I discuss my time as a Librarian in Honduras (2002-2003) in the new book Taking your MLIS Abroad: Getting and Succeeding in an International Library Job by Lara Seven Phillips & Katherine G. Holvoet which was just published on November 30, 2016. From what I have read so far, its a great book and gives honest answers (the good, the bad, and the ugly) about working as a librarian abroad.
Lara and Kate had a call/announcement looking for librarians who had experience working out of the country and then sent those individuals a questionnaire with 15 questions. Later other questions were asked via email. I did not, as many people know, have a good experience working in Honduras and I don’t mind sharing. All the answers that I gave for the book where things that I have told family, friends, and co-workers over the years.
This was my favorite sentence that I submitted (and its something that I always say) and sadly it did not make the editing cut is: “not every adventure is a good adventure.” This is so true. I had many trips before Honduras around Central and South American and had wonderful adventures, but this was the fist time I was in a situation that was truly horrible. I hated it and I wanted to leave every day I was there. But I stayed one year and left at the end of the school year.
The whole passage I submitted was: “I came to realize that not every adventure is a good adventure. Some adventures are terrible and they suck and you will end up hating them and that’s totally ok. It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”
What ended up in the book: “It’s ok to have a bad adventure, learn from it, and leave. Even if you have a contact, don’t be a martyr, as no one cares. Get out of it what you want to and then leave.”
Taking your MLIS Abroad is a fun book and I am quoted a few (I think I counted 13) times, so buy the book or get it from your local library.
I had dinner at Nevanka and Lal’s house tonight. Nevanka cooked Sri Lankan and everything was wonderful, but a bit spicy. Well spicy for this Minnesotan palate (I had emailed her earlier in the week reminding her that spicy will kill me and she did not cook anything spicy!). It was also wonderful to see Polly and Susan and catch up. Its always a great time when you get a bunch of librarians together!
I tried the new Virtual Reality lab in the library today. It was amazing. I figured it would be like some hokey video game, but it was so lifelike. In one game/simulation or whatever they are called, I was in the mountains and looking over the edge of a cliff and was told to walk off. Even though I knew I was in the library and that there was ground below me, I just could not walk over the cliff. Apparently very few people walk over the cliff. The human sense of self preservation is apparently very strong, even in the VR world. Besides the mountains with the cliff, I was also able to see the rover on Mars, visit an English country church, walk the mountains of Nepal, and visit a few other ones.
Today was the EQS (Enhancing Quality Staff) Symposium for the U’s library staff. Yes, the let us out of the libraries once a year. They have all sorts of different talks and activities you can attend and I always signup for fun activities vs. dull ones that relate to work. So this year I attended: “How to Get the Book Published” by Phuoc Tran who autographed her book for me! Next up was “What makes an award winning picture book? What makes a book a Caldecott Winner?” by Lisa Von Drasek, which was hysterically funny. Then after lunch (the same exact foods they fed us last year) I attended “Automotive Wellness Training” by Dan Nelson. Next I was suppose to attend “Bees, Bugs and Other Beasts: Gems of the Natural Resources Library’s Rare Book Collection,” but while waiting to go and visit the library learned that it was about a 15 minute walk, uphill, and there were stairs and that would have been really, really bad as sitting all day on bad chairs has messed up my back, so it was off to a talk on “A Primer for Law Enforcement and Government Officials” which was interesting and scary and the last talk of the day was on “Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century” by Tim Johnson & Cheryll Fong, which was really good, as the UMN has one of the largest Sherlock Holmes collections in the world. So a fun day.
I learned more about library authority files today. They are a cataloging tool that organizes bibliographic information by using a single, distinct spelling of a name or a numeric identifier for each topic. Basically they try to standardize people, places, and things.
So if you have written a book that was purchased by a library, there is probably a authority file out there and you can find them here: https://viaf.org https://www.loc.gov and http://copac.jisc.ac.uk/search/form/main
Here are the authority files associated with The Machiavellian Librarian and me.
Virtual International Authority File
The little flags in the VIAF files stand for:
Sudoc, France (French Library Consortium)
Library of Congress, USA
National and Univeristy Library in Zagreb
German National Library
ISNI (Internaitonal STandard Number Identifier)
National Library of Israel
Library of Congress
And COPAC, which is a British online library catalogues of major UK research libraries
Quick look…I am mentioned in the University of Minnesota Libraries Monday Memo! And I did not even put it in there. Actually I had no idea I would be mentioned, so its kind of cool.
So a while back one of my job duties was EthicShare Content Coordinator, where I “managed website content delivery, managed user assistance, and assisted with marketing development. Supervised information on EthicShare via Twitter and Facebook pages” (taken from Melissa Aho CV 2016).
Today we celebrated Rachel’s last day in the library. So off we went to the local restaurant to celebrate. Lots of yummy appetizers and beverages were consumed. Good luck with your new job Rachel and have fun in the land of the Hobbits!