Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 5: Where to From Here?

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 5: Where to From Here?about me, librarianship, mid-career, social software, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 9/11/2019 with 9 comments

This is the fifth in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. “To me, the only habit worth ‘designing for’ is the habit of questioning one’s habitual ways of seeing” -Jenny Odell, How to do Nothing “We have to fight for this world, but we …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 4 – The Cult of Productivity: You’re Never Doing Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 4 – The Cult of Productivity: You’re Never Doing Enoughabout me, career, librarianship, mid-career, social software, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/28/2019 with 4 comments

This is the fourth in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. “These days, I just want to slow down. I want to pull the shutters closed and block out the world… The more time I have, the more I realize that all that …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 3 – Our Achievement Culture: What You’re Doing Will Never Be Enoughcareer, librarianship, libraries, management, mid-career, MPOW, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/19/2019 with 1 comment

This is the third in a series of essays. You can access the rest here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order. Of all my annoying qualities, my most self-destructive may be that if you put a ladder in front of me, I’ll try to climb it. Doesn’t matter if the entire premise …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enough

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 2 – Ambition: You are Not Enoughabout me, career, gender, management, mid-career, Work, Work-life balance, writing

by Meredith Farkas on 8/7/2019 with 4 comments

This is the second in a series of essays. You can access the first here, though it’s not necessary to read them all or in order: “So maybe my great ambition, such as it is, is to refrain from engagement with systems that purport to tell me what I’m worth compared to anyone else. Maybe …

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfinding

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Thoughts at Mid-Career Part 1 – Letting Go, Questioning, and Pathfindingabout me, librarianship, mid-career, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 8/2/2019 with 9 comments

This is the first in a (probably) five-part series of essays. For about two years, until January, I felt a disturbing lack of ambition. I felt directionless and passionless; devoid of my usual neverending energy and interest. I chalked it up to mid-career malaise, but it was more than that. Having only in the past …

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workers

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“Devaluing” the MLS vs. respect for all library workersALA, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 6/28/2018 with 27 comments

I’m sure some of you remember the big push last year and early this year to require the MLS for the Executive Director of the American Library Association (ALA) — if you don’t, here is an article, column, and blog post about it. One big argument I kept hearing was that we needed someone who understood and …

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-career

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Wayfinding and balance at mid-careerabout me, gender, librarianship, management, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 2/20/2018 with 9 comments

It’s LIS Mental Health Week; a week focused on raising awareness of mental health. This post isn’t about mental health per se, but something that I think, for me, is very much exacerbated by anxiety and the constant negative self-appraisal that comes with it. Two blog posts really resonated with me recently. Sarah Houghton (who I believe …

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Choose your own professional involvement adventure

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Choose your own professional involvement adventurelibrarianship, speaking, tenure track, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 9/6/2016 with 2 comments

Last month, I had lunch with two friends who are also in academia. We talked a lot about professional ambitions and “extracurricular” professional involvement. One of them is starting a new book and the other is thinking about doing consulting as a side-job. In every job I’ve had (even before librarianship), I’ve been focused on …

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week post

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Playing the super-productive librarian. My #LISMentalHealth Week postabout me, libraries, Work, Work-life balance

by Meredith Farkas on 1/19/2016 with 12 comments

I know a lot of librarians who’ve suffered with depression or anxiety, take psychotropics, or who go to therapy. It makes me wonder if people with mental illness are drawn to librarianship in greater numbers than other professions. I was very happy — and a little trepidatious — when I saw that two fantastic librarians …

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?

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Should the horrible first job search be seen as a rite-of-passage?about me, career, free the information!, job search, librarianship, libraries, library school, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 11/9/2015 with 13 comments

I felt really sad when I read Kyle Shockey’s post on the Librarian Burnout blog about feeling burnout after library school and being in the midst of the job hunt. By all indications, he is one of those rare recent grads who followed the advice so many of us give to LIS students — don’t …

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplace

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The insidious nature of “fit” in hiring and the workplacelibrarianship, libraries, management, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 9/28/2015 with 12 comments

Organizational culture is a very real and a very powerful force in every organization. I have worked in a variety of different organizations and each had had its own rituals, norms, values, and assumptions that influenced the way people worked together, shared information, and got things done. Culture is this weird, powerful, unspoken thing that both impacts …

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Taking a new path in a familiar place

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Taking a new path in a familiar placeabout me, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 7/2/2014 with 7 comments

Lisa Hinchliffe and I are currently analyzing data from a survey looking at factors that facilitate the creation of an assessment culture in community college libraries (it’s a sister study to the one we did with Amy Harris Houk on four-year and above schools reported on in C&RL). We’ll be presenting the results at the Library …

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Don’t go it alone. On the benefits of collaboration.

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Don’t go it alone. On the benefits of collaboration.free the information!, instruction, librarianship, libraries, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 1/31/2014 with 5 comments

I don’t have all the answers. There, I said it! I’m a pretty smart person who did well in school and has been relatively successful in her career, but I don’t consider myself an “expert” in anything. However, when you teach, write a column for a major magazine in your profession, or even express yourself …

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Good for what? Considering context in building learning objects.

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Good for what? Considering context in building learning objects.hi, instruction, librarianship, libraries, reference, tech trends, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 8/19/2013 with 12 comments

I’m working with a colleague of mine (Amy Hofer of Threshold Concepts fame) to create a suite of tutorials that are going to be integrated into online University Studies (think General Education) classes. One of the learning objects we plan to create is envisioned as being called “good for what?” Students tend to look at …

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Library DIY: Unmediated point-of-need support

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Library DIY: Unmediated point-of-need supportinstruction, librarianship, libraries, management, MPOW, our digital future, reference, tech trends, Work

by Meredith Farkas on 7/2/2013 with 17 comments

I recently realized that while I write about a lot of things, I do not often write about the work I’m doing at Portland State and through the Oregon Library Association. I think it comes partly from a desire not to toot my own horn, but it also reflects my nervousness about writing about work …

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