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Working for Google (without leaving Ohio) December 19, 2010

Posted by flutebrarian in Librarianship, Web Design.
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For the past 17 months, my real job work week has been reduced from 40 to 30 hours due to State budgetary issues. Many viewed it as a hardship but I viewed it as an opportunity and have enjoyed every minute of it. It was like working for Google, or getting a sabbatical.

Employees at Google are encouraged to take 20% of their work week to work on personal projects. This gives the employee the freedom to explore new territories, technologies, and ideas that will ultimately help Google develop new products and keep the employees from burning out.

Academics have also had sabbaticals available to them for these very same reasons.

However, in the public library field, this is unheard of.

So, with the opportunity to have 20% of my work week free for other pursuits, I took advantage of it to hone my web design skills and officially start a side business – Flutebrarian Web Design, LLC.

I took online courses in MySQL, web form design, PHP, web analytics, and more advanced CSS. The MySQL and PHP are still rather shaky, but I have managed to set up a couple of databases and get coding in place to actually make them work over the web. And one is for my day job (Gift and Memorials database)

After 27 years as a professional librarian, it was definitely time for a sabbatical. I return to my 40-hour work week on Jan. 3 with new and expanded tools in my belt. I guess I’ll have to leave the cat at home, though.

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