I recently left my former academic library at a state institution for a new position at a small, private university in Florida. This is my eighth day at work. I moved 1,200 miles away from upstate New York to the southern United States. It was a long drive and I am still getting settled into my new home, both where I live and the library I am now working in. But the position was one I had dreamed of for a long time, and when I received the offer there was no question that I would uproot myself and make the journey.
I must give credit to the title of this post to the musician, Jimmy Buffett, whose songs are always fun, engaging and put a smile on one’s face. It’s a title I find very appropriate for what I am experiencing right now. Sometimes a change, whether it be from one place to another, or simply one’s attitude, can re-invigorate one’s motivation and passion. There are numerous differences between where I worked before and my new organization. At a state institution, politics can sometimes override or control what we are able to do within our libraries. There may be certain policies and procedures that cannot be changed without numerous committees outside the library weighing in on what they believe is best, rather than what the librarians feel is vital or deem necessary to make services better for our patrons. At the private colleges I have had the pleasure to work for (such as now), libraries often have more autonomy, and while keeping the mission and goals of the institution at the forefront of our work, we are able to implement programs and services that perhaps would not be easily approved at a government institution.
I am still in the learning stage. Like the incoming first-year students who moved into the dormitories this past weekend, I feel like a newbie on campus. But I also feel incredibly lucky – this change in latitude has changed my attitude and I am ready for the next set of adventures in store for me. I shall miss the amazing librarians I had the pleasure to work with for the last few years, but time marches on, and we have to grab the new opportunities when they appear. So, to “borrow” lyrics from the above song, I’d like to end this post with some words of Jimmy Buffett wisdom:
Yesterdays are over my shoulder
so I can’t look back for too long.
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me
and I know that I just can’t go wrong.
(Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes)
–Molly Brown, ILN Content Officer