I read an interesting article on “Libraries have a People Problem” written by Jill Hurst-Wahl. I do agree with her opinions and her suggestions on job swapping/rotation as well as doing the same thingy for long periods. I felt the need to move out of my comfort zone – to learn more about myself and others, to expand my horizon, to broaden my thinking and to share and acquire knowledge in my work area and to seek new challenges.
Throughout my 20 years in the library field, I have had the opportunity to work within my country Singapore and then move to the Graduate Research Library located in the Middle East. After working there (Middle East) for nine years, I decided to come home again.
What I’ve learnt?
- Do different things in the library at various places: I’ve started as a Reference Librarian, moved to Access and Digital Services, expanded my portfolio to include Electronic Resources Management, Web Discovery Layer and User Experience Studies. I’m now an Assistant Director at a local university. I was fortunate to be given opportunities to learn and grow in different roles. It has helped me to gain new insights in the library field. They say, the more you learn, the more you realized that there are a lot more than you didn’t know. Well, that’s true. As I move along, I noted how many things have changed, and libraries cannot remain stagnant. Change is imminent and is always happening. If we don’t do anything about it, we will be left behind.
- Learn to lead (even though you may not have the official title given to you). Take initiatives to resolve work issues rather than let them exacerbate. Speak up for yourself and others. Speak the truth. Help others.
- Get out of your comfort zone: Learn new things; Be adventurous and take risks.
- Be ready to accept criticism: keep an open mind to feedback and constructive criticism. Block out the negative ones. If you cannot accept the fact that we have shortcomings, then we would not be able to grow. We are imperfect creatures. One of the best things to do is to accept our weaknesses; deal with it and improve on our strengths.
- Stay abreast of new trends. Use the ready resources to read up on current patterns in the field. Network with fellow professionals. Share your knowledge.
These are the five main ones amongst others. I am sure you will have yours. Do share them.