For this month’s ACRLoggers collaborative blog post, we’re talking about things that are bringing us joy these days. We hope this post also brings you joy and or allows you to reflect on things bringing you joy this month.
Ramón – I do my best to not think about work in my free time, so currently I’m reading Robert Crumb’s Book of Genesis – The illustrations are amazing, of course. The last book I really enjoyed was Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammed Ali and Malcom X.
Alex – I’m trying to become more of a “podcast person.” I haven’t found any library podcasts to add to my list of regular listening, but I’m trying an episode here and there of any library podcasts that sound interesting! (And I’ve finally listened to the “Room of Requirement” episode of This American Life. It only took 3 years of recommendations from others!)
Emily – “lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to” on Youtube. This isn’t technically library-related, but makes me feel like an undergrad again! Instrumental music always helped me focus on homework, and these Lofi Girl videos fill my office with fuzzy, beat-forward good vibes.
Maura – I’m almost finished reading The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson and it’s such an amazing novel that I’ve found myself recommending it to people practically nonstop in the past couple of weeks. (I may also be dragging my feet a bit on finishing it, it’s that good.)
Jen – While I’m definitely finding joy in the various things I’m reading, watching, and listening to right now, those things aren’t explicitly library-related either. But I do enjoy when I can follow the thread of an idea I’ve been working on or thinking about in my professional space into whatever recreational book or movie I’m immersed in. For example, I just finished Writers and Lovers by Lily King (highly recommend, by the way) and was struck by the insights into the writing process (among other things) that it offered. I love to see those moments of connection across divides or contexts.
What’s something bringing you joy in the workplace?
Alex – I’m working on a lot of things with different committees and groups, and they’re all actually moving forward. None of the groups are stuck in that space of “what do we do next” or “let’s table that indefinitely,” and it feels great.
Ramón – The 10 plants I keep in my office! Whenever my eyes are tired from looking at screens or I feel stressed, I turn around in my chair & admire my green friends.
Emily – Little flashes of community amongst students has brought me joy lately. After being virtual, then hybrid for so long, it felt like students stopped seeing the library as a lively, social place. It was getting lonely and sad! It’s great to see students study in small groups again, or meet with friends between classes in the library.
Maura – Like Emily I’m also enjoying seeing more students in the library again. While we were open last semester it was still fairly quiet on campus as most of the college’s courses were still mostly (or solely) online. Welcoming students back to the library to study, use our resources, or catch a nap between classes has been a bright spot for sure.
Jen – It’s been a hectic few weeks and I feel like I’m working just about five minutes ahead of every deadline — which is not my favorite context to work in nor the one in which I feel I’m able to produce my most thoughtful work. But at the end of the workshop I facilitated today (after having finalized it only this morning), a colleague who participated commented how helpful it was, that it was “just what I was looking for.” The point I want to make here isn’t that this particular comment from this particular colleague brought me joy, although it did. Reflecting on this brief exchange today in light of this prompt reminds me how much it matters to recognize each others’ effort and impact. I used to hesitate to share acknowledgements like this because I thought my small comments were expendable, disposable. But I feel exactly the opposite now: that such comments, however small, acknowledging that we see the work that our colleagues and our students are doing, that we appreciate their efforts, that we recognize their significance can go a long way. With them, I think we can create a bit of joy for each other and ourselves.
What’s a win (big or small) that has brought you joy in 2022?
Ramón – Feeling more comfortable teaching my library research course & looking back on my previous work plan to see that I accomplished almost everything I set out to do!
Alex – A colleague and I got a chapter proposal accepted! The actual writing is not currently bringing me a lot of joy, but once I’m on the other side of the first draft, it will bring me joy again.
Emily – In Fall 2020, we started using LibGuides CMS to embed LibGuide pages into Canvas. This semester I’ve noticed more and more instructors requesting our “Ask a Librarian” feature (our embedded chat and contact page), and even embedding resources all on their own! It’s been good to see it catching on.
Maura – We’re hiring (again)! Near the end of last semester one of our IT staff moved on to another opportunity, and I’m grateful that we’ve been able to recruit for their replacement so quickly. I’m also grateful for my colleagues in the library who are taking the time to run the search so thoughtfully. I’m looking forward to welcoming our new colleague in the (fingers crossed, not too distant) future.
Hailley – During the fall semester, I spent a lot of time facilitating conversations around our reference services. These conversations led us to make some big changes this spring, including launching a new form to help track our interactions on and off the desk, across multiple departments. Watching this form come to life (and knowing all the hard work and conversations that went into creating it) is definitely bringing me joy.
Featured image by Bekka Mongeau from Pexels