Home > Assessment, Libraries, Library Staff > I am ready to be a librarian again

I am ready to be a librarian again

December 17, 2010

Challenging. Time-consuming. The first semester of this academic year has been…well, just that. I can’t remember a more busy time in my career as a librarian since 1998/99. (That’s another “perfect storm” story altogether.) And most of what I have been entwined with recently comes from outside my typical sphere of duties. Our institution is currently involved in the re-accreditation process, and I have landed on several self-study committees either as a chair or a resource person. Anyone who has been through the re-accreditation process (this is my 2nd go-around) understands what that means.

Honestly, most of my work energies over the last 3-4 months have been devoted to something outside of the library, and I kinda miss my job. (I should also note that I lament being socially MIA on Twitter, etc. with my peeps.) Special activities like re-accreditation are beneficial and much-needed. Nevertheless, at times I feel like a school kid wandering the streets in the middle of a weekday looking over my shoulder for a truant officer. (Am I abandoning my post?) Other times, I feel like Cinderella must have felt to be left scrubbing the floors while her sisters went out to the big event. (Am I missing the fun?)

I’m ready to be a librarian again…and in more ways than one. I’m ready to get back to what I know and love best. At the same time, I have been reflecting on just what it is that I know and love best.

Perhaps one of the benefits of this time away from my normal duties has been the ability to step out of the mix somewhat and reflect. I have been doing some soul-searching, or–more precisely–some mission-searching. Actually, I’ve been reflecting on “mission,” “purpose,” and the like for about a year now. Maybe this semester was the match to throw on the charcoals that I have been soaking in lighter fluid. When I heard from some of the library staff that they had a good conversation this week about the library’s purpose and identity, I knew that I was onto something.

So here’s what we as a library staff are going to do. In January we are going to hold an informal library staff forum to talk about our library and its role in our institution and higher education in general. We will reflect on:

  • Who we (the library) are.
  • What we do.
  • How we do it.

A family meeting, so to speak. Who knows? We may even invite the academic dean and the president. (Open communication is golden.) The plan is simple: Talk, listen, and respond and then see what happens.

New year resolution. Spring cleaning. A first step. Utter nonsense. Call it what you will. We’re going to talk and listen, and hopefully we’ll come out on the other end all the better for having done so.

Time to go. I’ve got more re-accreditation work to do before breaking for the holidays.

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  1. December 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Are you working as a public librarian or an academic librarian? Goes to show how different things can be in various cities. Here the library crowd comes and goes so there’s a lot of Un-busy times. Hence why there were so many business hours cut.

    • December 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Academic library. Our semester is over now, so things will be VERY quiet for a couple of weeks. But the work remains…ever hovering in the background.

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