I said I’d blog then I didn’t.
But I have a fair excuse I believe.
It goes like this:
I started at my current place of employment 3 years ago this past October. I had my Masters Degree in Library Services but had not been working in libraries for about seven years. There’s a whole story as to why, but all you need to know right now is that I was doing other work.
So, my family and I (which incidentally consists of two busy parents who work full time- that would be myself and my more gang-ho-take-it-as-it-all-comes significant other; my slightly sassy, “I’m-turning-six-but-I-may-as-well-be-forty-because-I-act-like-it” daughter; and my two charming albeit slightly dopy, well-fed dogs) moved to Houston in 2015. As we came back to Houston, I decided to step back into library services at all costs. It was my aspired profession, I had the qualifications and I had worked very hard to get a myriad of opportunities that one generally refers to as “life experience.”
It was time.
But I was under no illusion. After being out of the profession for seven years, I knew that I had to start at a non-librarian job and move up from there (sound familiar fellow librarians?). I interviewed (at the worst possible time BTW- but that’s another story for another time) for a position of Adult Services Specialist – Coordinator of Literacy, ESL and Citizenship classes at a library local to my home. And I got the job. And I loved the job. I think I did alright too. I’d done a teaching stint in Korea and I had also taught at a college in my hometown stomping grounds, Sydney, Australia, and this new job offered teaching opportunity too. It was going good.
But I was not a Librarian. And I wanted to be.
So, when a Children’s Librarian position came open at my library, I went for it. It was not where I actually wanted to be at that time, I aspired to be the type of Indiana Jones Librarian that sat at an ancient archival desk by day and on weekends went treasure hunting for rare finds (okay saying that I ‘aspired’ may be the wrong tense of the verb, because let’s face it, I still do). But, I love Children. I spent years teaching them. I have one, so I have experience with various questionable substances. I went for the job.
I was promoted just 9 months in to working at my library. Not bad.
I was the Children’s Librarian for two years.
Were there days? Yes, there were.
I can tell you a thing or two about opening a book and asking a colleague: “Is this snot, spit, vomit, milk or blood?” I can tell you about singing the ‘ABCs’ while raising a parachute to the heights of Christendom while thirty toddler / preschooler aged children scream at your feet. Yes, I can tell you about the power of doing squats, not to get fit, no, but to get prepared for finding that one book which WILL be tucked behind the shelf, on the bottom shelf, of the children’s picture book section.
I can tell you about the Summer Reading Programs…
But, did I love it? Yes, I did. I enjoyed the little light that went on inside the brains of our young yet manipulative prodigies.
I oft dreamed about taking over the world armed with a box of straws, bubble solution, glitter and a pack of rabid two year olds.
But, time marches on. And as it did I wanted more. So when the position of Young Adult Librarian came open, I found myself filling out one of those endless online application forms…again. This time I was armed with two and a bit more recent years of library experience.
And I had lived through story-time.
My boss seemed to like me, which is saying a lot because she is the type of power woman who can strut her stuff on 7 inch heals all day without flinching. Her make-up makes me nervous. She walks like she’s late for ten business meetings, which is admirable in those heals. Her voice is as soft as apple blossom petals floating to grass, and yet, when she calls my name I can hear her…yup, it’s impressive.
I am interviewed on a Tuesday. I am hired by the Friday. It’s two weeks before Summer Reading and on the day I start the library is doing it’s very first Comic Con and there’s about four hundred people attending. It was a little insane.
I begin though with a gusto. I track pre-existing plans for the Summer, contact partners, set up times for programs, begin marketing and set up shop as the new face of YA services. In truth I called the previous YA Librarian, like five times a day, for answers.
But the point is I made it! We got through summer, with a bit of late night stressing and the help of a couple of over-worked co-workers, we pushed through.
So, when I went for my pre-scheduled, happy-Summer-Reading-is-over-let’s-take-a-break vacation in August, I looked like this:
Because I was here:
So, when I say that I came back pretty refreshed, you can probably understand why.
Things in my new job were going okay. My clicky heals boss and my direct supervisor seemed happy, and I got on well with the new team (I’d worked in the Adult Services Department before). Things were very busy, all the time, but were new and exciting and interesting enough to keep me happy. I was beginning to review YA literature and really get a feel for the job.
I got a phone call.
My boss was gone. No not the one with the clicky heals, but my direct supervisor. My direct go-to person should things go topsy turvy and someone had to explain.
They needed an interim person. That, they said, was I.
Twas I who suddenly had to figure out what was happening, with who and when; how it was going to happen, with who and when; why it wasn’t happening, with who and when.
I was inundated with schedules, and time slots and room bookings and unscheduled changes (which are really rather common, in case you were wondering- yes, your manager buffers those ALL THE TIME).
I will not go into the details of my early hours of the morning anxiety induced moments. Let’s just leave that between me and my bedroom ceiling. Needless to say, if I thought that I’d been busy before, I was WRONG.
I was interim go-between for about 2 minutes before someone told me to apply for the real deal. It didn’t seem possible to have three promotions in three years. That is not the way it happened for my parents, or grandparents. But here I was. I needed another vacation.
Instead, I filled in one of those endless online application forms…again.
I think clicky heals was very happy. I got the job.
So, since September, I have been a bit busy.
I have been pathing my own way through the tricky tides of management. I have been scaling the heights of scheduling desk times, and reordering that which needed reordering. And I’ve barely started on the books.
I have a really long list of letters behind my name now, because I need to show my masters degree in all of my email correspondences. That’s a new one.
Gone are the days of dealing with screaming babies while trying to delver a peaceful P.J. story-time. No more are the hours of shelf reading and looking over picture books.
I now look over statistics.
And dusty book lists.
SO, imagine my determination when New Years rolled around. It was resolution time, and it’s the right time to have party time all the time.
I’m back baby!
I shall blog.
It will be epic.
…it will be excellent
…it will be good
The point is, that if I can bring myself to somehow complete this very first post of the year, while being inundated with a professional to-do list that’s longer than my body and an almost 6 year old that just told me that I smell like a skunk and laughed manically, then I can do this all year!
2019 is the time.
And as Leonard Cohen says:
Ring the bells
that still can ring
There is a crack
Happy New Year everyone- let’s make it unforgettable!