Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When I was young

When I was a very new law librarian, I wanted to do research to find out what employers really want from their library directors. I thought this was a very clever idea, and would help me think about how to work on my career. It never really came to much, but now I can tell you from my own experience, what I think employers really want:

1. Deans want you to guard their back. They want to know that they don’t have to worry about the library and that you’re looking to make them look good in all ways library.

2. Faculty want you to make them look good by having the materials they need for class and research, by having research assistance (if possible), by putting things on reserve, by getting things on interlibrary loan, and by featuring their latest publication prominently. Oh, and if you are a director, they want you to be a fellow-faculty member, collegial, taking part in the life of the school (unless they don’t want you to be on equal footing at all).

3. Students want you to make life easy for them by having convenient hours, easy food and drink policies, convenient policies about everything else, and having the books, computers, databases, licenses, movies, reserve items and significant others they desire easily available, preferably on call for them from home in their jammies.

4. Your library colleagues want you to be a great colleague, and participate in AALL or regional events, be on committees, work on programs, write for newsletters (or better yet, edit them or be a webmaster or blogger!), or to write scholarly articles for journals. They want you to come to meetings and stick your hand out, give them a business card, introduce yourself. If you will do this, you’ll have friends all over the map. It’s one of the great pleasures of librarianship!


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