A little less than a year ago (I think… I don’t really remember) Apple recalled their generation 5 iPod nanos and I just happened to have one. The nano I had was refurbished and given to me as a gift and I loved it. I almost ignored the recall but finally sent it in when I realized is was supposedly a fire hazard. In return I got a shinny new gen 6 nano. Now this thing I LOVED. It took some time getting use to it but it is great for running and I soon couldn’t imagine not having it. It is small and clips on to any article of clothing, and it has the Nike fitness app that tells me my running speed and keeps track of all my runs. About the time that I decided I couldn’t live without it is when the power button stopped working. Of course this was also just after the warranty ran out. I couldn’t be too upset since it basically was a free upgrade of an iPod I had for a couple years, but I was not about to just throw it away and buy a new one. Instead I threw it in a drawer and told myself I would fix it… later.
Later finally happened today. I was sure I knew what the problem was. I had done lots of research and basically everyone said it was a shim that fell off. I found a forum which led to a blog and I felt confident that mine had the same problem. Now, I don’t usually take electronics apart. I am good with the front end of technology – give me a new piece of software or a new computer and I’ll figure it out. I am not so good with the insides. I had never really taken anything like this apart before. Sure, I had replaced the RAM or hard drive of a computer, but that is as far as I got. I think that is why “later” took six months to finally happen. I finally figured I had nothing to loose. I couldn’t use the iPod as it was so if I broke it, o well.
I use the directions in the forum and some youtube videos to take it apart and finally got to the part where I was expecting the shim to be off center. Except it was perfectly centered. After more research I finally figured out that there is a little black “dimple” that should be right on the button. Mine was nowhere to be found. Well crap. I have no idea what this little black thing is really called to try to buy one, didn’t know if I could make one, and even if I did fine it I had no idea how to adhere it. I seriously debated taking it off of one of the volume buttons thinking I would rather be able to turn it on than adjust the volume. Then I remembered. A couple years ago I spilled soup on my iPod touch. Well, in my defense, the soup spilled in by bag (faulty lid!) that just happened to also have the iPod. Either way – it was fried. Being resistant to just throwing out electronics I put it in a baggy and stuffed it someplace. Well, did you know that if you take a touch apart it has ONE button that conveniently uses the same technology? I tore it out, stole a piece of adhesive that was holding the battery in the nano and stuck it on. It works!
Anyways, I thought this tied in nicely with my last post about not realizing I had the “required qualifications” of many job postings. I guess both these posts are saying that sometimes you don’t realize what you can do, and what skills you have, until you do it.
Ahhh that moment when you are looking at a job posting and thinking “Great, another job I like but don’t qualify for… WAIT! I DO have that experience!”. I think I get so tied into the fact that I am a recent grad and I don’t have that much experience in a library. My position at UB and my practicums have been invaluable and I will be eternally grateful that I was able to do all of it. However, there definitely has still been times where I see a posting that says recent grads are encouraged to apply but the list of requirements is, well… not short or “basic”. This is usually the point where I pout and move on to the job postings I actually do qualify for. Every so often though I say “screw it!” and start applying for the one I don’t qualify for. It usually hits in the middle of writing my cover letter that I actually *do* qualify for the job. No, I don’t have years of experience, and I don’t fill every waking breath with library activities, but I do have more qualifications and skills than I give myself credit for. Why can’t I remember this? All the job hunting advice I have been given says to really think about those skills that are required, that there is more than one way to gain experience. I think I have finally started to remember these things when it comes to applying for positions, or at least I make myself start writing a cover letter.
Now if I can only start remembering during the actual interviews! I don’t know why my brain shuts down during interviews. No matter how much time I spend preparing I never seem to be able to think of things to say. That is until I am on my way home. O well. I guess that is the way it usually works. Practice makes perfect right? I should probably be less particular about the jobs I consider/apply for, but I am not willing to settle yet. I’ll keep shooting for the jobs I really want and look at the interviews as practice – plus I kind of like having an excuse to wear a suit.
On another note, I have continued volunteering at the Health Sciences Library since my student position ended. This is wonderful for many reasons. I am able to continue working with people I have grown to respect and whose company I enjoy. I am also getting more experience with collection development which is an area that I have been hoping to get more hands on experience with. I just talked with the reference manager today about a large project they are planning to start on in the next couple of weeks. The students are doing the “grunt” work while I will be working with the librarians making executive decisions. It is a good little ego boost when your ex-boss trusts you and respects you enough to let you do the professional librarian work.
Classes started up this week, but not for me. It is strange that most of the people I have got to know over the past year are back in classes while I am not. A lot of those classes start at 7pm and I get a little sad realizing that I am not partaking in the usual first day of class routine. I am not meeting new people or catching up with old classmates. I am not scanning the syllabus and schedule of assignments, or talking with classmates about what we think the class is going to be like. When I earned my bachelor’s degree I knew that I would end up going back for my masters some day. Now that I am done with my masters I am realizing my school days are probably over.
Of course I know I will not stop learning. I will attend webinars and conferences as well as do plenty of self-educating and learning on the job. This is actually one of the major reasons I decided to become a librarian. I want a career where my day to day job is made up of learning new things. As exciting as this part is, it is still a bit sad to leave the classroom behind (at least as a student).
It is also starting to sink in that in a couple weeks I am going to have a lot more free time on my hands. Since my current position is a student position, and I am no longer a student, my last day is the 31st of January. I have already talked to the associate director of the library as well as the director at Kaleida (I did a practicum there) and both have assured me they would be more than happy with me volunteering as I continue to search for jobs. Between volunteering and applying for jobs (and hopefully having interviews) I will keep myself pretty busy. (Plus a librarian at HSL gave me an awesome/time-suck video game to fill up my time!)
Honestly, the whole thing seems somewhat surreal. I am done with classes, but my degree is not conferred for another couple weeks (Feb 1st). I have been looking for jobs but most of them have been in academia and academia is not exactly known to move quickly. I think that is the most frustrating part. I have applications out to places I am excited about and I know I have a decent shot at at least a couple of them, but all I can do now is wait. A good number of the positions I have applied for are for positions to be filled in September. September. Gah. I guess my timing was all off. I started looking for jobs about six months ago, but at that time there weren’t too many for entry level positions. The trend seems to be to post job postings now (sometime between Nov and Feb) for positions to start in the fall. If I was graduating in the spring this would be ideal. However, I am graduating now and it is not so ideal.
I am not really complaining. In fact I know it is my own fault that I am in this position. I could have extended my coursework so that I would graduate later. The truth is I know what I want (well mostly) and I am in the position right now where I can hold out and wait to find the position that fits what I want. I moved around alot when I worked as a medical technologist (for a variety of reasons) and now I want to find a job and stay there – at least for a bit.
Wish me luck!
This was my second and last week at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB). My task from last week was to create a PowerPoint that would be shown to volunteers of the new Family Resource Center. These volunteers would be helping patients and family members find health related information. In the new hospital being built there is not going to be a library, or a librarian, so this resource center will be the main place for patients and family to get information. The PowerPoint I created will hopefully show the volunteers the importance of looking critically at websites and give them some pointers on how to do so.
I know how easy it is to get sucked into all the information found online. Just the amount of information is HUGE and it is too easy to do a Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, or whatever) search and take the information found in the first few links as fact. Or, even easier, to hop onto Wikipedia and find everything you would ever want to know about anything. I also know how often the information found in these areas is false. For everyday general inquiries the way most people find information is fine. At worse the wrong information is just annoying and inconvenient. Most people don’t even realize it is wrong, whether it is a complete fabrication or biased but mostly true, and don’t use the information in any major way. I do wish I could wave a magic wand and educate everyone (including myself!) on how to avoid getting sucked into the overabundance of information online. (Don’t even get me started on all the false, misleading, and biased political information out there and all the hatred and pain it causes.) However, when it comes to medical information it makes me extremely uncomfortable thinking of all the incorrect, and potentially harmful, information out there that is so easily accessible. That is why I was so happy that Elaine (the librarian at WCHOB working with the resource center) asked me to put together the PowerPoint.
I worked on it throughout the week and showed Elaine my “rough draft” when I saw her. She mentioned a few other ideas that I should integrate, such as how MedlinePlus is the best resource for quick and easily understood consumer health information. We then showed it to the resource center coordinator and she was very happy with how it turned out. At the beginning of all this the coordinator was just like everyone else and didn’t understand the importance of checking information found online and felt that sites such as Wikipedia were great places to get health information. After talking to Elaine she now realizes that a great deal of the information online, including that on Wikipedia, is written by people who don’t have any training or knowledge and are just writing what they happen to believe, whether or not it is true. She is grateful that I was able to put together the PowerPoint (I also made a simple handout the volunteers can use as a reference). I am happy to know that not only will something I put together be used, but also that I am, in my own small way, helping increase some people’s information literacy.
If you would like to see the PowerPoint you can download it here.
Next week I am back at Buffalo General. I can’t believe I only have a few more weeks there! The semester is almost over and I am going to be thrust out into the real world! I am excited and hopeful. Thinking back I realized that every time someone has come to me with an information need I get a bit of an energy boost. (Okay, almost every time.) I get excited about helping them and showing them something they didn’t know before. I also get a bit insistent on finding the information they need, maybe even a bit obsessive. I guess that means my change in careers was a good choice? I think so!
This week I went to Women and Children’s Hospital (WCHOB) instead of Buffalo General. I was going to spend some time getting to know the library there and working with the Family Resource Center Coordinator. It turns out there was a meeting at the public library that Diane wanted Elaine (the librarian at Children’s) and I to go to. The meeting was about a grant to support home visits to improve maternal/infant health.
Elaine and I spent the morning before the meeting talking about things going on at WCHOB and I was amazed at the differences between WCHOB and Buffalo General. They are both part of the Kaleida Health System but in many ways they are ran separately. I am going to learn so much from working at these two locations. Not only am I getting experience in the actual day to day duites of a medical librarian, I am learning about all the nuances and behind the scenes of a library. I also am very fortunate to have Diane and Elaine as my teachers. Elaine is having to deal with some complicated and upsetting issues in the “behind the scenes” but the way she is handeling all of it is encouraging, and even inspirational. I am really impressed by her. And that is all I am going to say about that.
The meeting ended up being pretty interesting, but I am not sure what role the library will have to play directly. Or, more accurately I don’t think there will be much financing for the library from this grant. What they are trying to do is to get all the different organizations that provide maternal/infant services working together to better serve the community. This is a great idea, and something that is needed, but when you have a limited amount of funds (lower than previous years) that needs to be shared among many groups things can get… interesting.
Elaine is still going to put her name on the list of possible groups to get involved. Basically what it comes down to is she is going to put it out there to all the other groups that the library is there if they need any assistance. She realizes there is not going to be any funding for the library (the amount of money is not that great, especially considering all the organizations that want to participate) but she still wants the library to be a part of the program. In the end the library is taking the place it seems to hold in our society. It is in the background providing the information that makes all the people on the front lines successful.
Last week started off with another managers meeting. This meeting dragged on a bit long and by the end of it Diane felt that it was no longer necessary for Nell and I to continue attending the meetings. We will see how we feel for next months meeting. The next couple hours of the day were spent working with Nell on a request from an intern. Nell and Diane had previously performed a search and I was able to walk Nell through the basics of getting the information into EndNote since that was the request of the intern. In the process I was also able to learn a few more things about EndNote that I had previously not messed around with. We were also able to use a new feature on EndNote 6 that I had not really used before. After lunch we spent some time with Adrienne who introduced us to DOCLINE, the interlibrary loan system hosted by the National Library of Medicine.
About a month ago Diane had applied for a grant that would provide money to buy iPads for some of the nursing staff. The idea was that Nell, the Clinical Informationist would have an iPad and she would be able to assist the nurses in learning about their iPads and how to best use them for clinical information and research. This way the nurses could immediately do research, or put in a request, or whatever else they needed right at the patients bedside. It would also allow Nell to get embedded in the clinics smoothly and quickly. Apparently there have been problems getting Nell her iPad (not a part of this grant) even though Diane has the money. It has been a good example of how being part of a larger organization can lead to speedbumps. Today we received the news that we are not receiving the grant. It is a disappointment especially since that project was going to be a major part of the Clinical Informationist fellowship. Now the challenge is how to get the nurses and clinicians etc. to be aware of Nell and all she has to offer. My time spent at the hospital is mostly spent with Nell so that I can get an introduction to what a Clinical Informationist does and see that side of librarianship. I wish that I was able to spend more time there but I guess I will just have to wait till next week to see how things have evolved.
This week started out with a large three part search involving snoring, sleep apnea, and sleep stages. Nell and I worked on it together using MEDLINE (Ovid) and were able to find something for all parts of the question. We ran into some complications finding highly relevant information and we expanded our search to First Consult and good ol’ Google. Neither of these resources helped us find more information to send to the physician, but they did help us get a better understanding of what we were looking for. In the end I feel confident that he will be happy with the results of the search. If not, he will email back with a more descriptive question and we will try again!
The rest of the day was spent working on the flyer for the promotion of the Wellness Center Library. I had thrown together a quick rough draft in hopes of getting feedback from Diane about what she was really looking for. She found an infographic that she liked and sent it to Nell and I as an example. When we looked at it we realized it was for something completely different than what we were dealing with and it wouldn’t be too useful as an example. Nell had previously found a site on the Kaleida intranet that had a bunch of logos and the RGB for the official colors. We decided to use these colors and logos on the flyer to make it more official. It was good working with Nell because she really knows her way around Word. I always used Word as a word processor and have not spent too much time with its extra features. I used Photoshop or Publisher etc. for my image/creative projects and never spent much time exploring that side of Word. Nell however really knew her way around the program. She use to work at a public library and she taught classes on different computer programs so she was able to provide me with some interesting new knowledge! I also learned about a site called pixlr.com that allows you to edit photos online and even take an image using your webcam and imediatly edit it using the program. Gotta love learning new things.
Today is All Hallows Eve and I am working. Yay. I love Halloween and I would much rather be all dressed up somewhere. Even just being home and seeing the trick-o-treatin’ kiddos is fun. Alas I am sitting the reference desk on a very slow night at the library.
Linda from the History of Medicine has a giant bat that she has had hanging up in the collection for a couple weeks. The bat is about two – three feet tall with a six foot wing span, fuzzy body, scary looking teeth, and flashing red eyes. I decided that if I had to work a three hour shift on the desk on the night of one of my favorite holidays I was going to have some fun. I stole the bat (okay, I asked Linda for it) and placed him (the bat, his name is Beelzebob) on the chair next to me at the desk.
Beelzebub at the desk with me
I really didn’t think much of this. I thought it would be fun for me and make it feel a little more festive. What I didn’t really realize was how much the students would enjoy it to. The few people who had a question would be talking to me and see Beelzebob out of the corner of their eye. They would get spooked and smile and laugh. I had students stop by the desk to take a picture of him and basically everyone who walked by or up the stairs smiled and giggled. I realized that I am not the only one who is spending this night in a way that may not be the first choice. The students here are coming to the library because it is crunch time in the semester and they have studying and papers and research that needs to get done. Doing something a little fun and halloweenish makes their night more enjoyable as well as mine.