Of course, I have logged many attempts for self-improvement for a new year resolution and have failed more often than succeeded. My standard resolutions are maintain an organized work space, swear less, eat healthier, and quit drinking pop (or at least cut down). Unfortunately, I am usually swilling diet coke and eating pizza, while cussing at my pathetic “filing” system by late January. My intentions are pure. Really.
This year, I am going to give myself some specific resolutions that also might be worth considering as a real job goal. I have a couple of projects that are worth considering and I urge you to take a look at your own job and see if there is something you can’t get done that goes above the day to day stuff.
Organizational stuff is difficult for me. When I moved to youth services a few years ago, I was woefuly unprepared for all the tiny details I have to get done. Now that I kind of “get it”, I am really going to make sure I have all my bases covered and create some checklists for my job. I know what to do, I just need to remember to actually do it and document that I did it. I am embarrassed to tell you how many times I have reinvented the wheel. (I read the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and found that this simple quality control tool can work for librarians as well.)
The Fiery Crash Scenario
Fiery crash scenarios are my way of considering procedures under the assumption of “what if this person dies in a fiery crash?’ How will I keep the library functioning? Most libraries have emergency procedures and internal cross training, but what I am talking about is more in depth and specific to your job. The fiery crash scenario involves preparing (and updating!) all those things that must be done with your job. As a youth librarian, I have outlines of my story time, all the necessary “extras” ready to go. I would like to expand that to include processes/procedures on collection management, billings and the calendar. I think this dovetails with my checklist goal. In my small library there are only a handful of us, we need to be able to say to our co-workers, here is a notebook full of information about my job. After I had a near brush with a fiery crash, I started thinking about this.
Tech Skill Upgrade
I have yapped on and on that librarians need to stay current with professional development. This year, give yourself a specific goal. Mine this year is to be become good enough with Joomla that I can be part of our library’s webmaster’s fiery crash scenario. My goal is to get to the point where she doesn’t inhale sharply everytime I start typing on the keyboard.
I hope everyone uses the new year as a chance to try again. Even if you are sure you can’t keep your resolutions, try anyway. I am going to make myself report in regularly through my board report which will hopefully force me to keep my promises. Buddy up on some goals with other librarians, it will keep you honest.
Happy New Year!