Well, this is embarrassing…

•August 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

…and one month later she returns.

I have a bunch of excuses for why I’ve been absent.  My computer is on it’s last leg, my full time non-library job is exhausting, and I’m lazy.  That said, I really want to make this work.

So let’s start with something simple: what am I reading?

I’m currently digesting Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine.  This book deals with reincarnation and battling the demons of a past life.  But even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, it’s still an interesting read.  Some bits are slow but those sections are few and far between.  I take great interest in the back stories of all the characters but the tug-of-war love/hate relationship the two main characters have is predictable.

I have many other books waiting in queue:

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Confession: I can’t remember book titles.  So when I find a book that interests me online or in the store, I take a picture of it with my phone so I can remember when I go to the library.  A 21st century fix for the absent minded.

My phone's photos reveal what I should read next

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Work It!

•July 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My recent absense from posting may have inadvertantly revealed something about me.  Though I have stated that I’m looking for a job in libraries, I do have a “9-5” job at a company that I’ve been with for over 3 years.  The line I’ve been telling myself is “why leave a good-paying job in the middle of a recession?” especially when looking to break into an industry that isn’t exactly rolling in job opportunities.  While this job is challenging and exciting I have grown tired of it and I really want to put my newly earned degree to use.

Recently my office experienced a big blow when a veteren of my department (and a senior manager) left the company to pursue bigger and better things.  He was very well liked and he will be missed.  This incident however, does allow me the opportunity to discuss workplace dress codes.  (Wow, that’s a big leap, you might think.)

My job has a very loose dress code.  It is not uncommon to see jeans and flip flops mid-week.  My fiance is trying to break me out of the habit of wearing jeans at work when I just don’t feel like putting in effort that morning.  But then I realized my lack of effort in the morning showcased a perception that I lacked effort during the day. 

Here are some reasons you may want to consider a change in wardrobe at the office.

There’s a new boss in town.  First impressions are everything.  If your new boss sees that you’re on your game and are appropriately and professionally dressed, you’ll be pegged as a “go-getter”.  Think about your first impressions of people when you started your job.  Yes, personality has a lot to do with perceptions, but to a new boss your appearance is your way of saying you can hang with the Big Boys.

You’re looking for a promotion.  Nothing says “I mean business!” than a uptick in your attire.  Your quality of work will speak for itself but if you don’t look like management material, it could be holding you back.  Think of the small things too.  If your shoes get dusty, clean them regularly.  If your shirt is wrinkled, iron it or throw it in the dryer for a few minutes to release the kinks before heading out the door.

You’re looking to leave the company.  I’ve known many people who sabotage all their relationships (and files) when leaving a job.  You likely don’t just work within the company, you likely work with outside vendors, contractors, and customers too.  Every referral helps and you will be seen as being very pulled together if your wardrobe is clean and professional.

You’re depressed.  Always try to leave your personal issues at the door when working.  If you’re feeling down, tired, or, quite frankly, lazy, perk things up with your outfits.  I generally have a few go-to pieces that are no fuss and look like a million bucks.  It takes just as much time to put on jeans and a t-shirt as it does to put on slacks and a blouse.

These suggestions also hold true to people who work in the library and information industry.  The importance of dress however, is amplified because public interaction is a necessity.  You should always appear confident and in control when dealing with patrons and if you look like you should receive respect, you will most likely get it.

Interview attire should follow the same vein.  A professional and personal sense of style can go a long way.  Of the jobs I didn’t get, the majority were for my appearance where I miscalculated the weight of the situation.  Even when employers stress their casual work style, always err on the side of a nice suit and simple colors or patterns.

In Her Shoes

•July 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

I walked over a mile in my new Nine West Justine wedges (similar to the pair pictured below) to break them in over the last week.  I had been looking for closed-toe wedges for a good three months before I found these on sale at my local outlet mall.

Nine West Zoey (similar to Justine style)

Shoes should neither break the bank or your back so I’ve used my awesome research skills to find fashionable (and library appropriate) shoes for all types of women.

Clarks provides comfortable shoes that break the mold.  For those that are on their feet all day, I recommend these two great options: Clarks ‘Book Pump’ (I swear I did not pick it for the name) and Clarks ‘Hen Cove’.  Both are on sale for $49.99.

Clarks Book Pump shoe in Pewter

Clarks Hen Cove shoe in Mushroom

For those who spend more time seated and can afford a bit of a heel, I suggest either the Merona Maribel Peep Toe Wedge (available at Target) or the Arturo Chiang (Piperlime.com).  They retail for $29.99 and $79 respectively.

Merona Maribel Peep Toe Wedge in Black

Arturo Chiang in Black Patent

Although I want my first “fashion” post to be relatively tame, I don’t want to mislead my readers into thinking I cannot think outside the box.  Check out these Calvin Klein pumps retailing for $119 at Zappos.com.  *swoon*

Calvin Klein Neila in Black Leopard

Weekend Reads: Elizabeth I by Anne Somerset

•July 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Every Friday I’ll write about a book I’m currently enjoying.  This week it’s Elizabeth I by Anne Somerset.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent visit to North America had me devouring blogs on William’s activities and Catherine’s wardrobe.  Now that the commotion is over and they have (rightfully) gone home to normalcy, I had to find a source for royal delight to satisfy my growing appetite for this facinating family. 

I chose to pry into the life of a royal I’ve always wanted to know more about: Elizabeth I.  I’m only a fraction of the way through the book (she’s just had her speedy coronation so France would think twice about labeling her as a bastard).  My enjoyment in reading about her life is the same enjoyment I get from talk shows and reality TV.  It’s that moment when one re-realizes that everyone on this earth has an exciting life.  It just takes looking at ourselves from different perspectives.  Eventually there is something that shines a little brighter, speaks a little louder, and manages to amaze the world.

Elizabeth I book cover

Available on Amazon for 14.36

Available on Kindle for $13.99

Available at your library for FREE

Literacy, literally

•July 14, 2011 • 2 Comments

As an out-of-work recent grad of a Master of Library Science (MLS) program, I’m trying to hunt for every opportunity to expand my resume.  When I first wanted to work in a library a few years ago, all postings demanded an MLS degree.  Now, they’re requiring an MLS degree and two years of experience.  I am always shy of every expectation.  So while I’m still carefully throwing out my resume into the infinite abyss, I am scanning websites and fliers for volunteer opportunities in the field.

Recently I’ve started volunteering at an adult literacy center in a nearby town.  I initially hesitated trying to teach anyone, let alone adults, to read.  But I’ve found out that this program (along with many others across the country) rarely find an illiterate adult.  The typical learner is someone wanting help getting their GED, training for a vocational test, or looking to expand their abilities with the written word.

I was matched with a learner last week and will get to meet her soon.  I’m itching to start this process because, after reading her placement results I can already tell she is extremely intelligent and just needs help getting back on the right track and finding ways to be proud of herself.  I really want to help her.

Tonight I will read through a few mounds of instructional books and prepare a loose lesson plan.  And here I thought I was done with school!  I genuinely hope I succeed in helping her in this program, and if not I hope to learn something from the experience myself.