Monday, November 19, 2007

Thing 23--Post Mortem (It's a Good Thing No One Reads My Blog)

Adieu, regular 23 Things entries. I promise not to abandon you altogether, but some neglect, I predict, is in your future. It is not because I don't love you; you have in many ways won my heart (Library Thing, GoogleDocs, Del.icio.us, wikis, and photo-sharing/storing Sites). But the verdict is still out on a lot of you (Technorati, Bloglines, generators, Rollyo, etc.).

I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to meet you. I would certainly be willing to do a program like this again. I also thank everyone for their help, hints, and support through this process, with particular thanks to Jaye Holly for steering so many of us "away from the icebergs."

But now for the complaints (oh, don't act like you didn't know they were coming). Time-I think everyone felt they didn't have enough time for this. As a part timer, I spend a lot of time on the desk and while I'm there I am usually helping customers, or shelving books, or cleaning up, or helping with book clubs, or pulling books for displays, or planning some program, or any number of activities. It is time to dispel the erroneous notion that most of us are surfing the Web. Now let me dispel another erroneous notion; I, and many others, are not part time because we're just out of college and are still figuring out what we want to be when we grow up. When I started at the library, I was also teaching at more than one college. Now, I continue to work part time because I am raising two children and helping out with a relative in poor health. I want to devote more time to the library; I do see it as a career and am grateful that I am allowed a position of responsibility even though I am part time. But I don't have tons of "free time." I read at home, when I can; try to keep up with book reviews, hot titles, current events, even new technologies.

But the reality is, there is no built-in time in any of our schedules for play and exploration. As our customer population has grown and changed, as our hours of operation have increased, as the services we provide have grown and changed, as the technologies we offer and use in-house have changed, as the nature and size of our collection has changed, as our partnerships have grown, and as we've tried to maintain our high level of customer service and professionalism, we have all had very little "free time." 23 Things has been fun, but it has also been exhausting and, at times, another burden to an already overloaded schedule. And it is difficult, at least for anyone in the information field, to just "touch and go" through the training. I think most of want to understand, to weigh the pros and cons, to look for the overlap and inconsistency, to think about what will serve us and our customers the best.

It is not, however, just the nature of the job that has caused problems though, it is also the nature of a lot of the 23 Things. Technology is not static. There is no governing body regulating the amount or quality of information or software being disseminated. There is a lot of overlap in what these tools do. There isn't always a smooth transition between the tools we wish to use in conjunction. And there isn't always a clearcut "winner" in what we should be using. And to make matters even more complicated, there is no World Wide Web Janitorial Service to go around and clean up all the failures and the forgotten. So there is a lot of slogging through garbage that one must do. Since we are all lucky enough to work in a library during this exciting time, we are probably going to have to be the chief sloggers. So I guess I'll put on my rubber gloves and fishing boots and cut yet another hour or two of sleep out of my schedule,
and start. Happy slogging everybody, I mean blogging, no, I mean slogging.

3 comments:

lisa b said...

Joanne,

I read your blog! I've laughed with you in many of your posts, and think that if you wrote a blog/memoir (in the oodles of free time you have in between caring for the Cheeky Monkeys and running back and forth to HCL) about your life and times that you would have many fans increasing your authority ranking on Technorati (the be-it end-all, right?)

Lisa

cotonmom said...

as soon as you say no one will read we all show up. just finished
mistress of the art of death -- be ready with that next readers advisory - just love your recommendations

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