Life, the Universe, and Everything
Â I am looking forward to the coming months in many ways:Â I finally have an Academic Library Job, I get to do a little bit of everything, and I am honored to be able to blog about my experiences here on the ACRLog. Â On the flip side, I am also filled with deep concern and trepidation about the coming months: I am a one-person-library at a new branch campus of a regional community college, the library director AND his assistant have both just left for other positions, and I donâ€™t want my posts to make ACRLog readers groan and ask, â€œwho gave this nutcase a login here?â€
Hopefully Iâ€™ll be able to bring a little bit of all these things to the table, and perhaps add a perspective thatâ€™s a bit unusual in the world of academic librarianship.Â My greatest concern these days is not that I donâ€™t currently have a boss down at the main campus â€“ or even an administrative assistant who knows probably more than the boss did.Â Itâ€™s not that Iâ€™m working in the brand new building of the brand new campus, struggling with the typical â€œstart-upâ€ issues that any new school facility might face.Â No, my biggest worry is the fact that Iâ€™m *it* – Iâ€™m the lone librarian covering all the hours, handling all the responsibilities, answering all the questions, making all the collection development decisionsâ€¦ everything except the actual cataloging, which is handled elsewhere.Â (But thatâ€™s a whole other post by this wanna-be cataloger!)Â
I wonder how many one-person-libraries are out there these days?Â I suppose I really canâ€™t claim to be running the show solo â€“ I do have colleagues at the other branches, and my books arrive already catalogued.Â So I donâ€™t actually do everything, just ALMOST everything.Â But itâ€™s still a struggle, even two months into the first semester.Â I have to close the library to teach an instruction session.Â I spend equal amounts of time showing students how to print from Word 2007 and teaching them how to do an effective database search. Â Â I live in fear of the student who might come in with a complicated research problem, requiring all my time and concentration, only to be interrupted over and over to check out books, take money for printing, and to point the way to the copier.
So I hope that my posts will give encouragement to those in similar places, amusement to those who will laugh with me, andÂ relief to those who are in better-staffed situations.Â For me personally,Â I hope that these brief forays into myÂ off-center mind will remind me continuallyÂ that I really do love my job!Â Â My current situationÂ is overwhelming for someone fresh out of library school, but I will count enthusiasm (though not youth) in my favor, which makes it easy to get things done which really should be quite implausible.
Posted: October 20, 2008 by ssmith
in First Year Academic Librarian Experience.