I was recently selected for a professional position that fell through after I had already resigned from my previous job. The reasons aren’t important. But the process forced me to re-evaluate my approach to librarianship and professional development. After briefly wallowing in my disappointment, I have come to realize that it was probably time to shake things up in my professional life and I should view this as an opportunity rather than a set back.
Two years ago I took a position as a substitute Youth Services Library Assistant. I had hopes that it would be a way to break in to the system and would lead to something better over time. I gradually added some regular hours and additional responsibilities, including Preschool Storytimes. But nothing better ever came through, and I found myself working two nights a week and two weekends a month plus whatever other hours I could grab as a sub. The crazy hours and constantly shifting schedule took a bigger toll on me than I realized. Add to that a weekly commute time of between 8 and 12 hours, and it’s no wonder outside endeavors like my blog suffered. I had great ideas. But never had the energy to pursue them. Yet I probably would not have actually taken the leap of quitting on my own.
I worked my last night yesterday, and I am a bit surprised at the level of relief I feel. I also feel energized and ready to dive in to more reading, book reviews and other projects. I hope to expand my blogging to include reviewing apps for children, exploring issues in S.T.E.M. programming, and promoting early literacy. But the really big project in the works is growing out of the S.T.E.M. Programs Made Easy course I took through ALSC this spring. I am going to be collecting our lesson plans and program ideas and creating a wiki. The wiki will be open for anyone to share their ideas, experiences and resources. In some ways I think this project may be a better demonstration of my professional skills than continuing to work night shifts on a teen reference desk as a para-professional.
I am not giving up on my dreams of a professional position in Youth Services. But I am feeling more positive and think I can turn this set back into something really positive.