Picture of Margot Robie as a librarian from SNL

I love working at a public library

It’s National Library Week and I’m excited to be celebrating as a library professional, not just a student or a fan. I’ve been working at a public library for about five months now and I love it!

I originally went into my MLIS thinking I would end up in archives. That was my goal all along. I still love archives and special collections, but job hunting has shown me those jobs are few and far between. I moved back to Chicago thinking the market would be more robust. There are tons of universities, museums, and private institutions here that have archives. But every job I applied for didn’t work out. I had a couple of interviews (which made me feel great!) but many of them I never heard back from. Or I heard back from them months later saying I didn’t get it. It was frustrating to see that my career goals were halted by the application process, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.

I diversified and started applying for public library jobs. I loved the limited coursework I took about public libraries – specifically readers advisory. And there were so many places in the area looking for part time librarians. I guess people need librarians more than institutions need archivists? I’m happy that I ended up doing this though, as it eventually lead me to my current job.

I’m an avid reader and reviewer so recommending new fiction to people professionally seemed like a dream. And now I get to do it every day! I wouldn’t say my dreams of being an archivist are gone. I would still love to be one in some capacity. But I have realized that working with the public every day is amazing and so much more up my alley. There are always things to do and I’m lucky to work at a place that gives me the freedom to explore programming that aligns with my interests. It’s busy, never-ending work but I’ve found I thrive on it. It’s funny to think that only five years ago I was in a job that I didn’t like, where the best part of my day was walking to the library to pick up some books.

So happy National Library Week from this humble new librarian!

New achievement unlocked: MLIS!

Well it’s done. I got my MLIS. I finished my coursework back in August, but my actual diploma arrived last week.

It’s been a weird ride. These past two years getting my degree have been tough. I moved my life from Chicago to Milwaukee and studied full time. I hadn’t been in school since I was 22, and adjusting to homework life was rough. But two years later, I turned in my last assignment and was done with homework forever. It felt weird. I didn’t feel excited or happy that graduate school was over. I felt nervous and relieved. It was over, and I was back in the real world – back to job hunting and waiting for the official word from school that I was done. It’s all been very sobering.

Until I got my diploma. Holding that dumb piece of paper made me feel ecstatic! I was done, and ready to start a new adventure. Job hunting is not the most exciting, or even uplifting, thing in the world. But each application I submit is a new possibility, a fresh start for my new career.

I’m happy to have my MLIS. I’m happy to be back in Chicago and bring what I learned back to my home. Next goal – to get a job!

The Bodice Stitcher

I’ve been busy all summer working on my Masters project for my MLIS! I’m building a guide to the romance genre for archivists, librarians, book professionals – really anyone who is interested in romance novels. It’s been a lot of fun writing content for the site, and I’ve been learning so much through the books I’ve been using for research.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a link to the website: The Bodice Stitcher

I plan on continuing the site after my MLIS is complete, so keep an eye out for new content!

Photos are back from C2E2

I can’t believe my favorite con went by so quickly! This year was such a blast – not only did I get to attend some terrific library panels, I also debuted two new cosplays. Saturday I was Varric Tethras from the Dragon Age video game universe, and Sunday I was Amora the Enchantress from the Marvel universe. I’ve posted a ton of pictures from the con over on my cosplay page – ReadyAmyFir3 Cosplay – but here are two of my favorite photos from the weekend.

2016 Reading Goal

Last year I read 58 books – eight over my 2015 goal. Library school, along with book reviewing, really helped me accomplish my reading total for the year. This year I’m trying for 65 books. To make it more interesting, I’m also using Book Riot’s Reading Spreadsheet to track what types of books I read. After reading their article on how one of their staff writers used the spreadsheet to analyze their reading habits, I’m interested to see what kind of books I read. Do I stick to my interests (SF and Fantasy) or read everything? Are most of the books I read by men or women? As a librarian-in-training I want to strive to read a diverse selection of books, but I also realize that reading everything out there is unrealistic. The spreadsheet could help identify my “weaker” areas.

I also plan on posting what I’ve read during the month on here. I don’t usually blog about my personal reading, using Goodreads as my sounding board instead. I think blogging about the books I’ve read will help me have better insight into what I’m reading as well as be a fun way to connect with the literature on a different level. I don’t suspect these to be typical book reviews with plot summaries and critique, so we’ll see how these evolve.

So here’s to 2016 – time to start reading!

Release party for How to Magic

12115761_787737286822_7649883492894871670_nEarlier this year, I wrote a short comic for the all-female comic book anthology series Ladies Night: How to Magic. I’m really excited that the book is being released this month! It couldn’t have happened without the great editors of Ladies Night as well as all the supporters we had on Indiegogo. The launch party for the book will be on October 16th. If you’re in the Chicago area, you should definitely check it out!

If you want more information about the Ladies Night Anthology series and How to Magic, you can check out their website here.