The Trials and Tribulations of
Takako the Librarian

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Hi. I am currently an associate librarian at the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library in New York. In April, I came back after spending six months (well, five-and-a-half months) on mission in East Timor (which is an independent country as of 20 May 2002... Yay!!!). You can read about it (at least until mid-January) on The Adventures of Takako the Danger Librarian.

Before that, I was a doctoral student in the University of Kentucky's College of Communication and Information Studies.

And before that, I was the Electronic Media/Bibliographic Instruction Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's Owen Library for three years.

Some Library-Related WWW Links

My Full Resume
United Nations
The only truly international organization in existence.  I am still awed at the scale of activity of the UN, and I am honored to be a part of building world peace through my work as an international civil servant.  I can finally say this, now that the ordeal that was the experience of taking the National Competitive Recruitment Examination and the entire recruiment and hiring procedures are over.... (Can you say, "BUREAUCRACY"?)
Dag Hammarskjold Library
The Library is a part of the UN Secretariat's Department of Public Information (DPI). The collection is largely divided into two areas: UN documents, and the External Collection, which is a collection of books and other materials related to the work of the Organization. I was a reference librarian in the latter area, but I was recently transferred ("temporarily for several months," whatever that may mean) to the UN/Specialized Agencies Documents Reference Desk. I avoided government documents like the plague when I was in library school - now I work in an institution that deals primarily with them. Who knew? But it's certainly an interesting working environment. My supervisor is a mix of German and something else (I forget); my colleagues are Spanish (now American), Ethiopian, and British. A Belgian colleague left at the end of July in a transfer to Geneva, but we are hoping to recruit another native French speaker soon.
University of Pittsburgh
More familiarly known as "Pitt," it is located in the section of Pittsburgh called Oakland (which, as an ex-Californian, just threw me for a loop :-))
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
One of four regional campuses of the University of Pittsburgh. It is a rural campus located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands, with a student body of about 3,000.
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) Owen Library
My first job as a professional librarian. The Owen Library, with its collection of about 125,000 volumes and 665 periodical subscriptions, supports the academic programs of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
American Library Association
Information about the American Library Association, the oldest professional library association in the world.
Special Library Association
The SLA is an association of special libraries and librarians -- libraries in corporations, government, non-profit, and, you guessed it, international organizations (like the United Nations).

Some School-Related WWW Links

University of Kentucky
My most recent academic institution.
University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Studies
My interests here meandered from library-related areas into communication competence from a constructivist approach and computer mediated communication. Coursework: Paradigmatic Issues in Communication Theory, Communications Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Proseminar in Interpersonal Communication, Proseminar in Mass Communication Theory, Communication Research Methods, Statistics, Instructional Communication
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
My beloved alma mater. Go Bruins! I earned my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from its Department of Library and Information Science (DLIS), Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS) in 1995. While there, I interned at the College Library, the campus's undergraduate library. Research interests that emerged included intellectual freedom, information literacy, and the information-seeking behavior of undergraduates.
While pursuing my MLIS, I had the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. I taught drill sections of Elementary Modern Japanese, taught by Professor Noriko Akatsuka, PhD. It was a great learning experience for me, and I was lucky to work for a phenomenal professor and with outstanding teaching colleagues.
I also earned my BA in English Literature there in 1991, where I concentrated on Tudor/Stuart literature and history, early Romantic poetry by Wordsworth and Coleridge, and dramatic literature, mainly Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw. I also studied some acting and singing, and developed some interest in climatology (the study of climates).
I spent my junior year of college at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, through the University of California's Education Abroad Program (EAP). I took courses in Chaucer, the Romantic poets, and medieval English history. I also took trips to Tintern Abbey and the Lake District (Wordsworth), Canterbury (Chaucer), and lots and lots of old churches. I also visited some places that were associated with two of my heroes: Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank. I visited Rouen, Rheims, and Orléans, and I spent a day in Amsterdam to visit Anne Frank Huis. The entire experience changed my life.
Beverly Hills High School
Yes. THAT Beverly Hills High School (Class of 1987). You can ask me about famous people with whom I went to school, but you might be disappointed. ;)

Some Handy-Dandy Internet Links

Arguably the oldest World Wide Web directory in existence. I (phone) interviewed for a job there out of library school... but they wanted a cataloger. :P
AllTheWeb (was Fast)
My favorite search engine. It's fast and easy to use.
Another good search engine.
Yahoo! Geocities
Free homepage space (11MBs). The pop up advertisements are annoying, but you get what you pay for. Otherwise, a nice service.

What I Do for Fun (aka "You mean you don't enjoy reading Habermas?")

As mentioned in passing above, I love all aspects of the theater. I'll watch pretty much everything that has any acting in it, from live theater to the most inane sitcoms. Favorite playwrights include William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, and Tennesee Williams. I also like Arthur Kopit. My current TV favorites include ER and the X-File s (miss it a bit). I also like Due South, and... uh... well... okay, I admit it, I'm a closet Xena fan. Lately, I've also watched The West Wing, which my sister likes, and The Dead Zone (creepy).

I also like pop music. (I want my MTV!) I have all three American releases from the Backstreet Boys, both CDs from Britney Spears, and one CD each of Christina Aguilera and 'N Sync. They are pre-wrapped, commercialized and well-packaged, but, ya gotta admit, they can sing. One group that I like that I think stands out is Hanson, who write their own music and play their own instruments.

I also enjoy jazz. My father has always been a big jazz fan, but he had never been able to share his interest with us kids because he was working 6 or 7 days a week. However, now that he is semi-retired, he has been showing us little by little his jazz-related interests. I'm currently listening to some latin jazz as well as some Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and of course the classic artists (Miles Davis and Billie Holiday among others), and branching out into Brazilian music, too.

I've always been a bookworm. Like the theater, I'll read pretty much anything. Among authors I like I include Shakespeare (of course), Mark Twain, John Grisham (yeah, yeah, he keeps writing the same book over and over, but it's great brain candy), Tom Clancy (ditto for Mr. C, though I like his characters Jack Ryan and Mr. Clark). Like every grown-up who has a kid within clamouring to get out, I also enjoyed the four Harry Potter books and eagerly await their continuation, both on paper and on the screen. Current and recent reads: Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon; Philip Pullman's Dark Matter trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass), The Professor and the Madman (on the making of the Oxford English Dictionary); I'm currently reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion and Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and re-reading Kenneth Branagh's autobiography, Beginning.

I'm also a fan of science fiction in its many forms. Reading-wise, I am a big fan of Frank Herbert -- his Dune series, of course (I actually wrote my graduating thesis in Japanese school on them), but also The White Plague and some of his non-fiction essays as well. Shinichi Hoshi is a great Japanese SF writer; some of his work has been translated into English. I've also enjoyed Timothy Zahn's Star Wars novels (the movies go without saying -- I've been enjoying the prequels, critics' pans notwithstanding), and I even occasionally pick up a Star Trek novel, though I think good ones are very rare. Last year, I read On Basilisk Station, the first in the Honor Harrington series by David Weber upon recommendation from friends, and I enjoyed it; I've read what has been published so far, and eagerly await the continuation of Honor's adventures (I hear the next one is supposed to come out in October 2002). I watched Deep Space 9 and Voyager, and am watching Enterprise occasionally, although I'm not really getting into it yet -- I wasn't able to see it while I was in East Timor. And, I miss my Babylon 5 fix.

Currently, a lot of my free time goes to activities as a member of alt.starfleet.rpg (ASR), a Usenet-based Star Trek role-playing game club set approximately 50 years after the setting of TNG, DS9, and Voyager. The group has 26 or so role-playing units (ships and starbases), and probably has about 150 players total from all over the world. My involvement started in the fall of 1996 with one character, and I've gone through stages when I played up to three, but now I am back to playing one again. Captain Elisabeth Romée is the half-human, half-Betazoid captain of the USS Chesapeake (in Green Fleet, one of the three ASR color fleets). I have also been involved with the administration of the club at various levels. I served as the vice president of the club for a year (4/1998-4/1999) through the guise of Admiral Midori Takahashi, Chief of Star Fleet Operations (CSFO). Right now, I play the Commandant of Armstrong Lunar Base (COMALB), the training facility for incoming writers; in role-play, COMALB is Vice Admiral Harold Douglas. Most recently, I helped run Green Fleet as Rear Admiral Victoria Monteverde de Serrano, Fleet Executive Officer, Green Fleet (GREENXO); I also assisted the previous CSFO as his Chief of Staff, playing Captain Wilson Langley, and the Commandant of the Medical Corps (MEDCOM) as the Director of the Medical Division (DIRSFMED), as Captain Anneliese Cross.

Takako Nagumo
DALnet: Mersey
ICQ: 17493273

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. - Anne Frank

15 August 2002