Trying to write a consistent blog is quite a challenge. I was doing well with the Thursday evening blog posts but it’s easy to let yourself slip. And then once you’ve slipped it is hard to come back. I’ve been thinking about potential blog posts since my last post. When I checked to see when my last post was, I was shocked that I’ve let two and a half months pass since my last post! Perhaps if I hold myself to a less rigorous schedule, like once every two weeks, I can be more consistent. I’m really enjoying keeping a record of the beginning of my career. Speaking of that, today marks 9 months since I started working as an Instruction/Reference Librarian! I’m getting more used to telling people that I’m a librarian, but it still gets me a little excited/overwhelmed whenever I do. I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I graduated from Drexel, and less than two and a half years since I decided to become a librarian.
I am incredibly glad I decided to take this journey, and I feel like I’m in a good place professionally. Trying to keep up with the very active library community can sometimes be intimidating. I’d like to make an impact on librarianship as a whole, but it’s hard to figure out what my niche will be to accomplish that goal. I’m considering applying for the ALA’s Emerging Leaders program, but I’m also thinking of maybe waiting a year until I have more professional experience. Earning my MLIS online was a fantastic experience, but I think it limited some of the opportunities my fellow new librarians had in more traditional programs like opportunities to attend professional development events and give presentations. I’d like to build up that side of my career a bit more before I really put myself out there.
Fortunately, I’m working on some great committees and I keep being asked to join things! I also just found out that I’ll be co-presenting with a librarian from NC LIVE and a librarian from Catawba Valley Community College at the North Carolina Community College System Conference in October. This will be my first professional presentation and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to be talking about how our library’s online resources support the QEP we developed for our recent accreditation process. The conference is for everyone involved with the North Carolina Community College System, not just librarians. This means more opportunity to meet people and to learn about what I’m doing on a broader scope. I just read an excellent blog post about community college librarianship that I’d highly recommend to anyone in this field or anyone considering it.
Another good blog post I found recently had an embedded video of a presentation by Char Booth and Brian Mathews called “Understanding the Learner Experience”. The presentation was over an hour long but it was worth every minute. I really encourage you to watch it to get the full picture. Essentially it discussed how to analyze both the student experience and the faculty experience, and how to make the library a third place that can help facilitate more successful and meaningful experiences for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to implementing some of their ideas and techniques into my own work.
The final incredibly valuable experience I’ve had recently was the opportunity to attend a Black Belt Librarians workshop with Warren Graham. He was one of the most magnetic and interesting speakers I’ve ever seen. The workshop was a whole day and it was hosted by a consortium for higher education institutions in the Charlotte area. The workshop was about security in the library and was full of practical information that we can start applying here. It made me realize how much work we need to do in that area. Our office manager went with me, and we’re meeting with our Dean and other full time librarian to discuss how to start updating our security procedures. Warren wrote a book called The Black Belt Librarian: Real World Safety & Security that should contain all the information he presented. If you can find him presenting somewhere near you I’d highly recommend attending!