Saturday, April 07, 2007

Three days before

I start a new job in three days. Which is what has prompted me to start this blog.

See, I've wanted to do the "blogging thing" for a while, but had no idea what to write about. And, to be honest, was pretty intimidated by all the people who had been doing it for so long and had, y'know, actual subscribers to their blog!

But this - ah, here I have something worth writing about. A new chapter in my career - Chapter Two, I'm calling it.

The story so far: I decided to become a Librarian. I enrolled in my grad. dip to do so, and half way through, I got a job at the History of Medicine Library, part of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. I worked there for 4.5 years, and had an amazing time - it really was an extraordinary job. But now I've left, and on the 10th April I'll be starting a new job as an Outreach Librarian at the University of New South Wales.

The job at the RACP was as the manager of a small, very special library. At UNSW, I'll be just one cog in a very large system. At the RACP I was the boss. At UNSW, I'm not the boss of anyone! At the RACP, if a system didn't work, I would change it, then and there. At the UNSW I won't be in a position to do that - I'm going to have to learn to live with things that I don't like.

However, at the RACP I worked primarily by myself. At UNSW, I'll not only be working with others, but I'll be part of a team of 10, with shared challenges and goals. At the RACP my boss was the CEO - great as he was, he didn't have time to supervise me and listen to all my little gripes - if you bring a problem to the CEO you'd better bring a solution too, cos he's got other stuff to worry about. At UNSW, I'll have a supervisor who might occassionally have time to actually supervise my work.

But some of the things I loved about my old job I'll still have - I think. This is a new position, and I get the impression that while they know what they want me to achieve, how I acheive that is something I have to figure out - that that's fun, I love doing that stuff.

For the last month I've been trawling a bunch of academic library blogs. The overall feeling I get is one of terror - there's so much to learn! And I'm very impatient with that - I want to know EVERYTHING, and NOW.

Related to that - last year my partner gave me one of those fantastic Penguin box sets of abridged texts, the Great Ideas one. I'm currently reading Mary Wollstonecraft's "A vindication of the rights of women", and she's arguing for women to be properly educated. It's making me appreciate what I have - that I can access so much education. But that, in turn, makes me want even more - I now feel it's an obligation to learn as much as I can.

I'm three days out from the new job. I've got heaps of blogs to read (haven't touched my rss feeder for a week). Better get cracking.

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