rough notes

42. finding out for oneself

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the first day of the new programme is compleat (yes, compleat).  i spent the morning and afternoon meeting new people and re-acquainting myself with older acquaintances.  a couple instances of déjà vu with some some others rounded out the entire day, and all in all, it wasn’t too bad.  i wasn’t surprised by the large number of students from the humanities in the programme, but i was a little alarmed by the number of people who said something like “public libraries” when asked about a career option.  although I will admit a certain enthusiastic first-day bias for the programme i’ve just enrolled in, I must say that all the same, it is surprising to hear “public libraries” so often as a career option.

i don’t have anything against public libraries.  i think public libraries fulfill a vital part of a community’s needs to enrich the lives of its residents.  this enrichment doesn’t begin and end with books, either.  public libraries are more than books and internet accounts.  public libraries are public spaces.  they’re part of a human geography that allows a community to mingle, intermingle, and co-mingle with itself.  desiring to work in a public library is hardly a bad thing; if ever i was offered to work for a public library, i think i’d take the job offer.  but why must a career possibility be just “public libraries” when it could be “access”, “literacy” or “advocacy”?  Why not consider issues such as privacy v. public information?  why not consider how new, emerging and emergent technologies (dare we say “Web 2.0”) are advancing literacy, or changing our notions of literacy, or altering our public spaces?  I don’t have the answers to these questions – that’s partly why i enrolled in the programme i did. perhaps i’m just used to taking – or am one inclined to take the long view as opposed to others?   anyway.

yes, anyway.  anyway, one of those old acquaintances i ran into today is someone I never ran into frequently enough when I was in the middle of my BA.  He’s a great dude who is politically active on too many levels.  And, as a hobby and side project, he’s an amateur geneological researcher.  (I’m not giving his name here, even though he likely wouldn’t care, because I respect people’s privacy in this regard..)  According to google, (googling is a compleatly different regard, of course) he once started a blog, which is only three or four entries long.  two of those entries outline a geneological record of the house he lives in.  This is something i’m very much interested in.  We have so much paperwork on mundane little spaces and places out there that we really can determine (or fabricate) the story behind every spot and every picture of that spot.  one day i will compleat the novel i’m working on that is based around nothing but one photograph of some people in front of a home, and when I do, I will first apologise to Michael Ondaatje for ripping off his incredible prose style, and then I will thank this MLIS dude for reigniting my creative spark which I seem determined to let flutter out before it can gloriously torch the place.


Written by mitchellirons

September 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

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