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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seaside Postcard 49: The Bear Facts

ramsgate comic postcard A cute little image from 1920, with a happy visitor looking a little like a big bear refusing to come home...

Oh and I got offered - and accepted - a new job this week. At my advanced age of 48, this is my first substantive (permanent) contract EVER, after a lifetime of self-employment and short term contracts. Even though I was at my last employer for 11 years, I was always on short term contracts (and this was a university), about 18 in total, although I lost track after the first 10. I don't really have a problem with short-term contracts - nowadays you get all the same leave, sickness and other protections anyway (including redundancy!), but there is a definite psychological difference in the way you see your employer and the way they see you.

And I'll be a Librarian (kindly note the capital L, it's important). A Clinical Librarian in a hospital. Woohoo. A proper professional post, doing something properly useful (mostly staff training and helping doctors and other colleagues learn to search for information, certainly not just issuing books, which is soooo last century, albeit essential and valuable), finally using my qualifications properly and all the fun of getting to grips with the corporate culture of the NHS. Can't wait. Although I have to, for a month or so anyway. Even looking forward to the daily commute.

6 comments:

Little Weed said...

Congratulations

Adem said...

Congrats on the new job!

Chris Roos said...

Congratulations. Your post, specifically the bit about Librarians offering a valuable service and not just handing out books, reminded me of a couple of podcasts I listended to recently[1]. They may, or may not, be of any interest.

[1] http://blog.jonudell.net/2007/12/31/a-conversation-with-richard-wallis-about-the-talis-semantic-web-platform/

ZumiWeb said...

Thanks folks, and thanks Chris for the link (I'll be getting to grips with DynixSIRSI for my sins, but Talis might have some useful clues about the Semantic Web for me to check out!).

Matt B said...

I shall not pretend to understand what DynixSIRSI is exactly (beyond the obvious) the website is typically obtuse on the subject. I think that's why I like sites for open source solutions - generally there is a link or section that says "this is the product and this is what it is for. It works like this and has a list of features (click here)". Good luck with it all.

ZumiWeb said...

Sorry, instantly slipping in to techspeak - DynixSIRSI is the library management system (you probably got that), so it'll deal with books, journals, memberships, inter-library loans, electronic and web resources, produce management reports, deal with cataloguing of new items and identify those not being used much. And no doubt a lot of clever searching algorithms criss-crossing all those sets of information. And more that I haven't yet read about. And yes, large vendor web sites do make it heavy going when all you want is a list of features...

I guess they're planning to implement this throughout the entire Kent Surrey Sussex health consortium during 2008, so it's a suitably chunky project, lots of user training (that's where i get stuck in) and some serious networking and server sorting.

Luckily the server and database side is way over my head, but I suspect the NHS prefers heavyweight vendor solutions rather than the quick-on-their-feet open source route (just a guess, but I'll find out soon enough).

After all with open-source who do you sue or blame when it all goes wrong!

I'll see how long my preference for Plain English lasts before the NHS culture gets me in its sticky grasp amd makes me do it 'their' way (but soon to be 'our' way... oo-er).