February 20, 2008

Week 10: Librarian Out and About

I've been away, but for good reason. My organization has seen fit to send me to the same professional development trainings offered to other staff. Last week we learned effective methods of focused conversation, action planning, consensus building, and other facilitation skills expertly packaged and taught by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. This training is part of the "Technology of Participation" training curriculum, a fitting phrase for anyone committed to both service and cutting-edge technology, as librarians tend to be. In addition to the great opportunity to spend more time with co-workers (extending my white space endeavors "off campus"), I was glad to be included in this training opportunity. My supervisors saw the value in this, so they can be congratulated for not trying to keep me in the library, but rather out "there" with everyone else in our office environment. The leaders of the training session, on the other hand, wondered what the librarian was doing out and about...I guess our efforts at redefining the profession's image have to happen always and everywhere.

I've also been asked to be deputy webmaster, another nod toward getting me involved and recognizing the contribution I could make to our web presence. Although I will not name my employer for reasons of anonymity, I want to salute their forward thinking in affording me so many important opportunities! I will continue to blog, if for no other reason than to serve as an exemplar not just for new special librarians, but also to chronicle what the ideal organization does to onboard a special librarian. Take this to your employer and demand inclusion! (And smile when you do.)

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