Thursday, May 8, 2008

Getting Yourself Out Of a Rut

Helen Graham, Reuben Hoar Library, Paralibrarian Recipient; Diane Faye, (retired) Boston Public Library; Marnie Oakes, Reuben Hoar Library and Laurie Christie, Paralibrarian, 2007.
Stand out! Ideas, creativity and inspiration were the words of Laurie Christie. Add to that mix, the crucial ingredient: the willing attitude of a library administrator.
Marnie Oakes revealed that it takes employees who have a devoted commitment to the library and community, sometimes to the point of working above and beyond to create a win-win for the library and the town. Diane Faye agreed with Marnie that it sometimes takes making the jump to another job. Diane feels it it is crucial to find your confidence, take risks and finding management that MUST support you. Diane wore many hats as a paralibrarian at the Boston Public Library, in the AFSME union and held posts in paraprofessional sections of national and state organizations. Helen Graham shared the story of her small town suffering financial woes and the library suffering from staffing cuts. Her director, Marnie Oakes, encouraged the paraprofessional staff to get involved with each other and paraprofessional organizations.


Helen said...

After the roundtable I thought of a couple more ways that you can enchance your PARA. You could take Online courses at home on your own time and schedule. If you don't have a fast internet connection at home come in a half an hour early maybe twice a week and you will be surprised how rewarding it is to complete a course. Check out community ed in your town and buddy up with someone and make it social and professional growth at the same time. You need to think and be creative there are so many things that you probably already do that you could recieve PARA popints for and seeing on paper how much you do do is very rewarding, and very impressive to directors, trustees etc.

1976lib said...

Long rides home provide lots of time to think about what one could have said....
- do find a buddy or mentor as Helen suggests. Colleagues, someone in the next town who has the same job as you do, someone else's boss are all good candidates. Ask your regional staff to suggest someone who has your interests. Have breakfast once a month. Maybe work on a topic of common interest. Do your own genre study for Reader's Advisory, talk about library promotion/advertising/branding, or design a proposal to present to your supervisor that will allow you to pursue your goals.
-Subscribe to a blog that covers a subject that interests you OR start your own.
-Offer to put your library's photos up on Flickr on your own time from home.
-If your library is in NMRLS, participate in the Me and My Shadow program.
- and as Helen said pursue the PARAlibrarian certificate if you are a paralibrarian. See for details. Ask the PARA section for help. They want to hand out more than 3 certificates a year.