Three Months Later

The summer really flew by! Last Thursday marked three months in my new position. I discovered that working throughout the summer is a much better fit for me. I had two years worth of summers off, and that was enough for me. School started on Aug. 24, and it has been a little strange seeing so many students on campus. We have over 2,000 new freshmen and are up to about 7,000 students or so. It’s a small university, but I came a very small center of a community college, and while my previous library was full just because of its small size, it’s amazing to see how busy it is already.

Below is a quick list of some projects and events I worked on this summer and during the first couple of weeks of school. I also observed instruction sessions, met with students for in-person research consultations, and did some digital reference.

  • attended the Library Instruction West 2016 conference and attended and presented at the National Diveristy in Libraries Conference.
  • updated some Guide on the Side tutorials,  investigated and annotated Creative Commons tutorials from other libraries for our internal instruction online guide, and added readings to another instruction online guide.
  • presented and tabled at new student orientations for freshmen, transfer, and graduate students, including one tabling event for Spanish-speaking parents.
  • co-created an online research guide for our Common Read book, Living Downstream.
  • co-taught two plagiarsim workshops for ASCEND, the university’s new student success conference.
  • taught two website overview workshops for new and seasoned library student workers
  • co-planned and tabled our Welcome Week event.
  • created my very first video tutorial using Camtasia, “Requesting a Full-Text Article through UC-eLinks.”
  • met with a new economics faculty member. I am the primary contact for Social Sciences (economics, management, and public health–we have a new Ph.D. program in public health) and am a secondary contact for Interdisciplinary Humanities. My areas in the IH are Spanish, American studies, and history. I am also helping with psychological sciences. Our liaison program is still very much in its infancy, and our goal for the fall is to meet with all the graduate group chairs.
  • attended an all-day TRAIL workshop and inaugural First Year Writing Symposium.
  • attended and participated in library strategic planning meetings.
  • met with the new librarian at my previous institution. The notes I wrote seem to be helping, and I’m really glad I prepared them and cleaned up files as much as I did. I wish her the best!

Below is a list of what’s on the horizon for this fall and the academic year.

  • For this academic year, I’m serving as the local secretary for LAUC-M (I am featured on the main LAUC website this month!), member of  LAUC’s Research and Professional Development Committee, and member of our library’s Student Recognition Committee.
  • We’re starting to book instruction sessions, and I’m looking forward to working with faculty/lecturers and students in the classroom. It’s nice to be in a library where there are strong relationships with the writing lecturers. My experience as a writing tutor in college is what helped me realize I enjoyed working with college students. A big shout out to my long-time friends Matt and Heather who began this work with the library in 2013! I’m also excited that the pilot for the Writing Center in the library is continuing this year.
  • I started my tenure as the incoming co-convener for the Library Marketing and Outreach Interest Group! This group is what encouraged me to get more involved in professional library associations back in 2014. A big shout-out for the folks who encouraged me to apply to be a co-convener. I’m truly honored. This is the type of group where folks are on the leadership for three years, first as incoming convener, convener, and then a post-convener to help the new conveners. We had out first meeting via Google Hangouts this last week. We submitted a proposal to have a panel session at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. I’m hoping our group gets a slot. The idea is that the interest group at large will vote on three presentation topics submitted by group members. The panel members will be those with the winning proposals. Our next meeting is in October. In addition to planning, I will also be helping to manage the Facebook group.
  • I’m also continuing my tenure as a member of ACRL’s CJCLS’ Communications Committee. I started my appointment in 2015, and although I am no longer at a community college, I will be carrying out my role through June 2017. I help out with the Scholarship page on the blog and have written a couple of blog posts. I am thinking about pitching Zotero for the Scholarship page content.
  • I was secretary for ACRL’s IS’ Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee in 2015/2016, and I’m continuing as a member of the group for 2016/2017. We’ll be focused on updating the Multilingual Glossary. Our next meeting is in mid-September.
  • My colleagues and I are going to visit the Yosemite Research Library at the end of September.

Stay tuned! I am having a great time here. I’m looking forward to this semester.

Leading from the Middle

I’m not a library manager. I don’t have a budget, and faculty members like me don’t supervise staff, but my immediate supervisor is the dean of my campus, not the library director at the main campus. She, the library director, the other librarians at the main campus, and the staff I work with throughout the day realize the weird position I am in. I am the only full-time employee.

There are so many employee changes in store this coming academic year. In April, we hired two part-time librarians to help cover evening  hours when I leave work. Both these ladies are working this summer (I have a 10-month contract), and I am so happy to have the extra help and assistance for our students in our much busier fall season. Our part-time library media technician just retired after 27 years of service, and one of our part-time library media bookstore clerks (the bookstore is in the library) just got a great new job at the local University of California (UC). We have one remaining library media bookstore clerk. The dean is really going to push for a full-time library media technician position, and I think we have a good shot at getting it, but, in the meantime, our substitute library clerk will be filling in, and I think our new retiree may  be helping through September.

I lead from the middle, so to speak. I do have a vision for a more friendly space. I have very slowly been making changes over the last two years to help cultivate the library as a campus hub, and now that I know what needs to happen and what kind of stuff works, delegating will be easier. I sense excitement with our remaining team, and I am looking forward to getting to know our future new people and discovering what people like to do and what they want to learn more about. This is my first professional librarian job, and I just wouldn’t have been ready for such a big change in my first or second year.

With that, I am really thinking I might need to do a little more reading about leadership. I found this great little article from Lifehacker, “Become a Stronger Leader by Asking Yourself These Three Questions” that made me take pause. The questions are:

1. What am I not saying that needs to be said?

2. What am I saying that’s not being heard?

3. What’s being said that I’m not hearing?

Which questions would you add? Someone in the comments from the Lifehacker article gave this little gem, “What is best unsaid?” Isn’t that the truth? I think I might even make a little note with these for my desk.