In the past week, I have finished teaching all of my sessions and have begun to focus exclusively on collection development for the history department with Brett Spencer. Finishing classes was a great relief, to be honest. I am getting really busy with schoolwork, and the anxiety I feel when I teach only adds to that stress. Teaching, for me, was a really valuable experience, and I learned a lot about myself. I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity, and I know how valuable it will be for me in the future.
I also learned through this process that I really enjoy collection development. Analyzing the history department, creating a conspectus and buying books has been really rewarding and fun. Brett is an excellent teacher, and I have been learning so much about which presses are more reputable than others, how to make sure I don’t buy items we already have in the library, and how to make judgment calls about books in general. In performing collection development duties, I have actually learned that my duties as an assistant to a private library creator were actually very similar to collection development, and so I found that I already had learned some of the skills required of a collection development position. This revelation should seem intuitive–after all, we were building collections–but sometimes it is hard to notice these connections or applications. After all, we were just buying books online and putting together collections for clients at Kinsey Marable & Co. How could that ever translate to buying books online and putting together collections in an academic library?