My fourth year of legit librarianship, and I’m kind of a boss. I mean, I was always kind of a boss – my library system only has one librarian per department per branch. After working at BTPL during my internship, I sort of assumed that I’d be taken under the wizened, awesome tutelage of more experienced librarians than myself and we’d all live happily ever after singing “The More We Get Together” until one day I would magically become a wizened, awesome librarian. Not so. I kind of floundered for the first year, but fortunately, the library techs who worked in the department who I did not manage, but also kind of did, were seasoned, smart, and pretty independent. So independent, in fact, that it took awhile for me to find my niche as the Children’s Librarian.
Fast forward three years and 11 months and I’m told that my Branch Librarian (supervisory w/o being the Branch Manager) has been seconded to work on a special project and would I like the job in the interim? I said yes, with trepidation. It was only a month, so how much could I screw up the branch? Not too badly. I worked in this position pretty blithely – most of it was Christmas vacation. It wasn’t a walk in the park by any means, but hardly as daunting as I expected. In the meantime, a permanent opportunity for that position came up. To my surprise, I applied. And I got an interview. But it wasn’t a surprise when I didn’t get the job. Coincidentally, my boss-hood has been extended for another few months and I think it would be a good chance to learn from this experience and better prepare myself for these nebulous future positions, should they arise.
I’ve been told that I have “leadership potential” which, I think, is to say that I’m not there yet. I would have to agree with that assessment. I’d describe myself currently as an independently motivated follower, and a good librarian, but not yet a leader. It’s become clear that yes, there is a difference between leadership and “volunteering to do all the work.” What that nuance is, I haven’t quite figured out. Toward this end: I thought I’d write a series of posts about what leadership at a branch level actually means (to me) and what I think being a leader is at all. So, kick back, relax while I librarian LIKE A BOSS.