Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In Which I Ramble A Lot

I've been really busy these past few days....you know, cataloging everything. I've been cataloging a lot of German-language material, which you might find laughable once you hear that I don't actually speak German. Not very well, anyway. It's gotten to the point where I sigh in relief when something crosses my desk that is in French. FRENCH. So you know how desperate my situation has become.

Really, though, this is a great exercise in cataloging. It's very hard, but it forces me to understand the book in my hand thoroughly before attempting to do analysis of it. Luckily for these books, I've been cataloging in German for awhile, ever since my first professional library job, in fact. Again, let's recap: I don't speak German except in cases of ordering Turkish kebabs at the Christmas market in Aachen. Since that went well, though, I figure I'm good.

So besides the cataloging, I've been simultaneously working on creating html versions of our cataloging manual, and continuing to sit in on the class that's teaching TEI, and working on that metadata project that at one point ate my entire professional life but has since calmed down a little.

I used to think library work was boring, can you imagine? Funny story: when I started college, "they" wanted me to work in the archives of the college, because I had worked in a state historical archives in high school. What "they" didn't know was that I spent my entire volunteer time alphabetizing request forms by patron name, and shelving microfilm. I actually said to my mother, "I would rather do dishes than work in a library. Libraries are like math--they make my head hurt."

But since I am a conflict-avoider, I went ahead and did what "they" told me to do, which was to work in the archives. And sooner or later I learned that only student workers shelve microfilm, and by my sophomore year I was actually the "senior" worker in the archives, because the archivist moved away. And then I realized that I really liked organizing things. The End.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I think it's kinda scary the amount of people who worked in that particular college's archives or library who went on and became archivists and librarians. They really need to check the water there.

"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.