Category Archives: Personal Info.

Calling In

The Thursday before last my throat started hurting. Everyone at work has had a cold, so I thought maybe that’s what I was getting. I had to work that Saturday at a community event and a huge teen program we had going on at the library (235+ people). I couldn’t even make it through my 4 hours at work on Sunday.

I went to the doctor on Monday, and it turned out I had strep. By then I knew that’s what it was. I’ve had strep before and I remembered how BAD it hurt. Well after two days on the antibiotics, on Wednesday, and I had no improvement at all. My doctor told me that either I had a resistant strain or my body was just having a hard time fighting it. So… stronger antibiotics. I finally went back in to work on Friday, but I still felt pretty crappy. I think I’m finally up to 95% myself just today. Strep sucks!

But anyway, so through all that, I kept having to call/email my boss that I wasn’t coming in. My husband dropped off a note from the doctor for me and everything. The truth is my boss was really understanding and didn’t give me any grief about staying home for 4 days. This is a big deal for me because I have had supervisors who quiz me every time I call in sick, which I don’t do but once or twice a year (when I am actually sick). Growing up, we had no excuses to not go to school unless we were puking or bleeding basically. So that pretty much followed me into adulthood. And it’s really nice to have a boss that I feel like really trusts me.

I should be getting back to blogging now that I’m feeling better. I kept thinking I should be getting some posts done since all I was doing was laying on the couch while I was sick, but I just was not up for absolutely anything else. I hate strep.

Library Politics

business kitty

Before you start working in a library, you might believe that it is a work environment free of the all silly politics that private businesses have to deal with. It’s all idealistic librarians just looking for a way to bring the love of reading to all ages, right? … Right? Not exactly.

I work in a library system with five branches, and there is a LOT of politics going on. I am personally not a great political player. I’m terrible at mind games and easily manipulated (something I figured out after a long-term relationship that went on way beyond the amount of time it should have). I’m also really bad at general “chatting.” I don’t necessarily like to chat. I don’t mind that other people do it around me, but I don’t always want to be in on the conversation, even if it’s happening right behind me. I don’t listen when people are talking near me if I’m not specifically part of the conversation. Sometimes then they’ll say something to me as though I should know what they were talking about, and I’ll have no idea. But I’m digressing. Back to politics.

I had several meetings this week, so I could see all the players, and I know the way all of them work. Although I haven’t been in this position that long, I have been in the system for five years, so I know most of these people at least fairly well, and I definitely know their reputations. Even when we are collaborating on something, there is a definite feel of competition between the buildings sometimes. I myself am absolutely not a competitive person, so it doesn’t really bother me if someone is doing something that I’m not, but others don’t always feel that way.

There are alliances, and passive aggressive enemies. There are many different supervisors and managers with different styles and levels of directness you have to learn. There are very sensitive people which you have to learn walk on eggshells with, and then people that you can really dig into and will never be offended by anything… It’s kind of like high school. I guess everything is kind of like high school when it comes down to it. Everyone is either in the popular group, wants to be in the popular group, or doesn’t care at all and just complains all the time.

I’m still learning some of the personalities, and luckily I’m a major empath, so I can usually tell pretty quickly how far I can go with people. But especially the way all the responsibilities in the libraries are merging, the webs of communication are getting more and more complicated. Who needs to know what? Why hasn’t this person heard about that? You need to run that past her and her and him, etc. It can make a girl dizzy.

Thank goodness my direct supervisor is a very direct, honest person who does not easily take offense, so I feel like I can go to her with pretty much anything, and she can help me navigate the waters. Let me tell you, after knowing different styles of managers, it’s a breath of fresh air to have someone direct, flexible, honest, encouraging and trusting. I think trust is the best thing a manager can have. Trust me to do my job. Encouraging is great too, because wouldn’t you want your employees to learn and grow?

Anyway, this post is really just free flow thoughts, but I thought I’d share. If you’re thinking about being a librarian to get away from corporate politics, think again! I think the only way out of that is doing nothing!

What It’s All About

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Two years after graduating with my MLS, I got my first real live librarian job. I didn’t study to be a youth librarian, but I knew that was what I wanted to do before I finished school. I worked as a Youth Services Assistant for two years, and learned a lot from many people in that position. Then I got promoted. And now I’m scared.

I’ve been in my new job for almost four months now, and I’m still not feeling very confident. It’s not that I think I can’t do my job fine, it’s just that it’s the first job I’ve had where I’m not sure I can be exceptional. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed, and I miss my really good friend that I worked with as an assistant in another library branch.

I’m starting this blog as a place to vent about work. I do plan on reviewing the YA books I’m reading and talking about my programs/displays/whatever else I have going on that’s hopefully going well. But I will also be using this as a place to talk about the times I’m not sure about something or when I feel like I made a wrong decision or am in over my head. I read a lot of librarian blogs, mostly by veteran librarians with recipes for successful programming and excellent review writing that can only come from experience. I’m hoping this blog will give hope to other new librarians. Not everyone knows what they’re doing 100% of the time! I really like my job, and I want to be great at it. For now I will feign confidence and then talk about all my insecurities here until I actually feel it!