Today is my last day at my current place of work as I’m relocating for personal reasons. I’ve learned a lot about serving a diverse community and about what kind of opportunities there are to get involved professionally.
I’ve been a librarian for just over ten years and I’ve been thinking more generally about what I’ve learned. It might not be as epic as GraceAnne DeCandido’s Ten Graces for New Librarians but here we go:
- No amount of education replaces a genuine love of young people and the literature for them.
- Be the person who returns phone calls and emails. It’s powerful.
- Learn about other peoples’ roles in the library and respect them. Be it buildings, graphics, security, or web services: you can’t serve the public without them.
- Rude and ignorant patrons are unavoidable. How you deal with them is up to you and makes all the difference.
- Climbing the ladder is not for everyone. If you love what you do and you’re happy where you are you are a success.
- There will be days when everything goes wrong. There will be days when nobody shows up to programs. Don’t take it personally and try something different next time.
- Figure out what you are best at and what your co-workers are best at. Divide work accordingly.
- Not every teen through your door is going to join your fanclub. One third of your teens will be your core group, another third will participate when the program is a fun one or they need a book for school. For the other third the best we can do is make them feel welcome in the library and send the message that we are there to help.
- The best resource you can have is a network of colleagues who love what they do and inspire you to do great things.
- Promoting a life-long love of learning and reading in children and teens is the best thing we can do for our communities. Who knew it could be so much fun?