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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This last spring I finished my masters degree in library science, and since then have been looking for a job in a local library. Unfortunately, I would fall under the theorectically sound, practically challenged heading for library work as I have no previous paid library experience. And it seems that it is experience that counts more for anything within this profession.

I have had several interviews that have led to nothing at libraries within a 20 mile radius of Louisville. For various reasons I am committed to remaining in the area (you know, house, family, etc).

This lack of being able to find employement has been needless to say rather frustrating and annoying (not that I have done the greatest job of trying to see myself - not in that way, preverts :D ). Recently, 2 reference positions at academic libraries have opened up, but both are about 2 hours away.

So, anyway, the advice/info I am seeking here is (yes, I know, very scary to try and rely on RBR NCD crew for advice), what do people consider a livable commute and if they have one, what effect does it have on the rest of their lives?
 

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I had a 30-mile one-way commute, 60 miles total, for several years. It took anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on traffic and time of day. It sucks, and I'll never do that again. I got into a carpool for part of it, but even that becomes annoying after a while. I ended up quitting my job and getting one that was less than three miles from my home, and even after I moved, I'm only about six miles away.

In your field, I guess you take what you can get, but there is no way you could ever get me to sign up for a 2-hour commute. That's four hours of your day spent driving! I would change my career before I would do that. I'd become a fry cook down at Denny's before I would do that. Life is too short to spend 4 hours driving to and from work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mohair_chair said:
I had a 30-mile one-way commute, 60 miles total, for several years. It took anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on traffic and time of day. It sucks, and I'll never do that again. I got into a carpool for part of it, but even that becomes annoying after a while. I ended up quitting my job and getting one that was less than three miles from my home, and even after I moved, I'm only about six miles away.

In your field, I guess you take what you can get, but there is no way you could ever get me to sign up for a 2-hour commute. That's four hours of your day spent driving! I would change my career before I would do that. I'd become a fry cook down at Denny's before I would do that. Life is too short to spend 4 hours driving to and from work.
yes, i know, that is part of the problem, that if i want to work in the library field, especially starting out, i have to take what i can get, but there are just some things that i cannot or will not do (ie 4 hour commute), but i am not sure where that balance is right now.

the other thing is that i would be looking at probably about 10,000 more dollars a year, but much of that would eaten up by the commute, etc. i am sure.

and all i want is a job that pays enough to afforad a Pegoretti.
;)
 

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lousylegs said:
So, anyway, the advice/info I am seeking here is (yes, I know, very scary to try and rely on RBR NCD crew for advice), what do people consider a livable commute and if they have one, what effect does it have on the rest of their lives?
Well I'm at the limit for mine. I live in Boulder and work in Downtown Denver. I take the bus and door to door it's a little over an hour each way. Plusses are that I rarely to never have to work more than a 40 hour week or weekends and can sometimes work from home since I'm a tech dude. I also get a lot of paid time off and decent benefits. I get lots of books read on the bus though. If I had to drive it I think I'd quit and find a job closer, but the bus system here is great.
 

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my commute

is 42 miles each direction. Combine my bike with public transit (Coaster-Train) get anywhere from 30-85 miles of cycling a day (unless I drive -rare- so I can surf or need a car) enjoy my coffee while looking over the ocean, save 5K a year and fight terrorism.
plus when I walk in the front door I need not go to the gym
 

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Common in California, but too far for me...

two hours is way too long for me, but it's not that unusual around major cities in California. Housing prices are so high in the SF Bay Area (starter homes and fixer-uppers are $650,000) that people have moved out into the Central Valley and drive two hours each way. Employers are making adjustments to keep good people, staggering hours to avoid heavy traffic and going to four-day weeks. Car pools just haven't caught on here--if you stand at the roadside and watch cars go by, 90 percent-plus will have one occupant. And there's virtually no public transportation outside the cities,so people do it, but it's a major expense in both time and money.
If you really need the job, though, it might be worth trying for awhile, maybe with an eye to a permanent move if the job works out. I left what I considered my home for the same reason about 25 years ago, and the move initially was wrenching--we left behind family, friends, schools, everything from dry cleaners to restaurants we'd known our whole lives. Really, though, it only took a few months to get established in the new place, and neither of us would go back now . . . except for the @#[email protected] snow around here.

lousylegs said:
This last spring I finished my masters degree in library science, and since then have been looking for a job in a local library. Unfortunately, I would fall under the theorectically sound, practically challenged heading for library work as I have no previous paid library experience. And it seems that it is experience that counts more for anything within this profession.

I have had several interviews that have led to nothing at libraries within a 20 mile radius of Louisville. For various reasons I am committed to remaining in the area (you know, house, family, etc).

This lack of being able to find employement has been needless to say rather frustrating and annoying (not that I have done the greatest job of trying to see myself - not in that way, preverts :D ). Recently, 2 reference positions at academic libraries have opened up, but both are about 2 hours away.

So, anyway, the advice/info I am seeking here is (yes, I know, very scary to try and rely on RBR NCD crew for advice), what do people consider a livable commute and if they have one, what effect does it have on the rest of their lives?
 

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lousylegs said:
yeah, it would be nice of i could use public transportation, but unfortunately this would be 90= miles on the interstate, not just sitting in traffic.
Is there a reason you can't move? Sounds like something you should seriously consider.
 

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I could do that short-term, as a means to an end. If I had a goal of working there for, say two years, then either moving closer or finding a new job, it could work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yeah, it would be nice of i could use public transportation, but unfortunately this would be 90= miles on the interstate, not just sitting in traffic.
 

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One hour, tops

I think that anything over an hour each way is pushing the limit. My commute is about an hour when I ride the bike and about 40 minutes when I drive and take the local subway. Occasionally, I have to do something in DC and I take drive and then take the commuter train from Baltimore to DC. Usually it takes about 90 minutes door-to-door. From my limited experience, once I go over 60 minutes there is a significant difference. Recently, I had to do the DC thing several days in a row -- I was a zombie after the second day.

I have been president of the board of the local law library for many years, so I have some knowledge of librarians' salaries and benefits. The cost of your driving 180 miles per day is likely to be a significant economic factor unless the job is really a good one. Are you only looking at public library and academic jobs? Law firms, corporations and government agencies also employ librarians.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, my wife and I just bought a house, and her job is good enough that it really is not worth leaving the area. The job I have now is not terrible, it is just one that does not really have much future or possible advancement.

It is kind of an employment catch-22 that I am in.
 

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Heck, even living in LA I did not drive on my commute! 6 miles by bike there, which door to door was pretty close to a wash with driving/parking/walking.

One option in this situation is to get an apartment near work, dirt cheap. Just a place to rest your head. Work a while (a year or so) to get experience, then try to get a job closer to home.
 

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Cory said:
two hours is way too long for me, but it's not that unusual around major cities in California. Housing prices are so high in the SF Bay Area (starter homes and fixer-uppers are $650,000) that people have moved out into the Central Valley and drive two hours each way. Employers are making adjustments to keep good people, staggering hours to avoid heavy traffic and going to four-day weeks. Car pools just haven't caught on here--if you stand at the roadside and watch cars go by, 90 percent-plus will have one occupant. And there's virtually no public transportation outside the cities,so people do it, but it's a major expense in both time and money.
Yes, it is really common in California. I had several co-workers over the years who bought houses in the Central Valley, but work in the Bay Area. The good thing (depending on how you look at it) was that they were able to take the train for part of their commute.

One guy would leave his extra beater car at the train station and continue on to work. So, on one hand he didn't have to drive the whole way. OTOH, his commute was 3 to 3.5 hours long each way. It obviously wears on him, but he's been doing it for eight years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks Mark

yeah, that is the stinger, while it would be more money, it would disappear quite soon.

I am looking at anything, even working maintenance at a library, just to get my foot in the door.
 

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Wow, you guys in CA and elsewhere drive some rather long distances to work. That's pretty rough lousy. Oh the joy of living in a small city (70,000) and working at home. Even if I had to work in the next town, it wouldn't be more than a 30 minute drive. Our home to town is...4 km. I completely agree with mohair, life is way too short for such a drive back and forth to work. I grew up in Monteal (3 million people) and I am very glad I don't have to do that kind of travelling anymore. Destiny will sort itself out and you'll be working close to home soon enough.
Cheers, Wayne
 

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Mine is around 40 minutes each way on the bus, and that's where I get my reading done. No way would I consider driving to a job. My goal is to switch to a job where I can ride to work again--hopefully something that requires me to be on the bike at least an hour a day.
 

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Have you considered part-time volunteer work at your public library, or a historical society or some other body? When I was studying library science, that was the recommendation of the instructors as a way to gain the advantage over other (unexperienced) classmates. It'd be a drag to have to spend additional, unpaid hours during the work week in additional to your "real" job, but sounds like it might be the price you have to pay. I'm just glad that fate intervened (in the form of Proposition 13) and all the tax-supported library openings dried up, so that I was forced to go into I/T.
 

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My commute is a little over 30 miles each way by car, a little under 30 miles each way by bicycle. In the morning that translates to about 40 minutes or a little more. On the way home, it is more like one or 1 1/2 hours. On a really awful traffic day it can take two hours. By bicycle it is about 1hr 50min each way. The long drive definitely causes some burnout but is somewhat offset because I love my job.

My old job was less than 10 miles each way and I could ride my bike virtually every day, but there was no question about whether the job change would be worthwhile. For money, my personal goals, and job satisfaction, the new job is far superior. Eventually I will switch jobs again to get a shorter commute, but I am not to that point yet.

If it is not clearly worth it, my upper limit would probably be around two total hours of commuting per day. Like anything, you have to rank and weigh many factors to decide what is important to you.
 

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When I lived in LA, my commute was 16 miles each way and it took anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours. It was really unbearable. Even after a good day at the office, I'd arrive home in a terrible mood after fighting traffic on the way home. It would take a good hour to get back to normal. My only goal on weekends was not to get in my car. Since we moved to San Luis Obispo County, my commute is 30 miles and it takes anywhere from 27-32 minutes. Traffic moves at 75 miles per hour the whole way and the drive is a pleasure. The point is that how bearable a commute is depends more on the conditions than just number of miles. In LA, I never even would have thought about living 30 miles from the office. Now, it's just enough time in the car to let me listen to one news cycle on the radio and arrive home in a good mood.
 

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My commute is 33 miles each way which takes about 45 minutes and I ride a company van. There isn't any traffic and they pump special air into the van so we are all very happy when we arrive at work.
 
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