The extreme oddities of the information profession
Well, we’re nearly there! According to my highly scientific* measurements, the manuscript is 82.5% done – which is a bloomin’ good job, as I’m going to be sending it to the publisher in 10 days …
[* I make it all up]
If you’ve had any kind of contact with me over the last few weeks (or if, indeed, I’ve been notable for my lack of contact), you may notice that I’m obsessed with this book. I bring it into every conversation, to the extent that I’ve started to sound like a chicken (think about it…) I told my doctor about it. And my taxi driver. I’m analysing every conversation I have for ‘should that go in the book?’ potential. Someone sends me a link to a good article or blog post; I open Endnote. I have back-ups in every place I can think of. I’m basically incapable of concentrating properly on anything else.
I never expected it to take over my life like this. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I never realised to just what extent it would worm its way into every aspect of my consciousness. And it’s not going to end once the manuscript’s in! Along with the work I’ll need to do for the rest of the publishing process, I’m going to be adding content to the website.
I’ve already got a guest blog post lined up, which will be the first in a series of posts about ‘My First Month’, following new professionals in their first month in a new role, and looking at their expectations, challenges, and funnest bits 🙂 The first post is from Simon Barron, e-resources coordinator at Durham University Library, and will be posted later this year. I have a couple more lined up to follow, and if you’d like to contribute a post about your first month, do let me know!
These posts help to reflect the unexpected challenges and pleasures of information work. No guide to the information professions can hope to capture all the strange things we’re asked to do! I’d like to know: what’s the oddest/most unexpected thing you’ve ever been asked to do as an information professional?
Responses will go on a blog post here, and (hopefully) some will go in the introduction to the book. I asked this on twitter yesterday, and got some fantastic responses, including:
‘book a scalextrix track for a client event’
‘search for any articles on the change in sound as a replacement hip joint is banged home’ (‘ding ding ding donk’, apparently…)
‘Hold a horse while the potential donor of archives examined its leg’
‘Go from 1 part of a campus to another 2 miles away on a camel’
and, possibly my favourite so far, ‘wake a tramp with a stick’
So, what’s your favourite/least favourite/downright weirdest thing you’ve been asked to do as part of your job? Let me know in the comments, or you can tweet @bethanar or @lisnewprofs. Thanks!