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Monday, September 9, 2013

What's New?*, opus 2

I figure since I haven't done too much writing about my library work lately, I would devote today's entry to just that, and in addition to that, job-hunting.

Our time at the Riverside Drive facility trudges on.  It's cramped to the point of claustrophobia, I'm getting cranky and bored; I've answered the same questions about the progress of the new library a hundred times and I wish to God I could change the answers.  It's frustrating to have to make the customer wait several minutes to check out if we happen to be doing something on the Internet. We can't run our circulation system and be on the Internet with the same terminal, simultaneously.  Yes, it's a gigantic pain in the tuckus. I did get an honest-to-God reference question on Saturday, though. 

A woman came in needing to order a textbook thru Interlibrary Loan.  After checking WorldCat and discovering that less than 100 institutions worldwide had the book, and none within a day's drive, I offered to check and see if her college bookstore had it.  Back ordered.
Checked Folletts: difficulty accessing website, gave up.
Checked Amazon: Available, but she wasn't particularly interested in paying $47 (not bad considering it's a fairly esoteric subject--American Deaf Culture and ASL)
Me: Have you considered renting that book?
Her: People do that?
Me (smiling): sure, and it's a lot less money than purchasing.
I check several rental agencies, finally settling on I gave her the information and she left happy.  I encouraged her to let her classmates know about her experience and that she was successful in obtaining her book.

For those of you scratching your heads and saying, "that wasn't a reference desk question", well it wasn't at first, but it became one as I searched for ways to ensure that the patron got what she needed. It didn't help (although I understand the reasoning behind it, but that's for another day's entry) that it's a general rule of thumb for colleges not to do ILLs with textbooks.


Most recent interview was mid-August at Manor College, a tiny Catholic two-year institution that specializes in pre-professional studies (Nursing, Medical tech, etc.) and that has a beautiful library. I don't think that the interview went especially well, but we did have a pleasant chat (NOTE TO SELF: stimulating conversation is not the same as an interview with a positive outcome).  No prospects on the horizon in the Academic Library world, but I continue to seek opportunities in the usual places, as well as some unusual ones.  For instance, I will start singing with the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Choir next week, and the director said (in what is definitely the most interesting thing ever said at an audition I've taken), "I don't care how crappy your voice is, you're going to be my librarian!"

I can't get a word out of any of my contacts regarding the West Chester U. position. The website still lists Paul Emmon's old job as "vacant".  The optimist in me says, "they're holding the job until you've graduated!", while the musician/neurotic in me says, "Yeah, sure, and Flo is driving her boat thru the intercoastal waterway complete with unicorns and glitter".  The mind reels...
UPDATE: As of September 9, West Chester U. had hired a new Music Librarian, according to my source.  I have yet to hear from the search committee.

Onward. Cheers.

*--Johnny Burke and Bob Haggart, 1939.  Notable covers include McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Frank Sinatra, and Linda Ronstadt.
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