Welcome to your professional frustration
October 5, 2007
Yesterday, I walked into the brick wall that was the realization that many of the projects I want to work on at the Northern-most library I might not get to work on. It’s frustrating because I thought I would be able to get a lot of things off the ground and I got excited and invested in that, and then it turned out that the library’s promises of being interested in making themselves more 2.0 and integrating social networking services into their world was not on the level. They do seem to want to do those things, but they don’t trust me to guide them, and that’s the worst part, because that’s obviously the major reason they hired me. Right now, we’re working up to a committee, and I hate committees but that doesn’t mean they can’t still help us get things done. If it takes three months for everyone to talk to death the idea of a blog but then we still get a blog, that’s ok. We get the blog! I’m just afraid there will be lots of talking, and then lots of backing down.
Every Library 2.0 handbook and guide advises me on what to do when I’m met with reluctance, and honestly, it’s not like I expected to walk in the door here and have the whole staff on Twitter by the end of my first day, but the problem I’m facing is that no one seems to want to admit – or acknowledge – their reluctance. I can’t help them face their fears of social networking tools if we can’t talk about it.
So I’m proceeding slowly and with determination, but I can’t help feeling that I’m a digital librarian in a library that is a few years from being able to embrace digital culture, and maybe I’m here to help them move closer to that point, but in the meantime, frustration and I are going to get to know each other really well.