Sunday, May 26, 2013

As My Professional Clock Runs Down

Career Clock image
1. Career Clock

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone. I cannot believe that I have not posted anything since May 5th. Time flies when you constantly prepare job applications and hope that someone puts you on their team full time. I have prepared so many applications and completed more than a few interviews. I consider myself somewhat of a pro. Of course, I can still improve my skills. But I am no longer a neophyte.

Some of you may know that I am a part-time lecturer at an academic library in Michigan. I enjoy my position. It pays reasonably well and I have plenty of time to pursue extracurricular academic activities. I am part of an excellent team, and I have plenty of opportunities to grow as a professional librarian. But often I do not feel like a real librarian because I am not full-time tenure track faculty, like my colleagues.

And my professional clock is running down.

I found librarianship very late in life, although I have been a librarian all of my life. It took me a long time to "settle down".

I may have another 15 or 20 years left for a third (fourth, five?) career. I want to make the best of it. I want to make a difference in librarianship and beyond. I think this blog may just be one small contribution to the profession. I love to write. Perhaps I should funnel this passion into writing scholarly articles on the social and political aspects of librarianship. LIS literature has many articles about information literacy, information access, database searches,  and bibliographic instruction. Perhaps I can facilitate the discussion on how gender and racial stereotypes may inform librarianship and library education.

But I have to do this soon. Because my professional clock is running down.

Time to Work Clock image
2. Time to Work Clock
And speaking of professional clocks, an esteemed colleague is retiring after more than 36 years of working in our library. Thirty-six years! This person has seen the radical transformations in our library and in the profession.  This colleague has often shared her years of experience with us part-timers. Her wisdom is priceless.

I hope that when my career ends, I can share my wisdom and experience with up-and-coming librarians. I think I do a bit of that already.  But I need to do more.

Because my professional clock is running down.

IMAGES are used in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law, Section 107.

1. GL Stock Images. Retrieved 26 May 2013 from
2. GLS Stock Images. Retrieved 26 May 2013 from


  1. I agree that being a part-time Librarian can make one feel not like a librarian at all!!!! I've even had Full-timers ask me if I am "applying to be a Librarian." I take great offense to that! What am I now?!

  2. Cornel, I felt the same way when I worked for a community college. I was a part-time Librarian, but the Librarians treated me like staff!

    @Johnnie, It is great that you have a wonderful team to work with you! Most of the part-time minority Librarians I know are not treated as an equal! You have it good!!