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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Government documents

When I moved to Denver Colorado in the late 70’s I got a job working in a giant office office park as a contract worker. I always remember it took ten minutes to get off the exit ramp of I-25 in the morning.

The job was to put together the key words and subject headings for an index of state documents. We did this without having access to the original documents themselves, so with a bit of imagination we figured out that the annual report of the Montana Milk Commission could be categorized under “milk”, “dairy farms” and “agriculture”. That was probably accurate but I’ll never know if “What the blazes do we do now” had to do with fire prevention or existentialist futurism. The job was a contract job, no health benefits, and no unemployment benefits. That was a shame since I was laid off early the next year, apparently the audience for such an index being elusive.

That was my only experience with government documents but eleven years later, still looking for a professional librarian position, the line on my resume must have tweaked the interest of a library directory in New Jersey for I was hired as a government documents librarian. Thankfully, the fact that I had never taken a government documents class was cleverly glossed over in my interview, and I learned documents by what we shall call, the seat of the pants.

Part 1 on a series of pieces on my life as a government documents librarian. To come are the sequel, the return of government documents and the bride of government documents.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Government Docs can be exciting!

1:05 PM  
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