What’s your favorite part about being a library manager?
I enjoy my job, but when I think about my absolute most favorite part, I have always enjoyed developing people. Not bossing people around. Not managing projects. Not pushing paper (all indications otherwise aside). Of all of the things I do as a manager, developing people is the most satisfying part for me.
In my last job before I became a library director, I was in charge of the library’s intern program. My job was to prepare them for their public library careers after they graduated. I loved talking to graduate students, finding out what their professional goals were, and then doing what I could to get them those experiences. I loved working with the other managers to place interns and find projects and assignments that would be mutually beneficial for the library and the intern. I loved the “Aha!” moments when interns would connect their theoretical classroom reading with practical public library experiences. I loved answering their questions, giving them advice, building them up and, in some cases, bursting their bubbles. I loved watching them leave us for their first librarian jobs, and I love keeping in touch and hearing/seeing how they continue to grow and impact their communities and the library profession.
I do less of this as a library director–the interns report to their own managers–but I still get to witness it and play a small role in developing the next generation of librarians. The other management stuff I do is great, too, but developing people is my absolute favorite part of being a library manager.
What about you, fellow leaders? Tell us in the comments what is your favorite part about being a library manager.