It’s the end of the year and all the things I expect are happening. Students are camping out in the library, I’m working on end-of-the-semester recaps, and I’m already thinking ahead to 2020. With the way the holiday lines up, I’ll leave campus before finals are over and graduation has occurred and when I return, it will be empty and quiet. Like many people, I’m looking forward to the break, turning on my out-of-office email and basking in several meeting-free days in a row.
As I gear up for this last week, I’m leaving 2019 with a lot of questions. Asking questions is part of my job but recently my questions have gotten harder to easily answer. You might have read my post in October, which raises a lot of questions about my type of librarianship. But beyond that I’m also thinking about:
- What does space mean to us?
- What does it mean to be productive in a capitalist society and what space lends itself to being productive?
- Where is my research agenda going?
- Where is my research project going to take me in 2020?
- How do we, as libraries, promote ourselves to students? Does it actually work?
- What is the spectrum of experiences in the library that we want our students to have?
- How do you push back against the idea that a scholarly article is always reliable? And how do you do that in just 50 minutes?
- What should reference in an academic library look like? How is that tied with our instruction?
- Is it possible to lead transparently?
- How do we tell a compelling story to administrators? What data do we need and how do we tell the story if we don’t have it?
- Will we recruit enough students for our new class?
I’m lucky I can talk through these questions with my friends in academia, my supervisor, my formal and informal mentors, the students I work with, and my colleagues. While sometimes it feels strange to have so many questions and so little direction on how to answer them, I wonder if this means I’m getting somewhere. Or maybe I’m just getting more seasoned. But I’m ready to unpack these questions in 2020. Stay tuned to see what I discover.
What questions do you have as we end 2019?