When I got off of probation and became a permanent employee, I was elated. I didn’t feel like I was walking on eggshells anymore and started exploring possibilities. Everyone told me that it’s pretty tough to get fired — even when you’re on probation, but I didn’t believe them. I had this fear that I was going to be that one person that actually does get fired on probation and I wasn’t going to have that back-up job to fall on and the slippery slope of horrorwas just a mistake or two away and my whole career would be down the drain. No one would ever hire me again. And what else could I do other than be a librarian?
But, luckily, none of that happened and I was made permanent and probation was over (with an excellent evaluation I might add). Now, I was faced with the task of proving myself and making a mark. Not really small goals (you know, like normal people might say I want to do this kind of program this year instead of I want to change librarianship this year). For some reason, I thought I needed to be a Mover & Shaker this year. This year I had to do something to get me on the cover of Library Journal (more of that outside validation that I crave but isn’t really useful in actually providing services for your library and your patrons – I was starting to get caught up in the whole Rockstar librarian thing and wondered what I was doing wrong). Really, I wanted to make a huge impact on librarianship when I just needed to make an impact on my community.
One example of this obsession was the Seiden Grant which is an annual grant opportunity in my library system. It is funded through an endowment that was given to the library and the amount varies from year to year depending on interest and other factors. It looks for “Innovative” library programming. I didn’t submit anything myself because I was so focused on the word “Innovative” which I took to mean as “original” and groundbreaking. A Mover & Shaker worthy grant idea. I even almost turned down an opportunity to work on a great grant idea because I was so caught up on my idea of innovative – which Christian told me was crazy, but that’s a separate blog.
It took a lot of soul searching and focusing to come down from this lofty goal. It took a lot of realizing that many of these Movers & Shakers just do what they love and things fall into place. It took a lot of realizing that I’m still doing great work and I have a very long career ahead of me. Maybe I don’t want to accomplish everything in the first year. What does it mean to be a Mover & Shaker anyways? Is that a final mark of doing great work? Probably not. Anyways, I ended up with a reasonable and approachable season of programming (thanks to my supervisor who was concerned about my ambitiousness, I tried to restrain myself), with details in the blogs to follow…