I am incredibly excited to announce that I have accepted the Head of Popular Materials position at the Ela Area Public Library District. I spent two wonderful years at the Northbrook Public Library working as a Reader Services Librarian. It is incredibly fun and satisfying work but I look forward to the exciting challenges management will bring.
So that's basically what I wrote on Facebook. And it is true. But let's get real: it's a tough decision and one that I think a lot of people grapple with - do you really want to be a manager? The things is: I do. I really really do. I have had my eye set on management ever since I made the move from academia to public libraries. I enjoy the type of challenges management brings. I love working directly with librarians and library workers. I like figuring out solutions to organizational dilemmas. Even back when I was doing the Young Librarian Series, I had an eye on mentorship and possibly becoming a mentor for other librarians. Heck, I even enjoy reading strategic plans! (And seriously Ela has a great one. It was one of the things that really attracted me to the position. You can read it, here: http://bit.ly/17oflQV)
Change can be tough...especially when it's happening to you. But throughout this whole process, I kept thinking about that Steve Prefontaine quote...you know the one.
Sometimes in libraries, I think we get comfortable and think, "Why move to management? I'm perfectly okay with what I do right now,". And that may work for some people - not all people are cut out for management. And certainly, what makes a person a good librarian does not necessarily make them a good manager (but that's a separate post). Yet, we do our field a disservice at times when people get too comfortable.
You know if you would be a good manager. Think about it. You know. And if you think you would be, maybe you need to starting moving up and give your job up for some other new or recent graduate who is trying to enter the field.
I am so excited for the person who replaces me at Northbrook. It is such a wonderful job for a newer librarian, at a great library in a supportive community. But, personally, I'm ready for the next step. My challenge to you, dear reader, is to think to yourself: are you ready for that next step too? Are your holding yourself back?
I decided to give up the good and go for the great. I know. It's kind of cheesy. But I like to push myself. I always have. I'm ready.