Am I not IT/Librarian enough?

It’s strange, I’ve been reading the #GLAMblogclub entries for quite a while but never felt quite “qualified” to contribute to the conversation. But there was a twitter thread that made me think bugger it I’m going in so here it goes (and with only hours left of this month…)

Yesterday I read Alissa M‘s blog post about “Putting the tech back into technical services” and I found myself nodding and going “YES! this is me but coming from the other perspective!!”

I have had cause to question a lot about where I actually fit in the world of IT vs the world of GLAM (but specifically Libraries). I find also constantly asking myself “what is it that I do here again?!”. It’s not because I don’t have a job description or “business as usual” work to do. But it’s more that my work is so diverse that I have the ability to go in a number of different ways. This has been both a blessing and a curse in oh so many different ways. So much so that I started a few years volunteering for a couple of communities just to feel professionally grounded, somewhere, anywhere…

I don’t feel technical enough for IT—largely because I’m not much of a coder—yet I feel almost too technical for a lot of library work. – Alissa M.

I am qualified with a Bachelor of Computing (Honours) but I’ve never really fit in. I was never “IT” enough to to get a full blown IT job. I don’t code, I don’t do networks, I don’t do security but, I try to understand enough of it to be able to apply it and translate it to whatever I’m doing. I have found myself translating between the tech and the library world. Whilst I understand that this is something that is very important it’s been hard to find where that really fits in both worlds. So where exactly is it that I fit?

I showed a friend of mine my resume the other day as they were interested in how others set theirs out. Their first response was “geez you do some different things… oh but that’s a good thing it shows that you’re willing to evolve.” But is it really a good thing? I have moved from role to role because of where I’ve worked they each required a fair bit of flexibility purely because of the size of the organisation.

I look at job ads every once in a while to see where I may fit in the world and to be honest I’m not sure. But I’m not taking that as a bad thing but more as an opportunity. But I will keep reminding myself of just that. This. Is. An. Opportunity.

Our profession needs all the techy librarians it can get. People who speak library AND speak IT. People with the ethical grounding of librarianship, who may or may not work back-of-house, but who can also critically assess and use technology, ensuring it functions in accordance with the values of this profession. No siloing. No separating. No boundaries. – Alissa M

So Alissa, thank you so so so much for your blog post. I will stop asking where I fit but how can I help?

Identity

A few people have asked me where my twitter account @ms_mary_mac alias comes from. I’m ms-mary-mac (or a derivation of that) where ever I can be, and yes i’m known to profile sit just so that no one else takes my name even if I don’t use that platform.

The story isn’t isn’t glamorous but back in my early Uni days I had found myself in a world where I suddenly belonged. I was surrounded by gamers, developers and early adopters… my people. Web 2.0 was in full swing and I had to find myself a gamer/dev tag and sae_ra just seemed boring. My first ever big purchase as a poor uni student was one of those black macbooks. I had saved up for months and months to get this thing. Admittedly it was my slow descent into the Apple walled garden but I was in love with this thing. Everything just worked and it was unique.

 

Everyone else had those chunky Dells ick!

Anyway I had this black macbook, this unique laptop amongst all these dells, unique in gaming as I was the only girl playing games in a room full of males (and was kicking their butts at it as well!) I suddenly had the nursery rhyme stuck in my head

Ms Mary Mac Mac Mac

All Dressed in Black Black Black

With Silver buttons, buttons buttons,

All down her Back, back, back

I had a black macbook with a silver coloured keyboard cover and that’s where it came from. And it stuck! I meet people now during conferences and meetups and I’m more recognized by the @ms_mary_mac that I put on my badge than the “uniqueness” of my name. It’s much easier than having to explain how to spell my name and why it’s spelled that way… that’s a story for another day I think.

a quick love letter to yum studio

Dear Yum Studio,
how do I love thee? let me count the ways!
it’s been 6 years since i was with you last and i have missed every second since. you see potential in everyone. you lead with gusto. you draw out the passion in everyone. you’re caring, you inspire, you create and best of all, you stand tall and be our advocate.
I have had the privilege to work with erin and michael and you have both brought out the best in me and I would not be the advocate, the creative, the teacher, the story teller and the nerd I always wanted to be if it weren’t for you both and yum studio.
thank you for challenging me and thank you for inspiring us all to create and love. 
<3 sae ra germaine

Business Travel

When I was a child my father used to travel quite often. It wasn’t unusual for dad to be away for weeks at a time. Sometimes he would have spent 2 days of the month at home and the rest he would be somewhere else around the world.

growing up as a teenager business travel seemed like such a glamorous thing, you get to see these exciting places. But realistically we all know that, that doesn’t happen. Realistically you leave at stupid-o’clock in the morning, get squished on a small plane. you always have that annoying person next to you that insists on elbowing you at every moment. The person in front slams back the seat so you are now sniffing their feral airplane hair.

and that’s just the flight! You get to your meeting, smile and nod all day and if you’re lucky you don’t have to fly straight back but then there’s the hotel. If you’re like me and you’re lucky enough to have at least a little bit of a say where you stay that’s a plus. but I’ve had instances where there have been a  lot of less than desirable hotel rooms. there were times were I swear they didn’t change the sheets from the previous guest because there’s hair in the bed (I’m so glad I didn’t have a black light with me). Then you are up for Day 2.

Day 2 brings a whole lot of more excitement. More meetings, more smiling and nodding, but this time you have to head all the way home. all you want to do is get home. none of this stuffing around business. This trip I bought a flex ticket with the hope that I could get an earlier flight. NO-CAN-DO you haven’t got the right flex ticket type. so no you can’t catch an earlier flight. so now what do you have to do? spend the next 4 ours in a boring airport. Only for your flight to get delayed so all up you have been stuck in this damn place for 6 hours. You jump back on that plane, grumps next to you is angry, stinky and rude. but luckily the person in front does not want you to smell their hair. You just want to get home! you get home and fall asleep only to have to catch up on the work you had missed the last 2 days.

You get to work the next day only to have to work out where you are travelling to next.

So who the hell came up with the fact that business travel is glamorous? Dear 15 year old me, It’s really not that awesome after all.

In much better news I’m in the last 2 out of 4 hours into the wait at the airport. I really need to get my Status Credits up so I can go into the Lounge.

 

Good Afternoon Freedom Lovers!

I’ve decided to start a blog, I don’t know why, I don’t know how often I will post but this will be a bit of a diary for me, reflections of what my mind is going through. you know… all the fun stuff!