Good News Everyone!

 

 

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Good news everyone! I got the job at an academic library in Chattanooga and will be relocating soon! My interview was a little nerve-wracking (a committee!) but it went really well and I could tell from the interview alone what a great library I’ll be working for as well as getting to meet a few wonderful coworkers. The hubby and I will be relocating to Chattanooga in the next few weeks so let the packing begin!

PS. Have I mentioned how COMPLETELY EXCITED I am about all this!?! Because I’m ecstatic!

 

 

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A Lucky Break

I’ve ramped up my job application output and it seems to be paying off! I have one upcoming interview and I’m waiting on a phone call for a second.

One is in lovely Chattanooga and the other is close to home so both seem like great possibilities. Wish me luck!

 

Stir Crazy

It didn’t take me long to officially go stir crazy, so I’m back at the museum library volunteering on a weekly basis. Which is great, because I’m back on the museum’s GLAM Wikiproject, learning a bit of cataloging, and keeping my other library skills up to par. It feels really great to be working in a library, even if it’s sans benefits and pay. I’m crossing my fingers that a job opportunity comes along soon though, and wouldn’t it be just wonderful if the library school fairy could find a position at the museum for me??? Here’s to wishing and dreaming!

St. Paul’s Cathedral Library

St. Paul’s Cathedral is amazing. And their library definitely does not disappoint either.

My classmates and I were given a behind the scenes tour by St. Paul’s Librarian, Mr. Joseph Wisdom. Wisdom was impeccably dressed, soft-spoken and very entertaining. He took us up a wonderful stone staircase to see the “BBC view” of St. Paul’s. On the balcony section we had a magnificent view of the cathedral. We then got go see a few artifacts that they had just lying around upstairs: pulpits from centuries past, mosaics, 19th century stone work, and the top to the baptismal fount.

Then we got to the libraries. Within the library tower, are two rooms that St. Paul’s architect, Sir Christopher Wren, designed to be libraries. The first room we visited had been re-purposed as an exhibition space. Nicknamed “The Model Room” (aptly, I might add), this library space is decorated with a stone design of ink wells and dog-eared pages and beautiful windows for optimal lighting.  But instead of books, it holds an ENORMOUS model of Sir Wren’s original design for St. Paul’s Cathedral. The model is gorgeous, but was not appreciated at the time because of its likeness to Catholic St. Peter’s Basilica. Only after 7-8 workable plans and 30-40 years of work, was Sir Wren able to complete his cathedral.

After The Model Room we went to the Cathedral Library. The first thing you notice is the smell. That amazing old book smell that librarians love (its decaying leather, by the way). Next, patrons take in the beautiful dark-wood shelving holding over 10,000 volumes. In total the library hold 23,000 graphical items. Libraries from across London began sending St. Paul’s Cathedral their duplicate books after the Great Fire in which many libraries were lost. Today the library mostly retains texts that are written about persons related to St. Paul’s including clergyman and those buried there and texts about the building itself. Amazingly, the St. Paul’s Cathedral Library is open to, “anyone who can use the library,” as Mr. Wisdom puts it.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Library

Getting a behind the scenes tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral was wonderful. Near the end of the tour, Mr. Wisdom explained to the class that books were not designed to sit up on shelves, but rather lay down on a clerics’ desks. He then showed us the proper way to remove a book from a shelf (and yes, I had been doing it wrong).

One of the most exciting things was walking down an open spiral staircase to exit the library tower. The steps appear to be suspended in air and are used in a scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It was great nerd fun for all the Harry Potter fans to get to walk down a way that is usually restricted to visitors.

Wikipedia Training

Recently, the museum where I did my internship asked me to come back and train some new interns on the who, what, where, when, and how of the Wikipedia Project. This project was the mastermind of my lovely surrogate adviser/librarian at the museums’ library. She put me in charge, and I was able to develop a manual and a system for uploading information, links, and photos to articles on objects and artwork held at the museum.

Last summer, when the project began, it was an uphill battle. We had to deal with copyright, bully editors, convincing the higher-ups that this was a good idea, and learning Wikitext (Wikipedia’s own markup language). Myself and two other interns were put on the project, and I feel that we created a pretty substantial beginning to what will probably be an ongoing project for as long as Wikipedia remains one of the most trafficked sites online. I am proud that my museum is among one of the first to actively contribute to Wikipedia, along with the likes of the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institute, the British Museum, and more.

But back to the training! I feel like it went fairly well. My very first training session. Of course I prepared a powerpoint presentation, because if library school has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to always have a power point! Most of the presentation was actually just navigation through how Wikipedia works, and the features that laypeople usually never bother to look at. We set up user accounts, sandboxes, and played around with some formatting. Then in the afternoon I did a little more one on one work with each intern and we made some actual edits to some pages. I know it was probably pretty overwhelming, but I hope between the training and the notes/handbook it will be a little easier for them than it was for me starting out.

We’re currently working on making the project available to be worked on by those in the library, and those volunteering from home. I am especially excited about this because some weeks I don’t have the time to drive in and volunteer. I am also excited that all the interns seemed very adept at editing, and the project really needs some new interns who can spend a lot of time on it.

If your library or museum is interested in contributing to Wikipedia, be sure to check out the Wikpedia GLAM Project.  On the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums page you can learn more about the who, what, where, when, and how of editing Wikipedia.