Thursday, January 28, 2016

Interview Post: Carolyn Ciesla



Carolyn Henley Ciesla

Current job?

Instructional Services Librarian and Associate Professor at a smallish (2,900 FTE) community college in the south Chicago suburbs.

How long have you been in the field?

I received my MLIS in 2010 but have been working the library field since 2008. I jumped from public to academic libraryland in 2013.

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like?

I have my own office!!! (Extra exclamation points because this was a first for me.) I try to keep it tidy, but by the end of the semester I’m lucky if I can see the actual surface of my desk. I also want my office to represent me, so I have a GIANT bulletin board with lots of collected memorabilia and silly items, as well as my fandom shelf.

How do you organize your days?
My teaching schedule is getting heavier, so between that and time at the reference desk – and MEETINGS! – I don’t have a lot of time to just sit and work. As a result, I have to be strict with my days if I want to get anything done. Mornings are usually when I try to work on brain-heavy activities, like writing or course/lesson planning. Afternoons are for catching up on professional reading and answering emails.

What do you spend most of your time doing?
I feel like I spend the most amount of time scrambling to finish something because I either put it off or had other things I had to finish first. I’d like to get away from the “headless chicken” model of working.

What is a typical day like for you?
Part of why I love being a librarian is that no two days are exactly the same. They usually involve some combination of: teaching, meeting with students, meeting with other faculty, meeting with my dean, sitting at the reference desk, helping someone (or several someones) print something, checking my email, checking my email again, opening too many tabs and never being able to read everything, did I mention checking my email?, oh, and internally panicking about all the things.

What are you reading right now?
For work: I have, like, seven articles right now on my desk, some for classes and some for me, plus several back issues of C&RL News. For pleasure: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. It’s a story about WWII told from several converging points of view, and it’s gorgeous and heartbreaking. I’m taking a departure from my usual horror/suspense/dystopia titles.

What's the best professional advice you've ever received?
Here’s the thing: I’m sure I’ve received wonderful advice. It’s just… I can’t remember any of it. (Future advice givers: don’t bother with me. I won’t remember it.) Let’s just all assume it was moving and inspirational and motivating.

What have you found yourself doing at work that you never expected?
Telling people to walk around the vomit.

Inside the Library Studio

What is your favorite word?
It changes regularly but is always something fun to say. Right now, it’s flibbertigibbet.

What is your least favorite word?

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?
Movie trailer editor.

What profession would you never want to attempt?
Podiatrist. Dentist. I can’t deal with other people’s feet or mouths.

Everything Else

What superpower do you wish you had?
Teleportation. I hate flying.

What are you most proud of in your career?
The little moments when I’m teaching or talking to a student and it clicks. Then they give me a high five.

If you're willing to share, tell about a mistake you made on the job.
I am an organizational mess, and I’m in charge of several schedules. I’ve double-booked classrooms, I’ve neglected to turn in important forms, and I’ve forgotten to schedule coverage for missed shifts. It’s taught me to write everything down, and take time to complete each task before moving on to another.

When you aren't at work, what are you likely doing?
Napping. Driving. (Ha, I typed drinking instead of driving. Sure, that too.) Hanging out with my husband and daughter.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Amy Watson

Carolyn is on Twitter as @papersquared. This her second post for LtaYL. The first was "All In: Getting the Most Out of the ACRL Immersion Program."

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