February 16, 2007

New job learning curves....

As mentioned in an earlier post, in January I moved to accept a new job. The new job is in the state I lived in prior to accepting my first full-time librarian position, so the area is familiar and comfy. As in a previous career, job changes are kind of wonky. You know how to do the job, but you have to learn the "way" your new organization does it. And, in my case, it's hard not to compare the two. I'm learning to take on functions in different ways and to let go of things I did in my previous job (and enjoyed) while acknowledging that it is somebody else's job here. A key difference for me is the new position is in a much larger library. So, more departments and more distinction between groups and the role they play in the overall scheme of the everyday running of the library.

One of the biggest differences is in the collection development aspect itself. Here the librarians do the selection. Faculty requests are almost always purchased, but the main selecting of materials is done by the librarians - both by "manual" selections and with approval plans. Some will nod their heads and say "yeah, isn't that how it's done?" In my previous position, the majority of the materials budget was given to the departments, thus the majority of the collection development was done by the faculty. We weren't alone in this approach. Some say they are in a better position to choose. Recieve a couple of list from Amazon's Listmania and you'll start to wonder about that. Another downside is some faculty will select based on their research interests and not necessarily to support the courses being taught. I had come to the conclusion that, at a minimum, a combination of the two approaches should be used. So, I'm looking forward to doing the process from the other side.