The Forest and the Trees

Lots of people talk about January being a depressing month. As someone who was born in January, I try not to take that route.

Four days ago marked my first year on the job. I have had a year chock full of learning. I’ve had to learn how to: write good proposals, be patient, co-ordinate projects, work on a adult services desk (and a youth services desk), work with iTunes profiles, run a staff training program, and be patient (yes, I mentioned that twice). All are skills that I’ll have to continue to hone over years to come. There have been fantastic weeks, and weeks where there just weren’t enough hours in the day.

Like many library staffers, I spend some time on social media (if by some, I mean a lot). Twitter, blog posts, mailing lists, and some occasional forays onto the #libraryproblems Tumblr. It is very easy to get caught up in the gripes and stresses around us.

I would never claim that the profession doesn’t have flaws. That there aren’t a lot of hinky things occurring in Federal libraries. That funding is always perilous, and the tug-of-war between moving forward and keeping hold of our traditional services isn’t real.

But – and this isn’t said enough – people who get to work in libraries are working in some of the best places in the world. Libraries of all types and locations are fantastic, even with the stresses they bring.

Every day we get to support our communities by providing them with resources, helping them make connections, and offering programming that informs, sparks creativity, and entertains. We get to brighten someone’s day with a conversation and a good book, we get to investigate tough questions, and help people learn new skills. And so much more.

I know how lucky I am to be working in a public library, that my job is fantastic, and that there isn’t anything better for me out there.

Do you?