Abraham de Jesus the Digital Projects Librarian
Abraham, in a rare moment of stillness during a year of rapid career change.
1. Can you tell us about your position?
I just started a new position as part-time Digital Projects Librarian at York University. My two main focuses will be working with York’s online journal platform, York Digital Journals, which is run on the OJS [Open Journal Systems] software and supporting York Space, their institutional repository.
I support both projects in various ways, training, creating documentation, ingesting materials, or whatever else will be asked of me.
2. How did you get into librarianship?
I got into librarianship via discussions with the Japanese Librarian (Shirin Eshghi) at UBC Libraries. Her enthusiasm for the field inspired me and gave me direction after I finished my MA.
3. What work training and education did you have to prepare for your career?
I, rather obviously, have just finished my MLIS at the University of British Columbia. In terms of my present path, working with repositories, my real training and education occurred while doing an internship with Islandora at the University of Prince Edward Island.
It was essentially a crash course in the open source community, repositories, digital asset management and preservation. It set me on my current path, especially since my previous education is definitely not in computer science or tech. However, I find the field to be full of interesting opportunities and challenges.
4. What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the field?
My favourite aspect of the field is how exciting and how much fun it can be. Things are rarely what you’d expect and it provides a lot of opportunity to learn and grow, something I enjoy a great deal.
Least favourite aspect might have to be the, how shall I put it, almost pervasive sense of pessimism. Not quite in terms of repository work, but in librarianship in general. There are challenges and things to be concerned about, in terms of the future of libraries, but I find myself often taking a step back from doing professional reading because it seems so gloomy sometimes (not that frequently, because there a lot of enthusiastic and dedicated people).
5. What is your advice for readers interested in librarianship?
My advice for aspiring (or future) librarians is to really remain resolute in your enthusiasm and goals. Understand why you want to be in the field, talk to some professionals, and make a feasible plan for attaining your goals.
I never expected my first job to be as close to my ‘dream job’ as this one is, but I found the best thing I could do for myself was ignore the pessimists and just try and take the chances and risks needed to get me here.
Abraham enjoys crocheting, playing around with social media, baking, and likely reading more fanfiction than is normally recommended. Find his blog at www.abrahamdejesus.com or follow on Twitter @abedejesus.