I started out my library career as a Library Tech, or Library Page, as we call them at our library. I was briefly a Story Time Coordinator, and then some other made up position – Associate Librarian, maybe? And then the Library I worked at finally managed to create a Children’s Librarian position and that was me! We had a really small staff and a really small library and I was used to small crowds and small spaces. I basically did everything myself, which was fine. But then I became a “Head of Youth Services” at my current library and had staff under me to do my evil bidding….haha just kidding. Sort of. And it was totally weird and awkward and I was really bad at delegating, which hasn’t changed much, really.
A few years ago we hired a new Youth Services Assistant and she’s THE BEST. Let’s call her…Belinda (long story.) I always have trouble calling her my assistant because it feels like it doesn’t do her justice. (She’s also seriously underpaid, in case anyone in a position to change that is reading this….) Anyhoo, she is awesome and it’s so great to have co-workers and support staff who are totally in sync with me and my library “vision,” which is kind of creepy and makes me sound like a politician or a T.V. Evangelist, but it’s the only thing I can think of. Having an assistant who has the same sense of aesthetics, who knows what makes a good program or display in the Children’s Room, is so important in making things work. We still have differing opinions, (she’s not my clone, jeez!) but that’s what makes things better. Belinda gets how I operate; like how she knows I tend to stop mid-sentence and go off on another subject entirely and will wait patiently until I finish, or that sometimes I don’t know what I’m trying to say or do and need to talk about it out loud until it becomes clear….yikes, she is a patient lady! She makes these incredible displays (see some pics below) and plans really fun programs. She’s also some sort of magician when it comes to finding amazing things at yard sales!
And she’s supportive of my crazy ideas…. i.e. EVERY SUMMER READING PROGRAM, when I say I’m just going to “keep it simple” and end up making things even more complicated than last time. She asks me if maybe I should put a laminating sleeve on the plain piece of paper I just inserted into the laminating machine because I was talking and not paying attention and ended up breaking said laminating machine…. She keeps me sane when the library is insane! (This happens a good portion of the time.)
I am so grateful for my assistant, who gets it. Because I seriously could not do this alone!
I would add some of the funny pictures of her, like the selfies she takes with my phone when I’ve left it someplace random, but she would probably kill me.