I’ve already been in my new position at the Sonoma County Library for one month and counting. Although I’m still in training, I’ve already managed to whittle away at a substantial backlog of materials requiring original cataloging. If that backlog is any indication of what I’ll be working on regularly, I’ll likely see a lot of:

  • Local history and genealogy materials
  • Obscure and/or unusual materials relating to wine and wine making
  • Environmental impact reports, project studies and other local government documents relating to development and infrastructure projects
  • Locally produced books, videos and other materials
  • An endless supply of database errors of all kinds

For that last item, I will be helping plan a very substantial cleanup project for our catalog database, as well as help revise and document a great many local practices that have caused a lot of the problems. We expect that it might take a couple of years before we’re finished with the phases we’ve sketched out so far.

I’ve started training for adult reference duty, which is one smaller part of my job. Since our new security guard arrived, the reference librarians report that their job is a lot more pleasant and they spend a lot less time dealing with problem patrons (a big issue here). One librarian commented that she’ll be interested to see what happens in winter when the homeless people typically use the library as a de facto shelter during the daytimes when the real shelter is closed.

The commute on the Joe Rodota and Prince Memorial Greenway trails is definitely an improvement as far as traffic safety goes. CalTrans closed off the Prince Memorial Greenway freeway underpass the day I started the job, so I have a detour across a pedestrian overpass, but that’s a minor — and temporary — issue. I get to see a different demographic than on my old commute as I ride through the Roseland segment of the Rodota Trail. There are usually about a dozen homeless people — mostly Hispanic — who are sitting or sleeping by the trail each morning, many with a bottle in hand or nearby. I don’t know how much gang activity there is right around the trail, but I decided my red jersey ought to stay at home for now. I haven’t actually felt unsafe and there are quite a few other bicycle commuters (also a change for me), but I keep my eyes open.

It’s good to be here.