LIBR 200 Introduction

Hello Poets (& Librarians)

As you may know (or not) I am two semesters in to a MLIS program from SJSU. I am thrilled to be part of a digital community so tech oriented and founded in collaboration. I have posted a few library things here before, and you can expect at least a few more, but I promise I will make them as poetry related as possible.

So without further adieu:

My LIBR 200 Introduction

I grew up in Las Vegas, NV, where my family had a long history in the casino industry. It never interested me; though I was hardly a veracious reader I found joy in poetry and therefore pursued a degree from James Madison University (in Virginia) in English. My father, the pragmatic businessman insisted that I hedge my writer bets with a more realistic major on the side. I double majored in Media Arts and Design to better prepare me for a career in marketing, and decided to be a poet ‘on the side.’

I took a job at a small casino marketing firm in Las Vegas serving a wide variety of tribal casinos across the nation. I was a Production Coordinator and Social Media Guru, whatever that means. The work was woefully drab and after only a year I decided there must be more to life than an onslaught of deadlines. I took a risk and left to pursue more classes and maybe get an MFA in Poetry. In the meantime I had a few odd jobs, including being a barista at Coffee Bean and a tutor for ESL students.

Eventually I found a part time gig at my local public library. It was a Page job but was just enough to get my feet wet with libraries. I loved the sensation of helping people in a genuine way, having nothing to sell and their best interests in mind. I was quickly promoted to a position at the Reference Desk where I specialize in computer/tech help and will soon be teaching classes on Resumes and Social Media.

I aspire to work in academic libraries someday, but for now my public library job is wildly fulfilling and most of the time more fun than a job should be! I still write poetry and short non-fiction almost every day and perhaps will tackle that MFA after earning my MLIS.

Thanks for stopping by! Look back for more poetry!

As always, Keep Writing

–ECW

(or for the library students, Emilee Wirshing)

Library School Day 2

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Hello Poets!

I am tasked with constructing a blog for my library class, but thought rather than whirl down the drain of temporary cyber space, I would instead combine the process of poetry with the process of my career; as often they have been one and the same. So, for those of you following along, I have begun my studies (online of course) at San Jose State, to get a degree and be a real-live-grown-up Librarian.

Last month I wrote an article on LinkedIn about the importance of libraries in a society that seems to have forgotten them. Though my experience has been far different, I know the general consensus is the long swan song of our public bookish spaces.

Here, I want to express my love for a small but important section of the library that pangs deeply with all of us: Poetry 813. 

The Poetry Section is a Mess. 

Not just because poets from opposing centuries get different numbers, like 811.3 or 811.8 or later in anthologies 820… no poetry books in libraries (Dewey System anyway) have a certain tendency to be thin and disheveled because poetry is disheveled. We are in an age of ever changing standards. I see it all day long working on the journal [NGQ]. I find the poetry section, unlike any other section in the stacks, to be the vast tree rings of our complex theories. A rough cut crystal hastily cracked to marvel what lies inside. The poetry section makes me wonder about what was lost, pared down, purged from the ever bulking shelves. 

I think often of the poetry shelves. The paper whisp editions of temporary art. I imagine the poetry section is purged with the most frequency and the least impact. This poet out of vogue, that long lost writer in his place. And yet, we are clearing only half an inch away. Not an encyclopedia, not a novel. Five score pages, no more.

I think often of myself on the poetry shelves. 811.13 WIR

But there is no such book. Nor will there ever be. For many of us, the poetry shelves are little more than a throw back to a simpler more guarded time. Now the internet provides for us our own shelf, equipped with the whisperes of fellow poets, aspiring writers, quiet readers. We are luckier than anyone on the 813 shelf. No purging. No missing books, lost forever in someone else’s living rooms.

I think often of the tree rings of this writing generation. Millenials, they call us. I once used that term in my thesis (long before it came into common tongue) to describe anyone writing now. Not just the youth, but the longstanding veterans, who wrote to capture this moment. This tree ring.

It has grown out of itself; sprouten and sprawled into something more complicated, unruly and wild. The tree ring of this writing generation is a seed. And with that we have outgrown the poetry shelf, our humple reminder of what greatness came to a lifetime ago.

Keep Writing and Visit Your  Local Library

ECW