“How Being a Children’s Librarian Made Me a Better Director”

6 Jan

I came across this article through my email or one of the many blogs I follow and I found it very interesting, partly because I’m currently a children’s librarian and also because (eventually) I would like to move into a director’s position.

The article was published in this month’s issue of RA News and if you want to read the full article, you can find it through Novelist. The author of the article started her library career in teens and children’s before becoming a library director. In the article, she provides a number of reasons why being a children’s librarian helped to are her a better director including flexibility, the ability to accept failure, and how to multitask and prioritize.

I think that these are all important aspects of being a director and leader in any organization. Along the same lines in the ability to communicate with all types of people. I sometimes get very caught up in what I’m doing and don’t communicate as well as I should with my coworkers, but I’m making a conscious effort to focus on each individual that comes to me looking for answers to questions, help with a project, or just want to chat for a few minutes. As for me, I can do a pretty good job at multitasking (working at a reference desk while also working on projects is not always easy), I’m always getting better at prioritizing and am constantly learning how my programs can get better and more focused on the community I serve. My ability to be flexible can depend on the day, but I’m always trying to be available to my coworkers who need extra help on a project on short notice or on extended projects that I need to be part of. I think one of the hardest parts of my job is to work on projects that are drawn out over weeks or months. I get bogged down in the details or the feeling that I haven’t been able to accomplish anything. But, I’m learning to work on individual steps making it easier for me to continue working over the long haul.

Am I ready to be a director? Not yet, but I hope that I’ll continue to learn skills that will assist me when the time comes that I feel ready to take that next step in the library world.

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