So what does your background in film have to do with to library science of all things?
I worked in film right out of college, first working as a set PA, and quickly escaping to the art department, where I quickly became the go-to answerer of all manner of specific questions. I helped production designers fill in historical blanks during pre-production by putting together reference images and researching basically any question they had while reading the script. My work includes Black Mass, Chappaquiddick, The Trap, Spotlight, and other movies that aren't as good.
How is that--
Relevant? Great question. Anyone who has ever worked freelance knows it's pretty grueling, and after some time I started to look into how to do that same sort of research work in other fields, where I realized that I had essentially been doing the work of a reference librarian--people come up to you with weird specific questions (What side of the road do they drive on in Northern Ireland? How much was gasoline in rural Louisiana in 1994? What photos can you find of Whitey Bulger's victims' crime scenes?) and you have about 10 minutes to answer it before cameras are rolling and you're getting shrieked at by David O. Russell. Basically, I was a reference librarian for film, and if I wanted to do that same work anywhere where I had health insurance and a Human Resources department, I'd have to go back to school and get my MLIS.
So what do you want to do long term?
Well, I'm hoping I can combine my love of film and history and research and get a job in a film archive after I graduate. I'd sell a kidney to work at ACMI. Currently, I am consulting on projects for Intramersive, an immersive theater company based out of Salem and working on a web series called ‘Ask a Librarian’ where I time how quickly I can answer someone’s reference question.
Those seem like very specific example questions, by the way. What are the answers?
So glad you asked! In order: on the left, same as the rest of Britain; about $.98 a gallon, depending on what part of the state and month; and if you make friends with the photo archives folks at the BPL, most of them.