Today I was chatting with a colleague about the future direction of our institution and what it could mean in terms of the library service we provide and how our job roles would possibly change. We chatted about my ambitions. I’m still fairly young (31) and I’ve been working in the library sector full time for 4 years now, so I’m still relatively ‘new’ in the profession. The thing is I don’t have any huge ambitions. I like my current role – a librarian in charge of a campus library but I don’t have any ambitions to climb further up the library career path. I am fortunate that my campus is small so I get to know many of our students and staff and spend quite a bit of my week working with them. I also manage budgets, work on the technical stuff with the LMS, manage orders, help with online resources and a whole load of other behind the scenes stuff. I have a diverse job and I like that. The further up you go the less time you get to be ‘public facing’ and truthfully it is the part I like the most. Prior to becoming a librarian I worked as an EFL teacher, I like working with people, I like seeing how a little bit of help or guidance can benefit a student and help them to achieve what they have set out to do. Truthfully I always envisioned that I would work in public libraries and I still think that working in a public library would allow me to get the most satisfaction from my job. However the public libraries are slowly being eroded, budget cuts are leading to job losses and library closures and stopping libraries from being part of the fabric of a community. It makes me sad that we are losing so much and I don’t think many people will truly realise that until it is too late. So much potential to play vital role in so many aspects of peoples lives and it is being squandered.
(At the moment 16 Public Libraries in my area are facing closure, more information Here)
Anyway back onto my job discussion. Whilst I like my job and at the moment spend the vast majority of my time at work, it is not the main driving force in my life. I like walks, baking, sewing and running my Guide Unit. I like having weekends and evenings to not think about work and I think keeping that balance would be very difficult the more senior the position. I don’t like it when my life is too busy or stressful, I get migraines. I like having time to see my family and friends. We are just about to have our first baby and we are fortunate that financially we can afford for me to take the full maternity year off and then go back to work part time. Exotic holidays and transforming our new house will have to wait but we can afford (we think, only time will really tell) for us as a family to have that balance and I am fortunate that my career ambitions are for me to hopefully stay in my current role or one similar but I don’t have that hunger or that drive and I’m content. I know we are privileged because for many they have to pursue the more time consuming roles just to be able to afford to keep the roofs over their heads and food for their family. I know we are lucky but I think the luckiest thing is to feel content, to be happy and satisfied. Many changes are coming my way, both personal and in my work life but I’ll keep trying to remember what it is that really makes me happy and to firmly keep hold of that and be thankful for what I have.
P.s I know I have not blogged for a long time, there has been a lot going on but more cakes, tasty treats, walks, a new house, books and maybe even a baby will be on the way soon. I’ve been on instagram with a few snapshots if you are curious as to my winter goings on (mostly this has consisted of wishing hibernation was possible for humans).