Hello Everyone,

My name is Rachel, I’m really excite to be taking this course, the idea of technology and libraries bringing communities together and using information tools to assist each other is one of my favorite topics and why I originally signed up for this class.

This is a mural I did for a private residence.

I don’t come from the world of libraries, I’m an artist, who spent the last ten years running an art business, mainly public and private murals (bread and butter of the business), commissions, art workshops, editorial and event photography, and selling some paintings online on my little shop RLynnStudio which I haven’t had time to update since I started this program. So if you’d like to see more recent work I’ve done when I need a break from computer screens, you can see some on my art instagram¬†where I document my works in progress, but I pour much more love into my dog instagram like a real true weirdo dog lover. I’m just finishing up a series of 18 pop art/cubist illustrative paintings on “Women at Rest” and it’s been cathartic.

This is my current work in progress oil painting flower on 24x36inch canvas.

Large flower paintings have by far sold the best online though, and the unpredictability of the art market, my own mediocre talent, and my loathing of sales is another reason I’m here! I love that libraries are a place where the patrons are not expected to spend any money they can just be! I’ve actually really struggled with online platforms, and so I don’t share/document a lot of my work the way I should. Before starting this program I didn’t really use a lot of social media or LinkedIn regularly, so I’m trying to catch up!

I have a Great Dane and a Golden Retriever that I treat like children.

I’m also taking a crazy amount of internships, at least one per semester, I did two over the summer along with a class and thought I’d die. IF ….IF I can get into an academic library at any level, I believe I would prefer that, I did a couple shadow days at their reference desk at CSUF and it was heaven in a job. Although, right now I’m shadowing the adult service librarian at my local public library, and he thinks with my art background I might enjoy that world of public programing for my community, so we’ll see where I can get some entry level job after this is all over! I’m the current chair of the ALASC at SJSU, and I love connecting and chatting with other MLIS students. I work as a student assistant for Dr. David Loertscher and adore seeing him teach and learn from his methods.

This is my 10 month old Golden Retriever Papaya

I’m doing my best to learn all the technology skills, and every time I learn something new I realize just how big and deep this world is. I took INFO 240 and no longer fear coding, and I’m dipping my toe into virtual reality with the ischool, but my heart still resides in physical classic oil painting creations. However, I love how technology can connect us, and I want to be a part of that.

Excited to be here and learn with you all!

12 thoughts on “Hello!”

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I know absolutely NOTHING about hospital libraries. Would you mind telling me just a little bit about it? What were your actual tasks? Were most of the librarians there MDs or nurse practitioners or had some other kind of deep medical training prior to their library work?

      And yes, my dogs are big, my Great Dane is technically really small…..for a Great Dane, but she’s a big 120lb dog.

      1. Rachel,

        My dogs are so small, 5 and 12 lbs.

        So the hospital librarian I worked with is a solo librarian in a big hospital, so she is very busy! She does searches for medical staff, maintains the physical library, maintains the databases, and all the maintenance that goes along with that like budgeting, contracting, etc. she also maintains the library’s website. She sits on hospital management teams, interacts with IT, interacts with Librarians within the same hospital system, and also there are networked hospital systems sort of like ILL for hospitals to find books and articles which she monitors. She usually has 3 or 4 interns per semester to help with cataloging. I helped with data analysis and marketing. It’s very interesting.

        She told me that if I went into Hospital Librarianship look for a position where there is a team, not a solo position.

  1. I wanted to return the comment, Rachel, but now I feel bad that my post didn’t say as much as yours does! I didn’t know you were an artist! “Mediocre talent” – I don’t believe it.
    It does seem like a lot of our colleagues in the iSchool are turning to libraries for a second career after realizing how much of the outside world demands marketing and sales. I don’t know about you, but my attitude towards the idea of selling anything, even my writing, has been “And FOR WHAT?!” Libraries are a soft middle ground where you can believe in what you’re “selling,” and where for the most part what you’re selling is information and community.
    Your public librarian is right– the public programming is a good fit, but even college and graduate students need good art programs (as we know as students ourselves). You’ll be great in any capacity.
    I’m so happy to really start working with you here and in ALASC! Let’s kick some butt!

    1. Emily your comments are so thoughtful I need to be more like you! I love when I meet other people that are not big marketing fans -although I understand even in libraries it is essential to bring awareness. Your writing idea on a parody of Ulysses meeting God at Good Pie sounds AMAZING, it was like a great little sales pitch I would totally have read that book with that sales pitch! I hope you write it soon!

  2. Hello Rachel,

    I looked at your work on Instagram, and I must say you are an extraordinary artist. I find some of your compositions a combination of cubism and fauvism I learned about in history during my undergrad.

    It is great that you were able to shadow some of the reference librarians at CSUF. In my opinion, they are the best reference librarians around, but I might be a little biased because that is the university I did my undergrad and found out that I had a certain knack for librarianship.

    Best of luck in the class,

    1. Hi Derek, I rarely have people who know what fauvism even is! But yes, that is an influence, the bright aggressive colors are defiantly part of that. Thank you for the complement. I have an official internship lined up with the CSUF reference desk for my last semester in Spring of 2023, and if I can get even a small library assistant job there I honestly think I’d try and stay there forever, I’ve loved it. But I’m being realistic about all my options, lack of library experience and the like. One step at a time for me.

  3. Hello @rachelfleming! You inspired me to change my profile header pic to one of my newly rescued Labradors Billy & Samm… 6 years old…and SO MUCH ENERGY. Thank you for all of your sharing and the photos of your dogs are great!

    Welcome to #hyperlib!

    1. Labradors are the best! My sister has two massive 2 year old labs and she likes to say they are constantly doing the Mamba or sleeping, only those 2 modes. I’m sure Billy and Samm are so grateful to be rescued!

      1. Mamba or sleeping – hahahaha!! Agree. My lab is either passed out completely or very excited about something. Such happy dogs. Probably very similar to your Golden!

        Nice to meet you, by the way! And your art is gorgeous!!

  4. Art and dog pics! Both excellent reasons to read your blog, LOL! But seriously, I have lined up a few internships for myself as well. Experience is the name of the game, in terms of getting a job. Which one was your favorite so far?

    I also, prior to beginning the MLIS program, got a Library Tech certificate at a local community college. That gave me some basic (and important) knowledge of library operations, and allowed me to get hired as a part time elementary school librarian. Thanks for sharing your work Rachel! :}

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