Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Au boulot

I think I've mentioned that at work we are having constant meetings about the website, so most days I do my thing in the morning and then the équipe meets in the afternoon to discuss the re-organisation of the site. This is good because I actually pluck up the courage sometimes to express my opinion about what I think should happen to the site. (This is the exact opposite as at my last job in NZ where I was all over the project to build a metasearch engine. Le sigh!) Contrary to most of these sorts of meetings, we are actually making progress. Then every so often we have a meeting with my big boss (where my colleagues are nice enough to voice my opinions with credit where credit's due) and get to discuss everything all over again...

What really annoyed me the other day was that I for once managed to express an opinion in the big meeting about what I thought we should do with the site (social networking tools! Web 2.0! Interactivity! Typical "cool librarian" guff...) Anyway, I probably expressed myself badly as usual, but one of the things I said was that as well as just improving the search function (which we really really need to do, but is getting taken care of separately. I hope) we should be pushing information to people by creating themed recommendations etc. My boss's opinion of this was (and I forget the exact word she used) that we didn't have the 'right' or the 'standing' or something like that to tell real researchers which resources were useful. Of course I don't think I'm in a position to critique the arguments of the researchers in this field I know nothing about, or write a thesis on it or whatever, but evaluating resources is my job! (Yeah, librarians do something other than shush people and stamp books, who knew?) Every day I have to make dozens of decisions on whether or not I think something is appropriate for our library. Of course I don't know the subject the way a researcher does, but I tell you what, point to an item in our catalogue on whatever subject & I'll be able to tell you that I entered a podcast on the same subject the week before last and a conference proceedings the month before.

Well, in our normal meeting without the boss one of my colleagues kind of brought it up and he totally got what I was meaning and thought it was definitely a good idea & sort of represented it at our next meeting in a slightly more coherent way, so I felt a bit vindicated, but still a bit annoyed. It's bad enough that 90% of the people you meet think that librarians are essentially unskilled workers, you don't want to feel like your boss thinks so too! Hopefully it was more the way I said it than a reflection of her real opinion.


  1. It shows the boss in a bad light, rather than you. But still, I can see why you are frustrated and annoyed!

  2. A prophet has no honour in her own country!


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