado College. The blurb on the ALA JobList says:

    Academic Technology Services at Colorado College is looking for an energetic individual to build student community around the use of technology for learning. Our Academic Technology Specialist for Students will create and support media and information literacy programming for our student body, lead and inspire our student workforce, and enhance and maintain our three public computer labs.

    For the full job listing, see the official Colorado College job site.

    –Jane, happy that it is Friday