On not checking out

infoexplora —  May 10, 2013 — 3 Comments

laptopgirlFeaturePlanetSenioritis (noun)
As defined by Wikipedia: a colloquial term used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college and graduate school careers.

Remember those last days of school when you all you could think about where the new adventures life had in store for you? Well, it happens again in life when you have accepted a new, exciting position or are about to enter relaxing world of retirement. We’ve all seen our colleagues check out during these times and may even have been guilty of it ourselves. Most coworkers are willing to cut you a bit of slack for tuning out a bit more or being less motivated. However, your lack of productivity does hurt your team and even the community you are serving. So here are some tips for keeping yourself focused on the present even when your fantastic future is just weeks away!

  • Pass it on
    You probably know things about your job that no one else in your organization knows. Now is the time to figure out who will be taking over you job duties. If someone outside the organization will be replacing you, try to write everything down and organize all your files (digital and hard copy). If someone inside the organization will be taking over your duties, now is the time to do some training. You did a fabulous job, right? Why let all your knowledge, planning, and organization go to waste?
  • Remember that people are still counting on you
    If you’re at work, you should be doing work. Now is not the time to start new projects that will eventually be dumped on someone else’s already full plate but you need to keep up with your other responsibilities so as not to add more work to the person who is taking over your duties. Remember you are still a valuable member of the organization and that people need you. Granted, this will be easier if you have been a respected member of staff and work with a productive team.
  • Stay professional
    Even if this is a bad breakup and you cannot wait to leave your dysfunctional organization, you need to be the bigger person and remain professional. You’ve heard it a million times – don’t burn any bridges. This is especially true in the library world since it is so very small and there is always someone who knows someone who may eventually tell the story about how you acted badly during your last days at your most hated job.



With over 13 years of experience working in public libraries, Donna Feddern has done everything from teen programming to cataloging. She has been working at the Escondido Public Library for the past 10 years, starting as the Automation Systems Librarian then working as the Senior Librarian of Teen and Media Services. For the past few years she has been the Digital Services Manager, in charge of the Technical Services department and the library’s online presence. Her recent projects have included a major website redesign and the LibraryYOU project. Prior to working in Escondido, Donna has worked on reference desks for the Free Library of Philadelphia, the King County Library System, and the Seattle Public Library. She also worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation traveling to libraries in Oklahoma and New Mexico to provide computer training to library staff. Donna’s professional interests include library management, online marketing, and the user experience.

3 responses to On not checking out


    This makes a lovely bookend to R. David Lankes post for new graduates http://quartz.syr.edu/blog/?p=3127. All wise words to be taken to heart.


    Thanks for the link to the R. David Lankes post. I encourage managers to read it and to play their parts by hiring new grads, listening to them, and providing them with the power to change your organization. I have hired several new grads and they have been incredible librarians who have made positive changes in our organization and been highly respected by the rest of the staff.

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  1. Found: May 6 – 10, 2013 | Library Lost & Found - May 12, 2013

    […] We didn’t check out. […]

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