Ten years ago today I began work at Baker Library at Harvard Business School, my first library job. Ten years later I still work in the same building albeit I have had three different jobs (officially), survived a two-year renovation working in a windowless warehouse-like interim building, and find myself 21 out 53 staff members in seniority. I’ve worked in 8 different offices and may be the only person to have office space on all four floors of the library building.
Here’s my progression of work:
…I started as an Access Coordinator, a position that involved both the grunt work of checking ID’s and bags but also a good introduction to ready reference and bibliographic instruction.
…After a year & a half I moved into the Interlibrary Loan/Document Deliver office and learned the wonders of OCLC Passport and making lots and lots of photocopies. I still worked a lot of hours on the desk providing access and ready reference. And I worked on Saturdays supervising the casual staff. The Tue-Sat schedule helped with library school internships albeit it made life exhausting.
…In the summer of 2003, the library was closed for renovation and ILL was folded into something Article and Book Delivery Unit which provided access to print resources stored offsite. My new digs were in a musty warehouse that also housed the university police rifle range and a kiln for the ceramics club. My desk time was curtailed significantly and I spent many hours anonymously hidden in the stacks pulling books and journals. Fun times.
…Moving into the renovated library in 2005, I resumed ILL/DocDel work and public service desk shifts but added more reference activities as a liaison to the reference team. This included verifying citations for the faculty research division, creating a reference interview training program for my Access colleagues, and responding to email reference questions.
…In the summer of 2008, I made biggest job change yet joining the Information Lifecycle Management team taking care of the school records storage programs and working in the metadata and taxonomy team.
…Just over a year ago after the departure of the Information Lifecycle Manager and some budget considerations ILM was merged into the Archives. I began reporting to the Archivist and taking on many new archival responsibilities including reference and processing.
I’ve been fortunate in that whatever my official job duties I’ve had the opportunities to learn new things. While working full time I went to library school at Simmons College greatly eased by tuition assistance and release time. Following a somewhat circuitous route I’ve found myself working in archives which is where I was interested in going from my earliest days in the field.