21st Century Librarian

Musings of a Next Generation Librarian

4 and 6 months March 19, 2014

Filed under: Mi Vida — Tamara Rhodes @ 12:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It has been 4 months since my last post and a little over 6 months since I’ve been doing my job.  6 months because I don’t count my first month of August where I was getting acquainted with the people and things, then in Singapore for 2 1/2 weeks, then settling back in the week upon my return. 


Today I sat down and did a personal 6 month review of myself and what I’ve done in my position.  This isn’t required or anything, but there are so many avenues that I can go down with the job, I don’t want to get sidetracked.  I now have a list of 10 things that I have done for the DE component of our library.  And I feel as though I have failed.  Someone posted somewhere a few months ago that “you don’t have to do all the things”.  I really wish I could remember where I saw that or who posted that!  I keep trying to remember that because I think I may be ahead of the game, but how do I know??  Is there some sort of scale to measure what you’ve done as a new librarian and if it’s enough?  For instance, I have yet to officially be involved in NCLA or ALA.  I created this statewide advocacy campaign for a committee of NCLA, but I’m not officially part of that committee.  Also, I have been trying to get on some of the DE-based groups and sections of ALA, but haven’t heard anything back yet.  So #1 on my “Do More!” list is to get more involved in an official capacity.  I also just volunteered to be on the online learning committee for my university, so that’s something, but until it has been decided and made official, it’s nothing.  I don’t know why I am so hard on myself. I just posted this on the board in my office today:



Because I need to be reminded every second of every day.  I also put this quote up:





Also, something I need to constantly be reminded of.  I am just surrounded by fantastic, accomplished people that I want to be as fantastic and accomplished as they are.  In my case, I have to remember though that I’ve only been in librarianship for 3 years in April.  I started as a Page at Cameron Village Public Library in 2011.  So, some things to remember with my career, and with life in general,…


  • You don’t have to do all the things.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • You are only human.  You don’t have to have it together every moment of every day. 


  • Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.





Group Work Means Nothing on the Streets November 6, 2013

Filed under: Mi Vida — Tamara Rhodes @ 1:46 pm

“Streets” meaning my current professional world and “my current professional world” being an academic environment.


I thought about it today and I’ve been doing my job for 2 months.  (I’ve been in my position for 3, but the first 2 weeks were meeting everyone and getting tours and then I was gone for 2 1/2 weeks in Singapore)  I knew that once I started an “adult” job, I wanted this blog to shift towards talking about the dynamic of it all; what I like/don’t like, and what I didn’t expect/what has prepared me and proved useful.  Well here’s my first post in that vein:

Group Work Means Nothing on the Streets


My understanding, and what I touted during my interviews, was:


This is incorrect.  I get it’s intent and maybe this definition works in some professional positions, but as a newly minted academic librarian, I was not prepared.  Now, one could state that maybe I now have an understanding of the larger framework of it because I participated in group work in library school, but it is not the same.


I am the Online Learning Librarian, which means that I deal with library services at a distance.  Because distance education spans across all disciplines and areas of the library, I work with others much of the time.

The reason why this type of group work differs is the    Publication1.

To say that this is the most fearful phrase to me professionally right now would be an understatement.  (I have nightmares about stepping on someone’s toes or talking to the wrong person about the wrong thing.)  In class, you are working with your classmates, so if someone needs a little nudge to start making some progress on your project, that’s perfectly plausible.  You all got into the class at the same time, went into the project with the same knowledge of what was required, the same timeline, and the same end goal.  Period.  In the professional scenario, in my scenario, I am the newbie.  I have no right to ask someone to do such and such part of my project by this time, so that I can continue to work on it.  I just don’t.  They probably had a stack of work to do before I came along and that probably takes precedence.

This aspect makes me long for working alone.  Not because I don’t like working with others.  I am one who enjoys the satisfaction of starting something and finishing it.  Enjoy the journey…..blah blah blah, [insert motivational life quote here].  I like a finished product, so the wait is not fun.  “The wait” is the time after you’ve handed over the project to another party for them to complete their portion and before you receive the finished product back from them, so you can continue your work.  I have between 2-4 ideas/projects that I am working on and they are now in the waiting period.  It’s excruciating!  It also makes me feel as though I am being unproductive, hence why I’ve been so hard on myself lately.



With a deadline set by someone higher on the food chain (a professor), the gratifying “finishing” comes quickly and when I expect it to…on the due date.  Maybe that’s another factor as well, the not knowing when things will be done.  I also enjoy schedules.

Anyway, all this to say, if you are ambitious and a persistent worker, be ready.  Tips for aiding in the process?:
1. Keep two “to-do” lists; one for long-term collaborative projects and one for quick wins?
2. Just deal with it
3. Keep creating new things to work on until they too end up into the lap of someone else?  No!!  I’ve confided in a few others on this matter and they dropped a knowledge bomb on me.

Knowledge bomb

For now, I’m just trying to manage it best I can.  I want to be accommodating of others, because that’s what the situation calls for, so I need to figure out the best way to handle this. What works best for me?  That’s another big thing.  It helps to know yourself and your work preferences and styles.  That way, instead of being brutish and going around trying to change everyone else, you can figure out what you can handle to change and edit accordingly.  This is the best method for everyone.


banishing your impostor: metacognition and myths of self. October 7, 2013

Filed under: Mi Vida — Tamara Rhodes @ 2:25 pm

Tamara Rhodes:

Gave me peace of mind, so thought I’d share.

Originally posted on info-mational:

Lately I’ve noticed an alarming number of people in my personal/work orbit discussing the severity of their respective cases of impostor syndrome. I’ve struggled with this well-documented phenomenon for as long as I can remember, due as much to deference-oriented gender socialization as to the wiring I received while reared in the Texan cult of independence that holds self-sufficiency preeminent above all things. This conditioning was only augmented by the attainment-obsessed environment of higher education in which I have operated as a worker, making career-as-proving-ground the only formal professional metaphor I know.

My experience is not unique, and is far from exclusive to academic careers. Instead, it is the tip of a polluted cultural iceberg. Impostor syndrome is one of many manifestations of the submerged self-doubt that plagues (the vast majority of) people in hyperindustrialized societies, particularly the US. The experience varies among subgroups and individuals, but IMO our…

View original 2,183 more words


Singapore Through Photographs, Part 5 September 17, 2013

Filed under: Mi Vida — Tamara Rhodes @ 8:30 am

Singapore Through Photographs, Part 4

Filed under: Mi Vida — Tamara Rhodes @ 8:05 am

Singapore Through Photographs, Part 4

Filed under: Librarianship — Tamara Rhodes @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

My hostel, the Sleepy Kiwi, is in the Arab ethnic area and I had some extra time this morning to meander around.  Here are the photos I took!

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Singapore Through Photographs, Part 3 September 16, 2013

Filed under: Librarianship — Tamara Rhodes @ 10:19 pm
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