Some things you should know about me

I'm a librarian Not anymore...

What image does that conjure up? A quiet wallflower, surrounded by dusty books, wearing half-glasses on a beaded chain, hair up in a bun?

Clearly, you don't know much about librarians

Being a librarian isn't about working with books. It's about working with people, and all the questions, challenges, problems, & personalities they have.

I've worked in a few different libraries, but my job has always been the same. I answer questions at the reference desk, and over the phone, and in emails. I teach workshops to people wanting to learn how our online tools work, and conduct orientations for incoming students.

I ask how I can help you & when you leave, I tell you to get in touch with me when you have more questions. Because you will have more questions.

I'm an aspiring geek

I'm also the library web developer, the electronic resource wrangler, the digital jack of all trades. I'm the one who does the interface design for our online apps. I'm the go-to person when something goes haywire with our online resources. I'm the one who figures out what went wrong, and how it's going to be fixed.

I can walk you through the search process over the phone, I can diagnose a problem based on your description, and I can translate it into geek-speak so the problem can be fixed. I'm bilingual, you see.

I'm a problem solver. It's something I've always been good at, and that helped me learn a little about web development. Since my skills were self-taught, I had sloppy, sloppy habits.

I enrolled in the Information Architecture program at IIT in 2008. I'm a lot smarter than I was before. My tech skills have improved in many, many ways. I've also discovered that unlearning bad habits is harder than learning things right.

I'm good at stuff

I like to break things. Or rather, I like to take things apart to see how they work, and then put them back together. What happens when I change this bit of code? What happens when I change this command? It's how I learn to troubleshoot. I'm a good diagnostician because I know what variables do what.

I'm good at talking to people. You have to be if you're a librarian. I know how to find out what people are really asking for. I know how to give them an answer in the vernacular they understand. I know how to explain things.

And I get asked for directions more than anyone I know. I've decided that this means that I look like I know where I'm going (I do), and I look like I'll tell you the truth (I will).

I'm not so good at stuff

Blank slates frustrate me. My creativity is inspired by problem solving. Give me something to fix, something that's broken, and I'm a happy lady.

I'm more of a concrete thinker than a conceptual one. When the conceptual thinker is musing about forests, I'm not only thinking about trees, I'm thinking about leaves, and roots, and moss, and deer, and fungi, and owls, and rainfall, and all the many pieces you need to make your forest work.

Because it's not just about trees. I understand how the whole ecosystem fits together. It's a metaphor for my problem solving skills

I'm a skeptic. I'm sure you have great ideas, but you'll need to convince me. I will give you my honest, straightforward opinion. I am incapable of flattery. I'm highly practical, although I refuse to wear sensible shoes.