This post leaves me dissatisfied with pie chart makers and is as much a note to myself as anyone else who will read it. Last year was a weird year for work. I picked up a bunch of odd consulting projects, I left my job at Open Library, and I started teaching graduate school on an adjunct basis (and they’re having me back this year!). That big pink chunk is the part I’ll be looking to replace this year. I’m looking for a part-time, mostly telecommute job doing outreach/community work with a library or library organization, or possibly a regular writing job since I liked my last one. I’m interested in doing more teaching. I have a good solid resume which I’ll be sprucing up.
I’ll continue to write for Computers in Libraries, staff drop-in time in Vermont, do public speaking and consulting, and pick up the odd consulting gig. I’ll write my labor of love newsletter which is one of the best things I started doing last year. It’s a little weird to not have One Big Job, but it’s preferable to having One Bad Job. Wish me luck and if I can help you get where you are going on some random way, do let me know.
I did a similar post about this on my personal blog in 2010. For someone who says “I am a librarian” I think it’s useful sometimes to discuss how and when I get paid and by whom. I know people are curious, they often ask. The work news in my life is that I’m upping my hours at the Internet Archive so that I’m now officially half-time. I am pleased about this and I hope it lasts. Since my father died I’ve had a buffer of cash available to me (and my sister) as a back-up which means I’ve been able to do a few “riskier” things that weren’t necessarily lucrative but were otherwise fulfilling. Working at the Archive and Open Library was one of these. Doing some consulting was another. My income covers my bills which, through sheer luck, doesn’t include student loans and, through some attention on my end, doesn’t include any consumer debt. Here’s a chart.
The interesting thing to me is how many governments I got paid by. The W-2 money is basically three governments (two different checks from my town, for working at the school and the library, one from my state for teaching at the tech college) plus the Internet Archive. The 1099 money is mostly consulting and talks. I got paid by two state library associations, one state library (twice) and one city library system. The consulting was for two town libraries, a high school and one private company. My writing gigs included royalties for both of my books ($128 total), one lucrative article for the Mozilla Foundation, my column for Computers in Libraries and a lot of crazy start-up money from Medium who laid off nearly their entire slate of writers for The Message and replaced us with younger cheaper writers. It was good while it lasted. I made some random money AirBnBing out my house and doing one Justice of the Peace gig.
All in all it was a mid five-figures year that did slightly better than paying for itself which is my nominal goal.
I didn’t work in a library today, so I didn’t think I’d be good for the Day in the Life project that many librarians were doing today. However, I did enjoy reading people’s tweets and now I’m going back and checking out some blog posts and Flickr photos.
People have been sending me some great links which I’ve been consolidating for a “best of inbox” post here today. This is a rainy Vermont weekend coming up which means indoor projects and I’m waiting for the kitchen floor to dry.
The above image is from the Royalton Library up the road from here. I went there on Wednesday after recording the MetaFilter podcast. The librarian had a patron who had gotten a “free” computer (actually two) and needed help setting it up. I went over with Ubuntu CDs and a cheery frame of mind. That outlook soured somewhat when I learned more about the computers. They were given to this family by the VT Department of Children and Families. They were, I think, donated to them. Neither one worked right — one had no operating system (and a possibly broken CD drive) and one froze intermittently. DCF had given these computers to this family, this family already needing a bit of help, as a way of helping them out. All they wound up doing was giving them a project, a somewhat futile project. The mom and daughter were good natured about it, but I felt totally on the spot — if I fixed the computers, the family would have a computer. I took them home to mess with and I’ll probably just replace them with a working computer from my attic. What a pickle.
On to the links I’ve assembled.
That’s the short list for now, I have a few that are begging for more explication which I’ll be getting to shortly.
I’ve been fascinated to see how the jobs for librarians have been changing, just over the time I’ve been a librarian. Check out this job for a Head Librarian in a facility that they are predicting will be “bookless” before too long. Information architect for the Veterans Health Administration (posted at MetaFilter jobs, whee!) doesn’t look too librarian-ish, but then you look and see that it’s all about metadata, 508 compliance (accessibility) and controlled vocabularies. It’s been a while since I was actively looking for work, but even scanning LISJobs now is a different experience than it was when the site started. Interesting times to be us.