A new job! What a humbling experience. As I accepted the master keys to virtually everything in the building from my administrative assistant, I felt the weight of the responsibility of my new position. On the other hand, shortly thereafter, on my way back from the bathroom I lost direction and momentarily forgot where my office was. That’s the kind of couple of days I’ve had this week, one moment answering questions about how I would like something done, the next being totally baffled by the most basic task, like how to listen to my voice mail.
Yesterday I started the next phase of my career as the Director of the East Central Regional Library, a consolidated library system comprised of 14 branches (15, counting the bookmobile) north of Minneapolis and St. Paul. While it’s been a long time in preparation, it seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. My interview with the hiring committee was July 20th, followed by the waiting, then the offer, then the deliberation and acceptance. Four weeks notice with my previous employer flew by, two weeks off filled with a family vacation, and all of a sudden – here I am!
Sunday I packed all the household goods I could into an SUV and headed north two hours from my home for over eight years. A “For Sale” sign now sits in the front lawn — as friend AJ is fond of saying “good luck with that.”
For now, home is a very small basement apartment a new acquaintance was kind enough to rent to me on a month-to-month arrangement, in hopes that when the house sells, I will find a more permanent home.
Basement seems to be a recurring theme. In the morning I leave my basement apartment (well really, it’s the lower level of a walk-out rambler) to go to my office in the regional headquarters, which is in the basement of one of the libraries. My previous corner office had two huge windows. For the moment, my new office, which has no windows, is cheery with flowers sent by the predecessor director and his wife, the Friends group, and friend MB. Besides that, there is a coffee gift basket from my new staff. When the Board President came in today, he was quite impressed.
As if starting a new job isn’t stressful enough, I’ve walked into a library world in the midst of an automation system crisis. The libraries have resorted to pen and paper procedures after a system failure over two weeks ago. We’re bringing a new system up, through the Herculean efforts of an incredibly committed and hard-working staff and SirsiDynix. In fact, I spent the afternoon of my first day in training, learning the circulation system, along with many of the branch managers.
As I’ve talked with our leadership team, we’ve all agreed that it’s the beginning of a new era. And I’m sure will provide much inspiration for this Blog. Stay tuned ;^)