The library is buzzing with life once more and I’m getting to see it for the first time. As promised students have spilled onto every floor. It’s impressive to see. The most action my undergrad library got was during exam times, but it also wasn’t nearly as inviting as Cooper Library. Thankfully libraries are changing their very old ways and for a building that was built in 1966, the library is thriving. I am finally preparing to start my rotations. August was filled with tours, introductions, and me wrapping my head around this residency as well as what I want to get out of this experience. I've settled into my cubicle (plants and all) and am ready to go.
In anticipation of this week, I met with the Library Resident Committee and the different divisions. There are four divisions that I’ll be doing rotations in for the next several months. This meeting was an opportunity for me to meet with the different division heads before my rotations began. It was a tad underwhelming because most of the divisions I had information on and had met with prior to this. I definitely feel this should’ve been done during my first week or closer to the start of my time here. The semester is underway but I feel as if I’m just getting cranked in. I can already tell which two divisions will be my favorite and honestly which department I fit best in. I had ideas of what I wanted to do in academic libraries before I got here and now that I’m here I am noticing just how much my instincts were right.
Since the beginning of time, I've known that special subjects and collections would be my areas of expertise. Something in the fray and not isolated. I’m an extrovert. The little Mermaid sang, 🎶I want to be where the people are 🎶 and I knew when I toured during my interview that I too wanted to be in the hub. One thing no one tells you going into libraries is that most folks are introverts, especially librarians. Though we're less commonplace, extroverts in libraries do exist. One thing that has surprised me about academia so far is that everyone asks, “What’s your specialty?” In public libraries folks mostly care about your department and maybe your title. While academia is separated by whether you're staff or faculty. This residency is a faculty position so the next breakdown is whether you're temporary, entry, assistant, or tenure faculty. When it comes to specialties I have been delighted to discover most folks have two or more areas of specialty. I fit right into this world, a lot smoother than I thought I would. Juggling the plates of my interest with the best of them.
That’s why we’re here. To explore our interest. We’ll see if these rotations open me up to avenues I haven’t considered yet. I did get a thing or two out of the presentations by one department that I hadn’t really heard from yet Overall, this week has definitely felt like preparation. We are ready for lift off!
Highlights of the Week:
-Hung out with a Liasion Librarian to table a Diversity Event
-Went to a workshop on Libraries in the Age of AI & Community Driven Archives
I'm Sahara (Sista SOLS) a information professional that has working in public & academic library spaces. Currently, I am a library resident at Clemson University. Here you'll find my residency experience, thoughts on articles, research findings, and story files from what I hope is a fresh perspective.