Tag Archives: director

Director’s Thoughts #16 – When You Need a Pick-Me-Up

14 Mar

directorsDo you ever feel like you’re trying to make changes and you’re stuck in the mud? Or that things just aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like in regards to a work project? Or maybe you just feel like you need a vacation? It can make you feel defeated, tired and just plain ready to hide in a hole for a little while. These feelings aren’t quite burnout; when you’d rather do anything else than what you’re currently doing, but they do need to be recognized and as a director, it’s important to find ways to bounce back and regain your energy.

Here’s a few things that I do to relax, re-energize and get my head back in the game:

  1. Exercise
    I’m trying to make a point of exercising regularly, but even just taking the dog for a walk when I get home from work gives me a few minutes to let the stress of work go and focus on me. It’s amazing what a walk around the block can do!
  2. Read for fun
    I read a lot for my blog and sometimes feel inundated with the amount of reading I “have” to do. And that’s when I pull out something just because – my go-to is often Nora Roberts – easy romance that doesn’t require a lot of thought but is fun to read and is often something I’ll get fully immersed in, even if it’s just for a little bit.
  3. Review accomplishments
    Sometimes it’s good to write up a list of what has been accomplished instead of just focusing on what still needs to happen. I don’t do this often enough, but when I step back from the to-do list, I’m always pleasantly surprised by what I’ve been able to do.
  4. Spend some time with friends
    There are nights when the last thing I want to do is go out with friends – I’m tired from putting out fires all day, I’ve been dealing with small problems, big problems and people and all I want to do is throw on my pajamas and relax, but when I push myself to spend time with friends, it always feels good and re-centers me.
  5. Create an inspiration folder
    I have one of these folders and it comes in handy! Create a folder of thank you notes, words of encouragement, little stories of how you’ve made a difference, inspirational quotes – whatever you need to make you smile. I’m not a director because I like making decisions (although I do), or fixing everyone’s problems, or being in charge – I’m a director because I want to make a difference in my community and seeing those uplifting messages is always helpful.
  6. Connect with colleagues over social media
    I’ve met some amazing readers, librarians, authors, illustrators, publishing folk and friends through my blog and other social media outlets and although I don’t know many of these people in person, they always help put things into perspective and are ready to cheer me on or cheer me up when I need it.

What do you do when you need to re-energize?


Director’s Thoughts #15 – When It Works

20 Dec

Have you ever had a plan that when it finally came to fruition – it actually worked? Like – it ended up going extremely smoothly for so many moving parts that you’re surprised by the whole thing?

Well, that’s what happened to me this past Monday! But, first a little background – my library is shaped like the letter “L”.You walk into the library and then you have to take a left to the children’s department. Well, there are were seven patron computers set up right at this intersection which was the cause of a lot of bumping into people, traffic jams and dirty looks when children’s programming let out of our programming space and into the main library. It was a through-fare and a busy/loud one at that.

For years, and I do mean years, I’ve been wanting to move these computers. Before I became the director, I had brought this issue up to the department heads a few times and was always told that it was a lot of work, there wasn’t any space and other excuses. But, when I became director almost a year and a half ago, I vowed that if these computers could move, I would move them. I felt the public would be less likely to make comments and hush other patrons as they walked by, making everyone just a little bit happier in the library.

It finally happened this Monday morning – the stars aligned and I was able to get the IT staff, building maintenance and myself to get the work done! I got into work at 7am and started moving a few small things and truly mapping out what needed to be done in what order. By 7:30, building maintenance and IT showed up and by 11am we were able to move bookshelves, seven computers, four computer desks, the magnifier, the typewriter, the fax/scanner, and get everything up and running again. And I do mean we, I make a point of getting on the floor and getting dirty as needed – using power tools, helping move furniture on to dollies and connecting computers.

We only have one small issue that needs to be addressed by the electrician (exchanging one type of outlet for another), otherwise the whole project went extremely smoothly and we’re already getting some positive feedback from patrons.

And if I’m being honest, I’ve been basking in the glow of this project and I’m so happy that it went as well as it did!

Director’s Thoughts #14 – It’s Been Awhile: Storytime

12 Oct

b8a7c2491785eeb0c506cfc6f7c40d36--nurse-humor-medical-humorThis week I covered a co-worker’s storytime while she was away and after a year of being away from it; it was strange coming back. I did storytime for eight years as a children’s librarian and I think that I made a smart decision to move into another role when I did.

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Director’s Thoughts #12 – Office Space (or Mantras to Work By)

12 Aug


My office has some fairly hideous carpet – dark green border with a pale lilac faded interior color, which makes decorating my office extremely difficult, but what I did find were some of these absolutely adorable children’s book posters that I use as my director mantras (it also helps that I chose them in shades of purple to offset the carpet. Coming from a children’s librarian perspective, these are not only the perfect fit, I adore them! Take a look at Bookroo for a variety of amazing posters and if I were independently wealthy, I’d probably by them all… I’m especially eyeing The Polar Express as it carries a lot of memories for me around the holidays. But, let me explain to you the reason I specifically chose these three posters.

Lily and the Perfect Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes is about a small mouse named Lily who has a really difficult day at school which causes a lot of frustration and anger on Lily’s part. But, she learns from her ever-inspiring teacher that tomorrow is a new day and learns how to comprehend strong emotions, taking turns and be considerate of others. My director’s mantra from this book: Try again tomorrow.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is the story of a young woman who grows up to travel the world, live by the sea and as her grandfather says, “…do something to make the world more beautiful.” And so, everywhere Miss Rumphius travels, she plants lupine flowers all around her town, which makes her little corner of the world beautiful. This is a quiet story with beautiful illustrations and a lovely message. My director’s mantra from this book: Make the world more beautiful.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is the story of a young princess named Elizabeth who is having a really rough day – a dragon destroyed her castle, lit everything she owns on fire and took off with her prince, so with nothing to wear Princess Elizabeth dons a paper and sets off to find her prince. When she finally reaches him, the prince is less than impressed with Elilzabeth’s messed up, tangled hair, her paper bag and her appearance in general and demands that she goes back to the castle and come back to save him when she looks more presentable. Elizabeth decides the prince isn’t worth in the end. My director’s mantra from this book: Sometimes you have to say, “Screw it” I’m going to make the decision that is best for us (even when you don’t think it is).

I love all three of these stories and find their messages help me get through my tough days, my great days and all the days in between. How do you decorate your office (or what are your mantras)?

Director’s Thoughts #10 – Shifting Collections

1 Jul


After you weed the entire collection… what do you do next?

That was my question, after spending 5 months and countless hours running reports, scanning, stamping and sorting books. The next step for us…. shifting the collection. Although tight, our children’s department had a lot more wiggle room at the end of this process and not as much needed to be shifted, but in our adult department, space is still at a premium, so I went to work.

We first mapped out what we wanted tot do – redefine our space for nonfiction by tightening up the collection and moving it toward the back of the library. This collection although still gets some use, it’s got nothing on our audio collection and fiction collection – prime space for collections that hold their weight in circulation. So first the nonfiction was shifted, it wasn’t an easy task, but with a staff that’s, how should I put this delicately?, advanced in age and some have lower back issues – I did the majority of the moving. I just spent a little time each day and it took me about 5 weeks. And man, does it look good! Everything is nice and neat, new aisle labels and everything! Next up, was audiobooks and Playaways, two collections that are heavily used in our library and had grow out of their current space – these two collections were shifted to better use space and were also better organized.

Now, I’m on to fiction and after that Large Print – these two collections are jam packed in some areas, have empty shelves in other areas and overall are a hot mess. We actually gained shelving after all the other shifting has been done, so I’m hoping to give each shelf some wiggle room for additional material that we purchase.

Shifting is an interesting beast – I’ve never quite figured out how to shift just once. I always end up shifting the collection and then going back and shifting it again to get it just right. I can’t figure out an easier way (without getting super math-y), but I love the way it looks when we finish, so it’s all worth.  And hopefully, it will be easier for our patrons to find material and pull it from the shelves too!

Although we weeded about 20,000 items, it really only gave us the wiggle room necessary for our current collection. It didn’t gain as much space as we need as I keep pointing out – we’re adding more than we’re getting rid of, so that’s a problem. But, we hope to keep up with our weeding but following a strict monthly schedule in the hopes of preventing our collection from getting out of hand, but soon… we’ll just need more space, which is whole different conversation!

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