Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thought for Thursday: Different Jackets

Disclaimer: This post will be mostly me discussing the job of a librarian II, or supervising librarian, just to get it out in the open.  In other words, very librarian-centric, dear readers. 

Now, judging by the title, you might think about the near arsenal of jackets present in my closet (and yes, one of them is an actual denim jacket).  However, I'm not referring to those jackets that I wear to the library depending on the weather or building temperature.  I'm talking about the "wearing of different jackets" in the same sense of "wearing different hats" in which I have to act in accordance to a particular situation, typically at work. 

When I first started my job, I was a librarian I, basically a reference librarian that assists patrons with reference questions, maintaining a clean and neat collection, and working together within the Adult Reference Department to keep the library running smoothly.  Being the meeting room coordinator, I had to wear the "inquisitor/negotiation jacket" when outside organizations and groups needed to use the library's meeting rooms or conference rooms.  There was a lot of information to have on hand with each group, and if something was left out, I had to find out the information even if it meant hunting down the contact person.  I found that I often wore the "enforcer jacket" when working with some groups that required meeting rooms or even library audiovisual equipment.  And believe me, enforcing the library's policy wasn't always easy, but luckily I was backed by my branch manager.

Over the summer, I received a promotion to a librarian II, or a supervising librarian, position, but I didn't really start feeling like a supervisor until these past few months.  The number of jackets I've worn in the latter half of the year has grown exponentially.  I've worn the "interviewing jacket" when finding suitable candidates to work with the department, the "arbitration jacket" when deciding on candidates to fill open positions in the department, the "instructor jacket" when training and informing the new library assistants, and the "mediator jacket" when smoothing out snafus.  And that's just for starters. 

When it concerns my new library assistants, my most-oft worn jacket is that of the supervising librarian.  For the most part, I try to act as their confidant and the instructor that they can come to with any questions that might arise throughout the time they are scheduled at the library.  Presenting a warm personality definitely helps with giving them the confidence that they can visit me without thinking they are "bothering" me, even though they usually start their questions off with, "I'm sorry to bother you with this question, but..."  It's the fact that there is a "but" in that opening statement that makes me feel I've been training them right. 

Although I've started my climb up the biblioladder, I still maintain my student's jacket.  This jacket has definitely helped me grow as a supervisor in more times than I can recall.  I think it's due to the librarians that I look up to as I continue down the path of library and information science.  My branch manager is a wellspring of information and is always teaching me new means of addressing concerns, guiding my coworkers, and helping my library assistants to succeed.  I'm not sure where I'd be without my branch manager as a mentor, and I plan on keeping my student's jacket as there is always much to learn even as I climb higher on the biblioladder. 

All in all, while I wear a colorful variety of jackets in the library, it's those that aren't visible to the naked eye that I try to maintain and strengthen over my career as a librarian.


Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting. :) I do appreciate any and all comments received and try to reply as soon as I can. Happy reading!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Amazing Snowland kit by Irene Alexeeva