I have maintained this blog for four years as of May 20, 2015. Recently, I have been receiving notices from WordPress alerting me to the fact that my upgraded account, which includes my domain, will expire on June 30. June 30 also happens to be my last day at my current job.
On July 1, I walk the bridge from public libraries to academia.
About 12 years ago, I began my library career in Shadek-Fackenthal Library at Franklin & Marshall College. It was my second job upon returning to work after 13 years of being a stay-at-home parent. I worked part time as a cataloging assistant for three years before moving on to a fulltime job as a cataloger at the Library System of Lancaster County, where I worked for seven years. I have been in my current position as the Capital Area Library District Consultant with Dauphin County Library System for almost 1 year and 8 months. Last month, it was announced that I will be leaving my current position to return to F&M as the Content Services Librarian, working with the team I first joined 12 years ago. With this move, I will be returning to my roots–returning to where I started; returning to what I learned first; and returning to work in the county in which I live–coming full circle, so to speak.
I have learned so much along the way. First and foremost, I have learned that there is always more to learn! There are always new ways in which to grow. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter whether one works for a public or academic library. What matters is that one works toward the goals and the mission each library has in place and that one works to improve the community, whether that community is an office, a library system or district, a neighborhood or a college campus. I’ve learned that each library job experience contributes to the skills and knowledge one can carry over to the next job. I’ve learned that there’s no “us” versus “them”–all libraries are in this together and all skills are transferable in one way or another.
I have met great people who I will never forget, and I have met not-so-great people that I will always remember. I’ve probably learned even more from the latter than the former. I have acquired skills that I had hoped to never use again that will now inform my decisions moving forward. I have been both happy and unhappy in jobs and now I know that it does matter where one works and who one works with. There are differences that make a difference. Find your niche and make the most of it.
That said, your niche may change from time to time, and that’s okay. The measurement for growth is not whether one works for the same organization for 12 years or for 4 different organizations in twelve years, but rather how one has changed during those 12 years. Because if one hasn’t changed, then one isn’t growing. Maybe there are some people out there who were perfect from the start–good for them. Not me. I have grown by feet not inches, and I still don’t measure up.
So, I find myself at a crossroads wondering whether coming full circle professionally means that my blog has come full circle, too. I used to feel such an urgency to write and capture all that I thought about and hoped to change–all my grand ideas and observations. Now I’m more interested in enacting real change rather than writing about it. However, I do believe there’s value in both.
Time will tell, I guess, the fate of this blog. I have certainly been out of the blogging loop for some time, writing only very occasional posts during the past two years. Sometimes I miss writing; sometimes I wonder what I thought I had to say in the first place.
At a crossroads after coming full circle–not a bad place to be. And working in libraries, no matter which communities they serve–a great place to be.