February 22, 2010 by
I’m just shy of six months into my job as the Art & Architecture Librarian here at CU-Boulder, and I’m learning a lot–about my job, the organization I work for, the students and faculty I serve, and so much more.
Several weeks ago, I helped a student at the reference desk with a particularly difficult question. We started chatting, and she identified herself as a McNair Scholar. She asked if the library had a liaison to the McNair program, and I offered to find out for her. Long story short, I am now the liaison to the McNair program.
This brief story illustrates an important lesson: If you express interest in something, there’s a strong chance you’ll be asked to be in charge of it.
As a new librarian, how can you use this organizational quirk to your advantage? Well, if you see something that you think needs to be changed, or might just need the attention of a dedicated individual to make it work better, don’t be afraid to speak up. Make sure folks around you (boss, colleagues, etc.) know what you’re truly passionate about. And don’t forget to be strategic about your interests! As a tenure-track librarian here at CU-Boulder, a focus of my developing research agenda has been working with underrepresented students. Serving as the liaison to the McNair program helps me unite the “librarianship” and “research” pieces of my librarianship/research/service puzzle.
So what do YOU want to be in charge of? :)
September 14, 2009 by
Here at the University of Colorado-Boulder, we recently completed a partial renovation of our main library. We added a technology-equipped learning commons (open 24/5!), a coffee shop (serving high-quality caffeine from local business The Laughing Goat), several new instructional spaces, a more welcoming reference area, and much more (read all about it here).
We anticipated that the new spaces would be popular with students, but the response has been even better than we expected. The library is busier than anyone has ever seen it (especially for this early in the term), and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
But in the midst of our excitement, there is concern. If the library is full of students and faculty now, what will it look like during midterms and finals? Will we be able to handle the increased traffic? Will quality of service suffer? And how do we spin all of this to our advantage (convincing administration that we need more space, funds, staff, and resources)? It’s really the kind of problem you wish for, which has caught us a bit off guard.
Is your organization facing a similar challenge? Maybe you’ve recently introduced a new collection or service, and are overwhelmed by the response you’ve received. I’m interested in hearing other stories about what to do when things go well, rather than just when they flop.
[This post originally appeared on ArLiSNAP.org]
August 21, 2009 by
I’ve been a Librations contributor in the nominal sense for a month or so now, so I figured it was about time for me to actually step up and contribute. Oh sure, I could explain the delay away by saying that this is a ridiculously busy time for me at work (almost true) and in my personal life (actually true). And then, of course, I spent several weeks fussing about what I was going to write, and by the time I had finally drafted something that I was happy with, Librations went down for two weeks. Such is my life.
But the real cause of my initial fussing is that I was a little intimidated by kdt’s invitation. This is a blog for librarians, for crying out loud! Yeah, I spent five years of my life working in two different libraries (Oberlin College and Boulder Public). But that whole time, I was plotting and scheming and going to school and doing anything I could to get out of libraries and into publishing. (Not that I have anything against libraries. I love libraries. I just didn’t want to work in a library. But I’ll save that explanation for another post.)
So here’s my story: I’m not a librarian. I don’t even want to be a librarian. I’m an acquisitions editor in a publishing company. That means that I don’t really do much pen-on-paper editing (don’t worry, I won’t be all nitpicky about your grammar or spelling). I’m one of the people responsible for deciding what books get published. And I know what benefits I get from talking to librarians (anyone want to tell me what type of books you need or want for your library or yourself in history, geography, and international studies?), but I’ve been struggling with what kind of information you’d like to hear from me. So rather than struggle with that any longer, I’m just going to ask you: What kind of things do you want to know about publishing or content-related issues? Or, since this is the internet’s first library/bar, about my other area of expertise, Colorado microbrews? (Hint: pretty much everything from Left Hand Brewery is fantastic. But right now, I’m really into Avery’s Karma Ale. Just right with Pad Thai.)
I’m really interested in developing better relationships between publishers and librarians. If I publish books that you want, we both win. So I’d like to hear your questions and comments so I know what type of things you want to know from me. I’m not going to be intimidated by all you librarians anymore. I’m ready.
ps: I plan on tagging all my entries Colorado. Take that, Michigan!