Oct 19

When Ready, the Position Will Appear

I loved the brilliant blog post by Meredith Farkas over at Information Wants To Be Free. She explores the theme of management, upward mobility and sticking with honesty and candor. It’s important to see our strengths and where we might apply them in our work environment. I’m posting my thoughts here as well as on her blog.

My experience has been that one can customize the director position to be who we are as individuals; to be honest about our style and personality. I wouldn’t want to work for a disingenuous person, and I try to reflect that in my director role. Do I wear slacks and nice shirt? Most of time, but I like to look good. I also try to present myself professionally since I represent the library to many of our constituants. I don’t wear ties – don’t like them! My experience also tells me that when I was ready, the position appeared. For some this occurs quickly, others enjoy lingering in their profession by offering valuable service to their community in non-director positions.

This is good and needed.

I’m in my second Library Director position. In between the two, I worked as a classroom-based professor/reference librarian and as a systems librarian. Those two roles were just what I needed between the two director roles. I can honestly say that I’m a much better director this second time round; I needed more experience. Looking back, I’m not even sure I’d want to have worked for me the first time round but it did give some good lessons for this time.

Though Meredith was reflecting on moving from frontline librarian to director, I’m reading this with reflections of moving in other directions. As a Library Director, I periodically think about what it might be like to work as an non-library academic dean or vice-president. Could I ever leave librarianship?

I’m not ready now, but it’s fun to consider. When I’m ready, the position will appear.

Oct 14

Mixing Routine

I’m pretty fixed in my routine – variations occur very infrequently. I like it that way because it keeps me more stable; more sane. Today was different. Normally the morning routine goes something like the following:

4:00am Alarm
4:20am Out of Bed
4:30am In the Zendo doing Yoga
4:50am In the Zendo meditating
5:30am Shower
5:50am Breakfast (650 calorie smoothie)
6:10am Ojai Coffee Roasting Company
6:30am Van Pool to work
7:30am Work

What happened today? Recurring snooze. Sleepiness.  I didn’t get to bed any later than normal, but my body simply wanted to do something different and I decided to go with the flow. After sleeping a little later, I got up and took a shower, sat outside under the stars for a while, took a walk, snapped a picture, picked up the van, headed to the coffee shop, and now blogging!

By allowing this variation, I get to practice mindfulness to observe the feelings in the feelings, the body in the body, and the mind in the mind. Reflecting. Exploring.

Are you routine? Do you ever mix things up a bit? What does it feel like? Is it important to explore these variations?

Oct 13

Making Things Right

This year we launched a revised web site for the library and I decided to incorporate new elements that I thought would be beneficial to students. Other library staff were challenged by one of new elements and made their case for not moving ahead. I felt strongly about the element and decided to move forward anyway. How could I act counter to how I would like to lead?

I am responsible for the operation of a community college library. That responsibility includes vision, leadership, staffing, budget, and working directly with the students and faculty. Two important aspects of my job are (1) being able to communicate effectively and (2) being able to admit when I am wrong.

Two recent blog posts inspired me to reflect on the second aspect on making things right. I’ll save my reflection on communication for another time because I believe that “right speech” is probably the most difficult precept to practice. Roy Tennant covered Managing Personal Change with some great strategies that can be applied in many circumstances. In particular, I like learn as you breathe and be grateful. The second post by Seth Godin, Demonstrating Strength, reminds readers to apologize and to offer kindness.

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