A Good Place to Start

I can’t believe it’s already time to write another post! I’m really feeling a bit frazzled so I don’t know that it’s the best time to attempt a blog post, but the Type A part of me knows I made a commitment to writing once a week and I can’t let that go.

The frazzled is in a good way. I’m learning that this job means I will always be juggling projects, teaching, reference, and professional development. I’m also learning to be okay with that. This Sunday-Tuesday I attended the NC3ADL Conference in Raleigh. Six other faculty/staff members from my college attended too, and it was really wonderful to get to know them all better. The conference was my second conference experience, and it was a very different experience than NCLA. The most obvious difference was that NCLA focused on libraries and this conference was about distance education in community colleges. Also, most of the sessions I attended had at least one presenter who was a vendor rep. This worked well in some cases (those where they let the non-vendor presenters do the majority of speaking), and not as well in others. I still feel like the experience is too fresh to reflect on how I might use things I learned, so I’m planning to tackle that next week.

The best part of this conference for me was being able to build relationships with my colleagues. We went to dinner together the first night and had a blast eating tapas and trading stories. I rode to/from Raleigh with three of the six colleagues, and the car time actually focused a lot on discussions of distance education and other work related topics. I feel more connected to the college now, and I have some people in place now that can start vouching for the library and for my skills. One of the colleagues who attended is a Math professor, and she told me that she’s impressed by the communication coming from the library. I got the sense from everyone that they are starting to think about the library again and consider how our services can be useful for them.

I also got a chance to re-connect with Beth Filar-Williams who I met at NCLA. She was a presenter and I attended her session that I wasn’t able to get to at NCLA…good stuff! We also went out for a drink after the sessions on Monday and got a good chance to discuss libraries and our lives. She is someone I feel like I can look up to and who will give me solid advice for any career questions. I hope we can continue to meet up in the future, and maybe work together on a project someday!

This is about all I can handle for this week. I do feel like I’ve turned a corner mentally where I’m less overwhelmed by things and more excited about the opportunities I have in my position here. I’m now the chair of a training committee for the consortium we belong to for our catalog, and I’m being nominated by our VP of Instruction and Student Development to be the library representative for a consortium of higher ed institutions in the Charlotte area. I’m also planning to apply for an aware from EBSCO to attend the ALA Annual Conference in June. Being able to do all of these things is fulfilling, and makes me feel like I’m in the perfect place to start my library career.

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