I had a very bittersweet patron interaction recently. It exemplified everything that I absolutely love about my job but was a very sad situation.
Delegation is not always something librarians like to do, or think they are good at doing. We are a “nice” profession of crazy, organized, micromanagers. I am very guilty of this. We often fall into a paradoxical trap of thinking, “who am to think I to ask anyone else to do this?” and “I can do it (better, faster, etc) myself.” We not only feel bad asking for others to do something, but we often, secretly, maybe unconsciously, don’t want to anyway. And yet, librarians delegate all the time. We have to. There is too much to do, with too few people and resources. Delegation is not reserved for managers and the boss. Whenever we work in teams or collaborate, we are essentially trusting others to not screw up. Like I said, we are a “nice” profession, and we play really well together. We just don’t often associate what we are doing with leadership or managerial practices. But explicitly recognizing and working on the skills necessary to delegate and get things done will enhance teams and may come in handy when you are the boss.
I am a librarian.
But what does that mean?