Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Real New Years!

The school year is about to start again, tomorrow actually, and my schedule is going back to 'normal' this week too. Excitement, energy and momentum are my predominate emotions; however, shortly, when faced with getting home at midnight and answering the same two questions about printing all day, those feelings will be replaced by tired, trepidation, and tediousness.

But, as I am the queen of compartmentalizing, lets leave those thoughts alone for now.

Now seems like a natural time to make changes and resolutions. The weather is changing, the students are returning, and fall is always a time to reevaluate (much better than in January - by the dead of winter I am pretty entrenched in my ways, waiting to move until the spring thaw arrives).

Looking back over the last year, I am struck with the amount of changes that have occurred!

First of all - this library gig. After being out of the library for a while, it was nice to move back in. Stepping into the role of manager and supervisor, and, as I realized later, caregiver and hard-nose, was difficult but now it just feels right. This was the first job I've ever had that I knew had no end date in mind, so I've educated myself on all things Circulation Coordinator-y and branched out into general library items to get a better idea about how it all works.

Thanks to the help of the Reference Librarian, who has walked me through all of the databases and student questions that I couldn't answer with patience and clarity, the former User Services Librarian, who sparked an interest in all things computer that must have laid dormant before, and the others who have answered my plentiful questions.

I wasn't sure before if I wanted to make librarianship my career, and I still have reservations. However, I do know that books will continue to be a part of my life and that the preservation of materials is where my passion really lies.

Secondly, quiting the book biz. It was a long, hard battle, but it is done. Selling books to people was more fun than I could have imagined! Talking to them, figuring out what they wanted or what they would like made going to work fun. The rest of the job, I could have done without.

Though this part is over, the lessons I learned there (and of course the valuable friends I made) continue to affect the way I live and work. Two things stand out: 1) learning to work, successfully that is, with difficult people, and 2) using business and marketing principles in my approach to the library, personal financial decisions, and being a boss.

Finally, the upcoming Guest Lecturer version of me. Something I have always wanted to do or to be is a professor. That is one of my main reasons for focusing on academic libraries: helping and teaching students. So when I was asked to guest lecture a few times next term I almost burst with excitement! I hope that I can look back at this next year, around this time, and see how it has effected me (though I already know that it has).

Now that I have done the reflecting, it is time for the goal-setting:
  1. Surviving my temporary stint as a Guest Lecturer (keep your fingers crossed on this one).
  2. Finally following through on applying to grad school (every year I stare at the application forms and wish that it would complete itself - I feel like this is the year).
  3. Be pro-active in projects in the Library - find something (like the archives downstairs???) that needs an advocate and organizer, and be that.
  4. Start being a better mentor with my student assistants - spend time with them, get to know them better.
  5. Start volunteering or get an internship with another library (a public one?) to continue to broaden my understanding of the library world.
Five goals, that sounds do-able to me!

Here is to the real New Years!! and all of the resolutions therein.

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