Today was my first day working as a public services assistant at the Schlesinger Library. This job practically landed in my lap and I can’t imagine a better place to start my new and improved career in librarianship. It’s almost as though the Schlesinger’s collections were designed with me in mind–American women’s history and culinary history. Seriously, I couldn’t have created a more interesting place and I just want to read almost everything I see in the stacks. The Schlesinger is part of the Radcliffe Institute, which is in turn part of Harvard. So yay! I even get to say I work at a Hahhhvard library. Heehee.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect today, so I can’t even say it wasn’t what I expected. But in many ways it was better. The public services assistant/student assistant (what I am) has pretty basic work, but I didn’t get bored once, which was shocking considering that I can’t remember the last time I actually worked 9 to 5. I will be staffing the reading room (which is beautiful and airy and sunlit and lovely), making sure people don’t mishandle the manuscript materials or break any of the reading room rules. I’ll also be responsible for retrieving books from the closed stacks and re-shelving them when patrons are finished. Which sounds simple and boring, but actually involves a relatively complex system for tracking and storing. And we all know how much I like systems, especially if they are relatively complicated.
The library is beautiful. The collection is amazing. The people are all fantastic and friendly (such a welcome change from the last place I worked!). I usually hate the first day in a new job but this might have been the best first day I’ve ever experienced.
I think I made the right career choice.
(PS–My excitement about the new job and libraries and lots of pages of manuscripts is diminished only by the fact that Crystal is now, officially, gone. I still can hardly believe it. I saw her keys on the counter and felt for a second like she was still home, maybe just in the living room watching some Law & Order. It will take me awhile to not feel these pangs of sadness and teary-eyedness when I realize how much I freaking miss her. I love you Miss Crystal and I’m sure you’ll have a kick ass amazing experience in Barcelona. Just remember you have to come back eventually.)