Showing posts from December, 2011

2011 Year In Review: Obligatory End of the Year Post

When I tried to cast back on 2011, I found that it was a mighty blur. The primary things I remember:
Lots of planning. We have a new library building going up that is going to cause some major changes in how we run things. The UTC libraryfolk also spent much of the year batting OCLC's WMS about, testing it, developing it (well, our IT gurus), and discussing the product.
Lots of service work. I'm a Faculty Senate member as well as Senate Secretary. I'm on the Faculty Handbook Committee, which is engaging in a complete revision of our outdated handbook. I helped out with some of the SACS onsite accreditation visits. I'm on the Petitions Committee which handles students petitioning this, that and the other. I also served as a marshal at both graduations this year.
Lots of searches. I served on the spring search committee to hire a new faculty member into the University's EdD in Learning & Leadership program. I served as chair of the Library's two most recent libr…

"Being" vs. "Serving As": My Job Is Not My Self

In a discussion in one of my EdD classes (Organization Theory and Development, I think), the seminar got into a discussion about how passionate professionals sometimes over-identify with their profession to the exclusions of themselves as a whole person. Talking about this phenomenon in class brought up all the problems inherent with this - in particular, that there seems to be a high incidence of burnout in non-profit workers, public administrators, and human service personnel directly linked to this strong identification of what we do with who we are.

This hit pretty close to home; I identify strongly with being a librarian. (See the phrasing? "Being" a librarian. Puts me in mind of the difference in Spanish between the two "to be" verbs, estar and ser, where estoy usually refers to a temporary condition.) When someone asks me what I do, I do not say that I participate in the actions of librarianating (though when pressed for details I start talking about managin…