There are things that I enjoy a lot about my new position as Assistant Director. For the first time in many years, I have some quiet, private space to work, and that makes it possible to wrap my head around more complicated subjects. I’m taking Certified Public Library Administrator courses and learning about all sorts of things–Accounting and Budgeting, currently–and I have the ability to focus on it with the tremendous noise reduction from moving away from Youth Services.
I love working with more of the departments of the library, and getting to know more about the interesting parts and the challenging parts of the jobs other people have. Let me tell you, IT guys and Technical Services Departments have a whole lot of complicated issues to wrestle with daily. I also get to answer a lot of the patron communications, and it is touching how grateful they can be. I get to have input on lots of things like the library renovation, the website redevelopment, and library-wide programming. There’s fun stuff going on here.
I’ve had the note in the picture above at my desk for several years. It came from a Girl Scout who came in to work on a badge. For those of you who may not be able to see it, it reads: Dear Mrs. Lempke, You are a great librarian. Some good reasons are that your patient, kind, nice and helpful. When you were little did you want to be a librarian? If you didn’t I think you made a good chioce when you choose to be one. I’m so glad I got to meet you. You made my field trip fun and also helped me learn a lot. Enjoy your job.
I love this note for many reasons, not the least of which is that little reminder at the bottom: Enjoy your job. So that is my message to all of you children’s librarians out there toiling away in your loud, chaotic, super-busy departments: Enjoy your job. You have the best job in the world. It is varied, it is fun, and it is mission-oriented–you know every day why you have come to work. It’s really hard sometimes, especially on a bad day after school with big groups of too-cool-to-obey middle schoolers. It’s hard when parents are grouchy because your program is full or you can’t magically produce whatever it is that they wanted. It’s hard when you have all these wonderful program ideas and not enough time or energy or money to do them. But it’s great, meaningful work that you get to do. The work I do now is great, meaningful work too, but it is decidedly less entertaining. So just take a minute and remember the advice given by this young Girl Scout after her library visit: Enjoy your job.