Saturday, September 15, 2018

Firestone Library at Princeton University

My Facebook and local friends know my job search has not been taking the path I wanted it to take. I send our resumes. I get interviews. I get excitement in the eyes of the interviewees. What I do not get are job offers. There are only so many times you can do this same loop before realizing it is time to try a different path.

Hence, my July call and visit to J&J Staffing in Princeton.

Nancy and left things at I would call her in September to remind her of who am I and that I was ready to start temping.

Imagine my shock when I was checking emails in Helsinki after a couple of wifi free days. She had a position for me in Princeton University's Firestone Library starting a week after I came home from our trip -- a week before I wanted to start, but we made it work.

In hindsight, I should not have been surprised since I made a wish while rubbing the toe of a statue behind The Hermitage in St. Petersburg. I should have been clearer -- I want a permanent part-time job, instead of a temporary full-time gig. Anyone know of any magic places near Princeton where I can rub and make a wish? It is rare a wish is granted that quickly. The only other time I remember that happening was on Christmas Eve 1999. We worshiped at the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu. During the service we were each given a rose and told to pray for something. When the prayer came true, return the rose to them with what happened. After five years of house hunting, I prayed we would finally find a house to move to in suburbia. Within a month we found the home we are still in 18 years later. A lightning bolt experience.

Back to Firestone. 

Firestone Library is not accessible to the general public. Eleven years ago while a student at Rutgers University I used my Rutgers ID to enter and do "research." Really go sightseeing. Don and Ashley were waiting for me in the lobby, or hanging out at Cotsen Children,s Library, the only area the public is allowed to visit. In the meantime, they have been undergoing a massive construction project since 2010. The plan is to finish it soon. I can't even imagine how impossible it was to access the stacks as the shelving was replaced. Fortunately that part is done. They are still working on two elevators and the main entrance. I don't know what comes next.

It has been a dream being able to go inside Firestone. The first week I used my breaks to play tourist ... up in the tower, around each of the six floors (from the top: 3, 2, 1, A, B, C ... I feel as if I need a Princeton degree to remember which direction I want in the elevator). 

Here are some pictures:

Up in the Tower -- I felt like I was still back in Europe

The view from inside the Tower

Old study carols. 
I identified this as a Boehm from 10 paces

Rare Books study area

A wall made from the fronts of card catalogs

My inner geek totally came out during my interview for this position. I still light up telling non-library types about if you lined up the shelves side by side they would stretch 70 miles. Or how this is one of the largest open stack academi libraries in the country.

I hope future placements are as much fun as this one has been.

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