So, Where Am I Going, Anyway?

book and red wine on a marble table

In reference to my last post, and maybe in continuation of it, I’m asking a question about the rest of my career. This is also a continuation of the question that I first asked in my earliest blog posts,”Why do I want to be a librarian, anyway?

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Swimming with Purpose

white shark with fish

In a few short weeks the new semester begins. This will be my second academic year in this position. Over the last year there have been so many changes at work including a roughly 83% turnover in personnel in my department. That means that only myself and one staff member are doing the jobs we were doing at this time last year. Another position was moved under me that I didn’t have at that time, and yet another position has been created out of whole cloth.

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Nevertheless, He’s Anxious

anxiety

As you can see from my previous post, it’s been an up-and-down year for me. Equal parts joyous and difficult. Right now, things are going well for me. I’m being productive at work. My biggest problems are that I have another two positions to fill, one planned and one not. Those searches are both in process. The planned open position is a newly created one that fills out my staff and gives us redundancy. The unplanned one came up when one of my staff — how should I say this? — decided to seek their fortune elsewhere.

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Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

camping in the woods

Got to get away!

Let’s recap the last year:

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It’s Finals. How Are You Doing?

kenny-rogers-gambler
There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealin’s done.

I’m at work. It’s Saturday. I don’t work Saturdays. I’m closing, which is not that unusual, but I’m closing at midnight. My bed time is around 10:00. This all feels so wrong. I remember the days when staying up until midnight was no big deal on any given night of the week. I remember regularly staying up until 3:00 AM playing cards. Rummy, of all things! I’m not Kenny Rogers. Read More

Optimism: a.k.a. Depression Lies

book and red wine on a marble table

So, last week was rough for me. I was feeling mentally exhausted and by Friday was beating up on myself for making a simple and entirely fixable mistake. By Saturday night I was sitting alone in bed — Wifey had fallen asleep on the couch — with that old familiar depressive feeling and wracking my brain to figure out why I was feeling it. This, by the way, is a Sisyphean exercise, as depression needs not have a specific trigger.

giphy2

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Emotionalism, the Trials of Public Service, & Vulcans

walmart-black-friday-deals-doorbustersWe’ve all been there. You’ve got a line backed up to the exits, the phone is ringing off the hook, and a patron is standing there wanting to argue policy with you. You could be working in retail, a public library, an academic library, or anywhere there is a front-line public service desk. It is difficult. It is stressful. It is rarely fun. About the only positive thing you can say about it is that it makes the time pass quickly. Thirty minutes or an hour can pass in a few seconds. Read More

Recent Comment Cards

I don’t get a lot of mail in my inbox at work, so it was a bit of a surprise when I got up and saw a stack of comment cards inside. I thought I’d share them with you. Read More

Breaking Up with Facebook…For Real, This Time

If you’ve been watching my Twitter, lately, you may have seen that I have permanently deleted my personal Facebook account and the associated page for TOAL. I’d threatened to do this several times over the last five years, or so, but I finally went through with it yesterday (03/20). Technically, it still exists and my personal Twitter is still feeding into Facebook, causing some confusion as to my status. This is still happening because Facebook, naturally, doesn’t want you to leave so they kindly keep your site active for fourteen days hoping that you’ll change your mind; hoping that after a cooling off period you’ll run back to their open arms. Read More

The Ambivalent Librarian

About six months ago I wrote about the perception of professionalism in libraries. About three months ago I began a post with the above title. That post was begun at a point of emotional nadir in which my depression had had a significant resurgence. I was in fear of losing my job, and I really didn’t know what I was doing in the profession anymore. Fortunately, that time has passed and I have since deleted all of the content from that depressive would-be post. Read More

Things They Don’t Teach in Library School: Part 1, Collective Grieving

Girl in Grief

It is a dark time for the library. A few months ago, one of my employees –a woman in her early forties — was diagnosed with colon cancer. This week we learned that she has passed away. I only knew the woman for a short time, but she was a quiet and kind person whom I could approach for an informed opinion both about library issues and management questions. While she technically worked for me, she had a lot of retail management experience that I was beginning to consult and utilize. I had looked forward to her being a vital part of my team for some time. Her loss is profoundly felt both personally and professionally. Read More

Recent Observations

book and red wine on a marble table
  • Combing through a pile of job applicants is one of my least favorite parts of my job.
  • When the job demands clear communication skills and attention to detail, I suggest not including a page long paragraph in your cover letter, also, I suggest paying attention to which is your resume and which is your cover letter when uploading your documents.
  • Telling an academic library that one of your “founding” memories was learning how to read the Dewey Decimal system as a child is not endearing. We use Library of Congress, and don’t do the job because we love books. We serve our students and faculty in their education process. This has very little to do with a love of books.
  • There are a lot of really experienced and talented people willing to take a new job for less than $40k a year.
  • I’m very grateful that I can make coffee in my cubicle.
  • I’m very grateful that my talented and hard working staff have not lost their $#!+ yet this very difficult semester — at least that I know about.