since I moved to IA to take the job as Access Services Librarian at Palmer College of Chiropractic. So what's happening with me, you might ask?
I have to say the transition from public to academic library has been (and will be) a little rough. Things are very different from one type of library to the other.
In the public library, there were people coming in the library all the time. True, there were fewer people who used the library than paid for it with their taxes, but all the same, when you were on the reference desk, you had questions. Here, I can sit an entire shift on the reference desk (which entails three hours at the desk and the remainder of the day on call...yes, your reference shift technically lasts for the ENTIRE work day) and not get any questions. Even sitting at the circulation desk I go an entire work day without interacting with a patron.
It goes without saying, but there's a different focus on collection development. I bring it up since here at Palmer, we're concerned with health care and specifically (predominantly) with chiropractic. I do not have a health care background, nor do I know much about chiropractic. It's a steep curve I have to take to learn enough to be able to help someone should they decide to ask me a question. Here, if it's not healthcare...and I should really just say if it's not chiropractic...interest, we don't order it. Instead of getting dozens of books each week, we might get a dozen a month. We do order McNaughton books (remember those from collection development classes? The bestselling books that you keep for a limited time?) so that we have some popular reading; but those books don't circulate very much. I'm not involved in collection development at Palmer, whereas all the librarians at the public library were involved. I do see the McNaughton list and can recommend up to two titles, but that's a lot different from the vast amount of ordering I used to do. At the public library, I did collection development for: fiction, the 000s, healthcare (ah, you lied! you do have a background in healthcare! not really, not when I order books based on reviews and Amazon rankings), parenting, science fiction & fantasy, and young adult books.
I did a lot of marketing and creative planning at the public library. There were easy places to make signs, and create website stuff, have interesting programming items, etc. that just don't exist here. At least, they aren't as obvious here. It's not even like we're a more comprehensive college/university with lots of majors and departments. We're very focused here, and it's something I don't have a background in. The website is set. There's no need/way for me to create cute links, or reader's advisories, or Web 2.0 stuff. I can update content, but I can't change the way things look or feel. There's no programming. I could certainly make signs, but I believe signs should be a minimum and once I have the few done I think we need...then what? It's not like the YA stuff at the last library where I could create a new wacky sign every week.
Like I said, it's been rough. Everything is different. Everyone has been here longer than I have so I feel a lot of pressure (all personal, it's not pressure from my bosses) to do better at my job. So I've been trying to think of ways to take what I do well at a library and apply it here. I could create new signs (i.e., for the new books, for our hours, etc.). I could work on getting some sort of programming going here...have chiropractors come into the library to talk to students about being a professional, or about a book they've written. Maybe even see if anyone would be interested in having in 'fun' authors in to talk about books (sort of a diversion from studies). Maybe I could create some internal wikis or blogs to help set a home for policies/procedures.
It took me until last week to start thinking this way again. I've been so overwhelmed by what I don't know, that I was forgetting what I do know.