I put it on my newsletter and up on TILT (my online magazine? Whatever that is) but I left my job at Open Library this week. This is bittersweet since I left because I could not get the hours to pay me for all the work that needs doing there. I was paid for ten, looking for (at least) twenty.
Open Library is a bit of a singular beast. They lend ebooks worldwide for free. It’s a grand experiment that’s so far been going pretty well. I like using it because I can search for keywords inside of millions of books and because their reading interface is one of the best there is. I use their public domain books to find illustrations for the talks I give (either on the site or from these five million images on Flickr) and shared out some of my favorites on their Twitter account. So now that I’m not doing that, I can share out some stuff I find here…
Like a neat-looking bookplate, and then doing some research to figure out whose it was. And learning a thing as a result. Here is a bookplate that pointed me towards knowing more about Robert Lowie an early social anthropologist. The book it’s in is actually a book about old books and so has some great illustrations.
I’ll also miss learning more about librarianship as it was once practiced. This Union class-list of the libraries of the Library and Library Assistants’ Associations looks fascinating and yet I’m not even totally sure what it is. Its companion book, the Bibliography of library economy is 400 pages of Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature type of things only for libraries. I’d almost be reading it for fun but I couldn’t help picking out a few keywords and browsing.
As library topics remain prevalent in the news, everyone likes to thing that being good at Google makes them a proto-librarian. But the longstanding traditions of this institution are more than just finding things. It’s so much more about linking people to the information they want. Every book its reader. Every reader their book. I’m 100% down with digital librarianship being an efficient and effective way to do this, I just need to orient myself to doing that work in more of an actual digital library.
Happy New Year to everyone. I actually took the holiday season pretty well off this year, for possibly the first time in the last decade. I still did a little work for MetaFilter and kept up with email, but my posting frequency went down to almost nothing which is okay by me. So, I hope you had a good holidaytime.
I have a few personal resolution-type things over on jessamyn.com but I’ve also got a few work-related ones. Last year all my assiduous recordkeeping was interrupted by a hard drive crash, so I was doing great on keeping receipts and tracking invoices until about August and it fell apart. This year I’ve already got a weekly backup system in place so I’m anticipating no similar three month setbacks. A non-librarian mailing list that I’m on has been talking about 2009 plans and one of the main bits of wisdom that came down the wire in the last month was this
Resolution: Don’t be good at things you hate.
For me, what this means is just because I’m good at solving technical problems, it doesn’t mean I need to always do it as a job (or hobby), or do it for people who aren’t decent about it (whether that means decently polite, decently paying or decently convenient). I did a good job last year limiting the amount I was teaching — I love teaching but working within the chaos of a school environment was difficult and frustrating for me — and I think that really added to the ease of the other things I did in my life that I loved.
So, for 2009 I have some work related goals
– Automate the Tunbridge Library
– Maintain the VLA site to a degree that people are happy with
– Give interesting well thought out talks to interested people in neat places
– Keep teaching classes and drop-in time at a level that’s not exhausting
– Be a better “social” and real life networker and library friend to people new in the profession
– Keep writing for Computers in Libraries and try to get them to call what I write a column and not a department.
– Maintain this blog and launch fun new project blog (details forthcoming, sorry to be a cryptic jerk)
– Share as much of my personal work content as possible (see next post)
– Make a little movie about my many jobs
What are you thinking about doing?
How did I miss this manifesto in the past?
10. We must recruit those who have no investment in things as they are, the future will be for those who will create change without loving it; those who perceive the joy of creation behind every destruction.