Science Fiction Today – Libraries (The Sunday Re-Blog)

Comparative Geeks

LLast week we lined up Health Care and Immunization, and this week it’s Knowledge and Libraries. A couple of sets of things that go hand-in-hand as we look at the future. And while Holly and I might be outsiders looking in at the world of health care, there’s an inside-track when it comes to libraries: I am a librarian. So I have to try to make this post not about that…

What this post is about is the fact that libraries don’t always appear prominently in Science Fiction – though they feature prominently in Fantasy. Often there are other ways the information is kept or passed on in Science Fiction – the sorts of things Holly talked about yesterday with Knowledge. In  a world where all of human knowledge is at our fingertips… what does the future of libraries look like?

Libraries in Fantasy

“Libraries really are wonderful. They’re…

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A Step in the Right Direction!

As I have been trying to grow my writing presence here, there hasn’t been much talk for a while about one of my other many hats – the library. Well, as of this week, I am now full-time employed in a library! Since getting my Library Science degree last year, I have been working part-time at the local university library, and they have bumped me to full-time.

I’m excited, as this is a step closer to being a full-time librarian. I had been doing some minor professional work as a reference librarian, working the desk for some of the extended hours (evenings, weekends) and some during the day at times as well. Now, doing reference work has been written into my job description! So more and more of good experience, and of the library showing trust and faith in me.

As to my writing, you may well be like “hey David, why didn’t you do more while you were part-time employed?” Well, a lot of that time was taken up by working other jobs – the reference work, and other part-time jobs. Breaking into a career is hard work, and as one interviewer put it, what I have been doing “shows a lot of sacrifice.” I think that going through this whole process has taught me and shown me a lot – and I hope that it shows me most of all that it’s going to be a lot of work and sacrifice to become a writer!

So the math is funny, as I’m not at the most money I’ve ever made, but I am at the highest hourly rate I’ve ever made. Moving upward, and no overtime, so I’ll take it as a plus. I’m happy, and more secure, and that’s all to the good. So thanks for listening to a moment of my personal life, and I hope your life has you in a good place as well!

F – Fine Arts

FWhen I was considering Master’s Degrees, one of them I was strongly considering was a Master of Fine Arts. One of those interesting degrees where you see a number of people who do the work that is associated without having the degree. And there’s a difference, then, between those who have and have not gotten the degree – right? Maybe? Who knows!

Like with just having a blog, just having a degree in Fine Arts will not automatically make you a writer, because it does not automatically make you write. Writing still involves having the time, and more importantly, taking the time, to write.

So am I happy about my decision, to instead get my Master of Science in Library and Information Science? Bit of a mouthful, anyway. But this gives me options. Jobs I am qualified for. And the hope is, with stability and time comes the opportunity to write. Not perfect, just like other thoughts, but a hope. And it’s a nicely related field, as I get to be surrounded by books and help people work with them every day.

Whereas, with a Master of Fine Arts, with a degree just in writing, the thing you have to do is write. You better hope you’re good. You better hope you’re quick. Well connected. Get a good agent. Self publish. Something. Because otherwise, just like me, you’d find yourself doing other work.

But will I write as well as if I had the degree? In some ways, hopefully not. Otherwise, where is the value in the degree? It might take me longer, or more edits. I may not learn all the tricks of the trade in advance, but will have to do so as I go. But that’s something to accept.

How about you? What do you think about a degree in Fine Arts? Good idea? Bad idea? Any personal stories? Let me know in the comments below!

Searching Social Media

So an interesting question came up and I learned something. And maybe you can help.

How do you search social media?

Hashtags were added by users – and later adopted by the companies, and have been a growing thing. From their start on Twitter, you can now see and use them on Google+, Tumblr, Facebook, and other places. And of course, there’s the tags on blogs and other things that are user-generated attempts at keywords and searchability. However, even if we assume that what you are looking for are posts where users are self-defining their content – say, with the upcoming Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend (#eccc) – how do you best search these things?

So with the question came this link, so I can’t say I found it myself: http://guides.library.cornell.edu/socialmedia They don’t necessarily have all the answers, but they did post the important question: Twitter only has the last 10 days searchable! Living in a 140-character world may be bad, but living in a world with a ten-day life-span? That’s really rough. 

 

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Reviewing the Reference Interview

Tonight I start my first evening at the reference desk, and I was brushing up on the Reference Interview and found an old assignment I had done on the subject. It looks like it had been my duty to read everyone’s write-ups and post a collection of our experiences. We had played at “secret shoppers” talking to librarians, seeking their help with a question of our own choosing.

It looks like I had a lot of data to go through! Lots of insights. I am going to share this write-up, figuring it’s helpful insight about one of the more important and constant aspects of any librarian job: reference. I am making a couple of edits, but for the most part, with a bit of intro here, I figure it’s pretty good. This is something originally written by me, and the data is mainly from students in my course with me. If I had kept up my blogging more while getting the degree, this might have ended up posted far sooner! I do have a couple of references, and I will leave those as-is.

It’s also kind of fun to read it and think that it’s definitely in my same “voice,” something that is solidifying more with more and more time spent writing on a constant basis! Read more of this post

New Year’s Malaise

The New Year is supposed to be full of cheer, new possibilities, a new lot in life. I think that’s why, when it doesn’t feel that way for you, it’s even worse – not just that you don’t feel optimistic, but that you don’t feel optimistic, AND you know you’re supposed to.

I’m in a funk, and I feel like talking it out through writing. Writing is my outlet, my dream job, something I take pride in when working other jobs. I haven’t written a lot over here in a while, most of my efforts centered on Comparative Geeks and some fiction world-building. However, I would like to get more over here – and write more fiction – and overall just write more. Three posts a week on Comparative Geeks was just the beginning!

So if you feel like, read on and move through my malaise with me, and join me at the end where I try to find hope and an outlet.

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