about     peas & carrots


the feeling describes itself

maura @ 9:09 pm

It’s been quiet around here lately, though there’ve been some changes in non-virtual maurawebland. I bought not one, but two (2!) new pairs of fancyish/workish shoes, and got new glasses, too. The latter is not quite a complete change yet — they’re a bit loose so I haven’t been wearing them, but tomorrow I get them fitted and we’ll be good to go.

And I have a new job, too, which is a rather more biggish change. The former Chief Librarian at the college where I work has retired, and I’m now the new Chief Librarian.

It’s been a fast and slow change, sometimes simultaneously. Securing all of the proper university approvals took some time, mostly during the slowish summer months. It was nice to have that time to settle in a bit and start wrapping my head around my new responsibilities. There was lots of physical movement in the library, too — several folks changed offices (myself included), walls were painted, and we did a general cleanup and removal of furniture and other stuff that had outlived its usefulness. Another colleague retired and we secured permission to hire additional tech staff, so I worked on getting those jobs posted and thinking toward the search process. The college does offer courses over the summer, though not nearly as many as during the academic year, and the smaller number of students in the library was helpful as the moving and maintenance was going on. I never lacked for things to do, but the pace wasn’t appreciably different from what I was used to in my former position as Instruction Coordinator.

Since the semester began it’s been fast fast fast. My new responsibilities include a new suite of meetings, both at the college and at the university. I’m learning about our budget and facilities, and getting acclimated to my role of Department Chair too (the library is an academic department at the college, and we go through the same tenure and promotion process as other departments do). Our job searches are progressing. I’m wearing my fancy shoes more often.

Of course there are things I miss about my old job. Teaching has started, both our three-credit course and our individual instruction sessions. When one of my favorite collaborators from the English Department emailed me to schedule her class for research instruction, I was sad to have to say no (though our new Instruction Coordinator is terrific, so she’s in good hands). I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to carve out time for my research, though my research partner and I have 2 articles under review and one that was just published this week, so it’s maybe not the worst time for a breather. It’s been strange to step down from commitments, to ask others to take them on, to say no to new things.

But the truth is that I really *don’t* have as much time. In the past I’d said yes to opportunities that I felt like I couldn’t pass up probably much more often than I should have (I’m retroactively a bit terrified by how many conference presentations I ended up doing last year). But now my time is completely filled, all of it, always. It’s been a while since I’ve had a new job, and I forgot how much learning and thinking about new things all day is actually reflected physically. Even on the days when I’ve spent most of my time sitting in meetings, I’m exhausted by the evening. It’s been hard to turn off my brain, to stop thinking about what’s on my list for tomorrow, next week, this semester.

I’m super honored to have taken on this new position, and excited to have this opportunity to work to support our students alongside my excellent colleagues. But whew, learning and doing new things, it’s tiring. Time to stop this blagging and hit the hay.

les tags: , ,

6 comments on “the feeling describes itself”

Jessica (29 September 2014 at 11:03 am)

Congratulations Professor Smale! I am so happy about your new position.

maura (4 October 2014 at 12:10 pm)

Thanks Jessica!

Anne (20 October 2014 at 12:52 pm)

My kids think Chief Librarian means you are head of all librarians everywhere. I have not discouraged them.

maura (26 October 2014 at 3:53 pm)

Ha! Sometimes I feel like head of making long ambitious lists of things I cannot possibly finish because omg meetings. But it’s fun, and I’m settling in (though looking forward to things slowing down a bit).

Anne (4 November 2014 at 3:22 pm)

Oooh guess what, our children’s librarian peep here just got a new branch in her very own neighborhood!!! Yay Marni!!!

maura (13 November 2014 at 9:22 pm)

That’s so awesome, yay Marni! Please send her my congrats.

I did one kind of funny chiefly thing the other day, which is that during a walk around to think on renovations with a colleague I pointed out a couple of wobbly signs to dispose of. It was kind of hilarious, like “I have always hated this sign, it’s time for it to go!” Wobby sign, the chief has banished you, be gone!

Why not add a comment of your own?