Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Joy of Networking

I have been in my new job for two and a half months.  It is going great.  The folks there are really nice.  I work with about ten people at headquarters and then have about 25-30 folks who work in the districts and divisions.  Most of those folks are Librarians but there are some Library Technicians too.

There is a lot to learn.  The librarians in the field have been with the agency longer than I.  Some have had their entire careers with the agency and they are true experts.  My role is to give direction and policy.  But shortly after I got started on the job I was approached by a couple folks who want to review the structure of our libraries.


It isn't that I'm not up to the challenge - I just know I cannot do this on my own.  Let the networking begin!

I have been reaching out to other military librarians and federal librarians.  In the past couple of weeks I have spoken to Librarians from Veterans Affairs, Library of Congress, NOAA, the Federal Reserve Board.  Next week I will talk to the head of the EPA Libraries and another with Homeland Security.

Eventually I will need to put pen to paper, rather fingers to keyboard and start working on the plan for my libraries.  Before I do that I need to continue my outreach to the librarians at my own agency.  Whatever plan I come up with isn't just my plan - it is our plan.

I also realized that I need to communicate in a more regular fashion.

Several years ago in a staff meeting at a different agency our boss was talking about changes at the agency.  He couldn't tell us everything that was going on but he shared what he could.  I said that it would be good to have regular communication because if we aren't told what is going on, we're quite capable of making things up.

I don't want any of my folks fretting and making things up and listening to rumors.  I can't stop that, but the only counter to that is to provide them with the information that I have.

Not all networking is serious.  Last week I went to reception for the DC/SLA and got to see some good friends.  They were also reading tarot cards and I got a positive reading.  I'm happy with that - I still have to do the work - but at least I have some good energy as I forge ahead.

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