Taking Care of Myself: Forest Bathing

bright angel trail at grand canyon

My last post was all about how I was feeling “not quite right” and attributed it to a buildup of stress to the point of it expressing itself in physical symptoms — muscle tightness and tiredness, in particular. It was also getting bad enough that it was starting to express itself emotionally in irrational generalized anger. To the point that I told my wife one Saturday, “I’m not having a good brain day.” Luckily, I was able to control it and keep it from bubbling up at inopportune times or in inappropriate behavior, but it was definitely there.

Read More

Take Care of Yourself: Mental Health and Your Career

Like a lot of people, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety; more depression than anxiety, but they tend to go hand in hand because they are sweet, sweet, lovers. I know what my roots are — being raised in a toxically masculine culture where I was never the right kind of boy and all the self-loathing and isolation that entailed. My triggers are a bit harder to define, though.

Read More

Here Come the Big Boss?

This is a thought that I’ve been having, lately. “I want to be Dean someday.” The thrust of my career appears to be on a management track. I’m not a teacher. I don’t have a particular subject specialty. I’m not a tech guy, and I have a strictly pragmatic attitude toward data. My skills, experience, and training have been about procedures, practices, and policies. It’s been managing service points and solving problems. It’s been personnel, coaching, and mentorship. I’m going to be getting more and more exposure to management and leadership training this year, and eventually, I will outgrow my current situation and desire something different; something bigger. After being the department head at a large university the options for me will be to take a similar job at an even larger university, or an upper management position at a smaller one. This assumes, of course, that there won’t be a promotion opportunity in my current institution.

Read More

Let’s Break Some Shit

creative destruction

Over the last few months I’ve been in a, “Well, now what?” period of my career. I’ve steered my department through crisis and now that it’s passed I’m not sure what I’m doing in my position. If my career starts and ends running a circulation-reserves-stacks unit and never does anything different I’m going to bang my head against my desk until I’m dead.

Read More

New Year. New Me?

I suppose it’s inevitable that at some point I’d write a New Year’s Resolutions post. Here it is.

Read More

Setting the Sail

A few weeks ago, working the circulation desk was becoming very difficult for me. Which is a bad thing, as a public services librarian. I’m certain that I was suffering a certain amount of public services burnout. What I wasn’t certain about at the time is how severe it was. Was I just fatigued and in a mood, or had there been a shift within me that makes this realm of librarianship no longer viable? Since it’s passed, I’m inclined to think the former more than the latter, but it was a troubling trend over that period. I was finding that I had to spend more of my time at the circulation desk doing emotional inventories and checking my behavior on the fly. This is not a sustainable way to spend my eight-to-twelve hours a week taking my turn as the face of the library. Read More

Navigating the Horrible Valley of Librarian Job Searches

Last year, I was approached by someone who wanted me to contribute to their new librarian website. Flattered, I jumped at the chance. I began trading emails with the site’s owner and looking at his site. We talked about what his site’s purpose was and I, respectfully, gave him some design critiques. I also invited him to provide a reciprocal  contribution to this site.

At the same time I was also preparing a presentation for the 2017 Missouri Library Association conference. I took the opportunity to flesh out the ideas I was going to be discussing in my presentation for this new site. Even though what I submitted was much longer than asked for the site owner seemed ecstatic and posted the piece without delay. I again offered to host a posting by the site owner but was ignored.

You’ll notice that I’m not posting the URL for the site in question. That’s because as far as I can tell the site no longer exists. Furthermore, I never got that reciprocal post. This is the “negative experience” referenced in the Contributors page. Below is a version of that recently rediscovered post edited for this site. I thought now would be a good time to resurrect it since I’ve not been able to write anything new, lately. Enjoy. Read More