Foreword

I should really try to get into the habit of updating here more often. Since the last update, I have officially been accepted onto the MA Information Studies course at Brighton University and have started volunteering at the National Portrait Gallery's Heinz Archive and Library.

I started working at the NPG in March as a periodical cataloguer, and my job is to go through old magazines (some of them are really old, going back to the 18th century), checking their condition, sticking a little barcode in the front and entering the relevant details into the library's catalogue. Not exactly rocket science and it can get a little repetitive, but working there feels good. It feels right. The people are my kind of people.

Yesterday, I started a second role at the NPG - indexing - working with a database system called Mimsy (aren't librarians great at naming software?). After one day, I am already swearing at Mimsy like a pro (it really doesn't behave well when several people are working on it at once). For this job, I select a publication from the "to be indexed" shelf, go through it until I find a portrait, then I have to search the internet for information about the sitter and the artist and enter all the relevant info into Mimsy. This is the publication I was working on yesterday.

Doing this work along with others has given me a huge boost of confidence in my own abilities. I'm good at this work - I overheard the librarian say that I was the most accurate cataloguing volunteer he's ever had, which was nice for my ego.

I have been amazingly lucky in my life. I've never been a hugely motivated person, but I have still managed to achieve so many of my life goals and ambitions. My bucket list has a lot of ✓s on it: I've been in a rock 'n' roll band; I have written and directed a film; I'm in a long-term loving relationship with my favourite person in the world; and I've lived the High Fidelity dream as a music retail manager.

In the pursuit of my latest aspiration, I feel like I'm off to a good start.

6 thoughts on “Foreword

  1. Your appreciation of all that you have is so charming. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't wish you all the best in this chapter of your life. Xxx

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