Tag Archives: passion

AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Quiet

20 Apr

2017atozDuring the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I chose to look at leadership qualities as I’ve just recently (within the past 6 months) become the director of my public library. We have about 50 staff members, most of whom are part-time employees serving a 30,000 resident community by providing high-quality programs and resources. Each day, I’ll look at one trait and how it’s helped me to become a better director.

Sometimes the most important part of being a leader is finding the quiet. My days are spent with people in and out of my office, emails dinging on my computer and the phone ringing off the hook. I crave quiet and I’ve learned that if I get into the office a little earlier than everyone else, I can get 15 minutes of quiet time before the interruptions begin. Sometimes it’s necessary to shut my office door to get a solid hour of time to work on a project without the interruptions. I’m so used to working at a public desk where interruptions were more than common (expected and encouraged), but now as the director, I’ve got a lot of projects that take a lot of focus and even more people interrupting me. I’ve learned about myself and when I can expect to get more work done (as long as a meeting doesn’t get in the way) – I know when I can work on projects out in the public space and when I have time to be in my office.

Sometimes the quiet doesn’t come at work, but I find it when I’m walking the dog, or working on dinner, or as it always happens – in the shower. Those are when the unexpected ideas hit me (I love it when it happens) and I’m excited to work on something new or have a renewed interest in a long-term project. Quiet is so important and you have to find it wherever you can.

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AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Passion

19 Apr

2017atozDuring the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I chose to look at leadership qualities as I’ve just recently (within the past 6 months) become the director of my public library. We have about 50 staff members, most of whom are part-time employees serving a 30,000 resident community by providing high-quality programs and resources. Each day, I’ll look at one trait and how it’s helped me to become a better director.

I think I’ve talked about this on and off throughout this month, but passion is something that you can’t necessarily learn and is a tool that is, really and truly, beyond compare. I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating.

I was seven years old when I first asked my hometown librarians when I could start working. Their answer, “14 years old,” which I might add is an eternity for a seven year old. Two days after my 14th birthday I started volunteering in my library (after having worked in my elementary and middle school library for years) and honestly, I’ve never looked back. I don’t remember making the conscious decision to become a librarian, it’s just what I’ve always wanted.

I hope that my staff and my community can sense my passion for this field and for what I do. I jokingly say I have very few interests outside of the library and reading, but it all honestly, it’s true – I love reading, books, blogging about books and the library. And I wouldn’t change a thing! So don’t be afraid to share your passion, you may think it’s nerdy, but it’s what makes you, you.

Reading and Other Passions

25 Jun
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Lavender Honey Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to read and if given the choice when I have a little extra time, that is likely how you’ll find me – nose in a book and probably so engaged I’m no longer paying attention to what’s going on around me.  I’m constantly carrying a book around, always have a purse large enough for a book, because you never know if you’ll have a few minutes to sneak in a few pages.

Other than reading, my passion lies in the kitchen.  I love to cook and bake.  A lot of people I know are either really into cooking or baking, but I do both (even when my baking doesn’t look that pretty).  I hate icing cookies, cupcakes and cakes – it’s so tedious and mine never look that nice.  But, I love creating something that tastes yummy to share with coworkers, friends and family.

My love for the kitchen most likely stems from my parents.  My mom is a great baker and growing up my dad was the one in the kitchen making dinner many nights while my mom taught evening classes.  We were also expected to help out in the kitchen- washing dishes, setting the table, making a salad for dinner, all four of were expected to help and we all cook regularly now as adults.  During the Christmas season, my mom would spend time baking cookies with each of us individually – whatever cookie we wanted that year.  This was her way of spending time with us – which wasn’t always easy with all the activities we were involved in.

And now?  You’ll find me in the kitchen trying new recipes for dinner.  My boyfriend and I don’t go out to eat very often.  I think he’s spoiled now and he loves my cooking and argues that I can make anything just as good as a restaurant.  I don’t think I’m that good of a chef, but the places we can afford are usually just mediocre and I make some really great meals at home.  And I think what’s really funny is that although I’m not an adventurous foodie (I’m very picky about certain textures); I love to try new recipes.  I ventured into some Indian and Thai cooking recently – so yummy!  And I love throwing together burritos, stir-frys and pasta dishes.

Cooking makes me happy and I think the reason for that is when I’m in the kitchen cooking for my family or friends a lot of what goes into the recipe is time and the love I have for the people around me.  It’s just another way of making the world a little bit better.

What are your passions?

How I Became a Librarian

3 Dec

I was recently reading the blog, Letters to a Young Librarian and came across a blog post about how the blogger became a librarian and realized I probably never shared my story on my blog. So without further ado, here it goes…

I didn’t learn to read at an exceptionally young age, in fact when I grew up it was more common for children to learn how to read in first grade, which I did. I don’t remember the first book I read by myself, but I do remember countless days and nights that both my parents read aloud to us. As I’ve said before, my mom read aloud to us through high school, every morning before school. My mom does say that once I started reading, she couldn’t get me to stop. We’d go to the public library fairly regularly as we grew up, made especially easy by the fact that the library was only a few short blocks from our house. Because our library was so small, we were only allowed to take out five books at a time – oh how I would agonize over which books to pick. It was there, at my public library, that I began begging the librarians to start working. Sadly, you had to be 14 years old to start volunteering and it broke my heart that I had to wait so long (7+ years).

I finally began volunteering at 14, and was offered a student page position at 15 where I worked throughout high school a few days a week and every other Saturday. The four women I worked with became surrogate moms, I even stopped by the library on prom night to show them my dress.

I don’t remember making the conscious decision to become a librarian, I was just one of those unique kids who always knew what I wanted to do. I went to college with a fairly focused goal – get to graduate school and I did, with a undergraduate degree in Information Studies from UW-Milwaukee in just three years. During that time, I worked a few days a week at my public library (taking classes online) and did an internship at another local, public library. I was then accepted into graduate school at the University of Maryland with a graduate assistantship, which made going to graduate school a reality.

I graduated Memorial Day weekend in 2008, began working in my current library on June 2nd after many applications, interviews and hard decisions, but it was the best choice I could have made and I still love what I do. It’s my passion in life and I feel so lucky to be doing something that not only makes me happy, but makes a difference in the community as well. How did you become a librarian?

Miss Laura, Children’s Librarian (aka teacher, singer, theatre “expert”, princess)

4 Apr

I must be in a reflective mood this week, but here goes another post about how much I love what I do!  Graduate school does not prepare you for the crazy things that you might be doing (especially as a children’s librarian).  Thankfully, I started volunteering/working in libraries when I was 14 and so I learned very quickly in my small hometown library that librarians do a lot of things, not necessarily in their job description.  I helped with the summer reading program, answered reference questions, helped with crafts and filled-in for story time.  And I think that’s what solidified my desire to be a librarian – you are rarely bored and if you are, there’s always another project that can be started, redesigned, or in need of a little TLC.  In my current position, I never thought I’d be a:

  • costume designer – making outfits like a porcupine, peacock, and other crazy characters out of recycled material!
  • set designer – it’s amazing what can be done with a cardboard box
  • director of theatre – this is all trial and error as I would never, ever, get on stage as an actor myself
  • princess – it’s amazing how many times a princess dress has come in handy
  • singer – it’s in story time, but my voice is nothing to write home about
  • yoga instructor – again, for little ones, but I never thought it would be something I was doing
  • teacher – after watching my parents (work very hard), it’s not something I would want to do in a classroom, but I still consider myself a teacher of kids and parents
  • lesson planner – all of my programs begin with a lesson plan, something I never thought I’d be doing (goes along with being a teacher!)
  • IT “guru” – I use the term “guru” lightly, but I’m automatically the first person coworkers come to when the IT person is out
  • blogger – who would ever want to read about what I’m doing?

And I love doing all of these things!  Waking up and coming into work is so much easier when you truly have a passion for what you do.

 

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