More is More and Less is a Bore – I.A.

Busy.

Busy doesn’t even begin to cover what my life has been like lately.

Justin and I talk a lot about how the librarians who are out there doing the work and really kicking ass don’t have time to constantly get the great photos and update their twitter accounts. I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing my work and entering a sort of zen state of uber-organization to get all my work done. I design the programs, perform the critical thinking and facilitate the programs sometimes while simultaneously running the desk single handedly. A lot of us are one woman or one man shows and I choose not to believe that it limits what we can do. Truth? I get it done because I’m crazy competitive and I have to.

A great example is Camp EtsyNooga. I got 3 days off desk in August to tie together over a year’s worth of planning (in my head) a crazy idea to create a camp where teens could lean the ropes of running a small, creative business by following the best practices of running an Etsy shop. It was a 6 week program (On Saturdays from 9am-3pm) that included an Etsy Small Business Saturday Craft Fair I had a big hand in creating and a Master’s Class for families to set up Etsy shops (since teens are technically minors).

Three days? That’s madness. Over the last 6 weeks I’ve been creating the slide shows and handouts for this class while curating articles pertinent to each teens specific art form from all over the web and in books I know (and some I didn’t) while  I was running the desk, doing readers advisory, leading tours (some planned, some not), hiring a teen for her very first job, leading my regular programs like Tween Lego Club, MakeAaNooga, and the Tween/Teen volunteer program and doing other library type stuff. Am I killing it with each of these? Absolutely not. I coasted on the success of a few of these programs and neglected them while I obsessed over my new opus.

Now it’s time for damage control. The relationship with the adult Etsy Team needs some care taking and thought to foster new successes and to assist them in achieving their full potential. The volunteer program is so successful I need to rework the scheduling and available opportunities to ensure it is beneficial to teens, not simply taking up their time. The regularly scheduled programs haven’t been getting the equipment I need to take new risks so I have to track down over a month’s worth of items. I have copious thank you notes to write.

Toward the end of all this I was surprised with the news that the 4th Floor would like me to start creating programming for them. I’m insanely excited and nervous about this opportunity. I’d like to dive right in and give it a ton of attention but… maybe I’m growing up or getting older or am possessed by a closet organizer or something… I’m going to lay a crazy solid foundation first. I’m going to tend to my neglected programs and right some wrongs. I’m going to set up meeting with members from both departments to understand exactly the kind of focus their work has so I can work in tandem. Im going to solidify my partnerships with outside organizations like the Etsy Team and my fabulous local cosplayers Chattooine to encourage their maker activities and develop programming that is based not just in my fantasy world but their actual needs.

This will give me a solid footing to move forward in my career by starting from a place of empathy. Working together is the only way my new opus will be as fabulous (better?) as my last one. Will it be a ton more work? Yes. But you know something? I totally love my job. Even the bad parts are better than when I was a blueberry raker, better than when I worked retail and way better than when I was a plumber’s assistant. This job is freaking GREAT. If you’re feeling burnt out I highly suggest you take a step back, do something to remind yourself of why you got involved in the first place, solidify your footing and continue moving forward. As Iris Apfel says-

iris

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5 responses to “More is More and Less is a Bore – I.A.

  1. Reblogged this on Justin The Librarian and commented:
    I did not know that you can reblog things on WordPress!

    Anywho, here’s why I am reblogging this. From Megan:

    A lot of us are one woman or one man shows and I choose not to believe that it limits what we can do. Truth? I get it done because I’m crazy competitive and I have to.

    This will give me a solid footing to move forward in my career by starting from a place of empathy. Working together is the only way my new opus will be as fabulous (better?) then my last one. Will it be a ton more work? Yes. But you know something? I totally love my job. Even the bad parts are better than when I was a blueberry raker, better than when I worked retail and way better than when I was a plumber’s assistant. This job is freaking GREAT. If you’re feeling burnt out I highly suggest you take a step back, do something to remind yourself of why you got involved in the first place, solidify your footing and continue moving forward.

    I love Megan’s approach to library work in the 21st Century: it is busy, never ending, always growing, confusing, challenging, and most of all, fun and awesome. There is a balance that a library employee must achieve: the public side, the creative side, and the management side must all work in harmony to achieve something great. I talked about that a bit over at Tame The Web recently (http://tametheweb.com/2014/11/13/public-service-is-a-library-program-by-ttw-contributor-justin-hoenke) and I really do believe this is a model for public libraries moving forward.

  2. Pingback: Reading Resolutions - Geeked Librarian

  3. Megan, you are a fantastic librarian and exactly what our profession needs. What libraries need is for the public – all of the public – to share our vision for the library of the future. We need people to see that libraries exist for them to address their information and social needs, not just store books. Libraries are (often) cutting edge, but their image is prehistoric. It’s your kind of programming that helps change the image. Only when people understand the vision will public libraries get the funding they need to hire a bunch more dedicated, enthusiastic, forward-thinking librarians, so we can actually do all the awesome things we dream about.

    • Wow, Katie. You’re so right. I think a big part of making that change is admitting we might not know what’s best and talking to our communities about what they want, not what our learned selves think they will want.

  4. Pingback: Three Things | Justin The Librarian

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