Library School Day in the Life 2013: Tuesday – Friday

I am documenting my life for Hack Library School’s Library Student Day in the Life. For other great bloggers who are participating, check here.

After I posted last Monday, I realized that midterms was absolutely the wrong time to try to blog every day! As much as I love sharing pieces of my life — especially for something as cool as the Hack Library School “Day in the Life” — it’s just too much pressure during a stressful time at work. Rather than adding even more to my plate with daily posts, I thought I would post what my days looked like as a whole. Without further ado…

Tuesday: 

Tuesdays are “school days” for me — I scheduled all my courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester so that I would have more time for my internships. My first course of the day, Cataloging, is at the absurd 8am hour. If I didn’t love the class so much I might be inclined to resent the sleep invasion.

The course covers the fundamentals of cataloging books and other printed materials. Of course this is much more difficult than it sounds. Have you ever seen a MARC cataloging record?

Sample MARC record

Not as simple, right?

After my cataloging class, I rushed to the library to get in some last-minute studying for a midterm. Management for Information Professionals is a required course for my masters but it’s also one of the least “library science” related. A lot of what we’re learning is basic management theory (administrative model, scientific model, etc) rather than putting all of it in a library setting. The midterm went well…I think.

Wednesday:

I spend Wednesday mornings interning at Duke University Press. For more about my job there check out my previous “day in the life” post here. I love working at DUP because I get to work with many editorial assistants. Since each editor’s list is so different, I sometimes feel like I have three different jobs! The tasks are never the same so the learning curve can be a little steep — at least it’s never boring!

Later in the day I head over to my internship at the public library. Wednesdays are usually programming nights so I either help out with the events or cover the desk while someone else works them. This Wednesday there weren’t any programs, so I got to answer reference questions and help people find books. I never thought I would end up in a public library but this internship has shown me how much fun it can be. For more on why I love working at a public library check out this post.

Thursday

Much like Tuesday, I start my day in Cataloging. With the weight of the midterm no longer hanging over our heads we work on serials. Just when we thought we’d gotten our footing, these pulled the rug right out from underneath us! Serials are cataloged in a very different way from books, especially because we are learning to catalog them using a different (older) set of rules. Though I took furious notes during class, I’m fairly sure the material will take a few more days to sink in.

My afternoon class is an introduction to databases. I’ll be honest — I signed up for this class because it fit into my schedule well. I had never considered doing a library job that required me to learn the inner workings of a database, nor had I ever thought I would understand the structure if I tried! Color me surprised. This is by far my favorite class. Perhaps it’s because I get to use a different part of my brain or maybe because it’s set up more like an undergraduate class — who knows the reason, I just know that it rocks my socks! I can’t imagine doing a library job without understanding databases; they now seem so integral.

Friday

Another day, another shift at Duke University Press. Fridays are a change of pace at the press because I usually get to work on manuscript descriptions. This means that I get to read the manuscript (or at least the introduction and first chapter) and write a one-page description of the author’s argument and main points. Sometimes I feel completely out of my depth but more often than not one of my Kenyon courses touched on the topic at hand — see, a liberal arts education IS useful! To be honest, without the range of courses I took at Kenyon I would be up a creek. One week I could be working on a political book about a former president, the next week it might be about Afghanistan during the turn of the century!

Liberal Arts

After working at the Press, I head off to the library for another closing shift. I usually spend an hour working on readers advisory lists or programming before hopping on the desk to answer patron questions. Since the library closes at 6pm on Fridays there’s usually a flurry of activity in the DVD section; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Do you guys have any comedies?” You’re asking the wrong librarian, this girl prefers documentaries or period pieces!

So there’s my typical week in a nutshell. I hope it maybe convinced you that library science isn’t all shelving books and shushing anymore!

Support Books of Wonder

First off I’d like to apologize for not posting for a few weeks. School has really revved up and I’m spending more and more time working on group projects! I have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks but before I get to book reviews and library school discussions, I wanted to do a quick post on a subject that is close to my heart: children’s literacy.

My passion for children’s literacy is no surprise to those who know me. Reading is such an integral part of who I am — I can remember what book I was reading during almost any major life event. More than that, my love of literature and my passion for literacy are the reasons why I chose to pursue my master’s in library science!

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Books of Wonder in NYC and listen to Peter Glassman talk about how children’s books are an important piece development (check out my posts about my stay in NYC here). By the end of the morning Mr. Glassman had all of us in tears! BOW is such a great resource for children in NYC; they hold author events, readings, special parties and volunteer at the local children’s hospitals. There’s something magical about walking in to Books of Wonder — a little like crossing into Narnia!

Needless to say, when I heard Books of Wonder was in trouble I was shocked! Here’s a little video about what happened:

Did that video break your heart like it did mine? Check out the link below to help them if you can.

http://www.indiegogo.com/booksofwonder?a=1659280

Book Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke By Hillary Jordan

Published October 4, 2011

Mode read: Hardcover

Summary:  Set in the future United States when the extreme right has taken over, When She Woke tells the story of a woman who has committed the crime of abortion but refuses to disclose the name of the father. It follows much the same story as The Scarlet Letter but instead of Hester Prynne’s scarlet A Hannah Payne is forced to have all of her skin turned scarlet. This “melachroming” is the government’s answer to crowded prisons and results in many deaths by citizens who don’t want criminals in their midst. Rather than risk death by vigilantes Hannah chooses to flee the country and soon learns the difficulties of keeping silent.

Bechdel Test?: Passes with flying colors (if you’ll pardon the pun). Hannah lives in a halfway house for the melachromed and has intense conversations about life and death with her housemates.

Rating: 4/5

There are no words for how much I liked this book. From the opening scenes that are reminiscent of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to the brief mentions of Bowling Green, KY, this book had me turning the pages furiously. Hannah is a loveable character because she doesn’t complain about her circumstances but accepts that her choices have consequences. Though I don’t like to discuss political issues on my blog, this book seems to me to be a must read before the upcoming elections both for its discussion of women’s reproductive issues and its focus on what happens when you take away funding for the arts/start censoring.

Warnings: This book contains very strong political statements and discusses LGBTQ, reproductive rights, and religious issues.

 

More posts like this:

NYU Summer Publishing Institute: Final Book Project

Even though I haven’t posted about the final two weeks of the NYU Summer Publishing Institute yet, I couldn’t wait to share my Book Project. As with the Magazine Section, I was put in a group to complete the launch project. This time we were supposed to create an imprint, complete with Profit & Loss statements, comparative titles and book covers. My role was Sales Director, which meant that I was responsible for the comp titles, sales placements and the announced first print numbers. While it was a completely new role for me, I was happy to have the chance to learn new skills!

My group developed a Lifestyle/Cooking/Home Design imprint titled Two Roads Press. Our mission statement was :

Two Roads Press is an instructional lifestyle imprint for the transitional periods of life. We publish guides that are both fun and entertaining to help improve your life through design, cooking, crafts and more during times of change. Whether you’re having your first child or moving across the country, when two roads diverge before you, Two Roads Press has a guide to help you maximize your new lifestyle’s potential.

Our imprint came up with three titles for our first catalog (Spring/Summer 2013). Here are the book covers that our wonderful art director came up with!

Note: As with the previous post, these covers were developed for education purposes. I do not own the images. 

Check out my other NYU Publishing Institute posts:

This is the Start of Something New: Book Publishing Week 1

The keynote speech was given by Markus Dohle of Random House. Though he is relatively new to publishing he really made all of us excited to enter the industry.* He spoke about how the industry is changing in really exciting ways – from ebooks to what comes after them. After Dohle’s speech he took a picture with us to use in future presentations.

Random House CEO Markus Dohle

On Tuesday we heard from several agents about their role in the book publishing process. I had no idea how important they were! So much of what I thought editors did is actually the agent’s job: first edit of the manuscript, marketing the book, convincing a publisher to take the book, etc. Later that day we had small sessions with editors where we got to review sample first draft manuscripts and discuss whether the author was right for a particular imprint. I learned that sometimes the story is more important than the writing – writing can be fixed but a story that goes nowhere cannot.

Wednesday was the first field trip day and we started with the best! Barnes and Noble at Union Square opened early just for us so that we could speak to the major buyers. Buyers at B&N are some of the last left in the industry who buy in large quantities (see demise of Borders). This means that these people make or break a book’s sales – scary! They are the real taste makers of the book world, even more than the “almighty editor.”

Children’s books started off our Thursday morning. The professionals who came to visit were so passionate about what they do and who their market is – so much more interesting than some of the previous talks! I was swept away by the idea of children’s publishing, as you’ll see in the week 2 roundup post! I also met with a Kenyon Alumni Network content on Thursday. The KCN rocks!

I spent the weekend hanging out with my cousin in Bedford, NY so I don’t have any fun pictures to show you. I promise there are lots of images for week 5!

*The program leaders (Libby and Victoria) have a bit of a contest going with us, to see how many people they can get to do book vs. magazine publishing. Markus definitely helped out Libby’s (books) case!

Check out what I did in previous weeks:

Book Haul: BEA

Last Friday I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Book Expo of America here in New York City. Most of the major book publishers attend and attempt to sell their books to interested chains, bookstores, librarians and other industry professionals. This year was the first time they allowed non-professionals into the Expo and it was a bit chaotic. We were allowed in an hour after the event opened on its final day. The line was incredibly long and full of “Power Readers” who wanted to experience the event for themselves. As soon as the doors opened to us, many rushed around trying to gather as many ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) as they could. Though I was as excited as everyone else for free books, I felt that some of the “Power Readers” were rude to the publishers and their representatives. Rather than interacting many chose to reach behind the counters or interrupt  sales conversations just for a free book. How rude!

All of that is a long-winded introduction to my list of books I received in the last week:

The Diviners by Libba Bray
On Sale: September 17, 2012

I won’t lie. Libba Bray is one of my all-time favorite authors. I devoured her 
A Great and Terrible Beauty  series — it even played a huge part
in my senior prom! Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have an ARC
for this one!

The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
On Sale: September 11, 2012

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
On Sale: July 10, 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day
One Sale Now

This one seems a lot like the much hyped Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
I met the author and got an autographed copy!

Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan
On Sale: November 6, 2012

The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards
On Sale: August 16, 2012

Check out my previous book haul posts: