Photo Creative Commons by skedonk
Oh, yes, I know what you’re thinking: There she goes again, whining about the state of Israeli librarianship. So why doesn’t she do something about it?
I would if I could, but I’m not even sure where to start. My program doesn’t seem to offer any guidance on mentorships. We will need to do an apprenticeship in Year 3, but they haven’t told us (approaching Year 2) anything about the process–do they match us up? Do we need to find our own opportunities? At the open house before I joined the program I did get a hint that the coordinator tries to place students in jobs near their homes, so perhaps she does take charge of the whole task. Do I get a say in what kind of library I apprentice at? If so, how do I know what I want? At this point, the only kind of librarianship I know of is solo corporate librarianship, and I wouldn’t want to apprentice at that (if it were possible; apprenticing as a solo librarian is sort of a contradiction in terms, isn’t it?). I have been putting time in at a public library, but only as a volunteer, and never in work with patrons. How would I know if I might like that? And I’ve never done anything in an academic library, a realm which I think might suit me. Would committing myself to 120 hours of work there be my dream job or a nightmare?
If we had an efficient local network I could try that as a way of finding official or informal mentors, but we don’t. I do try, when we take a tour of a library or when I go to a conference I chat up anyone who seem willing. I often do make friendship, but whenever I think I might be finding a mentor I’m brought up short by reality. Fact is, no matter what I’ve called what I do, I’ve been an information professional for well over a decade. Most of the people I talk to either do not have as much experience as I do or are more interested in what I do (as I am more interested in what they do).
When I have my Year 2 planning meeting in October I’ll approach my department head for advice or a name she can recommend to me. I would love to have someone more experienced and more knowledgeable to help guide me, and I think I have enough experience and variety in my professional life to give something back, as well.
If wishes were horses, all librarians would ride. I think it might be time I try to locate my local stable.