It’s easy to say that New Year’s resolutions are cliché, or that you don’t believe in them, but the truth is, most of us take this time between Christmas and the New Year to reflect on the past year, good things and bad, decisions we’ve made and what we’d like to see, do or change in the new year. It’s only natural to take this oddly suspended time where the old year feels like it’s over but the new one has not yet begun to start thinking about what we’d like to accomplish. For some, it’s cleaning that storage room you just haven’t gotten to yet, renovating the bathroom or painting the kitchen. For others, it’s a time to reflect on the passing of friends and an acknowledged effort that in the coming year, more time will be spent re-connecting with friends and loved ones. And, for others, it’s a time to think about what we want from our professions and what we would like to see in our careers.
Events this past year forced me to reflect on what I love about my profession, what I want out of it and where I’d be happiest. It was also a time to address where I fit in best and what area of the profession needs me most. I’m not so arrogant as to believe I’m not replaceable, but if you’re reading this, I’m assuming it’s because something I write strikes a chord in your own professional interests and you enjoy reading what I have to say. Well, at least I hope so!
When it comes right down to it, I love what I am doing – yesterday, today and (as far as I can tell) tomorrow. I wake up each morning looking forward to work, excited about the projects I’m working on and keenly interested in the new trends and ideas I see taking shape and discussed by many of you on a daily basis. I feel challenged, excited and immensely happy about where I am and what I’m doing. In the end, and perhaps this sounds a bit biblical, my work here is not yet done. Nor, do I hope, will it be “done” for a very long time. A wise mentor once told me that when we stop learning, we’re no longer working. I’d like to take that a step further and add that if you’re no longer excited about what you’re doing, that’s when you need to seek change.
Like many of you who work in the public library world, I believe we are all well aware that there aren’t enough active cataloguers contributing to our profession, pushing the limits and forging collaborative partnerships with frontline staff. While our academic colleagues are writing, researching and presenting, on the whole, we’re not – plain and simple.
On the heels of my recent reflection came an awakening of what makes me happy in this profession. It also made me take a hard look at what I want out of it and why. I think many of us face periods in our work where we are disillusioned, burned out or frustrated. But the question is: when do we move on and when do we decide that, despite the daily hardships, we know we are exactly where we want to be?
Overall, 2009 was a great year. For me, it was a year of growth in my profession – through professional opportunities, networking opportunities and new friendships. It also coincided with my 30th birthday, which to many may seem very young and others, well, perhaps, not so young. But it was momentous for me and also contributed to my reflective mood this year. The opportunities I was presented with and the opportunities I turned down have all helped me grow into the professional I want to be, and will likely impact my role in the profession for the foreseeable future.
I’m looking forward to 2010 and all that it has to offer. Will it be as rewarding? I hope so. As challenging? Certainly. I also hope it provides more opportunities to explore where library catalogues and our profession are heading, outside of RDA and FRBR and more in the realm of the everyday, nitty gritty side of cataloguing – but not necessarily on how we catalogue, but why we continue to catalogue and how we can improve each and every experience a patron has when he or she visits the library catalogue.
I’m looking forward to collaborating, sharing and growing partnerships in 2010 that take cataloguing from just a place where we find the library’s collection to a place that enhances RA work, reference, adult and children’s services. 2010 is a year to focus on how and why the library catalogue needs to become a place for our community – a place to socialize, personalize and enhance each individual’s experience with the library. And, a place for ourselves