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August 12, 2013 / Christian M.

It’s Not Easy to Say Goodbye

BadgeKeyPGCMLS

I turned in my badge and key last week.

After three years and nine months of working with PGCMLS, it’s time to move on.  Even though I’m excited about the new direction I’m taking in my library career, it’s not easy to leave this library system. Mainly because I worked with such great people at the “HH” and “SD” branches,  and I will miss them.

farewellcard1

The large and beautiful farewell card from my coworkersfarewellcard2 

A group of my coworkers took me out for a farewell dinner. After we finished eating, they went around the table and everyone took turns sharing memories, or words of encouragement. I totally wasn’t expecting that. By the end, I shed some tears, I was so touched. I don’t share that to say “look at me, I’m so awesome”, but as a reminder to myself of  the influence and impact that that can be made on a personal level in the workplace.

One of my personal mantras used to be “I go to work to make money, not friends”. I never meant that in a mean way, but I just wasn’t interested in mixing the personal and the professional too much. Granted every workplace is different, but I am blessed that in working with the Hillcrest Heights and Spauldings branches, I found a safe place where people encourage each other, commiserate with each other, laugh with (and at) each other, and sometimes even pray together,  All while providing exemplary customer service and professional behavior. I was kind of aloof at the beginning, but they pulled me out of my shell (to a certain extent), and have made a big impact on my life as well.

To the HH & SD crew, you are some special folks, and I will miss you lots!

(and have fun with all of our “special” customers)

whosearm

This pic is from one of my “conversations” with a deaf patron. He could speak, but not very clearly, so I would need to exchange notes sometimes to make sure I understood his information need. He would come in with THE MOST RANDOM requests illegibly scribbled on scraps on paper, and based on things he had seen on tv or in movies. This note came from a time where he wanted a picture of the tattooed arm of a character in a movie. I can’t remember now which actor was playing the role. Unfortunately, I was not able to find it.  I will not lie, there were a couple of times I saw him coming and would duck back into the staff area, so one of my coworkers would have to help him. But for some reason, he liked me helping him….I think because I was patient and made a good faith effort to find whatever he was looking for no matter how strange I thought it was (the price for a hand-held lie detector and a hand-held odor detector–why??). But I digress…having flashbacks to difficult patrons.

So this is it. My stint in public libraries is over. It has been…interesting … with moments of drama, frustration, laughter, and the reward of our patrons’ gratitude. I learned a lot though about reference interviews, dealing with difficult people, professionalism, creating library programs, and the importance of advocating your worth to the community and to administration. Many skills that will carry over, no matter what setting I find myself in next.

Medical librarianship, here I come!

I started this blog when I started my work with PGCMLS. Care to reminisce with me? Looking back over the past three years …

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4 Comments

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  1. Evelyn N. Alfred / Aug 14 2013 6:30 pm

    I have a similar philosophy about separating professional from the personal, but I’m open to the idea if the staff is friendly.

    Three years, wow, I can’t wait until I can just get my first full time library job. I feel like I’m so behind.

    Off to read the earlier posts.

    • LibGirl09 / Aug 15 2013 5:53 pm

      Yes, it would definitely depend on the type of people you would be working with.

      I can’t believe it’s been over three years either. Time flies… I wish you much success in landing that full-time position. 🙂

  2. Lisa / Aug 19 2013 12:22 pm

    I have a similar perspective re: professional vs. personal. Best of luck at NLM. There’s always medical librarianship in a public library setting.

    • LibGirl09 / Aug 19 2013 12:33 pm

      Thanks Lisa! I haven’t completely closed the door on returning to public libraries somewhere down the line. I definitely want to explore some other settings first though.

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