Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update on job situation

Met with Lynne Schmelz at Harvard's Cabot Library today (undergraduate science library). Our meeting was cordial and our conversation was direct. She presented several options for me and I like them all. I will work there four days a week starting in February, and one day a week at Rowland. Especially intriguing was the possibility of developing current awareness services and employing social media such as Twitter for the library. I'm there, and planning on starting a new blog. Among the other assignments are support for courses (developing modules of resources), instructional support and reference desk work, while continuing to be the go-to library person for Rowland scientists. It's a relief to know what I will be doing after several weeks of uncertainty (we had to cancel our meeting twice before.) I was welcomed warmly by the Cabot staff (Ellie Clement showed me around and Reed Lowrie, with whom I will be sharing an office, said that he was sorry about my library's closing, but that he was glad I had a place to land.)

This is a good thing while I explore options and could be an opportunity to create a permanent situation for myself at Harvard. Maybe. It's good to have clarity. I let the Rowland folks know of these changes in a tersely-worded email which was cathartic to write. Change is change and I know today that there's often an upside which I would never have looked for in years past. Feeling free.

Some have said I wouldn't like working with undergraduates. The kids are alright, as far as I'm concerned. They are how they are, smarter than people like me, while I know more. They are at an exciting time in their lives and it is a digital generation which I'm told does not necessarily come to the library to seek help - perhaps they are craving community. I know I can be equal to every relation today.

Forward to the future, instead of past to the back (paraphrasing an ex-vp of the USA).


  1. Congrats Garrett! I am in a period of uncertainty at the moment, so I can imagine the relief when things get sorted out. It was great meeting you at #scio10!

    All the best!


  2. Garrett: I had no idea you were in transition. I concur with your assessment of undergrads, they are smart, but also 'clueless' in some ways. They also think Google is the doorway to knowledge and are surprised to learn about the 'hidden' web. Your ability to find the right information is something they have yet to learn. Glad to hear you found something that suits your skills. Thanks you for all your well-selected finds for me via Twitter. Carol Phillips @carol_phillips

  3. I'm you are landing on your feet. Best wishes!

  4. I don't know you, but I did a little background reading on your blog to find out the "back story." Congratulations on having a positive outlook and, as Rodger says, "landing on your feet."

    I think the new job sounds wonderful, and I would think you'd do really well at it. I'm betting you make a difference in some of the young students' lives.

    Again, congratulations!