Thursday, August 30, 2012

wreaking havoc and consequence

Tuesday saw the release of Alanis Morisssette's seventh album Havoc and Bright Lights, and, having been a long-time fan of her music, I clearly had it on pre-order. Having gotten married and given birth to her first child since her last release, Alanis reveals her nurturing, maternal side with a track list of 12 songs that - to me - sound reminiscent of adult contemporary of the 90's. It's a clear contrast from the "spiteful female singer" she was typecast as during her "Jagged Little Pill era," but she's no stranger to embracing and expressing all of who she is, as should be her most die-hard fans. Sitting listening to it yesterday, I was amazed at how coincidentally relevant some of the songs seemed to my current situation. One in particular, Havoc, spoke directly to some of the inner feelings I've been experiencing about my transition to my new position.

I am beaten by my impulsiveness
By this uncanny foreshadowing of regret
Cause I'm repulsed by restriction - at least that's my excuse

A part of me feels like by accepting the directorship in Iowa, I'm wreaking havoc on my life as I know it - but it's havoc that I, in no way, regret. I'm ready to accept the consequences of - what almost feels as impulsive - actions - consequences that include broadening my skill set as an information professional, encountering challenges that will only serve to strengthen my abilities, and embracing opportunities for leadership and transformation. The havoc - and not necessarily negative havoc - I feel is also being brought upon my soon-to-be-former workplace. I had my exit interview with the assistant director this afternoon, and she told me that I'm leaving quite a big hole they'll have to fill. Teaching computer classes, developing and printing reader's advisory handouts, managing the Book Club in a Bag service, helping plan the staff in-service day, organizing the staff holiday breakfast - on top of all the normal tasks of a Reference Librarian - all of these responsibilities I'm having to pass on to others. Though I secretly worry about how things will go, I'm happy that I'm providing other people with the opportunity to develop their skills with these things.

I'm slipping grip
I'm up to my tricks off my wagon
I have no defense
I'm wreaking havoc -
Wreaking havoc and consequence

Just as Alanis has embraced her new roles as a wife and mother, I'm convincing myself that, despite the havoc that's being wrought, I too can accept and embrace the changes that are coming in my own life. I'm excited about my new job, I'm excited about my move to Iowa, and I'm excited to continue sharing my experiences and musings with you...not as a Reference Librarian, but as a Library Director.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My next great endeavor

I realize I've been neglecting posting for a while, but I've been holding off so I can safely announce some really big news. In less than a month, I'm going to have to change my tagline to "...Musings of a Library Director." That's right! I'm happy to announce that I have been offered the position of director at the Oskaloosa Public Library in Oskaloosa, Iowa and will officially begin on the 10th of September. Having spent the majority of my life here in Kansas, I'm a little nervous, but excited all the same to embark on this new and exciting endeavor. This obviously means, though, that I will be leaving the Lawrence Public Library...

As my first library job, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience working with the adult services department and the rest of the staff at LPL. From keeping reference desk statistics to processing interlibrary loan materials, providing readers' advisory to teaching computer classes, creating displays and helping patrons with their eReaders, I've enjoyed everything I've done here. The past three years have been invaluable – I have learned so much, met many wonderful people from the community, and worked alongside many amazing, supportive coworkers. The opportunities for both professional and personal growth have been plentiful, and it’s with this experience that I know I will be successful at the Oskaloosa library.

In a charming, expanded Carnegie building, the Oskaloosa Public Library serves a small college town of about 11,000 people. On the verge of a strategic planning process, the library is sure to provide me with challenges and even more opportunities to strengthen my skills as an information professional. Nervous and excited, I can't wait to see what I can bring to the community in this position, and I look forward to sharing about my experiences there.

Friday, August 3, 2012

LPL's Last Bash of Summer

Yesterday evening, I got to help out at the Lawrence Public Library's Last Bash of Summer block party. I've got to hand it to our adult programming librarian, the youth services coordinator and department, and anyone else who had a hand in planning it - they sure know how to put together a party!

The city let the library block off the street to set up a stage for performances by three local bands, Hospital Ships, The Dan Ryan, and Danny Pound and the Wild Card Catalog - a reunion of the library director's band from the 90's, Vitreous Humor. The library partnered with local businesses to provide free kettle corn, cotton candy, and soft drinks, and Local Burger, a restaurant across the street, provided 1,000 hot dogs - which were delicious. I was assigned adult beverage patrol, as the library also got a permit to let Free State Brewing sell beer during the party, and fortunately I had no major issues - the crowd was a good one. People as young as infants and as old as seniors hung out for two hours, enjoying the snacks, making crafts, and listening to music.

Danny Pound and the Wild Card Catalog -
Library Director, Brad Allen, on the far right.

The Last Bash is an annual end of summer celebration that the library hosts. It's a wonderful way to both bring the people in the community together and reward them for their participation in the summer reading program. Over 1,000 children and teens and more than 800 adults have finished this year - breaking our records yet again. You can view more of the photos from the party on the library's Facebook page.