Sunday, January 1, 2012

New year, new job, new appreciation

I find myself starting 2012 with a new job and a new appreciation for librarianship.  I started in this field over fifteen years ago with that vigor and enthusiasm so often associated with youth.  For the last few years, though, I've been more like Forrest Gump, floating like that feather, hoping to find my "destiny".  When I look back and see what I had accomplished, I feel like I've been sitting still for the last 5 years.

When I pursued my MPH, I thought I would be doing something more important, touching and improving more lives than in an academic medical library.  But what I didn't realize was how much librarianship had become a part of me. My ears still perked at any mention of a library on the news, my eyes were still diverted to the local library, and my mind never traveled far from the values of information freedom.

Today, I find myself back in a library ready to re-enter the field with a new appreciation and renewed vigor. I was fortunate enough to live near a university that was actually needing to expand its collections in order to become a top-tier institution.  My interviews with the library faculty and staff convinced me that I was making the right decision.  The fact that I actually enjoyed researching, developing, rehearsing and conducting the presentations for these interviews further convinced me that I was finding my way at last.

I've spent the last few weeks preparing to pick up where I left off, updating my blog reader, my CiteULike, Delicious, and LibraryThing, and of course, starting a new blog.  I imagine that library blogs have become a dime-a-dozen, but I while I hope my thoughts, insights, ideas and experiences of this blog does help others, its real purpose is  to help me condense my thoughts, focus my insights, refine my ideas and understand my experiences in my rediscovered field and new specialization, Collection Assessment.

For the last six months, this old Springsteen song has been ringing in my head, reflecting my underlying desires.  I tweaked the last couple of lines to fit this occasion:
Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin' away
Yeah just sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin' away
I'm tired of waitin' for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin' 'round the bend
I'm stepping out of this trap, puttin' on my old hat,
Feel like I'm  home again!
These are better days...

Karen Harker, MLS, MPH
Collection Assessment Librarian
University of North Texas Libraries

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