I realized this week that I want no part of this change that I have been managing for more than a year. I have been preaching to my staff that closing a library is bad and sad, but maybe also a time for opportunity and growth. “You will be OK!” , that is what I have told my staff. It dawned on me that I am not OK – or anywhere near OK – with this change.
Then, as often happens, I calm down. Or, better yet, I read something that speaks to me as I did this morning.
Haystacks vs. Algorithms: Is Scanning the Stacks for [Pretty] Books Really the Best Research Strategy? by Brian Mathews (June 25, 2013)
Libraries everywhere are in a constant state of change these days. I am caught up in this chaos. We are closing/moving a branch library. Decisions on collections, services and staff are just the tip of this event that seems never ending – but, I know it will end (maybe late this summer) and we will all have to settle into new roles and places. I can’t picture a place for myself in this maelstrom, but maybe it is yet for me to discover. I should trust in…serendipity.
During this time, I have come to know some new library users – adult learners who have come back to school. These are learners that have found our branch library a good place for group study and technology resources and assistance. They work pretty independently and have told me that they appreciate my staff and this library space. I am sad to tell them we are closing, but it has forced them to seek other resources on campus. While these users currently use us for group and quiet study – they have found the 24 hour technology labs and a study room at our main library.
I am watching their learning journey – they have “adventured” past their comfort zones in just a few short months and I can learn from them.
Thanks to Brian Mathews for reminding me …”Serendipity is a state of mind.”