October 30 was the anniversary of my first day at my then-new job. As I commented over on the ACRL blog (in an guest article about faculty status for librarians), I haven’t been this happy in a job in a long time.
What makes me happy?
A values-driven institution. My uni may not have a barrel of money, but it has a lot of soul. The vast majority of people who work there in any capacity are there because they believe in what they’re doing. The faculty, students, and staff truly believe in their institution. It is impossible to overstate how important that environment is to me.
A great boss. She’s supportive, insightful, interesting, and helpful. She will tell me when to rethink something and provides great feedback for my questions and contexts for my decisions, but lets me run the library. That’s a great balance and a good model for my own management.
Campus support for our goals. I stumbled across a slideset from last December and was delighted to see that we had met every goal set back then — goals focused on making the library more welcoming, safer, and more service-oriented. But other services on campus were crucial to this achievement. Departments such as campus services extended themselves to help us make the library a better place for everyone.
A great team. That’s been in development all year, first to fill a temporary position and then to upgrade a position. I can’t think of another library that can claim a team like ours. Everyone is smart, techno-literate, dedicated to the mission, and full of win. We all work too hard and don’t quite get everything done (there’s 4.5 of us, after all, not counting student workers), but we’re awfully good at what we do.
The sense that I’m part of something larger than myself. This may always have been true at other jobs, but I haven’t always believed it or felt it. It’s palpable here. That no doubt loops back to working at a values-driven institution.
Me. I make me happy. I know some of you are thinking I’m sitting here with a nitrous oxide canister, but I made a promise to myself when I started this job that no matter what baggage or burden I have in my life, work-related or personal, when I walk into this library every morning I would be upbeat and positive, and treat each day as what it is: a gift. I am grateful for this chance to return home. I am grateful for a good, interesting, significant job. I am grateful for health and challenge and having eucalyptus trees right outside my office. I am grateful to work around so many wonderful people. So my gift back for this gratitude is to frame each day as positively as I can.