About the Alt-Tabbing Librarian

I have been working as a librarian since 2001. I started out as a lowly human photocopier buried deep in the basement of a large library with no sunlight for one and a half years. Since then I have been working mostly in special libraries doing a variety of jobs, but trying to usurp the systems librarian role where I can. I finished my Masters in Library and Information Studies in 2006.

About alt+tab+lib

When I think about my career in librarianship what comes to mind is what one of my parents told me as I was selecting papers and a major for my first semester at University:

Why are you majoring in Zoology? I think you should take Information Systems. You like that computer stuff, and it will be good for you in the future.

If it wasn’t for that pre-requisite physics paper, I might have listened… (I ended up majoring in Psychology, I couldn’t pass the first year chemistry paper I needed for a Zoology major. Thank the gods for small mercies!).

Anyway, instead of a career in web programming or business analysis earning big bucks, I serendipitously find myself working for an average salary as a librarian. It wasn’t long into my librarian career that I saw how important the web was in most aspects of the library jobs I had. I was now able to bring skills I had always been using at home, writing html and designing web pages, into my work place.

Lets face it, I’m a wannabe web/systems librarian, and at the moment I find myself caught between to camps: the librarians out there who are vocal about using new web technologies (few of whom are talking about the ‘how’ of these web technologies); and the techy programmers who build, create, and hack new web technologies. I find librarians useful for discovering these resources, but techy programmers are better at telling me how to do things.

So, baring all that in mind, alt+tab+lib is a site where I can explore my developing interest in being able to ‘do’ web programming, share my experiences in trying to learn PHP, SQL, and API’s, and attempt to address issues of interest to systems and web librarians in a practical sense.

Why alt+tab+lib?

As the major focus of this blog is intended to be IT, systems, and the web in relation to libraries, some kind of computer/technology title seemed the most appropriate. There are a lot of ‘cybrarians’ out there blogging already and most have snapped up some pretty good blog titles. I chose the title alt+tab+lib initially because of the alt-tab shortcut used on keyboards to switch between two computer applications. The act of alt-tabbing conveys to me the act of shifting… which is something I am trying to achieve – a shift from a librarian with an interest in using web and systems technology, to a librarian with practical skills in web programming and systems technology.

Getting in Touch

You can contact me at: alt [dot] tab [dot] lib [at] gmail [dot] com.


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