Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Reflecting On The Past Year & Setting Goals for 2019

This year seems to have been a whirlwind, with so much going on and making a big change job-wise. After working in early literacy outreach for three years, I was ready for a change. Don't get me wrong, I love doing outreach storytimes and I think it is very important and continue to be an advocate for outreach, but I found that doing ONLY that day after day just became too repetitive and isolating. I really missed working in the library and interacting with more people of all ages, and doing other things besides storytime.

So in July I transferred to the Children's Department of our busiest suburban branch, and I love it! Though I may not be the bubbly, perky, cheerleader type, I actually do enjoy customer service and am pretty good at it, so I've been so glad to be back in a more traditional role in the building with more variety and people.

Now I get to work on reader's advisory and do things I couldn't do working in outreach, like my month-long Dinovember campaign, working on bulletin boards like the one below, which was the first I had ever made a significant contribution to design or execution (it was a very collaborative effort with several people involved in the design & construction, but the trees are all me), doing monthly STEAM programs, and the potential for other programming. The downside is I don't get to do as much storytime as I'd like, only one family storytime a month, but I'm hoping that will change in the future.

The new job has been a big adjustment in some ways. Doing a family storytime in the library is very different from a preschool outreach storytime in the classroom, and presents it's own unique set of challenges, so in a sense I'm having to figure things out all over again. Also, it is very busy, insanely busy during the summer, so it can be difficult getting everything done that needs getting done, and since I get no off-desk time, program planning is very challenging. It's a very different environment than my previous two positions, and is great experience to prepare me for to be a full-fledged children's librarian once I complete my degree.

Another new development I almost forgot is that I was appointed to the Board of Trustees of my small local public library, which has been kind of a surreal experience. It has been interesting to see things from the administrative side of things, and nice to be more involved in supporting my own community. I may even get the opportunity to be involved in a library expansion, which is an exciting prospect; we are just in the beginning stages to determine if it's feasible at this time.

I've met most of my goals for the year. I completed four more classes towards my MLIS (only five to go!!), attended a local conference and did a few webinars. Unfortunately there just weren't any opportunities to present at a library conference this year, as the one I'd planned on was not held, but I did do a presentation for after-school program workers on encouraging literacy and life-long reading. I was very sad to miss the ALSC conference, but with the new job it just wasn't possible to take off. I continue to read as much as I can, and have made more effort to look at reviews and lists and I think my RA is improving, and I am getting experience in different types of programming for varied ages.

My goals for next year are pretty simple and straightforward this time:
  • Complete 4 more courses towards my MLIS, putting me on track for finally graduating in May of 2020! 🎓
  • Continue to gain experience in different types of programming and in marketing our programs and collection (bulletin boards, fliers, displays, passive programming, etc.)
  • Get more efficient and decisive in program planning.
  • Hopefully add some outreach storytimes as I do miss doing them.
  • Continue to work on RA.
  • Take a little more time in reviewing the new picture books that come in, and keep a running list of ones that I like. I find since I'm not able to use them right away now, I tend to forget them.
  • Attend the state public libraries conference, as it will be here, so much easier to attend at least some sessions around my work schedule.
So this year is mostly about survival and getting through school and settling into my new job even more, and trying to generally improve a little in everything overall. But, next year I will complete my MLIS, so that will be the time for some more lofty goals! 

How about you? Please share on of your goals for 2019 in the comments!

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