libraries & the internets, part 2

This is more of a musing on my own professional development, and this post is liable to be much more disjointed than the last one, because I’m not entirely sure what to make of it all myself. I just have a vague sense that there are dots to be connected.

$70 stopped me from applying to library school at UW in 1996. That was the cost of the GRE, which I was a bit anxious about anyway, and I didn’t have a lot of cash to spare then. At the same time, I had a full-time job; it didn’t pay much, but it was steady and I enjoyed it most of the time.

The thing that I often say, tongue-in-cheek, is that “then the internet happened.” It was a bit slower than that, but that’s basically how my career went between college graduation in ’96 and my first job that included web design in ’99. I was doing a bit of this-that-‘n-the-other non-profit/office-lady stuff, and C’s mom bought him a computer, and my cube neighbor (and buddy) was the web guy…and it just kinda gelled. So, no library school.

And yet I seem to find myself in corners of the internet in which there are librarians. I’ve been trying to remember how I first found Jessamyn West‘s various blogs…maybe MetaFilter? And she was writing about libraries and it was still interesting, even though I didn’t work in a library and didn’t plan to. Then there’s Dorothea, who I wrote about for Ada Lovelace Day — in following her blog into library school, I ran into other interesting librarian-populated corners of the internet.

Also, when I started reading blogs, I was working at the college, so I had more of an interest in all things academic. But in the same way that my interest in nonprofits never went away after I left United Way, my interest in the academic environment has persisted.

There’s a bigger point about personal history that’s just now poking up out of the back of my head, something about K’s mix tapes, R’s weird movies, the slang of C’s friends, absorbing the Texas accents of G & H back in the day — but it hasn’t yet composed itself into a coherent sentence. The formation of personality or something. :\

In any case, in several places I find myself being the fangirl of the librarians — at Friday’s “book group” I was the lone librarian at my table for most of the evening — for whatever strange reason I joined the Library Society of the World room on FriendFeed. Etc. (Actually, the LSW people are awesome.)

I don’t know if I’d’ve ever had even this loose connection to the profession, or the minor understanding that I’ve gleaned of current issues, if it weren’t for being able to follow along (mostly) quietly via the internet. And I’m glad for it.