I’ve been chosen to take part in my system’s Programming Committee.  We haven’t had a very structured way to decide what programming is chosen to go forward.  In the past, it has been up to the manager of the branch or department to decide.  As you can imagine, some branches have all sorts of programming while others have very little, depending on the philosophy of the manager.  I have been lucky to be able to pursue many types of programs and have only been told no a couple of times.  Other teen services librarians have not had the same experience.  While all of our branches have different staffing levels based on their size and volume, and so different amounts of time they are able dedicate to programs, all programs should be weighed on the same criteria.  If we had some clearer guidelines to help with the process of approving programs, there would be fewer “hard feelings” and more productivity and innovation.

I’m very excited to be a part of the process.  A couple of reasons why I applied to participate and why (I think) I was chosen: I am head of computer instruction for my region and I have a teen advisory group.  They specified a spot for a teen services librarian (as well as adult and children’s), as well as a librarian involved in instruction, so I fit two bills.  The TAG addition is just icing, but one I feel is important as the teen advisors plan programming and it would be nice if we knew just how that would be affected or taken into account with this new programming plan.

I’m also helping with my region’s reading marathon.  I don’t think that’s going to take a lot of work from me, other than contacting schools and coordinating food and supplies on the day.  Reading marathons are a lot of work, but we have some help from our central branch teen librarians and that will take a lot of the load off.  Plus, we’ve done this before so a lot of the guess work is done.

When I first found out that I would be taking on both of these new projects, I was a little worried.  I’m close to full capacity with instruction, collection maintenance, teen advisory group, mentor program, training and other duties.  I mostly oversee another person creating our instruction schedule now, but there are still new classes to be designed and hiccups that happen and need my attention.

When I looked at the whole situation though, I know that the reading marathon will be done at the end of January and I wisely put off the start of TAG until February.  In order to be as pragmatic as possible I’ve taken the time to write down my responsibilities.  Some things, like my monthly report, will get a reminder in my Outlook so that I won’t forget.  I also have a lot of support from my manager and promises of uninterrupted off desk time at other branches to keep distractions at bay.  This is totally doable and will be a great addition to my resume.  Plus I really enjoy this kind of collaborative effort.

What do you do when you find yourself with new responsibilities and a pretty full plate?