Friday, November 23, 2007

Five Reasons Why I Went to Library School

  1. I have had many other jobs. One of them was at a bank. Believe me, people and money simply don’t go together. It is as if a monster gets a hold of them when they come into the bank. Why? They have been charged a fee. They lost a draft and the bank tells them to try and find it. The bank tells them to use online services if they want free transactions. The list goes on and on.
  2. I was also teaching at a college. I had 120 students in each of my classes. My voice doesn’t carry well in a large room with that many students and there was no microphone. And can you imagine the paper corrections!
  3. I accidentally found a paging position and happened to like not only being in a library but also my co-workers. They were so polite and seemed to know, understand and be curious about people from other cultures, unlike my bank co-workers who thought I was from another planet and had to be dealt with very sensitively or not.
  4. The above accidental job, lead me to other jobs, also in libraries. I realized I liked all the libraries I worked at: public, college and University. This is where I belong.
  5. By now I have had 7-8 years experience of working at libraries. I had been trying to go to library school but we seemed to always move to a state or city that didn’t have library school. Finally it happened. I got into a well-known university after a bit of a fight with them. And here I am - a virtual reference librarian. And to think this happened within two years of my graduation! I will call it luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I have joined Sylvia Coates's indexing course. I have wanted to do this for the last 3 years -since I took an indexing class at library school in 2005. I felt that I was a natural at this (not that anyone has confirmed it) and decided then that I should pursue it further. Since our Canadian rates are now higher than U.S. rates I took this opportunity.

I am about halfway through the course and maybe it is too early to say I am doing alright. I am learning along with my other virtual classmates that there is much to it than just being a natural. The business side of it is a bit apprehensive, but hey! everything comes with practice. I just need to remember that when it is business, there are legal issues involved and follow instructions carefully with publishers. If I get stuck there is always the listeserves to go to and find an answer. Let me tell you, indexers are pretty good at helping each other. They help you with software issues, finding proper wording, and finding some work. Hmmmm! I guess I should make some indexing friends.

I think librarians will find it interesting to index a book. We read many books anyway why not make some money out of it. I think I will give it a try!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I am ready for the future library. Are you?

Thode library at McMaster is renovating. All that is old is being gutted or moved to make room for new.

Personally, I am ready for a library with diner-style booths and oversized ottomans. I am ready to face print vs. electronic challenge. We know that the younger generation is looking for more and more electronic ways of finding information and communicating them. If we don't meet their needs, there will be no point in having a library.

I work at a wonderful library and yet completely understand when patrons get frustrated that we do not fulfill their needs: no downloading previleges, adobe doesn't really work on our old computers and modern saving technology such as USB sticks and even CD's are not an option yet. But we are heading into the future slowy and surely.

What use would we be of, as libraries, if we didn't cope with changes and go into the future with our patrons? What was it S.R. Ranganathan said - Books are for use! Yes. There weren't online resources in his days or he would have said online resources are also for use.

Let's change! Library is indeed a growing organism. Let's grow with it and embrace all that is changing.

Click here for more on H.G. Thode's Library of Science and Engineering at McMasters.