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openbook_bannerWhen seeking employment in these trying economic times, one has to be everything to everyone.  The key is to create a melange of talent– a sort of “You need this?” “Of course I can do that!” approach.  Cultivate every skill you ever learned, and showcase them is a way that make you indispensable.  Case in point, among my library school classmates, I am back to editing, which is a place I never thought I’d be after library school– it’s a job.  Jewish Friend is back working in an office lamenting how bored she is; a former event planner may be back working with brides; and a former pharmacy tech is working at CVS.  It’s almost like library school never happened, yet the painful memories still haunt me.

After finishing the MLIS, we are all in the murky waters of over/underqualified.  We are overqualified for paraprofessional jobs (jobs that don’t required a library degree), and underqualified for professional jobs compared to all of the other people who apply and have much more experience than we.  I’m not saying that employers shouldn’t pick the best, most qualified person for the job, but doesn’t ANYONE want to take a chance on an unknown kid? We know how to use computers–for reals.

Recently I taught a screenwriting workshop at a public library. I had done a similar one last year, for teens, and when the assistant director of this library said she had heard good things and wanted me to do a program for adults– I jumped at it.  It went really well, and since then I’ve tweaked it a bit and tried to pimp it out to other libraries (If you’d like to request my services, just comment on this blog and I will email you back).

It occurred to me immediately afterward, that I had been in a room with 20 wannabe writers who look to me as an expert.  So naturally, as one does when one decides to claim expertise in a field, I had business cards made up to offer my editing services at a very reasonable rate (If you’d like to request my services, just comment on this blog and I will email you back). I now have one set of business cards announcing that I am a librarian, and one set calling me a writer/editor.  The only problem is that the set that say writer/editor have a typo on them.

I misspelled my own email address, and now have a box of 250 cards that are unusable.  In a moment of “Use every part of the buffalo/ lame high school artist” thought, I considered taking the fouled business cards, along with the small stack of rejection letters I’ve received, create some kind of sculpture thing.  Of course immediately after having this idea, I realized I would not like to own such a piece of art, and also that this has been done before by many, many people.  Also, I’ve ripped up all my rejection letters to date, so I’d have to wait for a new stack to come in.

I think I’ll read my Nancy Drew books instead.

Recently, a friend told me that the only way to get people to read your blogs is to make lists. Lists are the answer, apparently. Well, to do a little recap of the year, I’m going to make a list of the things that have happened to me over the past year that are cool. These are in no particular order:

  • I got accepted into the URI graduate school of library and information sciences
  • Upon telling my parents that I was going back to grad school and moving halfway across the country, they cried and disowned me. Then they came around and have gone so far as to say that this was a wonderful decision on my part
  • I moved to Providence, RI, one of the coolest cities I’ve ever seen
  • I got a kick-ass job at the oldest lending library in America (still in its original building)
  • Before leaving Fargo, I worked at 3 jobs, now I only have 2
  • One of the jobs I had in Fargo, Fargo Public Library, is the first job I’ve ever left that I still loved, so I am capable of having a job that doesn’t fill me with rage
  • Watson (kitty), Jill (human traveling companion), and I made it safely and successfully across the country and my car didn’t break under the weight of all my crap
  • I managed to furnish my new 1100 square foot apartment spending only about $75
  • I didn’t flunk cataloging
  • I reconnected with the friend I’ve known the longest (since preschool) via Facebook and via that friend, the friend that I’ve known second-longest (almost, that’s still a work in progress)
  • I decided for sure that the field I’m pursuing is really the one that I can see myself working in indefinitely
  • My scrabble game has improved quite a bit, even though I’m still not very good
  • I just set my Ipod on shuffle, and it landed on the BeeGee’s cover of Islands in the Stream, which apparently includes them actually saying “ghetto superstar, that is what you are”
  • I have free cable, how weird is that?
  • There’s no sales tax on beer in Massachusetts, and you get 5cents back for every bottle you return
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee is a delicious meal in a cup and it’s affordable
  • The other day, one of my new Providence friends told me that she’s very glad to know me and call me her friend
  • I now know the deliciousness of tempeh
  • In the time after I graduated and before I moved, even though I was working all the time, I managed to read a really lot of books and see a lot of movies
  • One of my best friends finally ended a relationship she should have bailed on years ago
  • As much as I hate the commute, I do appreciate the fact that I get to spend time in a city as beautiful and historic as Newport, RI
  • Another friend told me a few days ago that he loves my blogs
  • Although library school is the most tedious thing I’ve ever done, and most of the people I go to school with are the strangest kind of weirdo I’ve ever encountered—I’m one of the cool kids, which is hilarious
  • I just found $20 in one of my pants pockets!
  • This list could go one for quite a while