All things Winnie

Location: New Castle, Indiana

Thursday, July 13, 2006

MLS or on the job training?

I had a nice surprise visit this morning from one of my professors from library school. My library was hosting a regional FOIL roundtable and she was here to attend that meeting. I was happy to know that she remembered me since we haven’t seen each other since I graduated a little over 3 years ago.

She just stopped by my office to say hello. She mentioned that she was happy for me when she read that I had been placed in my position of Assistant Director straight out of library school.

She asked how it was going and if I was using the things I learned in library school or if it was more on-the-job training. What a loaded question!

Of course, the answer is both. I am a huge proponent of the MLS. I think it is so important for librarians to have that formal training to act as the backbone of our professional knowledge. Having that training allows me to see the larger scope of libraries as invaluable institutions in our communities. We are all about lifelong learning, literacy, service, and place. Many people, particularly non-library users, don’t see us that way. They think all we do is check out books and they wonder why I have to have a Master’s degree to do that.

A lot of what I do has been learned on the job. I didn’t learn how to do a public library budget at IU. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even understand where the public library gets it funds from when I started this job. I didn’t learn how to hire, train and evaluate employees in library school. I didn’t learn how to plan and host a regional library conference which I’m learning on the job right now.

In order to be a successful professional librarian it takes a mix of formal training and the willingness to learn on the job and through continuing education including staying current by reading professional literature and attending conferences and workshops.

So, I proudly display my MLS diploma in my office. And I’m thankful to work for a director who is a great mentor and is a believer in continuing education.

Overall, I’m thankful to God for the journey He’s taken me on to get me to where I am know. Looking back over the past 6 years since I’ve started on my library journey, I see His hand leading every step of the way.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Verses of comfort and encouragement and the desires of my heart

I've been reading in Psalms recently. There have been a few verses that especially stood out to me this time. I know I have read them many times before, but this time they had special meaning for me.

I generally spend my quiet time reading the Bible and praying before I go to bed at night. So, as I was winding down from the day and trying to focus on the Lord, I read this verse:
Psalm 4:8 - I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
What a wonderful reminder it is to know that the Lord is protecting me at all times - even while I'm sleeping and because of His protection, I can sleep peacefully.

Then, the next night I read this verse:
Psalm 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
That is my prayer and my desire that the things I say and think about - the things that are close to my heart would be pleasing to the Lord. He is my Rock and I am so thankful that He is my Redeemer!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Am I just a little girl?

I went to a meeting today of librarians from around the state. My library systems supervisor who is in his early 20s went with me. We sat down and a lady sitting in front of us turned around and said "what are you young people doing here?" That comment really offended me. As if someone my age doesn't belong in a leadership position. She was completely clueless that she had said something inappropriate. So, I just nicely explained to her that I very much belonged in the meeting and that I do indeed have a leadership position in my library.

People usually say that I look much younger than my age. They are often surprised to find out how old I am. But, to automatically assume that because I'm younger than most people that I shouldn't have any responsibility is offensive to me. Age does not necessarily mean that a person is capable of doing their job or being a contributing member to the library profession.

We heard a good speaker from OCLC talk about their recent report on the perceptions of libraries. One interesting comment from his talk was that today often convenience trumps quality [information] and it is the job of libraries to make quality convenient. So, after lunch we were sitting waiting for the next speaker and the same woman turns around and asked me if I understood anything of what he had talked about. I paused and said "well, yes I understood everything he talked about." She made some comment about having taken lots of notes because she didn't know about a lot of the things he spoke about. So, I proceeded to explain quite a few things to her that she didn't understand from his speech. Hmm. Maybe the little girl who's too young to be in this meeting knows something after all.

I really don't like the term Generation X and all the connotations that go with it. That's not me and I don't like to classify people based solely on the year they were born. So, often when I read the NextGen articles in Library Journal, I cringe. I've never had the professional experience of being looked down upon because I'm young. I have always had incredible support from my supervisors who have been librarians much longer than I have. My director now has always been encouraging and supportive of my ideas. In a way, I've always thought the NextGen people just like to whine about their terrible jobs with terrible pay and no respect. But, I suppose there really are librarians out there who think that young librarians should be seen and not heard. Boy, I'm glad I don't run across that kind very often.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I just got back yesterday afternoon from the ILF Annual Conference. As usual, we find time in the evenings to do some fun stuff. Angela and I went to a movie on Wednesday night. As we were waiting for the show to start, they showed the trailer for the Da Vinci Code movie. I'm sure a lot of people will see it - people who just like Tom Hanks or have heard all the hype. A lot of people probably don't know the heresy of it. I didn't when I first read the Da Vinci Code. You know how they always flash words on the screen. They did that with this one. The last screen was dark. Then you see the words "Seek the truth." I thought "yes, seek the truth!" Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Librarians dancing on tables?

Evidently Angela and I shattered the stuffy, bun-wearing librarian stereotype at my library last week. A coworker just stopped by my office to inform me that it is going around the library that we were dancing on the table in the Teen Room on Friday. I had to tell her that it is partially true - we were dancing in the Teen Room - just not on the tables. I'm not sure if people are really saying that we were dancing on the tables, but it obviously is getting around that we were dancing and having fun.

The Friends of the Library generously donated money to purchase 2 DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) dancepads for Angela's teen programs. And, of course we had to test them to be sure they were working properly. We ended up drawing a little bit of a crowd.

Later that afternoon, she sent me a message saying that if I wanted to see something cool I should come up. She had restless teens in the library and had turned it on so they could play. There was this one kid who was incredible. I'm amazed at how quickly their minds can process seeing the arrows and getting their feet in the right place. Needless to say, he put us thirty-something librarians to shame.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Well, I took the Jeopardy test tonight. I tried to take it last night, but evidently the site doesn't like Firefox. So tonight, I used IE and it worked fine. Wow, that was a really hard test. It was 50 questions long and you only had 15 seconds to read each question and type your answer. There were some where I just drew a complete blank even though I thought I should've known the answer. If you did well enough on the online test, then you get called in to take the test in person. I would be beside myself if I actually get called. I have wanted to be on Jeopardy for so long. I still think that the test questions are much harder than the questions on the show. Ah well, at least now I can say I've taken the test.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Grannies get naked

I just saw this article on FOXNews titled Grannies Get Naked for a Good Cause. It is so funny to me that this made national news. It has actually been the topic of more than one discussion in my Sunday school class since we have people there who work in Winchester and the church is located in Randolph county. We actually just talked about it yesterday. We were wondering what exactly are they doing with the money raised from the calendars and who has control of it?