Greetings, Desk Setters! My name is Amanda Watson, and I’m honored to be Desk Set’s guest blogger for December. I’m a recent transplant to New York, having moved here in September to start a new job as the Librarian for English and Comparative Literature at New York University.
I came into librarianship by a circuitous path that started in academia (and led back into it). I spent most of my 20s earning a PhD in English literature at the University of Michigan; by the time I finished my dissertation, I’d realized that I didn’t want to be a professor, but the big “What next?” question was hanging over my head. After a lot of thinking, I realized that everything I really liked to do came down to “working with information” in some way or other. I was leery of going for yet another graduate degree right away, but a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia Library allowed me to get some immediate experience (and meet a lot of amazing people in the process).
I ended up liking the world of academic libraries so much that I went for my MSLIS at Drexel University while working as a reference intern at the Swarthmore College Library. My first professional library job was at Connecticut College, where I worked with some great colleagues and learned a lot about the ins and outs of subject librarianship. Then, looking to take the next step up in my career (and homesick for life in a big city), I started the job search that led to my current position. It’s pretty much my dream job: I get to use my subject expertise to develop our collections and reach out to my departments; I’m already teaching classes and consulting with students on their research projects; and I’m getting ever more involved with the burgeoning digital humanities community at NYU. The move from a small liberal arts college to a large research university has been a big adjustment, but I’ve never been happier to be a librarian.
I haven’t quite decided whether all my guest posts here will have a theme, but I may well write about literary collection development, the library’s role in the digital humanities, and/or joining New York’s active and lively librarian community. And, possibly, Biblioball 2012. Meanwhile: hello, readers! I look forward to getting to know you.