This has been an interesting first year for me, and certainly not what I expected.Â Iâ€™ve learned a lot about bureaucracy, and how to make the best of a clunky administrative system.Â Iâ€™ve learned that what a librarian requests and what the library actually receives can be two vastly different things.Â Iâ€™ve learned that without a library director to â€œgo to batâ€ for you, you have to be very persistent to accomplish anything that requires permission or approval. And Iâ€™ve learned that working as a one-person-library is stressful, mind-warping, challenging, and tons of fun.
As a library student, I dreamed of helping students with complicated reference questions, and rabbit-trail search quests.Â I dreamed of becoming proficient in the myriad databases and technological bits that the library utilizes. Ultimately, though, I dreamed of being a Tech Services librarian and working with collection development and cataloging.Â I never dreamed Iâ€™d become a computer instructor, assisting students as they struggle with Blackboard or formatting an English paper.Â I never dreamed Iâ€™d become a printer technician, troubleshooting and solving issues because itâ€™s so hard to get the service guy to come to this campus.Â I never dreamed Iâ€™d stand in front of a classroom full of bored students and get them (well, at least *some* of them) excited about library resources.Â And I certainly never dreamed of doing any kind of presentation at a professional conference.
But upon reflection, some of my best memories from this year are just those things I never dreamed Iâ€™d do.Â Iâ€™m an introvert, and getting in front of a class terrified me.Â But it was fun!Â I really got a kick out of seeing the â€œah-ha momentâ€ in a studentâ€™s eyes, as the complicated procedure about sending attachments suddenly becomes crystal clear.Â Granted, I still donâ€™t love the bureaucracy, but Iâ€™ve learned to worked the system and now I can repair my own books and do my own collection development and make most of the day-to-day decisions that impact everything that goes on in this space.Â I get the reference questions and the database questions and the citation questions.Â Iâ€™ve presented a poster session at the Alabama Library Association conference.Â Iâ€™ve encouraged some new readers, and found some new authors for my â€œwe love booksâ€ crowd.
I think Iâ€™d still like to go into tech services, but now that Iâ€™ve been an â€œeverything librarianâ€ for a year, Iâ€™d have to have a position where I can spend time with students too.Â Because Iâ€™ve realized that the students are what make the job unexpected, intriguing, frustrating, and completely worthwhile.
So thanks for letting me post here this year as a First Year Blogger – this too has been a great learning experience.Â I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the blog, and I know I’ll be back for regular visits to see what hot new topics are being discussed!