The Trials and Tribulations of
Start Page |
Takako the Librarian
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
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.
Paradigmatic Issues in Communication Theory, Communications Theory, Qualitative
Research Methods, Proseminar in Interpersonal Communication, Proseminar
in Mass Communication Theory, Communication Research Methods, Statistics,
University of California, Los Angeles
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.
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.
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
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
Wars novels (the movies go without
saying -- I've been enjoying the prequels, critics' pans notwithstanding),
and I even occasionally pick up a
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
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
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.
In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good
at heart. - Anne Frank
15 August 2002