"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Sep 23, 2010

Good news!

I haven't been able to get back on track with posting here yet because my life has rather unexpectedly continued to be crazy.

You see, just a few weeks after arriving back in MA, I've been offered a job!

In October, I will start as the Programming, Public Relations, & Outreach Coordinator at the Howe Library in Hanover, NH. (This is the position I mentioned interviewing for in my last post.) I am beyond thrilled. It is a dream job at a dream library. I get to not only do some reference and collection development work, but to do a lot of programming and a lot of work on connecting the library to the community and to other local organizations with which it could form mutually beneficial partnerships. This is exactly what gets me fired up about librarianship -- both reference work, which I love, and the chance to build connections, to do outreach, to find new ways for the library to meet the needs of its community. The Howe has strong community support, a commitment to excellence, willingness to experiment and innovate, great staff who seem very dedicated to their work, funding, a somewhat unique context for a public library... this job is going to really enable me to grow professionally in big ways while contributing to an amazing library. I am excited and ready to get going!

The new job does mean that my posting here will remain irregular for some time. As I get settled in I will try to resume a more regular posting schedule that works with my other commitments. But we have apartment hunting and moving to do, and then I have to get used to working full time and commuting (due to my partner's ongoing job search, we are at least for now going to be about 75 miles away from Hanover -- a sacrifice, but one that I ultimately feel will be worth it). I'll be sporadic at least for the next couple of months, I think, but after that I hope things will find a rhythm.

Sep 12, 2010


Hello everyone,

I'm settled in enough to make a quick post but not quite enough to make a longer one. So, some quick news/notes:

  • The move was fairly uneventful. A couple of our boxes did get destroyed in shipping, so we unfortunately lost a bunch of books. (Word to the wise -- don't ship via the US Post Office, or if you do, make sure you get insurance -- we didn't and they wouldn't even reimburse us the postage for the box that came completely torn up and empty.) We got to drive into MA via Route 2, which I loved -- lots of curvy hilly roads through (sort of) mountains.
  • I was ultimately not offered the job I interviewed for. The feedback I got when I asked how I could improve was very positive, though, which was encouraging -- I didn't do anything wrong, just got beat out by someone with a bit more experience.
  • On the very same day I heard about the job just mentioned, I was asked to interview for another position! It's a very similar kind of job (community outreach/public relations/program coordination plus some reference and collection development), and it's at a busy library that enjoys quite a lot of community support. I think the interview went reasonably well. It certainly made me even more excited about the position! The library building is lovely, and the culture meshes well with the value I place on customer service, staff participation in decision making, and collaboration. Plus: I met with a panel of staff members, and beyond being really nice people, they shared my interests: knitting, dogs, baking...
And finally, to make this post about something actually library-related...

  • I thought this post about treating your volunteers right on the Closed Stacks blog had a lot of good advice. Some of it is perhaps common sense (e.g. letting your volunteers know when your institution will be closed (!!)), but overall I think it provides good pointers on how to treat volunteers in a way that ensures both that they feel good about their service and that your organization benefits from their time. As someone who is likely to be overseeing volunteers in a future job (many of the postings I answer seem to include that responsibility) and who is interested in leadership and management, this was a very helpful post for me to read -- and I hope you'll find it helpful too!