Have you ever had the opportunity to take your dream job but then turned it down? I did recently. I turned down an opportunity to be our system’s Early Literacy Librarian, and I’ve been grappling with that choice ever since (hence the above photo). The short story is that I’m switching gears on this blog to focus on school-age programming. Read on for the long version.
In January, I started a new job as a Youth Services Librarian. It’s been such an exciting change from my previous job as a Branch Services Librarian. In my new job, I oversee our department’s school-age programs. What that looks like is more leadership (read: administrative tasks and oversight) than on-the-ground programming. But my greatest success thus far was our second annual May the Fourth Be With You program—it had over 800 attendees!
Truth be told, that event was kind of a turning point. I had never done event planning before and I certainly made some rookie mistakes. But I also loved it. I loved the organization of it; I loved flitting around from activity to activity to see how people were enjoying themselves; and, I even loved “putting out fires” when things went wrong. After that day, I wondered if maybe I had found my true calling in librarianship—even if, after it was over, I was totally exhausted and wondering whether I could handle more events like it.
But I must have convinced myself I could. Because, when my coworker’s unexpected departure opened up the opportunity for me to transfer, I declined her position as the Early Literacy Librarian before I had time to overthink it. The funny thing is that, since I started in the system, I had been telling myself that hers was the job I’d been holding out for. It was the dream: storytime! picture books! board books! early literacy! All my favorites in the same job description.
When I first heard of the opening, I told myself it was too soon to have my dream job. That I needed to work up to it. That I wasn’t ready. That I was still too young for caregivers to take me seriously. I came up with so many reasons to justify my decision. But the real reason why I didn’t take the job is because I’ve kind of fallen in love with school-age programming. I host a Lego club. I run a tween book group. I buy comics and nonfiction. I book all of our special presenters. It’s a whole different kind of fun!
In my system, I don’t get to do everything. While storytime will always be my first librarian love, I’m not ready to give up on this older age group. Especially not when I’m just getting to know some of these kids a little bit better.
So, yes, I think I made the right choice. And, though I never intended this blog to have a therapeutic purpose, it feels really good to type that out.
I hope you’ll stick around for my continued journey into school-age programming. I’m nervous. I’m excited. And I can’t wait to share some the of the cool things we’ll be up to in the coming months.