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Centralized Programming ???????

Sooooo I have been going though a lot of changes at my library lately and a big one is centralized programming. I realize that this is supposed to be a good thing but I feel that I have been completely cut out of my job description and am now left only in customer service as a door greeter. They have taken all programming responsibility and farmed it out to the para professionals and part time employees in the main library under the direction of the Youth Services Manager. I have to tried to talk to the manager a few times about the professional children librarians role in this whole process but this person has a tendancy to get immediately defensive if anything is questioned.

Does anyone else work with centralized programming and what their role is or if cutout, what else have they turned to to make an impact in their library? I have talked to my manager about it but I've pretty much been told to just let it go and wait to see how it all unfolds. My fear is that if I don't keep track of things, I'll have been completed yanked off my feet and unable to influence any positive outcomes towards my duties, position, etc. At this point, why does what I do now, "overpaid door greeter", require a masters if I'm not utilizing it?

Don't want to complain, just want to adapt and make the best of a situation until other things can move me elsewhere or forward. 😯


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
I'd suggest working on developing amazing interactions with your patrons-- and your patrons' parents-- while you wait for this centralized programming thing to blow up. Readers' advisory for parents of young children is especially potent in garnering happy letters to directors.
Jan. 18th, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I have been spending more time with reference questions as well as seeking them out! And now seem to take them on as a personal challenge. :-) I have also been reviewing a few of the school books I kept on hand and have been reviewing children's literature and a few others as well as making sure I keep up with the school and library journal magazines. Thanks for the insight. It was really helpful on getting me "up" and pouring energy into other areas. :-)
Jan. 6th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
No experience with Centralized programming, but I do have some questions, and possible advice for you, due to a similar-ish situation I was in a few years ago.

How has programming been handled in the past?
a) everyone library did its own thing,
b) everyone followed general guidelines ( do a summer reading program!)
c) something else?
What was the explanation for WHY your system will now have centralized programming?
Basically, someone is most likely trying to fix a perceived problem. Have you been told what the problem is that central programming is supposed to solve?

Once you have an idea what the perceived problem (or actual problem) is, then you can look at ways to be part of the solution. For example, if the problem is that patrons are frustrated by not having certain programs in certain branches, then you could propose a system to spread popular programs around.

You could also try assuming that your input is needed. Take a program that was popular before, or one that you have always wanted to do, and write it up as a proposal. Not just a here's-what-I-want-to-do proposal, but a here's-how-to-set-up-and-run-this-program proposal Tell your manager that you plan to submit your proposal to the Youth services manager, and ask for any feedback on your proposal before you send it in. (This step is to make sure your manager has your back, and knows what is going on).

Then, send in your (really excellent and beautiful) proposal to the Youth Services Manager. your cover email should talk about the need or attraction that this program fulfills, what sort of patron it will appeal to, and if it is a popular program that you want to redo, offer statistics, and patron comments on how awesome it was.
Also say something to the effect of : "I'm not quite sure what the new process is for my involvement with programing under the new central programing plan, but I would like to offer this program at our branch in (a set amount of time, like within the 6 months). CC your manager.

See what happens. Hopefully, by offering a proactive solution (you are not waiting to be asked, you are pitching right in), and talking about your current uncertainties on how the new model will proceed in a non-judgmental way, the Youth Services Manager will figure out how to fit you and the other youth librarians into this scene.

Worse comes to worse, your manager knows that you have tried to contribute, and have been working on things in your job description.

Best of luck to you.

Jan. 18th, 2014 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Your comment was so thoughtful and informative. There were a few aspects of this whole change I had not examined before. Part of this move is partial control of how the libraries function as well as the stress of offering 3 new branches in the next year as well as maintaining less staff which stretches us thin and makes us stressed and cranky. So much of what I do in my job felt as if it was ripped away and I was a little lost. I have been finding new ways to connect and reach out in the community. The hardest part has been finding the time available to do so. Staff has been thinned so drastically there is barely enough coverage on a good day. But I hope that I will find a way to work around that too. :-)
Jan. 21st, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that my comment was helpful. It sounds like there are a bunch of issues at work here, and the centralized programming is only part of it. Best of luck to you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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