On a + note

Try on a new hat!!

Posted in on a + note by Admin on November 9, 2009

Try on a new hat!!

Harry Truman was a hat wearer; in fact, he had over 100 hats in his personal collection. From caps he wore as a lad, to the garrison cap he wore during WWI and the many broad brimmed hats he wore as the 33rd President of the United States, Harry Truman was a man of many hats.

As library workers, we wear many hats, from community leader and financial manager to cheerleader and coach. We are comfortable wearing most of these hats. We understand them, they fit, and we like them! However, it requires courage to try on a new hat, to pilot a new service, to apply for a new job, or to take on a new role in your library.

So how do you try on a new hat in these challenging times?

· Before changing jobs, do your homework. The library website is a great place to start. What is the vision and mission of the library? Does it fit with your personal vision and career goals? What awards has the organization won? Are they moving ahead and reaching out to their community? Do your research; after all, that is what we are trained to do!

· Conduct a pilot project to test the waters. It limits your vulnerability, builds support for the change, and gives you data to make an informed decision.

· Simply changing one procedure can often change the results. For example, change the circulation staff greeting every three days instead of every five. Sometimes the smallest change can make the largest impact.

Unlike any other time, now is the time to take action and try on a new hat. In library land, we need to have the courage to take action, test new products, develop new services, and embrace change. Don’t wait for someone else to wear your hat! This does not necessarily mean spending money, but it may require discontinuing something so you can try something new. It is all about evaluating your priorities and having the courage to try on a new hat!

P.S. Yes, that is my seven year old brother in the pirate costume!

Kitty Pope
kpope #37 October 2009

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