Open Thread Thursday: Movin’ On Up

This week’s open thread starter topic comes by way of my fellow New Jersey librarian Lindsey Meyer who replied in an earlier post when I was asking for open thread ideas. She wrote:

How about a Thread on “pulling up stakes” in preparation for moving on, choosing what or whom to leave behind, and deciding what makes it through to the next round? Or even just the simple pleasure of leaving the old thought patterns behind: flushing the radiator, so to speak. Not to mention the challenges of keeping one’s balance through the process.

In thinking about it myself and trying to apply to the library world, I can see it applying two ways. First, in the most literal sense, it would be applied to a position change. What kinds of thoughts and things do you want to take with you? What do you leave behind? For myself, it’s about remembering the lessons and keeping them in mind. It’s a simple notion but a powerful one in my estimation; it is the learning process as it relates to both success and failure. It’s more ingrained in me and less in the position or title that I held. Quite frankly, it is something that shapes the person I am as I move forward.

Second, I can see it as an evolution that happens in the position or employment you are in. You start out with certain ideas and expectations; then, as time goes by, things can morph a job into a new reality. What do you take forward with you as the job progresses? What do you leave behind? I guess that is a much more nuanced question as it can be both good and bad, but I would like to think that I would carry forward my sense of purpose. As in, that I still have a job to do and while it has changed in its duties, it has not changed in the end product. (Not an easy or precise explanation, but I’m sticking with the spirit of it.)

So, your thoughts: what do you carry forward? What do you leave behind? How has your ideas, concepts, and notions about the library and your place in libraryland evolved?

7 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: Movin’ On Up

  1. For me (and you’ve heard me bang on about this before, Andy) the most pertinent thing is – will people like us who don’t currently rule the world but have lots of ideas and ideals, be able to stay true to them when we eventually DO rule the world? So much fresh enthusiasm and exciting new plans come from the biblioblogosphere, but only a small percentage of us are in very senior positions where we can turn our ideas straight into reality.

    So I hope we can be brave enough not to leave all that behind as we move on up – because bravery-based librarianship is where the (only) future lies.

    • “because bravery-based librarianship is where the (only) future lies”

      That’s an awesome line! I will have to steal it!

      Yeah, I can understand the importance of the carry forward. You want to take that spark that got you going in the first place and keep it alive by the time you arrive at a destination where you can do something for it.

  2. The major lesson that I learned from my current place of employment is that you don’t have to be remotely competent at your job to be promoted and that a supervisor thinks I’m only good for cutting up strips of paper for weeding projects. I guess the lesson is to stay motivated (and keep your resume current), so that I can find an employer that places knowledge, skills and abilities first.

  3. I think the thing for me has been to develop an aggressive promotion chase. One of the things I learned early on was that if I let a promotional opportunity go that ship had sailed and that I would be either a) left to the devices of someone whose management style I may not like or b) that I would be stuck in place and would require leaving the job in order to advance. Both of these outcomes have happened during my time as a professional librarian, and neither of them has been fun. The field is very tight professionally, and opportunities for advancement come usually upon the death or promotion of others. If you want to advance professionally, and you don’t want to be 70 before you get there, you have to be extremely proactive in making it happen.

    • That’s an interesting take, Eric. It totally makes sense; put yourself in the position where you can affect the change that you want to accomplish. Perhaps it is a different interpretation of the saying: “be the change you want to see in other people”; in order to make the change you want, you have to move to where you can.

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