My Goal for the New Year: DO MORE STUFF

Moving to the East Coast is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I started my library career desperately wanting to be an administrator. The pay was better, I enjoy everything that comes with management and leadership, it’s where people have always told me that I should strive to be, but really… I just haven’t been as ecstatic with it as I thought I’d be. Being a library administrator has allowed to live decently and pay off my debts and buy my boat (which has always been a dream of mine since I was about 6 years old) but watching the library directors around me and seeing what it is that they do makes me wonder what I’m striving for. I don’t get to work with the public as much and I don’t really get to get my hands as dirty as I wanted, and overall I’m not sure that being where everyone tells me I should be is as rewarding as they tell me it is. But mostly, I just don’t get to do a whole lot of stuff.

The thing is that I don’t really enjoy HAVING a lot of stuff so the measure of success being money or stuff doesn’t do much for me. In fact, moving to Brooklyn, I only have a few bags of clothes, the things I need for work and sailing, and two guitars. I think I figured out that I hate HAVING things and I LOVE doing things. In fact, most of the money I’ve made in libraries I’ve spent on doing stuff in libraries like going to conferences, makingithappen.us, making donations to causes I believe in, sending people banana slicers (until Amazon stopped me), and projects like the Great Librarian Write-Out or the Story Sailboat. So with this move, I’m really excited to just try to do stuff for libraries and people as my actual job. Mostly around EveryLibrary and political action for libraries, but I’m open to doing other stuff and getting involved in bigger and better projects and finding great passionate people to work with. So, that’s my goal for the new year. DO more stuff with people who are also doing more stuff and somehow be “successful” whatever that means.

This blog was written because of Calvin and Hobbes. When I was a kid I religiously read Calvin and Hobbes. In fact, there was quite a bit of time when I almost ONLY read Calvin and Hobbes and I desperately wanted to draw like Bill Watterson or have his insight or his great use of language. But yesterday, I saw this comic and once again Bill Watterson really sums up my life and defines me as a person.

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In the end, I’m just really lucky to even have the opportunity to make this choice and thanks to everyone in this profession who has been so good to me.

5 thoughts on “My Goal for the New Year: DO MORE STUFF

  1. Glad you’re happy — it’s important to find that place. Even within administration, there are people who seem to be climbing for climbing’s sake, and they never seem fully happy (perhaps because there is always that pinnacle they haven’t reached).

    You don’t have to justify why administrative stuff is not the stuff you want to do. You may feel the need to do so, due to the pressure of expectations, but the reality is there are many ways to do important work, and I know several former directors who just didn’t find their joy there. However, I feel as if I do get to do a lot of stuff. It’s different stuff, but it’s meaningful to me.

  2. Great Watterson Cartoon! I’ve got an ignorant question – why two guitars? Best of luck to you and Kate in 2016. And to EveryLibrary as well!

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