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Tales From the Library Trenches, Part 1: Learning to Adapt by JUSTIN
Information Today - Medford
Subjects: PUBLIC LIBRARIES; USER SERVICES
Author: Hoenke, Justin
Date: May 2017
Start Page: 1
Pages: 3
Section: FEATURE
Abstract (Document Summary)
Whether we are connecting young readers with a great book, helping an adult navigate technology, or providing excellent day-to-day customer service, we are librarians because we believe in supporting our community. The adjustment from working with tweens and teens in libraries to writing budgets, doing strategic planning, and attending board meetings does not happen overnight. Every library director should go through it all, including emptying the book drop after a long holiday weekend, dealing with an overly unruly customer, and handling the inevitable emergency bathroom clean-up duty. Any librarian can learn these skills, but if you're a youth services librarian working with kids, tweens, and teens, your day-to-day work with youth will make you into a Zen master in no time. Instead of looking forward to that after-school rush of teens in the video game arcade at the Chattanooga Public Library, I found myself really enjoying the time spent in the morning analyzing statistics, preparing work schedules, and projecting budget numbers. After seeing Kenley Neufeld, dean of educational programs at Santa Barbara City College, speak about leadership at the New Jersey Library Association Conference in 2011, I began to think about how meditation and mindfulness could be used by librarians to get through any situation, especially in moments of big change. Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts, once said that "the leader's job is not to provide energy but to release it from others."
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