Saturday, June 9, 2012

Catch Up

I am such a negligent blogger, I do apologize. But... things have been happening! I am going to take time in the next few days and post about my following adventures! So keep checking back to hear more!

  • New Job in Conservation
  • New Job in Public Services
  • Digitizing for the Kinsey Institute
  • Interning at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Monday, February 27, 2012


I can't believe it is already around that middle time of the second semester! Time is really flying by this semester. I am currently busy with 3 classes, with a 4th being added next Monday. I am really enjoying everything I have been able to do this semester.

I am attempting my very first Independent Study (or Directed Readings as it is called at SLIS) and embracing what I have encountered so far. This course has really challenged my ability to manage my time well and also my creativity in finding a way to present what I am learning to the best of my ability to my instructor, Cherry Williams. I feel that this is going to be really helpful for when I am in a real library environment where I will be responsible for myself.

I also have been taking instruction from Joel Silver in his Reference Sources for Rare Books. I knew that this would be a very unique class, but it never occurred to me how unbelievably useful this class is. I am being a lot more confident with working with rare materials now that I am gaining the ability to identify different elements important in the book trade and rare book world.

Joel's course also is a great compliment next to my History of the Book (1450-Present) course. Instructor Erika Dowell attempts to get us to envelop ourselves with intensive readings each week followed by hands-on time with the books in discussion. I also enjoy the fact that the class is small (10 students) so we have a lot more time with the materials in class.

I also taught for the first time ever for my Instructional Assistant Job!!! It was a very stressful time, but I am very happy to say I succeeded. I may have embarrassed myself but, the information was given to the class. They were able to walk away learning something-which is the ultimate goal. I don't know when I will be teaching again, but I will be giving tours of the Herman B Wells Library to potential students and their families. I am excited to become a minor Wells Library expert!

And... I am excited to announce I have a new job! I am the new Collection Development/Management Library Assistant at the Herman B Wells Library. I interviewed on Tuesday last week and found out by Friday. I have to go in to get a schedule worked out but, I know I will be putting a lot of time into the position. I hope to add my experience from that to the blog sooner than later.

I wanted to keep this short and sweet. But I'll be back to talk more soon!

Courtney Brombosz

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

and so the semester is done...?!?!

I wish I was better this semester at updating this blog. I have returned to update you all on my amazing semester!

I am super excited to be starting as a docent at the Lilly Library next semester. I will be giving tours to groups of all ages visiting the library. I have been reading over all of the library's history and soon will be a Lilly expert! Did you know that the wallpaper in the Lincoln Room is a replica of the wallpaper that was in the White House? We also have the very last portrait painted of Abraham Lincoln himself. I have really fallen in love with this library and the faculty that I have had the privilege to interact with. I am so excited to be able to share my love of the Lilly with all the groups that walk through its doors.

One of my proudest moments this semester was putting up my exhibit at the Lilly for my manuscripts course. I curated an exhibit featuring the artwork of Willis Pyle. Pyle is an animator and artist who has been working since 1937 and is still painting today. What I didn't know before working with Pyle's collection was that the director of the Lilly, Breon Mitchell, is the cousin of Willis Pyle. I was able to get a more personal view point of Pyle and his life. I was more proud of this out of all the opportunities given to me this semester.

My semester starts tomorrow! So we will see what is to come it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

collection development anxiety

As I had mentioned in my last post, I am in the Collection Development and Management course. For this class, we were given the assignment to pick materials for an already existing collection with a budget of "$1,000."

When I first heard this was our job, it sounded simple enough: pick books that would best fit the libraries users. Little did I know that there is so much more than that to be aware of. I've been stressed out about picking the right books for this project. But I keep trying to remember this: there is no right or wrong book to pick. If you are choosing a book, there must be a reason as to why YOU chose it. If you can give a creative and thoughtful reasoning to a book, then it is "right." But this is probably the first time I've been able to do something like this where I am the one making the "rules." I feel that even though I'm worried about my choices and ideas not being fully developed, I am learning a lot about myself and how I work. I find myself having an easier time completing this project by doing a few things

1. Look at other collections
I have looked through other collections that are similar to the one I'm trying to build up. Now, after being told never to copy your colleges work, it did feel a little wrong at first to look at other collections. But that is what is beautiful about the Library World! We are all working together as librarians to be able to make the best resources and information available to library users. That is probably what I love most about the field. You can always have someone to turn to for advice and knowledge.

2. Book Reviews
This may seem like the obvious thing to do when trying to find a good book, but there is more to it than you think. With book review databases like Books in Print, you get to compare books through their reviews (or lack there of) and their content. Sometimes the best books that I've found are the ones without reviews, making the book choice that much more personal to me :)

3. You! The Librarian!
Yes, you! You are a librarian for a reason, you have some sort of eye for books and the content in them. Now is the time that you can apply that. Explore books that YOU feel are right. That is what you'll be hired for so why not start now?!

Well, after reading this, I feel that much more motivated to create a collection that I am proud of. That I will be able to put my name on and know that I made what I feel are the best additions to a collection.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

librarians are cool

I found this today and I am even MORE proud to be a librarian. BANG! POW!

life (thus far) at SLIS - Indiana University

I never know how to start off a blog. So this is how I'm going to start it.

I have now been in the Library Science program at Indiana University for 3 months and I couldn't love it more. I came to Bloomington for the first time on the day I moved in. It was a very nervous time for me seeing as not only was I going to be living alone for awhile until my roommate came for the fall semester, but I was starting all over. But the excitement of starting at SLIS helped make this a lot easier.

This summer, I took Reference, a computer technology class that is required of all SLIS students, and Representation and Organization. First off, reference was a great class to be able to really understand how to make the most effective searches. Our professor, Dr. Meho, was an excellent professor. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about what he did- it was contagious. I dived in, excited to make a pathfinder for the class. Dr. Meho was always able to help whenever I had questions and made this course accessible to every kind of library science student, whether they are planning to be a reference librarian or not.

Representation and Organization was the "alternate" Cataloging class. I am very happy I took this because, it approach cataloging in a very different way. We were able to explore the different ways that people classify and catalog materials. From the classic Dewey Decimal System to Folksonomy, we learned it all.

The computer class was more helpful than I ever thought. Librarians are taking on the world of technology more and more each day. In this class, I was able to prepare myself for what I'll be expected to do in any library. I was able to design my own website which was pretty cool. After taking this course, I plan on enrolling in the free workshop courses that IU has to offer. They have classes for Photoshop, Perl, Illustrator, Endnote, and Dreamweaver are all valuable skills I intend to develop.

Now it is the fall semester and more people are on campus. I seriously didn't think that this town would look the way it does-the sidewalks are like city streets at points. Bicyclists weaving through the walking crowd, traffic backing up on 10th Street for the whole length of campus, and people EVERYWHERE! After going to Millikin University for my undergrad where there was 1200 kids total....this is different. But I love it!

Right now, I'm enrolled in Collection Development and Management, Manuscripts, and Rare Books. Needless to say, I am really enjoying this semester.

Collection Development is with Dr. Debora Shaw, or as we call her 'Ralf' and her PhD assistant professor, Shannon Oltmann. I wasn't too sure what to expect from this class. However, I am really enjoying. I am very thankful that I had my internship at the Decatur Public Library to prepare me for this class. A lot of what we discuss are things that I encountered while at this library. Our final project for this class is to create a potential collection list of new items for one of 4 library collections Ralf gave to us. One of them is the Naperville Public Library's Folklore Collection! This is my childhood library. I am excited to explore their collection and pick out new items to add to the collection.

Manuscripts was actually a last minute addition to my schedule. I was planning on getting the required courses out of the way first so I could have time to explore different areas of Librarianship, but one of the classes I enrolled in was cancelled. When I went to the course offerings, this was the only one that really worked with my schedule. But I am very happy that I was able to take this class. Prof. Cherry Williams is an amazing professor to work with. She is not only extremely knowledgeable, but she is excited about what she does. This infectious attitude can only do good things for me. She loves getting our hands in contact with the materials we discuss. She has brought in manuscripts from the 9th and 10th century for us to examine and TOUCH! I don't know how common it is to allow people to touch this old documents, but I still feel very privileged to be able to work with such extraordinary materials. And our big assignment for this class is putting together our own exhibit at the Lilly Library. I about died when I found out we would be able to make our own exhibit in the Lilly, but it only got better. This is a collection of donated manuscripts from Willis Pyle. Pyle was a Disney Animator in the very early years. He recently celebrated his 97th birthday too! I already geek out about Disney and Libraries separately, but when they merge together like this, I can hardly contain myself! I was able to go into the Lilly Reading Room and look through his collection. Let's just say, I had to hold back a few tears of joy as I held drawings of Bambi and film from Pinocchio in my hands. Utterly Mind Blowing.

Lastly, I'm taking Rare Books with the brilliant Joel Silver. I am constantly amazed by his plethora of knowledge. He comes in with no notes and just discusses. I always look forward to going in and listening to his discuss the appeal and "madness" that is book collecting. I only hope one day to be as knowledgeable and valuable as Joel.

Yesterday I was able to have coffee with a new friend and fellow SLIS student, Brianna. She was actually the one that inspired me to start this blog. She and I had a wonderful time discussing our ideal futures in the Library World and how we can help one another out. I must say, this blog has already been a wonderful place for me to share my life here at IU. I look forward to working with her more on the many exciting ideas we threw around.

I woke up early this morning for class at the Lilly and was upset to remember that there was no class today for Rare Books. So I went for a stroll through campus and then went for a run around my neighborhood. After that and a nice long blog post, I'd say a cup of tea in order.