January 14, 2013On Saturday I had my last day at the first professional position I had post-library school (first and only teen services librarian at the New Canaan Library in New Canaan, Connecticut), and today I had orientation and training for my new job (working at NYPL in the Bronx Library Center as the supervising librarian for teen services). It’s a big step in my career, but it’s been bittersweet taking this position because over the not-quite-two-and-a-half-years that I worked in New Canaan, I’ve grown very attached to the town, to the library, and especially to the kids. I didn’t stay as long as I’d intended, but I’m really proud of what I built during my time there, especially since I was a department of one building teen services from the ground up, and super-especially because I did all of that on 19-28 hours a week (I got more hours over time).
Transitions always make me contemplative, and I’m not only thinking about what I did and didn’t accomplish in New Canaan and what my new job will be like and how I’ll grow and change as a librarian and as a person — I’m also thinking about how disappointed I am that I was always too busy to write about my experiences building teen services as they were happening. I did a lot of programs that were thrilling successes and heartbreaking failures. I spent a lot of time and energy putting together a vision statement and strategic plan for my department. I thought a lot about assessment and how we know when we’re doing a good job. And throughout all of that, I was piecing together what it means to be a public librarian serving teens and how what I learned in library school was different from what I was doing on the job.
But I didn’t write about any of that as it happened, and I’m bummed out that I don’t have a solid record of my transformation and my increase in understanding and wisdom.
I’ll be wrapping up my term on YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults at the end of this month and I’m hoping that between that and having a very long commute for a few months, I’ll be able to return to blogging at least a little bit and that I’ll be able to chronicle my transition from a part-time department of one in a single location library in a small, wealthy town to being a full-time supervisor at a branch serving a diverse population in one of the largest libraries in the country. I think it’ll be interesting to see which skills translate and which I need to build and what different corporate cultures and organizational structures have to offer. I really hope I’ll be able to share those thoughts and new successful programs with all of you — and maybe I’ll be able to go back and discuss some of what I did in New Canaan as well.
So I’m going to dive back into my audiobook cave for another few weeks and get settled in my new position, but come February, I’m hoping that I’ll be back to blogging regularly (even if it’s not as frequently as I was writing during library school). See you then, dear readers! (…if there are any of you left.)
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