#blogjune – Guest post by Kym Andrews – Culture Shock

by | Jun 19, 2015 | Uncategorized

 ckxdotorg (flickr)

When I started my Librarianship degree, I had a dream of
working in a special library.  Research
was my favourite thing and I truly thought that is where my future was.  However, as with everyone else getting out of
University with no money, my first wish was to get a job, any job!  I was lucky and got a job working for a
public library as an Assistant Librarian less than 15 minutes from home. 

I loved it!  I loved
storytime, loved the kids (not the cleaning up), helping kids with their
homework, finding people what books to read next.  I enjoyed helping the customers, my regulars,
the kids rushing up to say hello in the local shops.  I loved people telling me the impact that I
had on their lives.  The kids who now sat
still at kindy cause of how we ran storytime, the adults telling me how much
they loved the book I recommended and asking what book they should read
next.  I eventually moved onto a Branch
Librarian position, then a specialist position within a public library but I no
longer loved it.
 So after 15 years in public libraries, I applied for and
obtained a position within a special library. 
And it’s very special, being the only one of its kind in the state.
I like my clients, whose politeness still throws me for a
loop.  I work in a beautiful environment
and have the best view on the way to work. 
I am heavily involved in researching for clients, my original reason for
becoming a librarian, which is fantastic.   
But the culture shock, even after 3 years is massive.  From working in a building with 3 business
units, over 40 people, lots of customers and a ridiculous work load to a
special library with more remote clients than physical clients is major culture
I am lonely during my workday, which I’ve never been
before.  I have had to learn how to ring
people at random, to tell them how great the library is to gain more clients
(my least favourite thing).  I’ve also
had to work harder at networking with librarians as I miss that professional

I don’t regret taking this position, it is an amazing
opportunity and I have learnt things about myself I didn’t know.  I am a better person and a better librarian
for this experience.  But that culture
shock still continues and I don’t think that will cease while I work
there.  So while I still need to work out
where my next library adventure lies, I’ll keep experiencing this amazing once
in a lifetime experience.


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