My ALA scholarship check came today!

I was recently named as the recipient of the ALA Christopher J. Hoy/ERT scholarship for the 2010-2011 school year. After a little bit of a issue with USPS never delivering my official letter, (thank God ALA was forgiving about the deadline!) I was able to officially accept the scholarship, totaling 5,000 dollars. I got the check for the first half, for the fall semester, today. It came at the most opportune time, because I was fretting about when to buy books, how to afford them, and how to survive until loan refunds get processed.

This is what scholarships are for, helping students not worry (as much) about making rent, so they can focus on their studies. I am very thankful for it. Perhaps overly thankful; my thank-you letter barely fit onto one page. I’m kind of a verbose person when it comes to writing.

Granted, I will still continue to work as a part-time babysitter for a family with 7 1/2 kids, because the kids are adorable and I make reasonable money. I am also still looking for a job with benefits. Preferably a full time job, but part time with health insurance would be wonderful.

I seem to be heading in the right direction–I interviewed for a position as a residence hall monitor for Loyola University the other day. Though it is an overnight position, it will still give me great experience for library work. I mean, have you seen some of the people that come into libraries these days? Handling drunk college students on the weekends will be great practice for handling the drunk patron. I’ve seen a few drunk patrons. I’ve heard of patrons destroying bathrooms, leaving blood stains on the ceiling tiles. I’ve heard of a woman who likes to pee on the walls near the Periodicals at a public library branch. (How? I don’t want to know.) Actually, drunk college students will be a piece of cake compared to that.

You may ask why I applied for a residence hall monitor position. A) It’s a job. B) I really really really want to work at Loyola U. I can’t explain why, but I kinda fell in love with the campus when I visited it last October. My husband was visiting universities, thinking about a program for a PhD in History, and I went with him on the trip to Loyola. I thought it would be incredibly cool working at the Loyola library, and began checking the Loyola job page nearly every single day with high hopes. There were a few library positions, and I applied for them all. Unfortunately, I was turned down from them all, to date. I can understand why–I didn’t have quite the right experience they were looking for, and I was a little too new to Chicago. So I started applying for other jobs there, figuring that I could work my way up.

Of course, I told the panel interviewers exactly that–what I really want to do is to work in the library, but I figured I could start as a monitor and work my way up. After all, it is the truth. I’d be happy in just any library, but I want to experience working at the Loyola library.

If I am one of the finalists, they will contact me hopefully by the end of the week. I am crossing my fingers and praying. If this job falls through, well, I have applications going at other places still, and maybe one of those will hire me.

I used to worry, perhaps too much, about our budget, and was freaking out about the job stuff accordingly. With this scholarship check, though, it’s buying me a little extra time to find a job, and it’s allowing me to buy the books I need before school officially starts.

Thank God for the scholarship.

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3 Responses to My ALA scholarship check came today!

  1. Tina Pipkin says:

    Holly,
    That reminds me of a woman who comes into our library. I am not sure what she is using but I do not think it is booze :). Anyway, she came in with sunglasses on, weaving around, and humming to herself. She came up to the circ desk with a Grateful Dead CD and asked if she could listen to it in one of the study rooms. We have CD players for patrons to use so I told her to head to the info desk to check one out. Patrons are obviously suppossed to use headphones or make sure the study room doors are closed with the volume turned down. After heading to her study room, she cranked “Casey Jones”. I laughed so hard, it was unreal! We ended up asking her to turn it down and she was amicable about it. She never once took her sunglasses off! Still cracks me up.
    By the way congrats on your scholarship. All the best!

    • admin says:

      Oh, that is hilarious! I imagine she probably had a little bit of reefer if she was looking for a Grateful Dead…

      Speaking of reefer, that reminds me of a professor I had. My tests always came back smelling like he was smoking marijuana while grading. Probably explains why I kept getting Bs, even though it was A work. Oh well 😀

  2. Julia Ree says:

    Hey Holly,

    Many clapping hands for the ALA Scholarship. That’s terrific! Your desire to work at Loyola is laudable. I wish you luck. If you don’t get a job right away, however, don’t despair. My first “real job” at UCR Library came after a whopping 13 interviews for 13 different positions! It can be a waiting game finding the right fit. As you progress through Library School, however, you’ll have better street cred.

    I remember when the only thing in town that was open past 8 or 9 pm was the bus station and the library at UCR…guess what we attracted?!? At that time the Internet was the stuff of Sci-Fi and so the weird and the wacky came to call during the evening hours, mainly to harrass co-eds and do a little more than “just look” on occasion. I remember the night staff talking about grabbing fire extinguishers, to make sure that the “evidence” was kept cold. I don’t think they ever used the extinguishers, but it certainly made us smile to think that someone harrassing our poor young girls would have their…well, you get the idea.

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