Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"What I Wasn't Taught in Library School"

Here's a good wish-we-had-learned blog.

I clicked over there because of the book repair story. Since I went to library school wanting to be an archivist or museum librarian, I took a proper Conservation class. I recall disagreeing with my classmate and pal who worked in a NoVa public library. She'd try to explain to the instructor that of course it makes sense for a public library to slap some everyday tape on books and magazines. And I thought, But no! Even your copy of Green Eggs and Ham deserves treatment with archival supplies: it will last longer and therefore save money! It took only a few weeks' real-life experience to see that, really, it makes no sense to spend that kind of time and money on a disposable collection. Make a repair that will suffice. We're not collecting for All Times, here. Let kids chew on that Dr. Seuss for a few years, then buy a fresh one. By the time the hinge tears on that Grisham, it's probably not circulating enough to bother with.

Now, back when I was in the museum bizz, that's when I learned about another poster's point: wear machine washables! Hmm, and then there's the plumbing one. Now, I haven't learned that trick, but working at summer camp afforded me lots of opportunities to clean up icky messes, including taking a plunger to the toilets at the dining hall.

If I often draw on skills from beyond library school, is there something I wish I had learned during that fun-filled year? Resume coaching? How to say "no" to resume help and school paper proof-reading?? I'll have to think on this one.

3 comments:

cnb said...

I wish I had learned at least a little something about school libraries. Might have helped me just a tad... Can't really do much with the "Preservation", "Archives" and "Special Collections" classes.

Lisa said...

You know how many folks recommend "immersion" for learning a new language? It's been like that. Why take a YA lit class when I can live it! I crammed in some reading lists while talking to real, live YAs in the library!

"Management" turned out to be pretty useful. . . .

cnb said...

"How to talk about "Twilight" without getting seriously annoyed", might have been a helpful seminar...

Truthfully, I think "Collection Development" would have been more helpful if I had ended up in a public library.