Thursday, July 28, 2016

Interview Post: Jessica Schomberg



Jessica Schomberg

Current job?

Media Cataloger/Assessment Coordinator & Department Chair, Minnesota State University-Mankato

How long have you been in the field?
I got my first job in libraries as a student page in 1992. My first full-time, post-MLIS job was in 2000.

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like?

I actually have two offices, for two of my different hats:

My cataloging office (pictured first): the skull of Sam the super skeleton is in the foreground, my map table and some of my music backlog is in the background. *cue crying at the size of my music backlog*

The library department chair office (second image): the department chair role is a rotating position, so I haven’t done much to make this office feel like “mine” -- other than add a ginormous white board so I can track some of the major projects my library will be working on for the next few years.

How do you organize your days?
I try to put everything I’m working on in my Outlook calendar. If my calendar doesn’t tell me to do something, I am very prone to distraction.

What do you spend most of your time doing?
Writing documents or reports and talking with people. While I love cataloging, I don’t usually get to spend much time actually doing it (hence the backlog).

What is a typical day like for you?
It varies a lot, but generally some mixture of formal meetings, impromptu conversations, and sitting in front of computers.

What are you reading right now?
I’m not quite as bookwormish as Yomiko Readman, but this question still always makes my head explode. The three things in top rotation at the moment, all by authors whose writing I adore:

What's the best professional advice you've ever received?
I’m like a sponge in terms of soaking up advice, so it’s hard to pick the best. Um, maybe... try stuff, see if you like it; if you don’t, move on and try something else.

What have you found yourself doing at work that you never expected?
Going into library school, I knew I didn’t want to teach and I didn’t want to supervise. I now do both.

The other side of this, though, is that I never expected to love teaching. I enjoy making connections with students and, in a really good class, seeing them leave with a different perspective on the world. (Yes, that’s possible even in one-shots.)

Inside the Library Studio

What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
Herstory. Sorry, but it makes me literally cringe.

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?
Option A: in a world where universal health care and basic income were guaranteed, I would love to work in a bakery/deli again.

Option B: I would love to expand my knowledge of statistics and linguistics and do Cool Things with those areas of expertise.

What profession would you never want to attempt?
Anything involving viscera and/or sales.

Everything Else

What superpower do you wish you had?
Well, my library superhero name is Lackadaisical Porcupine so maybe my superpowers would be taking naps and foraging for leaves and using my quills to fend off annoyances.

What are you most proud of in your career?
The peer network I’ve developed on twitter, maybe? IDK. This kind of question is hard for me.

If you're willing to share, tell about a mistake you made on the job.
I don’t really buy into the culture of nice [PDF], but I’m also not always very strategic about how I express that. This can have repercussions.

When you aren't at work, what are you likely doing?
Snuggling cats, drinking tea, and either watching Star Trek: Voyager or reading.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Stephanie @sendaulas (her account is protected so I haven’t included her last name)

Jessica tweets at @schomj. This is Jessica's third post for LtaYL The first was "My (Library) Life with Invisible Disabilities," and the second was "The Power to Name."

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