Friday, October 31, 2014

This Does Not Define You

 This does not define you. You are more than the grade on a civil service exam. You are a strong, talented, highly educated librarian. You work hard to stay on top of your profession while going to school, working two jobs, raising a family, or maybe still living at home. Every day at the desk adds to the sum total of your experience and knowledge.  Each and every day you become a better, more experienced professional.
You may be an expert in technology, reader’s advisory, or story time. You may struggle to keep up with Live-brary’s never-ending updates. But that does not define you. Your willingness, your dedication, and your determination to succeed will help you leave a mark in the library world regardless of your place on the list or your annual salary.
Wherever you are in your career, you are a valuable member of this profession. We all want to grab that brass ring, to score a 100 and snag a full-time job. Don’t make it your whole world. You’re doing good work. And if no one else has told you that lately, they should have, because it’s true.
So when you sit down to take that test tomorrow, take a deep breath and relax. Do your best and leave the rest to the universe (however you define it). You are more than a grade. You are more than a library professional. You are a valuable, capable, loveable, worthwhile individual.
Good luck, my dear colleagues.  I’ll see you on the other side.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't hate me because I'm weeding

Weeding ... deselection ... taking out the trash ... whatever you want to call it, some love it, some hate it, but it's a necessary function in the library.  Sometimes we get rid of materials because they're damaged, old, or falling apart.  Sometimes we get rid of things because they've become outdated.  And sometimes we get rid of materials because the shelves are full and we need to make room for new things.

A library is not a warehouse.  We can't keep everything.  Even the Library of Congress is having trouble keeping "everything." It just can't be done.  Careful weeding and maintenance of a library's collection keeps it current and relevant for the community it serves.  So librarians use their training, their experience, and their knowledge of their collections and their communities to keep the stacks filled with things that will be used.  There's no room on the shelves for books, movies, or music that just don't circulate.

So don't hate me because I'm weeding the collection, I'm making room for the good things to come.  And hey, I'm just doing my job.