December 21, 2007

Week 3: Alive and Kicking

Although I hope never to average 20 pages in a week again, this week was wonderful! I can't emphasize enough how important it is to have answering the phone be part of your job -- hones your customer service skills and gives you the best on-the-spot training for random questions. Some of them end up being scavenger hunts all over the web or through the physical library -- a good reason to go in when the room has become a dumping ground for materials and supplies and you've told yourself you'll wait til the new year to confront the mess.

I published my first edition of the company newsletter highlighting this month's library acquisitions, and although it's quite formulaic, more than one person congratulated me. YAY! I guess they knew that was a big deal. I celebrated my success by personalizing my office (even more) because hitting that milestone really made me feel like I'm here, and here to stay. Evidently this place has had some trouble retaining librarians because it's a non-traditional setting...but I look at this as a blessing in disguise: my lack of experience in a traditional library is actually an asset. The most important skills I came in with (since I knew virtually nothing of the subject matter) are my phone skills, my attention to detail, and my attitude. Is attitude a skill? Well, no, but I am finding that maintaining my attitude does require skill. All those Easy Button hits don't come for free, and they wouldn't come at all if I were grumpy or cross. Tis the season for smiles and cheer, whether as a librarian or not, so I guess December is a good time to start a job like this.

Whether you're dealing with simple minds or complex issues -- listen, be patient, get to know people, and always smile.

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