Me? You want to ask me?

LIfe question by venturist via flickr CC

Last month I had a strange experience. Strange for me anyhow. If you follow me on twitter you’ll know I am @newgradlib – that is, a newly graduated librarian.  I don’t really know anything. I’m new. I’m learning. I offer words of encouragement and lots of nods & smiles but no real advice (except on parenting, I’m pretty experienced in that department…).

This, however, has not stopped three individuals recently asking me for my professional opinion in three different areas of my professional life. Yikes!

The first is another new graduate. I sat on an interview panel for a job she applied for and was instantly drawn to her – like me, she had little or no library experience yet had written a job application that convinced the panel we needed to see her. Like me, she was offered the job. Like me, she is starting her professional career in a very small, one person library (in fact, the very library I have just left).

I’ve found myself communicating with this librarian partly in a handover type way but also in a “why don’t you try this or this or this to help yourself get started in the profession” type way. You know, suggesting she get going on twitter, establish a PLN, start a blog, all that stuff. Perhaps I should have invited her to blog every day of June.

Next, I found myself being asked about my involvement with NGAC by someone potentially interested in nominating for a position on an ALIA Advisory Committee – expressions of interest were called for several committees during May. What did I think? Had I found it a worthwhile experience? How much work is really involved? Was it interesting?

Last, I had an email from someone who has recently started following me on twitter and is also reading my blog. This person wanted to ask me about studying LIS by distance. How had I found that with a family? Would I recommend one LIS school over another? What had my experience been with juggling time, motivation, kid wrangling and lack of library experience?

It feels strange to be the person being asked – I’m used to the mentoring thing working the other way around for me. It’s a bit daunting to know that people are seeing me as someone with knowledge they can tap into – but also kinda nice.

I’ve taken a few thoughts about public profiles and participation in a personal learning network out of this experience that I’m saving up for another post – after all, I do have to come up with one every day this month!

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6 thoughts on “Me? You want to ask me?

  1. Pingback: Taking responsibility « Opinions from an OPL

  2. I have also been asked to share my knowledge about twitter professionally although I have only been tweeting for a few months. In professional spheres twitter is in its infancy and we are early adopters even though in a social sense we hardly qualify.

    I would be interested in reading about your thoughts on LIS distance courses – perhaps this could be one of your Blog Every Day of June posts?

  3. Pingback: In which I make a confession…. « Opinions from an OPL

  4. I experienced similar at the start of the semester when I spoke about “how to succeed in LIS studies” to new starters in my course. Not even 12 months into using Twitter, I had students coming up to me asking how to get started. I caught up with one student at a conference recently and she was telling what she’s been able to do with Twitter and how she was going with the course…..and she was asking ME for advice (??) Yes it’s strange, but these situations are opportunities, they’re our turn to ‘pay it forward’. I jump at the chance.

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