New Year Plans

First post of 2013! I intended for this to happen a week ago but I had some health issues that kept me out of the library for part of Thursday and all of Friday last week. Fortunately I was able to bounce back strong for this week. I think it’s fitting to follow my last post of reflections on the previous year with a post on expectations, goals, and plans for the New Year.

I’ve noticed that working in an academic setting has changed the way I view my time. I plan my work tasks and projects around our semester schedule, and make sure that I don’t commit to too many personal obligations during times when classes are in session. It’s not even a conscious process, most of the time I realize later that I’m engaging in this behavior. It almost feels like the “real”, deep, conceptual work has to get squeezed in between semesters because there are too many other tasks and responsibilities to attend to during semesters. I mentioned my (lofty?) goals for redesigning our instruction program and my realization that the break between Fall and Spring semesters was not adequate for a project of that scope. Thankfully, I can approach every instructional situation during the Spring with my end goal in mind. This should help to focus my reflection on those experiences. I also have a much longer break after the Spring for long projects as our Summer semester isn’t nearly as intense.

I’ve decided to spend a few hours each day for one week in observation mode on the library floor to help identify problem areas and potential improvements for the library. I’m happy with our web presence, and I know I’ll be working on our instructional program, so I think a period of careful observation will help generate ideas for the next round of changes.

Beyond that my focus for the Spring semester will be my reference and instruction work, along with some of our new outreach endeavors like our documentary film series and “Library Out Loud” sessions for faculty on library tools.

I think it’s important for me to have goals as a librarian that are separate from my goals for my current position. Although I need to use my library skills every day in my position, I want to make sure I’m keeping up with professional development and trends in the field. I think any reader of  my blog knows I love a good free webinar, and I have several lined up for the next few months. I’ve also started working through Javascript on Codecademy because I’d like to learn some coding languages other than HTML and CSS. I’m keeping my eye out for opportunities to present, and have submitted my first solo presentation proposal for a local conference in March. I’ve been reading “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood” by James Gleick and it has reignited my passion for learning about information, and has made me feel proud to be an information professional. I love how the book starts by discussing talking drums in Africa and then branches out into language, math, physics, computers, biology and more. I love books that make me feel like my brain is getting a workout!

Speaking of which, my Mom (also a librarian) got me this shirt for Christmas. In my personal life, I am on a mission to treat my body with respect. A big part of that is exercise, and I’m known to work out 6 days a week, so this shirt is perfect!

The last thing I wanted to mention as part of my future goals is that I found out that I will be able to attend ALA Annual in Chicago this year! I know I’ve mentioned my work with the ACRL Distance Learning Section on the 2013 Conference Planning Committee and I’m so excited that I’ll be able to see our program in person. I also volunteered to do a write up of our session for “College & Research Libraries”. I can’t wait to go and to meet some people face to face that I’ve only communicated with online. I hope anyone reading this had a good holiday season and I look forward to your comments this year.

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