Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hope springs Eternal...

...either that, or it died this morning at 10:29.

Last week, I found something of a rarity: a job on Craiglist that sounded just like me, offered a decent wage, was in the heart of one of my very favorite places (downtown PDX) and would draw on my education, subject interests and inherent abilities in what sounded like an exciting place. They even referred to their site and gave a valid (not craigslist anonymyzed) email address to contact. I got busy googling them and customizing my cover letter. This was the most excited I'd been in a while to apply for a non-library job.

The speed with which I received a rejection letter was simply stunning. Interesting, my experience and skills do not apparently match their needs. Hmmmmm. If this is true, they did a really lousy job of articulating those needs. Per their site, they wanted:

• College degree and minimum of 2 years work experience
Yeah, I'm all wrong here. I have 2 degrees and 30 years work experience.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills (in person and on phone)
I guess all those reference interviews and tech support questions I've answered don't quite count.

• Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, Publisher)
I'm fully proficient with Office; I just prefer not to use any Microsuck products if I can help it.

• Interest in and familiarity with contemporary literature, arts, pop culture, current events
Okay, I can see where my multiple years of experience doing reference and collection development in the fields of computers, journalism, languages and literature sort of ruled me out. What the hell do I know about any of these? No doubt the nail in the coffin was my BA in English and the stuff I've published, edited, designed and helped others publish.

• Meticulous organization and record keeping abilities
A librarian?! Organized? Never!

• High level of professionalism, discretion and sense of responsibility
• Self-directed, fast learner with capacity for problem-solving and follow through
A person who has started entrepreneurial ventures more than once is obviously some sort of slagabout, as is one who left their family for a year to get that pesky MLS. Slacker!

• Well-versed in online and traditional research methods
• Technologically savvy and comfortable with websites & e-newsletters
Again, if a graduate of the tech support trenches who has answered thousands of questions via the Internet and various subscription databases, was part of Stanislaus County's first wave of staff to be trained in virtual reference and then in turn trained other librarians to do same, designed several sites and basically hand coded a successful poetry e-zine who is currently studying CSS for the sole purpose of improving their and others' sites doesn't count as tech savvy, again -- what does? Hey guys: UNIX command line much?

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