Monday, April 4, 2011

First week; still standing!

That's right, I did indeed survive my first 5 days at the new job. It was exhausting!

It's so wonderful that I overlapped with the person I am replacing before his retirement, but there was a lot of information to absorb and, between training, my course at the college, and several other things that came up at the last minute, we really only had 3.5 days together before he left. I am feeling like I have a great foundation to continue to learn about the services I will be supervising (for instance, did you know that Homebound services at OPL serves close to 700 people?), but I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed. At right, the brain dump (well, that's only about half of it).

It's great to try something new, and to change departments entirely while remaining in the same organisation. As much as I love my job at Rideau, it's good to learn about another aspect of OPL, work with different teams, and try new skills. That being said, I am reminded how much I identify with my job (I'm sure you couldn't tell at all, right?), and how difficult change can be for me to absorb. This is probably the biggest change I have made since arriving in Ottawa four and a half years ago, and while I'm really pleased about it, I also have some low-grade panic, an upset stomach, and insomnia! I tend to throw myself into my work pretty intensely, so switching gears is abrupt, and leaves me a little adrift at first. I'm navigating my way through that right now.

In other news, I was interviewed for an article for Open File Ottawa a few weeks ago, and it was published last week. I am a bit disappointed that they didn't mention some of our other programs at Rideau Branch (legal aid, for instance), but pleased with the article overall: "Homeless thrive at public libraries." In a way, the timing of the article's publication was especially fortuitous, as the local paper published this opinion about the smell at Main Library, and our City Librarian, Barbara Clubb's, thoughtful response. Some people may not realise, as Barb said, that we do have a policy for dealing with smells in the library, when they come from one individual - and whether it be a case of strong perfume, body odour, or something else entirely. We've also tried a few unique things at Rideau Branch to deal with some generalised odour problems; many people can probably tell that there are certain areas of Main Library, and Rideau, that have air circulation problems, which, in the wintertime when people are wearing wet clothes, make for exceptionally poor air quality. My general response to all this, though, is that in a public place, no one has 100% control over the environment; the impact of some variables can be mitigated, but the library is a place where everyone is welcome as long as they observe general guidelines about cleanliness, dress, and behaviour.

I could go on all day, but I have class in about 20 minutes so I really should ... Oh wait, I can see alllll my 40 students lined up outside the room from here. Guess we're not getting in yet!

Ok, anyway, my week also involved running 6k (a little longer every time!), visiting a cabane à sucre (!), some wonderful training at the lovely renovated (this panel is my favourite thing) Sunnyside branch (sometimes the best part of training is spending time with colleagues I rarely see), drinking with several of said colleagues, finishing A red herring without mustard (delicious) and getting halfway through Annabel by Kathleen Winter (she has such a magnificent narrative voice. I dreamt in her voice last night).

Must go. Time to discuss serials claims! Um, hooray?


  1. Sounds like a busy week! It's nice to have new challenges even if it's exhausting. I'm sure you will be great!