Saying Goodbye to the Lilly (For Now)

Last Friday was my last day at the Lilly in the position of Reference Attendant, which I’ve held since I first came to Bloomington. Because of my time-consuming internship this summer, I just wasn’t able to maintain each of my jobs and decided that I was in a good place to leave the Lilly since I’ve gotten so much out of working there over the past two semesters. I’m hoping to come back to the Lilly in some capacity in the near future, maybe working/interning/volunteering with digital projects or metadata.

awkward superhero pose that I can’t take back now.

I’ll definitely miss this public services role. I met a lot of fascinating people–professors, students, international researchers, Lilly librarians themselves. The truth is, while I’m drawn to metadata and other areas usually deemed technical services, I have a great deal of love for working with people. Some of my favorite moments at the Lilly involved interacting with students and making them feel comfortable in a space that can be extremely intimidating. I enjoyed being their first point of contact when they entered the library.

Public services librarianship has its ups and downs, but I can definitely say I had a great experience in this particular position. I handled incredible materials, learned a lot about the Lilly’s many collections and the workings of the various departments within the Lilly, honed my ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and patrons, and had fun throughout. What more could a library student ask for? 

While I’m on the topic of the Lilly, I wanted to write a bit about the two brochures I created for the library late last fall… I don’t think I’ve mentioned them here yet. The story of how they came about is fairly simple: I noticed that the brochure patrons were asked to look at as they waited to register to use the collections for the first time (the yellow one shown above) was being discarded left and right. Patrons would glance at it then set it aside about two seconds later. Certainly when I looked at them I thought they could use an updated design, and because I truly enjoy professional writing and document design I thought it would be a great way to help the Lilly out while building my portfolio. I tactfully approached my supervisor, who was highly receptive of my idea to create a updated Reading Room brochure as well as a version for the Main Gallery, where patrons enter the Lilly for the first time.

So off I went, creating the two brochures pro bono using InDesign. These two photos show the differences between the old Reading Room version (yellow) and the new Reading Room version (white). I’m laughing to myself as I type this because I’m not even actually sure whether this white brochure represents the final copy, though it’s close enough as to provide a good representation of what I came up with.

During the last hour I was working on Friday, the Interim Head of the Fine Arts Library came into the Lilly and grabbed a few copies of the brochures I made for the Reading Room. I was at the front desk and as she handed her pass back to me she mentioned that she was in the process of creating a similar brochure for the Fine Arts Library. I was delighted to hear that she was taking inspiration from the brochure I had created. Not a bad way to finish my tenure at the Lilly, I’d say!

1 comment

  1. You should make a QR code which urban hipsters can scan with their smartphones and be directed to an online brochure explaining the rules…but on second thought i guess maybe they’re not the ones using the reading room…

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