Well, here it is January 4, 2012 - the new year has officially come yet I am just now taking a deep breath and realizing with a sense of satisfaction that my library practicum is indeed over. It was all that I hoped for and more. At the beginning of my practicum my learning objectives were to:
1. Organize and catalog a print collection online
2. Work cooperatively in a professional environment
3. Inventory the existing collection at MMC
4. Catalog & process new & donated items to the collection
5. Improve the security of said collection.
I at least partially fulfilled each of these objectives but fell short of the full realization of these ambitious goals. Retrospectively, out of all of these outlined objectives I believe that the most important objective was to: "work cooperatively in a professional environment". This can be more difficult than it sounds. Every workplace, no matter how positive, has its intricacies and subtle nuances which an individual staff member must adapt to. From the webpage "Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals" 8 suggestions are listed to enable people to be more effective in the workplace and to enjoy their job:
1. "Pull Your Own Weight"
2. "Write thank you notes - even to co-workers you dislike"
3. "Don't date your co-workers"
4. "Be flexible with change at work"
5. "Be sincere with co-workers"
6. "Treat everyone equally" within the hierarchy, from the lowest to the highest
7. "Focus on the future"
8. "Ditch negativity"
Hmm...these tips are food for thought. For me, working cooperatively in a professional environment meant constantly curbing my more independent nature to conform to the reality of other personalities at play in the workplace, individuals effecting my own work...listening to their ideas before acting on my own, not succumbing to corporate drama or participating in gossip, respecting the authority of the positions around me, staying focused on my own intended function within the team even when others were losing their focus.....
During my practicum I was privileged to work with very professional, able, energetic, experienced, and most importantly FUN people who had charisma and were open to mentoring me. I learned how pleasant a work environment could be and how important it is to be physically and mentally fit and balanced as an individual in order to be a cog rightly connected to the wheel. The importance of being discrete came to the forefront as staff changes occurred during my time as an intern and consequently subtle divisions and rumblings began to stress the internal personnel structure of the organization. Furthermore, the merits of being friendly and compassionate were pronounced when other staff members began to open up to me relating their more personal life stories and challenges.
As the new year progresses towards the apocalyptic end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012, I am filled with gratitude, amazement that I have come so far, excitement that my dreams are being realized (i.e. I am writing professional book reviews for School Library Journal) and hope for the future.
In the wake of resolutions already compromised, I am staying in the swim of things, peacefully treading water in a good place, enjoying the potentials inherent in my anticipation of things to come.