Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Director Material

The Director of my library is retiring.  Her job has been posted by Hartzell-Mika Consulting.  We're all excited, and probably a little nervous, about who our next Director will be.  One of the methods Harzell-Mika uses to fill executive positions like this is to ask for nominations.  What a great way to put someone on their radar who is known and liked (at least, by the nominator) for open positions!  I really like having the ability to nominate someone I know and trust - and who I would like to work for.  Surprisingly enough, I've been nominated.  Am I Director material?  Sure, maybe!  I believe I could do the job.  Here's the thing, though: I'm really not interested. all.

I've been saying that I would miss my current job too much.  I would have to scale waaaay back, or even eliminate, some most of my favorite activities, like collection management, reference service, and working with interns.  Everyone keeps telling me that as the Director you can do what you want, so if I wanted to do a little of these things I still could.  That's true, to a point, but then there's The Big Reason I do not want to be a Library Director:

I do not find the main responsibilities and activities of a Library Director appealing.  At. All.

It's nice to say I could still do some of the things I love, but I would still have to spend 90-95% of my time doing things I don't love.  I have no interest in pretty much everything Directors spend most of their time doing.  The best Library Directors are people with passion.  It takes a specific passion and specific set of interests to do the job well.

It also takes a specific passion to be a great Teen Librarian, a great Tech Services Librarian, a great Youth Librarian, or whatever.  The things that excite me most about my career are so closely aligned with what I am currently doing that I can't see trading in my passion for mostly discontent and a few perks (the schedule is fantastic and the salary bump would be nice).  I don't want to be ho-hum about my daily work; I want to be passionate about it.

I am open to continuing to learn and grow.  I can't say that I won't become more interested in Director work over time.  I have to work for another 15 years before I retire, minimum, so who knows what will happen in five years or ten years?  My career plan is to continue to learn as much as I can about my profession.  I want to stay engaged and interested.  I want to contribute to the "bigger picture."  It's entirely possible that I will reach a point where the things that engage and interest me most are the bigger picture.

For now, I'm all about patron service and creating a positive working environment for my co-workers on a departmental level.

But hey - calling all great, passionate Library Directors! I want to work for you!

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