Tag: Madame Director

Go North…

I hope it will reflect highly on my former coworkers that I point you at a couple of job ads at La Crosse Public Library.

They are hiring an archivist and an assistant circulation coordinator.  These are two very interesting positions: archives has some of the coolest people at LPL and the Queen of Reference (who now takes on the Queen of Public Services title) will be supervising the Assistant Circulation Coordinator.  These are new positions that will have a lot of opportunity for outreach in the community, growth professionally, and good people to work with.

If you have any questions I can answer about La Crosse or my experiences, I am always happy to do so. They were highly supportive during my time there and  when I was ready to leave for a new challenge, I did so with their support because of the many good experiences I’d had there and their understanding that professionals grow and change.

Bring it to La Crosse…

For anyone who was wondering, our Board approved replacement of my position.  That means if you’ve ever wondered about La Crosse, ever imagined tackling storytimes in the Boat, ever thought you’d like to work with Mesdames Director and Storyteller or the infamous Acquisitions Man…here’s your chance!

The formal job description is available here and I imagine will be or is going out to the usual job boards. Please share it around.

What can I tell you about La Crosse Public Library?

LPL is a vibrant resource library for both the La Crosse community, which uses us heavily, and for our system, which spans 90 miles and includes many smaller libraries.  We have a really great DVD and audiobook collection–I have not had nor felt the need for a Netflix account nor an Audible account.  ILL is solid. We have video games, graphic novels for kids/teens/adults, and I’m pretty proud of the chapter book collection.   We have an Archives and an Archivist. It’s a pretty good bet that if I send up a pleading email to the appropriate selector, the book or movie will be ordered (which is why we have the Smurfs and a couple of sock knitting books).

We’re a little tight for collection space, what library isn’t?  That being said, it’s bright and feels spacious.  There’s a huge basement to explore and there are secret storage areas that one feels could also lead to mysterious tunnels that are at the beginning of some adventure novel.  We have the Boat.  I’m sorry to say that I think with my departure the Chocolate Drawer will be no more, but not everything can stay the same.  We have a very nice staff room and it does not have a television in it–so it’s usually quiet!

There are people I have greatly enjoyed working with. I mention the Director, Head of Reference, and Head of Youth Services often enough right?  They have been wonderful sounding boards and always willing to share things from a more experienced perspective or just from the other side of the desk.  I don’t hear the word “no” often but when it comes it is with an explanation.  The transparency they have shared with me about library operations has been invaluable.

I am leaving a good place; my taking a new job is about being ready for different challenges.

What can I tell you about La Crosse?

La Crosse is a beautiful town on the banks of the Mississippi. Yes, it gets really cold in the winter; hot and humid during the summer. We see a temperature swing of about 100 degrees between mid-March and mid-July.  You will need a 3/4 length down coat, wool socks, and a really fabulous hat. That being said, they know how to handle snow removal and I’ve only been unable to get myself to work on two days in three years.

It’s a wonderful family town. We have good schools and a strong community that really focuses on families.  Festivals seem to happen every weekend between May and October, many of them several day events with dancing, music, kids shows, beer tents, ethnic foods and crafts. The public library is good ;).  We have a community college that is overflowing with students, a popular UW campus and a private Catholic university here.  There are two major hospitals. There are a lot of churches and community organizations.  Decent music and theater scene.  We’re a small hub for conferences and get a lot of national tours through on a one-night/one-weekend appearance.

There’s an airport and Amtrak.  You connect either through Minneapolis (Delta) or Chicago-O’Hare (American).  It’s a 3 hour drive to the Twin Cities; 2.5 to Madison; 5 to Chicago. There are five yarn stores in about 45 minute radius, possibly more now…

La Crosse is a good green/eco/outdoors destination. If you like hiking/camping/trails/nature/gardening–definitely consider coming up to La Crosse.  There are many freely available trails (talk to MVC and HPT), there are places to rent snowshoes, and we have Mt. La Crosse skiing. There’s a Food Co-op and plentiful farmers markets. Many people bike though we don’t have bike lanes.  Madame Storyteller reminds me that the region has been known for it’s commitment to organic and locally grown foods since the sixties.

You will need a car. There is a bus system but the timing is sketchy and the downtown drop-off is a bit of a walk from the library.

I’m happy to answer questions, my email is on my About Me page–which I need to update with a non-braces picture and my new work information. 🙂

Hedgehog on the Move

It is with not a small amount excitement that I announce that I’ve accepted a new position.

I’m moving back to Chicago to join the Health Sciences Library at the University of Illinois, Chicago (Circle) Campus. I will be an Assistant Professor and Assistant Information Services Librarian.

*celebratory dance*

This will come with all sorts of new missions, goals and challenges.  It’s academic, tenure-track and I’m back full time with medicine. I’m very excited to get to be working with people I had the opportunity to meet during my interview and a few names I’ve seen around the medlib world.  My start date is December 1, 2010.

I’ve had a lot of help and support getting to this point.  Madame Director, Madame Storyteller, the Reference Queen, Warmaiden, Sir Shuping, Sibling-the-Elder, M, the Incredibly Patient Mother, the Blonde and Brunette, Vaa, Gypsy, Rudy, Rothman and many others have held my hand, helped me get ready, read cover letters, been references, listened to me, and just been there.  I would not be where I am without others belief in me.

My to do lists have just tripled as all of the “when I get time” stuff turns into “has to be done before…” but I hope to get to blog more–it’s been so hard keeping secrets about all this when I’ve been so excited.

Here I go!

How to Win Friends and Make Sure Everyone Knows You at Work

At three jobs I’ve made a small but substantial investment in chocolate and hard candy.  At the financial firm it was in a small jar on top of my desk, most recently here it’s in a desk drawer–as small children are likely to walk in and I’d rather they not help themselves.

Everyone who works in the building, we proved during a staff scavenger hunt last September, knows where “Abigail’s Chocolate Drawer” is and knows they are welcome to come get a piece during a bad day, when in need of a break or reward, etc.

I do this for multiple reasons.

1) I like chocolate. It means I have a steady supply. Having it always available takes the binging out of it and I’m more likely to just have “a” bite sized piece of chocolate rather than snarfing down a king-sized Snickers. 

2) Other people like chocolate. How easy is it to make someone’s day better with a little square of chocolate? I also usually have some kind of hard candy in there for the non-chocolate-noshers.

3) It provides a positive reason for people to stop by and see me.  As I said, everyone in my building knows where the chocolate is and it’s a good reason to head back to the children’s area (we are kind of off in our own little corner).  Madame Director makes ventures, Madame Storyteller always knows where her favorite type of bite-size candy bar is, Our Lady of the Business Office has been seen.

4) It means access to chocolate without the temptation of it being in their desk drawer. I can go several days without breaking into the chocolate stash. Others have said if they kept the chocolate by them it’d be gone. But since it’s not officially “their chocolate” they can limit themselves to an occasional piece. 

And this for maybe an occasional $15 investment we get peace, sanity, goodwill, and chocolate. 

I get and certainly accept bags of Dove, Hershey’s minibars, etc etc….pretty much anything but Hershey’s Kisses, which no one but the teens seem to like.  (Though I’m not above bribing tweens and teens for good behavior.)