Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The most wonderful time of the year

Tis' the season to be jolly . . . . well, I have to be honest and say I am not jolly all the time at this time. I tend to get overwhelmed with the many holiday tasks I need to accomplish. I always stress, but everything magically seems to get done.

I do like this time of the year, however, because I get a chance to let those folks who are close to me, my colleagues who are great to know, my staff who put up with me all year and those folks who have somehow done something to make my life a little more manageable in the past year know just how much I have enjoyed working with them, how I appreciate their service, or how glad I am that they are my friends. Special fudge, holiday parties, creating my annual library Christmas card for the campus and finding ways to reward my staff and co-workers on campus are just some of the things that remind me that the year really wasn't all that bad. I am getting ready to have a thank-you pizza party for our maintenance and IT staff (I pay for it myself); we bug them endlessly and I truly appreciate how responsive they always are. My own staff will be enjoying our staff party and gift exchange soon; I like to let my student staff and regular staff know how great it is to work in the library and how I appreciate them working to present a great image of the library throughout the year. I am especially proud of my regular staff; we are small but we do accomplish a lot.

I actually do some baking at this time of the year; I make these chocolate pretzel O's that are very addictive. Just ask Diane!! I like to pass them out as gifts of appreciation so lots of folks get to enjoy them and it lets them know much they mean to me or how I appreciated them allowing me to work with them on instruction projects or other campus events.

I do wish for each and every one of you to be acknowledged for all your hard work and to let someone else know how much they mean to you or how much you appreciate them. After all, the reason for the season is joy and blessings and we can all certainly use more of both in our lives. May you all have a special holiday season and I look forward to talking and working with you all in 2008!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Library as a place

Today is the last day of classes at Ashland University, finals start with a flourish on Monday and students are to be out of the dorms soon after. Things will slow for a time as everyone prepares to celebrate the season. This week also features a library tradition, a holiday open house.

During all of the hustle and bustle surrounding projects and finals and extended library hours, AU library presents a holiday open house to the university community. Filled with home made treats, as well as a lighter fare for those watching their calories, and Christmas music, we gather to celebrate the season. This year our open house event was held Wednesday, December 5th, during the first significant snow fall of the season.

Lucky for us, the snow and cold temperatures did not deter attendees; we hosted between 250 and 300 members of the AU campus community. Open house ambiance was enhanced pianist Ron Sprunger, Professor Emeritus of Music Education, and the Ashland University Chamber Singers. One of the nicest things about this event is the appreciation expressed by all who take part. From shared fellowship to shared cookie recipes, the open house is something people look forward to each year. It is one more aspect of the library as a vital place within the campus community.

Take a few minutes to enjoy the Ashland University Holiday e-card.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yearly report

I am not an enthusiast of blog posts whose purpose is to lead readers to other blogs, unless of course that is the purpose of the blog in question; it seems to be an "easy out" for posting. This post is going to be one of those posts, apologies to everyone in advance but you will soon see why.

Yesterday afternoon, librarians received their yearly email from the library director asking for updates on our professional development to complete his report for the 2006-2007 academic year (ending June 2007). We were to forward information concerning our campus committee involvement, professional affiliations (ALA, ACRL, & ALAO), presentations, publishing, conference and workshop attendance, and anything else that speaks to our professional development.

I have been lucky in recent years with opportunities to work with our College of Education on search committees and as an adjunct instructor. With ALAO, the Academic Library Association of Ohio, I have been able to be an active member with Interest Groups (CMCIG) and the board. Committee involvement on a national level with ACRL/EBSS has been a recent development that I am enjoying (though winter meetings in Philadelphia?). As to presenting, after several state-wide presentations, I took the professional leap last year and was accepted to present two poster sessions in D.C. Those poster session led to potential publishing prospects that I will discuss more at a later date. I was excited to be able to send this information back to the director and show I had made progress with my professional development. However, I am cognizant of the fact every year will not have the same opportunity. I am grateful to have support from the library director in question enabling me to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

That said, it was with interest that I read Are You Where You Want to Be Professionally? by Steven B. on the ACRLog this morning. In part, Steven mentioned:

"All of this may be a long winded way of saying that I urge you not to worry about where you are professionally. If you think your career needs to be progressing faster, I say think of it as a long run. You’ve got to pace yourself. And keep in mind that the road is a series of hills and valleys. Sometimes you will get things right at the right time and you’ll be on the hill. But then it will be someone else’s turn, and you’ll be in the valley. It’s much better to look at the long view, and focus not on one time recognition but developing the ability to acquire and nuture ideas and inspiration." (Steven B, ACRLog, 12/5/07)

The valleys are coming; I know this without a doubt. I plan (and hope) to weather them with a bit of aplomb and dignity ... and the knowledge another hill is ahead. Take a few minutes and read Are You Where You want to be Professionally, it is both a thoughtful and insightful view of librarianship.

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