dolorosa_12: (dolorosa)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
Welcome, new people who have subscribed as a result of the friending meme. It's great to see so much activity here on Dreamwidth, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know you all.

Due to this flurry of activity, I thought it best to do an updated intro post. People who've had me in their circles for a while, please feel free to read or skip as you please. And both new and old people, please feel free to ask me any questions!



My name is Ronni, and I'm a non-EU migrant (the distinction, at present, between EU and non-EU migrants, lies in the immigration requirements each need to fulfill to be allowed to live, and live permanently, in the country. Due to the looming horror that is Brexit, this is liable to change) in the UK. My country of origin is Australia, and I emigrated from there just over ten years ago to undertake an MPhil in medieval Irish literature at the University of Cambridge. The MPhil became a PhD, and after graduating with the PhD I segued into a new career as a librarian, and somehow I never left! In Australia I worked as a sale assistant in chocolate shops, bakeries and patisseries, a child care assistant, for Cirque du Soleil, as a newspaper book reviewer, and had been miserably pursuing a career as a newspaper subeditor (copy editor) before deciding to throw in the towel and emigrate.

I'm married to Matthias, who is a fellow migrant — he's an EU migrant from Germany, although both of us now have UK citizenship as well — and who also initially wanted to work in academia before ending up in academic libraries. In his case, he did his undergrad, MPhil, and PhD in the same department where I studied; his PhD was in Old English philology/linguistics. Both of us now work in faculty libraries within in the University of Cambridge. The university has over one hundred libraries, because every faculty/department has its own library, as do all the affiliated research institutes, and all the colleges (colleges in Oxbridge meaning the places where students and academics live, eat, and so on; it's slightly more complicated than that so if you want me to go into more detail please ask), plus there's one big university library that is one of the six legal deposit libraries in Ireland and the UK.

'Academic libraries' tend to conjure up images in people's minds of dusty tomes, richly decorated manuscripts, and rolling stacks, but although I like an illumated manuscript as much as the next former-medievalist-turned-librarian, I have to say that my work has very little to do with books at all! My job involves providing teaching, training, and research support to students, researchers, and other library users in things like searching databases, using citation software, writing for publication, and reading and evaluating academic articles. I also conduct systematic database searches on behalf of researchers for their publications, of which I'm then a co-author. My PhD left me burnt out with academia, but it did teach me that I loved teaching, so I kept a lookout for any library jobs with a focus on teaching and training provision, and applied for the first one that came up, and the rest is history!

Neither Matthias nor I have library/information studies degrees (although he is in the final stages of one), and both of us were part of a wave of library staff hired in Cambridge based not on librarianship qualifications but rather on our experience of academia, teaching, research, and customer service in a library environment. The desirability and necessity of library degrees is something of a bone of contention at the moment in librarianship in the UK, and there's a lot of debate about whether current degrees are fit for purpose.

The cast of characters you're likely to encounter here, apart from Matthias, includes my four sisters — I'm the oldest, and following me are Miriam, Kitty, Nell and Maud; Miriam and I have the same father and mother, while the other three share a father, but not a mother with us. I also have lots of aunts and cousins, and am very close to my mother and maternal relatives in general. They all live in Australia and I sadly see them very rarely. Most of my 'real life' friends in Cambridge are people I met through the department where we all studied here, and we refer to ourselves as 'ASNaCs'. As most of them are either academics or academic-adjacent, they've tended to move around a lot, so very few of them are actually still in Cambridge, but are rather scattered all over the UK, the rest of Europe, the United States, and so on. My first two online communities were forums for Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series. I'm still good friends with lots of people I met in both places, and refer to them as 'sraffies' and 'Obernetters' respectively. Both were fantastic starting points for online fandom, and I hold both to be the standard of online community to which all should aspire.

You can see the main things I'm fannish about at my comment on the friending meme. Generally I get fannish about books, with some exceptions, and I'm extremely loyal when it comes to fandoms, meaning that although I'll find new things to focus on, I never stop being fannish about anything, once those feelings begin! Some of the books that are closest to my heart I've been fannish about for close to twenty-five years!

This blog tends to be mixture of posts about everyday life, links to things I've found interesting, and reviews of/reactions to books I've read, shows I've watched and so on. I also talk a lot about migrant rights in a UK context in particular, despair over Brexit, and vaguely follow Australian politics when I can bear to. I'm also a bit of a stationery fiend, and always like talking about bullet journalling. I've just started to dip my toes into the fountain pen waters, urged on by people like [twitter.com profile] aliettedb, and am definitely keen to talk fountain pens with anyone who's a fountain pen user! I'm online to talk to people and have conversations, so I generally comment, respond to comments, and enjoy talking to people about the stuff that matters to them.

You can find me elsewhere online at Wordpress (where I have a reviews blog for longer form essay-type writing), Instagram, Goodreads, Ao3 and Twitter. I'm happy to be added at any of those places (although bear in mind that my Twitter is basically 75% despairing thread-rants about Brexit and the despicable way migrants and refugees are treated everywhere in the world). My only request is that if your username is really different to what it is here that you let me know who you are, otherwise I'll be unsure as to whether to add you back! The accounts are as follows:

[wordpress.com profile] dolorosa12
[instagram.com profile] ronnidolorosa
Dolorosa on Goodreads
[archiveofourown.org profile] Dolorosa
[twitter.com profile] ronnidolorosa

I used to be on Tumblr and LJ, and although I've not deleted either account, I don't post or read in either place any more. I also have a Pillowfort account, but I don't use it — I just joined so as to snag the Dolorosa username before anyone else could! I tend to do that if fandom makes noises about moving elsewhere, but my hope is that Dreamwidth will stick around being the space for the kind of fannish community I want to be part of.
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