24 March 2011

What I Love

I am learning quickly that being a solo librarian in a small library has it's challenges. Especially on a small campus where many people have little experience in a library or using a computer. Add to that that English is a second (or third or fourth) language for many at RTC and even simple communication can become a challenge. Not a problem, just a challenge. (I rely a lot on Joshua, the library assistant, who knows Swahili, Luganda and Kinyrwanda, as well as English.)

There is a lot to do and my days are very busy. Sometimes I wonder if staying in Uganda for one year is going to be long enough. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the "To Do List".

BUT I am finding there are also many, many joys about being at a small library and many things I love:
  • Every day is different and I tend to be a creature of habit...but I am learning to embrace and to love variety and the unknown.
  • The most interesting things happen every day. I mean, can anyone else say they find dead geckos in their library?! (Ok, so that's not small library oriented exactly but it does make my days more interesting!)
  • I get to provide reference services and catalog and teach and supervise students and make decisions and write policies and create signs and...
  • For someone who eats the same thing for breakfast every day, if I am honest, I absolutely love having all the above things to do every day.
  • Because of the variety, I get to do the things I love often and practice the things I feel I am weak at just as often.
  • I can spend 20, 30, or 60 minutes on a reference question with one student and not feel like I am missing other students' questions.
  • I am getting to know students...their names, their home countries, their classes, etc.
  • Despite the language barriers, I LOVE meeting people from, literally, around the world. :)
  • After computers and wireless internet were installed many students started asking me IT questions...I am by far not an expert in IT but learning by doing has it's advantages.
  • And, probably my favorite thing is that I am a 'big picture' kind of person. I have always tended to look at a library as a whole and want all the pieces to fit together. I love thinking about how a library can and should work, how things can be better. Here, I get to do exactly that, every day.

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