I realized that it has been two months since I started my position as a Diversity Resident. This realization was especially jarring because the month of September seemed to come and go without a trace. Here is what this week had in store for me:
- meeting with supervisor
- meeting with supervisor and colleague about an exhibition
- informal chat with supervisor
- pleasant chat in Spanish with staff
- instruction session shadow
- visit from a grad student/friend
- tour of Music + Dance Library
- changing landscape of Digital Scholarship Series
- writing group
- meeting with cohort for exhibit planning
I also spent some time working on an HTML Lynda Course and reading about social media as a tool for instruction in higher education.
This week was very productive and it felt good going through the motions. I think it was one of the first weeks where I really felt part of the organization. Not to say that my organization is in ANY WAY exclusionary because they are not. It just felt like I am starting to get comfortable with the way things work and who to talk to when.
My meetings with my supervisor are always highly productive, whether they are formal or informal. I think that this is a sign of having a good supervisor. When I think about my supervisor, I am grateful to have someone who is both very intelligent and accomplished, but also very grounded and humble (maybe even too humble but we will talk about that in another post). When I leave a meeting with her, I leave feeling capable of attacking any problem head on which is especially important for someone like me who has almost crippling impostor syndrome. We talked a lot about projects we are working on, institutional culture, game-plans for the future, etc. etc. And I think that’s the trick to being a good supervisor/mentor: your influence isn’t/shouldn’t be direct. It’s not micromanaging or showing presentations on what this job is and how it should be done. It is embodied. Your supervisor is someone who helps you hold your confidence in the face of adversity. They have your back and remind you that you are smart, capable and worthy. I even notice this kind of leadership when my supervisor and I meet with other people.
This week I also had a forty five minute conversation in Spanish with the staff member who cleans our offices. As a Latin American Librarian, Spanish language proficiency is important to my job, and if I’m being honest with myself, to my identity. Right now I am barely conversational so every time I talk to her, I am putting myself out there and being vulnerable. I will put her in the acknowledgement of anything Spanish related I do because she is such an informal but important part of my experience here.
I also had a friend stop by my office which is always a pleasant surprise. A nice little break in the middle of my day.
And finally, we had a tour of the 18th Street Library Facilities generally, and the Music and Dance Library. The tours have been pretty hit or miss but I found the Music and Dance Library to be a super interesting tour because of the work that the librarian does in his free time. This Librarian is part of a project that brings Musical Iconography from all around the world into a database. This is a pet project of his and he has dedicated a lot of time and energy into seeing this project come to life. I have found that this is not a unique story in librarianship. I often have heard similar stories from other librarians doing really cool things! I loved hearing about the inception of the project, which were in part due to this librarians affinity for teaching himself html in the early days of the internet. I love the tours that display the passion the staff and Librarians have for their jobs!