Maine Media Library

Maine Media Library
This is Me!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Well, there are huge gaps in my ongoing blog entries but I persist....I graduated with a BS in Library Science and Information Services magna cum laud from the University of Maine Augusta in January 2014. Still not using my degree per se. I currently reside in the Portland metropolitan area in Oregon. A lot of library positions require bilingualism - Spanish specifically - so I fall short in that area. Also - I have yet to work with a computerized library system so the thought of applying for jobs in a highly competitive milieu exhausts me. It is daunting. But it will happen - somehow, somewhere, sometime I will be a working librarian.

My daughter left for an eight month journey through Europe so dreams keep coming true!
A lot of time has gone by...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A New Syndrome?

While the "Stockholm Syndrome" (which is a paradoxical psychological phenomoenon in which hostages develop positive feelings of empathy towards their captors) is perhaps one of the strangest syndromes known to man, I think I may be experiencing a new strain of mental syndrome which might be a common one. I'll call it the Oscillating Pre-Graduate Syndrome.

While I should be thrilled and excited at the prospect of graduating with a BS in Library Science and Information Services and furthermore of putting my training into practice in a traditional way, as I job hunt for various jobs I am inclined to shy away from actually working in a library. This makes me ever more thankful for almost having a degree that will enable me to experience this type of vacillation and still be successful as Library Science and Information Services is eclectic and generic enough to be applicable to a variety of careers. Surely my increased knowledge and skill set will make me a more productive and full bodied Administrative Assistant or Sales professional if it comes to that.

The Dream is always better than Reality...or is it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bridging the Gap

Okay. So it's been a long time since I have posted. I arrived in Oregon sometime around January 13th after spending a wonderful week in New York City with my daughter who was primed to see Broadway plays. We saw three: "How to Succeed in Business" starring Darren Criss; Seminar with Alan Rickman; and Wicked at the Gershwin theater. What a great experience this was - something I would never have done without my daughter pushing for it all the way. She booked us into a really cool hotel - the Paramount which was established in 1928. This hotel offered a very vintage and authentic environment and was economical. I recommend it to anyone thinking about going to Broadway. Recalling the plays reminds me of the importance of processing literary works on different levels, through different formats and genres. Live performance is a real treat!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Moving to Oregon

My mother Connie has MS. She has the slow progressing type of MS and yet, as she approaches her 76th birthday, I fear that the wretched disease is finally catching up with her. She can no longer walk everyday and has even more difficulty puttering around her garden as she used to do after being diagnosed with the disease. She lives in Portland, Oregon - in the suburbs, and I have been living 3,000 miles away in the state of Maine. After talking with her by phone over the holidays I am convinced that it is time to return to the west coast to be near her and to help her with anything I can. She has been a driving force in my life, loving and supportive, inspiring and influential, and I rejoice to return to her and to the rest of my family in Oregon.

Hence, I am applying for library positions in Oregon using the website for up to date job listings. Since I won't have a BS degree conferred until the end of Spring 2012 semester, obtaining a job as a librarian may be problematic. To date I have applied to be a librarian at the Multnomah County Library (not hired) and have a pending application submitted to the Lakeview Public Library as a Children's Assistant Librarian. I think this would be a good place for me to start my new career. My college aged daughter is already grumbling about my choice of location as she is determined to live in the Portland metro area, tired of out of the way in the sticks small towns. We are not yet ready to part ways, so I hope that we can agree to love where ever we end up.

And for now, good bye beautiful Maine. I have loved your scenic views, your open friendly agressive people, your first light sunrises, your fresh delicious seafood, your poverty and richness.....


Well, here it is January 4, 2012 - the new year has officially come yet I am just now taking a deep breath and realizing with a sense of satisfaction that my library practicum is indeed over. It was all that I hoped for and more. At the beginning of my practicum my learning objectives were to:
1. Organize and catalog a print collection online
2. Work cooperatively in a professional environment
3. Inventory the existing collection at MMC
4. Catalog & process new & donated items to the collection
5. Improve the security of said collection.

I at least partially fulfilled each of these objectives but fell short of the full realization of these ambitious goals. Retrospectively, out of all of these outlined objectives I believe that the most important objective was to: "work cooperatively in a professional environment". This can be more difficult than it sounds. Every workplace, no matter how positive, has its intricacies and subtle nuances which an individual staff member must adapt to. From the webpage "Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals" 8 suggestions are listed to enable people to be more effective in the workplace and to enjoy their job:

1. "Pull Your Own Weight"
2. "Write thank you notes - even to co-workers you dislike"
3. "Don't date your co-workers"
4. "Be flexible with change at work"
5. "Be sincere with co-workers"
6. "Treat everyone equally" within the hierarchy, from the lowest to the highest
7. "Focus on the future"
8. "Ditch negativity"

Hmm...these tips are food for thought. For me, working cooperatively in a professional environment meant constantly curbing my more independent nature to conform to the reality of other personalities at play in the workplace, individuals effecting my own work...listening to their ideas before acting on my own, not succumbing to corporate drama or participating in gossip, respecting the authority of the positions around me, staying focused on my own intended function within the team even when others were losing their focus.....

During my practicum I was privileged to work with very professional, able, energetic, experienced, and most importantly FUN people who had charisma and were open to mentoring me. I learned how pleasant a work environment could be and how important it is to be physically and mentally fit and balanced as an individual in order to be a cog rightly connected to the wheel. The importance of being discrete came to the forefront as staff changes occurred during my time as an intern and consequently subtle divisions and rumblings began to stress the internal personnel structure of the organization. Furthermore, the merits of being friendly and compassionate were pronounced when other staff members began to open up to me relating their more personal life stories and challenges.

As the new year progresses towards the apocalyptic end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012, I am filled with gratitude, amazement that I have come so far, excitement that my dreams are being realized (i.e. I am writing professional book reviews for School Library Journal) and hope for the future.

In the wake of resolutions already compromised, I am staying in the swim of things, peacefully treading water in a good place, enjoying the potentials inherent in my anticipation of things to come.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What does a bowl of oatmeal have in common with a librarian?

You may have a vague idea that oatmeal is a healthy food choice or you may be an alien from another planet in a distant galaxy far away

and have no idea that a hearty bowl of oatmeal can serve to reduce bad cholesterol, fight food cravings, contains lignans and antioxidants which strengthen one's immune system, and is heart healthy and simply an all around smart choice for librarians to make. But, just like the stereotypical image of a librarian spinster wearing thick framed glasses and a dour countenance;

oatmeal has a bad rap as being bland and tasteless. Move over quaking oats to be replaced by this wonderful super-bowl of heart and brain healthy nutrients that taste delectable!

Kathie's Favorite Oatmeal

1 cup quick cooking oats
2 Tblsp flax seeds
2 Tblsp coconut
2 Tblsp dried cranberries (or blueberries)
1 Tblsp raisins
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

Peachy Keen Oatmeal

1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 whole peach diced or canned sugarless peaches diced
2 Tblsp coconut
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts

Pig in an Oatmeal Bowl

1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
2 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 sausage patty diced (use a vegetarian sausage if preferred)

* coconut has anti-bacterial properties and is actually very good for teeth (when unsweetened). Toasted coconut adds a nice texture to oatmeal and releases coconut oil.