LIFE Highlights since I left Portland, OR in May

My GOODNESS, it has been a minute since I wrote a blog post.  Well, that’s not entirely true–I’ve just been blogging in other places:

Over on the Smithsonian Institution Libraries blog I have a post and short video showcasing X-Ray Magazine and another post in which I interview book artist Robin Price about her work Slurring at Bottom: A Printer’s Book of Errors.

I also contributed a guest post to the Archives of American Art blog about my experience researching the John Held Jr. Papers on Mail Art during my time at SIL.

Obviously, one of the highlights of the summer was working at the Smithsonian, meeting inspiring and aspiring art librarians, getting to know DC–I truly loved that city while I was there and I would be ecstatic to return to work there someday in the not so distant future.

One of the few times that I have felt patriotic in my life was on the 4th of July in 2012: I was on a rooftop in DC with people I did not know very well and we shared a 360 degree view of fireworks over the city.  I was proud of the fact that the Smithsonian and other educational institutions exist and that information professionals exist and, despite all of the reasons to get down about access and information literacy issues, we’re working on it!  That’s something.  And, combined with fireworks it is something that I am reminded is worth celebrating.

Going to Pride in NYC was another experience that I am thankful I had this summer.  Watching the parade go by on the street where Stonewall and the fight for equality all started gave me a whole new perspective on the events that surround Pride.  My community felt strong and was fully visible and I felt love and kindness and fierceness…  It reminded me that I share a collective history with every GLBTQ person, a history that is often mis- and underrepresented, and the best thing I can do for my community is lend my library skills to try to remedy that.

Another highlight:

Crater Lake camping with friends to CELEBRATE OUR GRADUATION from Library School!

Upon my return from my last grad school class, I set to work on job-hunting.  This is no easy task, folks.  I applied to jobs all over the country, some dream jobs and some “Well, I’m remotely qualified for this; I might as well” jobs.  I ended up getting a part-time job at the University of Chicago Mansueto Library!  Which is a dreamy library.  This job requires that I reason with robots, supervise wonderfully bright student workers, get distracted by cloud formations overhead, and work with a lot of new technology.  I am also working on a side project (not in job description) because I’m taking an online design class: We need a way for patrons to physically browse the video game collection we hold in our library!  Thinking about this access issue and how to solve it has been really motivating and I think I fell in love with academic libraries a little bit more through this process.

Finally, NaNoWriMo is happening right now and so I am participating for the first time ever!  National Novel Writing Month is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but could never find the time or the right story to tell.  I’m up to 8,000 words right now (only 42,000 more to go…….).

Keeping myself engaged in creative activities as well as libraries has been my saving grace through this whole transition period and I am thankful. For all of it.

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