The More Things Change …

I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland.  Things look familiar, but are different, somehow, and not totally under control any more. Maybe our recent foray into 27 Things has highlighted an  individual’s ability to influence that which formerly came under the tightly-controlled purview of library departments.  Maybe the confidence staff has gained is causing an expectation of quick change and responsiveness in a historically lumbering institution. Maybe the institution is slowly recognizing the talent latent in its staff and, with the 2.0 tools we’ve been learning about, is coming to understand that we are no longer a collection of satellite libraries following the party line like lemmings, but that we are slowly coalescing into one library and one thinking and educated staff with great ideas, and who now have the capability of implementing them without centralized processes or permissions.

Here’s where the “Wonderland” feeling comes in.  I’ve been given extra time in Collection Management to spend on organizing our e-resources collection, including addition/deletion, training, problem management, catalog maintenance, and simply spending time using them. So far, so good.  Been there, done that.

But this time, my former ways of managing are now subject to different service models and assessment stipulations.  Instead of working with a single contact in a single department, I am now working with multiple colleagues in several departments, and the borders of  jurisdiction and responsibility have become fuzzy and collaborative.  I am finding it necessary to re-define what I thought was my job by the new rules, much like Alice and the croquet game in “Wonderland”. Whoever said  nothing exciting happens in a library ought to be … erm … well … “Off with his head!”

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