Wowzers!

January 31, 2007

So I guess I touched upon a good topic last week? Seriously, I want to thank everyone who has emailed me and left comments here for their support and comraderie. I especially want to thank my colleagues in the blogosphere who have pointed people in this direction. It means a lot.

Many people have asked me what prompted last week’s post. Two things influenced me: first I wrote it for my staff. They are a great group of hardworking people who, in the short time I have been at MPOW, have made me feel welcomed and respected. They provide excellent service and deserve a big pat on the back. (Aside to Jeff- Thanks for the blog name!)

Secondly, when I interviewed for my position I was asked where I thought access services fit in the library. I was delighted by the large number of heads nodding in agreement when I responded, “it is the most important department in the library.” As I met with administration and saw that my sentiments were echoed, I left my interview thinking, “I have to work here,” and quickly called a friend and fellow access services librarian to tell her all about my wonderful interview experience. At two weeks into the new job, I had another conversation with my friend detailing how happy I was with my position and we swapped ideas and talked about library stuff (y’all know how that goes). All was right in the library world.

I can not accurately describe the dismay I felt last week when the same friend and colleague called to tell me that she was leaving access services. She had not been enjoying the work environment for the past several months and the situation came to a head last week. She described feelings of isolation, unimportance, and a general sense that her work and her department were not of value to the organization.

This is a person who worked in access services throughout library school and really has a wonderful personality and customer service ethic that make her an ideal head of access services. Now she no longer wants to work in the department. That made me sad. And angry. And slightly depressed. And very grateful that I don’t work someplace like that.

So that was the impetus and judging from the responses I have received, a lot of people are grateful that we are finally talking about these types of issues. I also want to publically give a shout out to all of my colleagues who work in all other library departments. We in access services do recognize that without the work you do (selecting, purchasing, cataloging materials, reference, etc) that we would have nothing to reshelve, check out, or use to fill requests and no one to answer the patron reference questions we refer. The library would be pretty boring if none of us showed up for work!

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3 Responses to “Wowzers!”

  1. eprahs said

    Access services takes a special breed. My supervisor and I discuss this often. I had a job interview recently where I said similar things about access services being the glue that holds the library together. Other librarians may not always understand it, or strive to do it, but they are starting to realize our importance in the grand scheme of things. Keep up the good work!

  2. Jean said

    Access services are special and a job that not everyone can do. Not because it is really hard but because you need certain qualities such as patience, being able to multi-task and take care of details while seeing the whole big picture so that things will run smoothly. You have to be enthusiastic because you are usually seen more by the patrons and even other library workers than some of the other staff who take care of the behind-the-scene duties. I love my position because it’s never boring and there is always new challenges everyday.

  3. Jess said

    Omg, so good to hear from you. I lost the link to this site. Hope you are well!

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