On the morning of October 12, I had the LASIK surgery done and can already tell you that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At 25 years old, I needed my glasses for everything from driving to eating. They were such a hassle, especially when running or playing sports. Another thing that worried me was my horrible night vision. It was very difficult to see and drive at night, even with my glasses. I was hesitant to go through with the surgery for several reasons but most of all I was scared. I had never had any surgery done before and didn’t really know what to expect. But after my father had the cataract surgery done with great results, I decided it was time to get past my nerves.
I found a great doctor and made the preliminary appointment to see if I was a good candidate for LASIK. The doctor who examined me said, “you have the thickest and most beautiful corneas I’ve ever seen”. As it turned out, I was a superb candidate for the surgery. The actual LASIK surgery itself was very quick and I was able to walk out on my own. When they say the recovery is quick, they mean it. I was up and able to drive myself to the dry cleaner the day after the surgery. It’s now only three days after the LASIK surgery and I’m LOVING every minute of my new freedom. Although I’m still not 100%, the improvement in my sight is extraordinary. My night vision has also improved drastically so I no longer have to worry about driving during the night.
On June 9th, I attended the Palmer School’s “Insider Tips on Launching Your Information Science Career” event at the LIU Post campus. Bios for each panelist that presented can be found here. I learned a great deal from this event even though the panel discussions were geared towards more recent graduates than myself. The panelists talked about their different career paths and then gave advice on how to find a job.
Here are some of the excellent “insider tips” that were given:
- Do what you’re passionate about.
- Think ahead. Know what your goals are and where you want to end up.
- Put your best foot forward in everything you do.
- Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.
- Be flexible and adaptable. This field is consistently changing.
- Learn your craft in a variety of ways: observation, volunteering, reading journals/blogs, and events.
- Belong to a professional organization and be active.
- Networking is of vital importance!!
- NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
- Use your talents, hobbies, and interests to distinguish yourself.
- Communication is key – “communications profession”
- Find a need and create a solution.
- Prepare yourself for the future, even if it’s a future you’re not expecting.
- Be persistent and don’t give up the job hunt. Looking for a job is the hardest thing you’re going to do.
- Even if a library needs a position filled, it can still take a while to get back to the applicants. HR may be short-staffed and they have other things than job applications to worry about.
- Beware of what you place on social media sites.
- Dress up for every interview, event, and even bus trips. Make a good impression.
- Bring thoughtful questions to the interview.
- Don’t be afraid to show interest and enthusiasm for a position.
The Anthology Film Archives is among the long list of neat places I’ve always wanted to visit but never got the chance. At least that was the case until Thursday night when I attend the Archivists Round Table (ART) event, “Films from New York’s Vault III: Archives Go to the Movies.” Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video with a special emphasis on alternative, avant-garde, independent productions and the classics. They have saved tens of thousands of films from disposal and disintegration and also have the world’s largest collection of materials documenting the history of American and International avant-garde/independent film. The ART event took place in one of their theaters, which are equipped with 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, super-8mm, and video projection. The films shown were:
Teenage Cosmonauts (USSR, 1980) – A documentary film on the topic of special schools instituted in the Soviet Union to train youngsters in the skills to prepare them to be cosmonauts or to work in related fields. From the Tamiment Library, New York University.
Handling the Mentally Ill III (1969). From the New York City Police Museum.
Footage of Nikita Kruschev and Fidel Castro Visits to New York City (circa 1960). From the New York City Police Museum.
Placing Safety Cones (1969). From the New York City Police Museum.
[Main Street, USA] (Date unknown) – “…this town, is designed for spies, spies who, after completion of their training, will one day infiltrate American society and report their findings to the Soviet government.” From the New York City Police Museum.
Anita Needs Me (1963) – A tour de force- a panting, overheated Bronx tale of lust, guilt, sacrifice, redemption and…mother. Preserved by the Anthology Film Archives as part of the Avant-Garde Masters Grant program administered by the National Film Preservation Foundation and funded by The Film Foundation.
While all of the films screened were interesting, my favorites came from The New York City Police Museum. I have always had keen interest in the police, an interest that almost lead me to become a police officer myself. The training films, Handling the Mentally Ill III (1969) and Placing Safety Cones (1969) were hilarious. [Main Street, USA] was the most intriguing of those films screened due to the surrounding mystery. Research had been done to try and discover more about this film but there was nothing to either confirm or deny that such a Soviet town really existed and it was designed to educate spies.
The Global Outreach Committee of SLA NY held a special event on April 19 at Baruch College in recognition of International Special Librarians Day. The speakers, Diane Tukman and Mary Jane Fales were from the nonprofit Bridges to Community (http://www.bridgestocommunity.org/) and spoke about the different projects the group gets involved with. The Westchester based community development organization works with local communities in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic under the program areas of housing, health, education, and economic development. They bring volunteers to build water systems, homes, schools, and more recently libraries. Over 800 volunteers a year go to Nicaragua and they are a diverse group of individuals that range from students to business leaders. The speakers explained some of the reasons that Bridges to Community choose to focus their efforts in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
- Lowest education rate in the Western Hemisphere.
- Suffer from housing deficit of over 500,000 homes.
- 47.9% of Nicaraguans live below the poverty line.
- Only 79% of Nicaraguans have access to sources of potable water.
- Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in the Western Hemisphere with friendly and welcoming citizens. Safety has to be a consideration since hundreds of volunteers are sent to work on projects in these countries.
Why the Dominican Republic?
- The western highlands along the border with Haiti contain some of the most impoverished communities in the Western Hemisphere.
- Limited economic and educational opportunities.
- Access to clean water is a major concern.
- The people are gregarious, inviting, and eager to tackle difficult jobs.
- Bridges to Community was able to partner with another organization already established in the Dominican Republic.
The projects that Bridges to Community works on are community generated. The community tells the organization what they need, not the other way around. This year they built their first library for the rural community of Los Lopez in Masaya, Nicaragua. The community’s old school was destroyed in the 2000 earthquake and its replacement was too small, forcing 119 children to squeeze into 4 tiny classrooms. Other children had to cross a busy highway to attend another school. In addition to new classrooms, the community expressed a wish for a library that would provide access to books as well as a quiet, safe place to study. The also wanted the library to have electricity so the adults could come at night to read and study. Several generous and devoted donors made this community’s dream a possibility. The library building was the size of a house and capable of fitting about 20 people. The building also contained a kitchen where healthy lunches could be made for the kids. The kids and community were so excited about the new library that they all came dressed in their uniforms during school vacation to welcome the volunteers from Bridges to Community. The entire community was present at the ground breaking and lined the roads to applaud the volunteers. Getting donated books for the library through customs was a problem so the best option was to buy the books in the country. The teacher who is in charge of running the education program also takes charge of the library and there are still things that need to be figured out. For example, right now no one can take books home with them because a lending library would be problematic in a poor community.
Funding has already been secured for the organization’s second library project that will begin this summer in July. The library will be for the community of Rosa Grande in Siuna, Nicaragua. The rural area is home to mostly farmers and many people walk hours just to obtain water. Few communities in Nicaragua have libraries and so those that do are proud of them. Everyone who attended also received a copy of The Librarian’s Cookbook.