An employee who has worked in libraries for about two months called the Dewey Decimal system "beautiful" and "romantic." This gives me high hopes that another man will be added to the library profession in due course.
My work laptop is a newer one that is supposed to automatically detect when an external monitor is attached. Well, it doesn't. It maybe it's Windows 10 causing the problem. Whatever the cause, the external monitor would show my background and the active icons in the task bar, but not the active windows or any of my desktop shortcuts.
So I did some internet research into the problem and tried solutions and they failed. I really wanted this external monitor on my recently acquired standing desk. I'm tired of being in pain from a work station that doesn't fit my body.
So I researched and experimented some more and conquered the monitor. I was on a high for the rest of the day and the next day.
I'm not 100% sure what exactly I did, but had something to do with the laptop's display settings and telling it to duplicate the display, then not to duplicate, then to duplicate again. There might have been a couple other display settings I had to play with, too. What I do remember is that the options I had were not the same as the tutorial I found, but I still managed to get the result I wanted.
The teenage boy flipped through a computer game magazine while the elderly man solved the week's chess puzzle. As they waited for the chess club facilitator to arrive, I overheard the boy comment, "I like to eat cake, but I don't cook!"
The elderly man responded enthusiastically, "I love to cook!" And off he went talking about pies and cakes and recipes. My heart swelled with pride.
This is why libraries are valuable. When the generations come together for one purpose and end up learning about different ways of living, interacting with friendliness devoid of intimidation of "otherness," is it too much to hope that our community will benefit from it?
A woman came to the library and asked to use the computer. Then she started talking to us about how she was intimidated to come inside because she didn't know how to use a computer and there were so many teenagers around who are good with technology. We assured her that everyone has to learn and no one is born knowing how to use a computer.
We gave her our normal crash-course in using the Internet, helped her get an e-mail address, and gave her some things to think about as she looked for a job on Craigslist. For the next two weeks, it felt like each time she came in, we got called to help her every five minutes.
Then one day, she didn't call us. We were busy and didn't notice. Before she left, she came to us, ecstatic.
"I checked my e-mail, found a job, and sent an e-mail expressing interest all by myself!" She was glowing with pride in her accomplishment, "I was so intimidated to come in here, but you all helped me and were so patient and I applied for a job all by myself today!" She was so happy, she practically danced out the door.
And that is the value a public library gives to the community.
My Valentine's present from the library was having to file a report with the Sheriff's department. Not a call-and-inform-the-dispatcher call, but a one-on-one-with-the-deputy report. And then I had to call out the deputy again as a follow-up. He was pleasant and helpful, but still. Accusing people is not my favorite part of the job. Still, I would rather act decisively and probably make mistakes sometimes as opposed to avoiding something uncomfortable and letting the problem grow.
The first part of the week wasn't much better. I spent so much time on the phone with GoDaddy customer service, blabbering because I don't know enough to use the proper vocabulary and when stressed, what I do know leaves. Also, it's decidedly unfair when I'm signed in as admin for our website, click on a link to see what the settings are, and the entire site crashes. If I changed something, sure, I understand a crash. But all I did was click on a link within the site! Not Fair! Wah, wah, wah.
I also had to answer an angry call from a woman upset because the library does not restrict access to materials. I expect these calls and don't dread them, but they are far from pleasant and this was my first one as interim director.
The good parts of the week are that my staff are great at filling in without complaint when we are short-staffed and I met several area directors. They were kind and welcoming and went out of their way to help me feel included. It's actions like these that make me proud to be part of the human race. (Otherwise I might try to convert to hobbit-Vulcan. Or not. That sounds like a recipe for life-long internal torment).
This month, besides customer service and other "working at the library" tasks, I have:
*All times include interruptions. I would never be able to keep a count if I had to start and stop the clock for each time I was interrupted.
There are two servers, each with its monitor, keyboard, and mouse in the director's office. The cords were so tangled that if I tried to shift the mouse, the entire mass moved. It took me 45 minutes to untangle, clean, and re-assemble everything. I labeled all cords at the power supply and at the ethernet hub.
I spent more than five hours in meetings this week. While most were productive, I prefer the doing to the discussing.
I also have half a dozen adults who signed up to volunteer as a result of my talking to the Friends group and writing an article for the newspaper. I expected a trickle of interest, but not the enthusiasm that came within the week.
A library staff member bought a crested gecko and has donated it to the library during the week. He's been a big hit, even if he is nocturnal. He certainly makes work more pleasant for me.
I'm in week two as an interim director and I had to tell someone they smelled. Fortunately, I was able to open the subject with a simple request that put the focus on the person's attire rather than on the person. When the library user and I were alone at the desk, but with others nearby, I tried to evenly, yet somewhat cheerfully and slightly apologetically, say, "Hey, could you keep an extra shirt in the car to change? You come in from work, right? Sometimes the grease smell is a bit strong." The person was slightly surprised, but amenable. I'm sure it was awkward and embarrassing for them, but it needed to be addressed.
I'm on day three of my first week as an interim library director. I never wanted to be a library director and frequently declared my lack of interest in such a position. Then this opportunity opened and a crowed gathered to cheer me through, so here I am. If e-Rate doesn't turn me bald with acne and I can astutely handle the politics, I might enjoy the work. I'll let you know when I'm a few months in.
It feels like every time I turn around, someone is telling me I need to apply for the permanent position. I have never accepted a job for the money; the priority for me is enjoying the work. This seems to make me an anomaly. Whenever I try to explain my point of view to friends, the response is, "But you work hard; you deserve to be paid more/this promotion."
To which I reply, "But I want to be sure I will enjoy doing the work."
To which they respond, "It pays more! Why are you even considering not applying?"
And then I change the subject.
I do like being able to make changes to fix things that have bothered me since I started here two and a half years ago. I even got expressions of delight from staff when I announced some changes. I'm trying to be careful about changes; they community is still missing the old director and is concerned about what will happen to the library, but some things simply need to be done.
I work as a director at a small town library. Outside of the library, I play the flute, hike, and sew clothes.