Maine Media Library

Maine Media Library
This is Me!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My first Book Review

On Sunday I emailed the book review editor of SLJ my first book review. It was for a children's art book. I hope they publish my review. It was fun writing it. Before 10/25/2011 I have to finish 3 reviews of non-fiction materials. I have perused them and find them acceptable but rather customary and predictable.

Back to Work

Last night I spent the night in accommodations provided by MMC so that I can get a bright and early start on finishing the inventory of the library collection and culling rare books so that I can start the actual process of re-shelving and in this re-organizing the library so that it can be more functional. Issues of space will immediately come into play.

I think I can make better use of the back wall of shelves by removing magazines and placing them in another space. As the collection is now, the biography section is separated (not all shelved in one space) and reference items are intermixed with other categories. Today I will continue with the inventory but will also make a list of my proposals to date. Before acting on them I will check with my site supervisor, Chris Urquart. I will also ask her if I may take some boxes of uncatalogued materials home with me to catalog over the weekend.

At breakfast this morning I met a lovely woman from New York City who is attending photography workshops with her husband. She is planning on soon retiring from real estate to pursue her hobby of photography. We talked about places in Maine that are picturesque, about the air quality which led to conversations about Portland, Oregon, my hometown where most of my family members still reside. I feel so fortunate to have lived most of my life in two healthy, beautiful states, Maine and Oregon.

I began my work day by clicking some digital photos of the library in order to gather some "before" photos which I can later upload for my graphic documentation of this internship.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fighting for my Education

Traveling down the road, windows open, the breeze flowing through your helplessly chaotic hair, you delight in the limitless potentials lying ahead of you (all dappled in sunlight) when suddenly you hit that disastrous bump in the road that sends you careening to the right or left of your dreams.

Well, that happened to me this past week. I was thrilled and happy to begin my internship with the Maine Media College and even more thrilled when my first book review assignment from School Library Journal arrived by UPS on Thursday. But in the midst of all of these successes a devastating financial development cast a pall over everything as my future (and my college aged daughter's) hangs tenuously in the balance.

May I lie down on your couch as I tell how my troubles all began? All summer long my used vehicle intermittently flashed its engine light on; first it was the thermostat, then the brakes, and then (after letting one of my daughter's friends who is just learning how to drive gun the engine through a mine field of pot holes in the parking lot at the Ed Center) a huge piece of plastic molding from the underside of the car fell off leaving the underbelly of the vehicle wide open for disaster. All of these repairs took an unwelcome bite out of my summer earnings but I managed to squeak by and still finance my daughter's vacation to Florida. (She had a very rough junior year in college and deserved a get away). Her vacation paid off by the way, she was able to meet see interesting people and see some interesting things while getting lots of rest and rejuvenating sunshine. However, near the end of the summer the car broke yet again (this time it needed an adjustor kit and a new starter) and I had to resort to taking out a short term payday advance from one of those loan companies. Well, I finally found a company online which seemed credible and which had reasonable terms. I took out a series of three loans and successfully paid each back (with interest). However, in all of my shopping around online for the perfect loan scenario, a couple of these companies processed my inquiry for a loan as an automatic acceptance of their terms and loan amounts (see for more details of this terrible company and to view similar complaints about them. Now I, who have been just barely making it from paycheck to paycheck, am in deep financial "dew dew". They have apparently hired a mediation company called "Worldwide" to serve me with papers to appear in court for a charge comparable to writing a bad check. I never approved this loan and when I tried to repay it they would only accept a debit or credit card. I wasn't about to give them this information and didn't think at the time about the alternative of purchasing a prepaid debit card. Anyway, they have humiliated me at work and threatened to serve me with papers in the workplace. I had to call in sick from work yesterday to avoid them. I work at a retirement community as a waitress in the dining room where 3 centenarians and other elderly enjoy fine dining. I'm not about to expose them to a potentially dramatic and/or traumatic scene in which I am served with papers by a bounty hunter. I feel like I have lost this job and my hours were being cut back anyway. Now, on top of this I have learned that the Maine Department of Labor did not approve my application for unemployment stating that my leaving a part time seasonal job I had processing blueberries on the pick over table (in addition to my waitressing job at night) in order to attend school full time was a personal reason. Huh? Obtaining a degree is a personal reason, not a legitimate reason to leave a PT seasonal job? I explained to the adjudicator that this semester I am taking Biology with a lab, and Statistics (which is hard for me as I have never really liked math all that well) and a library practicum which is a 2 hour drive from my home and requires me to work 20 - 30 hours per week. Needless to say I am discouraged. I don't even have enough money to pay rent on time or the rest of my daughter' tuition. She wasn't all that happy living on campus in Machias, Maine so we have mutually decided to withdraw her from her classes and to regroup. This is her senior year yet I feel relieved to have her leave the traditional college scene which customarily includes overindulgence in alcohol and casual or experimental sex (things which she has blessedly escaped to date).

So, I need to deal with these things and gain control of my emotions and fears and study math and prepare for a test in Biology and make a plan for the future and decide how to make everything work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 21st

Today was another sunny clear autumn day in Maine which found me traveling on the road from Blue Hill to the Camden-Rockport area to work on site at the Maine Media College. I arrived on the campus around 9:30 after stopping in at the Ed Center in Rockland to print some inventory forms. After saying hello to Chris Urquart (who continues to be a phenomenal contact for me there - getting me set up with housing and free meals, and connected to IT personnel like Peter Kuhns who issued me a complimentary laptop today in order to work) I jumped right in and went to work. My first objective is to take an inventory of the current collection, getting an idea of what kind of order it is in while becoming familiar with their classification of books. The collection seems to have most everything classified as TR = Photography (using the Library of congress classification system- instead of a more detailed Dewey Decimal organization which separates books by type and topic more than the general designation of "photography". While sorting through the very interesting yet haphazard shelves of books, I culled the Rare Books (as per the advisement of Charles Altschul) and placed approximately 10-12 rare books in his office where they will be safely stored until we can purchase some type of lockable book case which will display them nicely. I told President Altschul that I will keep my eyes open for yard sales and estate sales, looking for an affordable yet distinguished piece of furniture in which to store the laudable collection of rare books.

Tonight I am weary from the drive and from working a waitressing shift this evening. The call to study math and biology fades as my heavy eyelids answer the beckoning voice of sleep. I have a lot to do tomorrow and am so happy with my progress today though I will be more focused on my project next week when my hours at the waitressing job are cut back to a minimum.

When Peter Kuhns issued my laptop today we had a chance to discuss my objective to create an online presentation of the print collection and photo collection using Omeka. He suggested that I research using the college's current proxy which is Drupal instead so that whatever I do will be integrated with the college's website. It makes perfect sense and by using Drupal he may be able to help me troubleshoot and implement open source API's as necessary.

I have a lot to do tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Here

The drive to Maine Media College was lovely this morning. It is approximately one hour before my meeting with college personnel. The college doesn't currently have a librarian so I am hoping that the internship will still meet the requirements which state that I should be supervised by a person with a MS in Library Science. I think this specification can be waived.

I am going to suggest that as part of my internship I implement an online presentation of the photos and film clips which are part of the library collection at Maine Media Workshop and College using Omeka software as a web publishing application.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday 9/15/2011

Tomorrow I will meet with personnel from Maine Media College. I have map quested my driving route and learned that the trip will take approximately one hour and twenty nine minutes and is 57.12 miles. Although this afternoon is a gray, rainy day tomorrow is expected to be "Sunny and breezy. Highs around 60. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph." My car is in relatively good working order although it doesn't like to start on the first, second, or third try and the engine light is on which is inconvenient right now to say the least. I just keep driving it and saying my prayers everyday, thanking God (my higher power) for His benevolence in all things including my poverty and neediness.

I hope to make a good first impression on the personnel I wil be meeting with. I am reminded that before going home for the night, I should stop by Wal Mart to pick up a small plant for the desk of Christine Urquart as a thank you for all of her efforts to coordinate this internship on short notice.

Another development in the ongoing saga of me completing my library practicum is that Trevelyn Jones, an editor of School Library Journal, will be sending me my first assignment tomorrow in order to conduct a book review for said journal. This is very exciting for me and I hope to incorporate into my practicum.

I wonder how my fantastically sweet and brilliant daughter is doing at college. We talk briefly every night before going to bed yet still throughout the day I think of her.

I am on track with my Biology class but will have to press in order to stay current in my Statistics class. Adieu for now friends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things are coming together wonderfully!

Chris Urquart of the Maine Media College worked hard to connect with appropriate personnel in order to re-schedule a meeting with me to discuss and establish my internship with them. I will be meeting with the college President and with the Dean of Education Friday morning, September 16th at 10:00 am in the Haas building. I hope to purchase a small African Violet or plant for Chris Urquart to thank her for all of the time and effort she has already put into this in order to coordinate this meeting. I will also search the Maine Media College website in order to locate the Haas building and to become as familiar as I can with their campus before my arrival on Friday which will be early so that I can walk around a bit before the meeting. I will mapquest my driving route to the college so that all will go well that morning. Driving from Blue Hill, Maine to Rockport, Maine will be a lovely trip at this time of year when all of the bright colors of summer become subtle and subdued before the explosion of autumn color which is just around the corner.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kind of Worried

I am a little worried because I haven't met with representatives of the Maine Media Workshop in Rockport Maine to discuss my internship and to get necessary paperwork processed. My initial contact with the college was by phone. I spoke with a secretary who was enthusiastic and encouraging about the prospect of my internship. She informed me that Fall was a good time of year for the internship to occur because they are actually busier during their summer semester and have more room to house students (and interns) in the Fall. She said that pertinent personnel would meet on the Thursday of our first week to discuss the internship and then she would get back to me in order to set up a time to meet.

Well, I guess I blew it because when I received an email from the college I didn't recognize it because it had the name of the secretary as the byline followed by the subject heading "Is Friday a good time to meet?" - I get so much junk mail that I didn't recognize this as being from the college and didn't respond until hours before the day and time they wanted to meet. I called the secretary immediately to re-schedule. The secretary Chris Urquart, was very nice and promised to connect with the appropriate personnel (President Charles Atschul and Dean of Education Elizabeth Greenberg) to find out when they could meet. Their semester began Labor Day and the following day they had a visit from an important donor to the college so relevant contacts were tied up. I have continued to call at the risk of being a pest and been told that Christine Urquart is working on setting up a new meeting time and will get back to me.

In the meantime I have contacted Jane Irving in order to commence writing a grant for her to start a wellness program which she has designed for terminally ill patients. Jane Irving is CEO of Castine Consulting and conducts online education in massage therapy. We have a three way conference call scheduled for Monday September 19, 2011 in order to discuss the following agenda:
  • The grant writing process
  • A short brain storming session to determine which organizations we will petition for funds
  • Organizations that would sponsor us once we receive the money
  • A general time line to apply and receive funds
  • Alternatives to grants, IE: private funding
Jane Irving is under the impression that filing for a tax exempt status would take two years so is considering assuming a fiscal partner who already enjoys a non-profit tax exempt status in order to expedite the launching of her program. My research of grant writing informs me that although it can take up to two years to gain tax exempt status, it can take as little as two weeks. Before Monday I am planning to review some information I have on different types of exemptions to ascertain which one best suits the needs of Ms. Irving. I will also continue exploring the Maine Philanthropy Center's website to compose a list of suitable donors geared towards supporting the type of program Ms. Irving is developing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Library Practicum

Well, I am in my final year of what has been a memorable and fulfilling intellectual journey - the journey of pursuing a BS degree in Library Science and Information Services. I remember my fear and whelm at the thought of resuming my college education after years of dormancy. Would my mind still open to learning new things after almost twenty years of focus on the mundane, ordinary sometimes dreary tasks of daily survival? I'm glad I took the steps necessary to ensue this journey, and grateful for the funding available to me and for the inspiration of my daughter who has overcome so many odds to become the intellectual person she is. Knowledge has changed and edified my priorities and values.

My library practicum will perhaps be threefold. It is hard to say at this point as I have yet to meet with my prospective library. Tentatively my internship will be with the Maine Media College of Rockport, Maine which offers a Master of Fine Arts MFA degree in the fields of photography, filmmaking and multimedia as well as a certificate program for the same areas of study. I am waiting to hear from Christine Urquart who is coordinating my initial interview with the college President Charles Atschul and the Dean of Education Elizabeth Greenberg.

in the meantime I am thinking about helping out the Island Heritage Trust of Deer Isle, Maine. I interviewed for a PT position in their gift shop earlier this summer and met with the Director Mike Little. It turned out that the time they needed someone to work didn't jive with my other job at the time but in the course of our interview Mr. Little mentioned that he had a collection of books on the environment that is badly in need of organization and Dewey Decimal labeling and placement. I mentioned that this might be a possible project for my upcoming library internship in the Fall. I have a call in to him and am also waiting to see if this is something I might do.

In a similar instance I interviewed this summer for a PT job with Jane Irving who is a successful massage therapist and teacher of massage therapy online. We ended up discussing a project she has been wanting to start but has not had the time to organize. This project is a wellness program designed for people with terminal illness and she is interested in meeting with me to write a grant to indemnify this program. I have been deferring meeting with her because I have been so busy with work and summer school but I think it would be beneficial to both of us for me to follow through and meet with her. So...I'm signing off for today to send her an email!