Wednesday, May 26, 2004

OK, I think I figured out something that has been bothering me of late. I mentioned earlier that a librarian in a rural library needs certain skills and characteristics. But, at that time I was missing a certain je ne sais quoi that I couldn't put my finger on. I think I figured it out: A rural librarian needs a backbone. Anyone charged with operating a library in a rural area needs to have guts in order to: keep the board on track; deal with cranky or disruptive patrons; resolve any staffing issues (this includes volunteers); get - and keep - the library on local council's radar screen; and on it goes. Believe it or not, this is not a job for the thin-skinned. Someone has to be the "point man" in order for the library to flourish. The fish-bowl effect of living and working in a small community makes it necessary for the librarian to be a person who is sensitive to the concerns of others, but, ultimately, willing to stand up for the best interests of the library and its patrons.

As for my lengthy absence...chalk it up to "I-have-more-work-than-hours-in-my-life" syndrome. I think if I didn't take on any more tasks, I'd have enough to keep me busy for the next 18 months. But, as the saying goes, there's "no rest for the wicked."

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