UX Librarian: May 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Good News, Bad News

The Bad News

As most of you reading this already know, I was in a bad car accident on March 20, 2013, on my way to work at the Pioneer Memorial Public Library in Harman, WV. These weeks of recovery have been long and painful, but I am pleased to announce that I should be back to work and driving in the coming weeks. I am still recovering from a broken and dislocated ankle, several broken ribs, a broken sternum, bruised intestines, knee lacerations, and a head laceration. I still cannot walk but am beginning to put some weight on my ankle. Perhaps my greatest accomplishments so far are being able to go up a few steps (yay!) and taking a shower without risking my life.

I have never had a bad accident before but as a librarian who believes in lifelong learning I have learned A LOT from this experience. Here is what I have learned:

* The general world is not set up for handicapped people. I will never complain about parking lots with too many handicapped parking spaces ever again.

* It's very difficult to apply for and receive Medicaid. I will never complain about people who receive government subsidies as chances are good they have had to jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops to get help.

* My friends and acquaintances care about me and have truly cared for me during this time. I received flowers, cards, phone calls, and food from many people. I will never doubt that I am cared for again.

* The body is an amazing piece of technology that knows just what to do in a crisis. I will never doubt the magical healing properties of the body.

* I will never complain about cleaning the house or emptying the cat litter box! I miss being able to do these things. Really.

* We have incredible medical technology and yet the body, with its glitches and ailments, is still quite mysterious.

The Good News!

Part of what has sustained me during this time is knowing that I was a recipient of a Rural Librarian scholarship through the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Thanks to UTK and the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences, I am the only person in West Virginia to receive this scholarship in 2013. I am majoring in Information Sciences and if all goes well will receive my MS degree in two years. Accredited by the American Library Association, I learned about the availability of this scholarship opportunity from the Laura Bush Foundation, took the GREs in November, and applied for it in December.

I learned of my scholarship award just prior to my accident, and knowing that this was waiting for me has helped to sustain me through some dreary days. Most of my course work is online and in the evenings, so it's easy and convenient to attend classes. The goal of my degree is not only to educate myself and advance professionally, it is to custom tailor my studies to improve the Pioneer Memorial Library, which is near and dear to my heart. I could not have received this scholarship if it were not my position at PMPL.

Thank You!

I would like to thank a ton of groups for coming to my aid on the day of my accident including: The Elkins Fire Department, the Harman Fire Department, the Whitmer Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, and Phi Air, the med-evac helicopter that flew me to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. I would also like to thank the Trauma Team and the Orthopedic Departments at Ruby, as well as the doctors and nurses who took great care of me.

I would also like to thank the 2nd and 3rd graders at Harman School for their cheery get well cards and messages. They made me cry.

Thank you to all the folks who called, sent cards, or brought food to my house. I have needed the help and truly appreciate all the kindnesses that have been shown to me. Thank you to Cheryl Brown who has kept the Pioneer Memorial Public Library up and running during my time in recovery. Thank you to library board president Judy Bucher for managing the installation and completion of our new addition, and the renovation of the rest of the library space. If you haven't been to the library in awhile you should stop by and check it out!

When I blog again, I hope to have more information about how my classes are going as they begin at the end of this month!