What’s your favorite part?

Eva —  February 5, 2014 — Leave a comment
photo credit: zetson via photopin cc

photo credit: zetson via photopin cc

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.



Eva Davis is the Director of the Canton Public Library in Canton, Michigan--not Canton, Ohio, or Canton, Massachusetts, or Canton, Mississippi. (It is an easy mistake to make.) Eva honed her supervisory and management skills working in customer service, research, and publishing before heading to graduate school at the University of Michigan School of Information. She became a librarian in 1998. She was an intern and then the teen services librarian at the Plymouth (MI) District Library before moving to the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library, where she was Head of the Youth Department at the Downtown library, Head of Youth Services for the system, Head of Branch Services, and finally Associate Director for Public Services. Eva has held her dream job as the Director of the award-winning Canton Public Library since 2008. She received the Michigan Library Association's Frances H. Pletz Award for Excellence in Teen Services in 2003, and is a graduate of both Leadership Ann Arbor and Leadership Canton, where she learned that she is moderately Affiliative according to MAFF, her color is "Green" on the Four Color Personality Test, and her Myers-Briggs Type is INTJ (although she has worked diligently and consistently on improving her Sensing, so she now leans ISTJ). Follow @CantonLibrary and @EvaDavisCPL on Twitter. (Photo credit: Susan Kennedy)

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