Feeling Lost in Librarianship

Megan Hartline —  January 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Rising to a leadership role can make you feel disconnected from front line library work. You might even forget how to librarian.

One library director wrote about this feeling, highlighting the change from instruction to administration:

So, maybe what I’m trying to do is put myself out there and say, out loud, that I feel a little lost. I am looking for my peers…my community. New(ish) library directors or other administrators who don’t always feel like they belong, don’t know which circles they should be floating in, don’t always feel like they can identify anymore as librarians. But, they love what they do.

Building a community of library leaders who love what they do is, in a nutshell, the mission of Library Lost & Found. We want to create a community of peers to talk about leading change, moving things forward, and even just the nuts and bolts of managing people in libraries.

Some ways to combat feeling lost after moving into leadership:

  • Find a wide group of peers (as BossLady mentioned)
  • Work a shift on the ref or circ desk into your schedule every week, even just a few hours
  • Take steps toward being the awesomest leader you can be
  • Focus on the impact your library has on users – and how you can make it more meaningful

It might take time to find your footing after moving into an administrative role. Leadership is critical to making libraries great, but the role means a significant change in how you focus your time. Feeling a little lost is OK.

Megan Hartline


Megan Hartline (@awrybrarian on Twitter) is a librarian in Denver, Colorado. In addition to librarianship, Megan's background is in nonprofit leadership. She would love to visit your library to talk about management, workflows, or customer service.

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