Moving forward in the career college library?
I have been avoiding writing a new post. I admit it. I like waiting till I really understand what is going on but reality sometimes just takes SOOO LONG! And I have missed writing. So let me give you a somewhat vague, not to personal glimpse into why I haven’t been posting as often and maybe ask for some of your thoughts and ideas.
Alright – let me get the personal stuff out-of-the-way first. I am going through a divorce. Yeah, it hasn’t been great – actually many days are hell but I am determined to come through with my head up and with a relationship with my ex-husband as friends as opposed to a spouse. And as the saying goes, “it never rains it pours” so as I find myself going through this transition, other parts of my life seem to shift too. I have sort of fallen off the Earth a bit trying to put some normal back into my life in the last few months, particularly for my children. But at some point you need to dust yourself off and start moving forward again.
I have recently been selected for a promotion with my current employer. I’m equal parts excited and nervous as it will be taking me out of the library in some major ways and that leads me to the real content of this post. What are a librarians next steps within a for-profit world?
I know that within career colleges there is a huge range of types of schools. My institution works mostly in associate degrees and certificate programs. Recently we have been looking at very short 4-9 week programs. Obviously there are different resource needs for a 4 week CNA program and a 2 year veterinary technology program. What that means with my organization is that I currently hold the top-level library job. There is no librarian oversight from our home office. So what then is the growth potential for a librarian in that environment? It has required a certain amount of soul-searching to decide what my long-term professional goals are and I KNOW I still don’t have it figured out. What I do know is that right now I still want to stay in career education and so I’m taking a leap of faith.
My new role will be Director of Education for short-term career training (STCT). And actually I’m not sure it’s much different from a librarian moving into an associate provost role or something similar. Part of that role will be to ensure appropriate resources are available to students in those very short programs. In addition I will be holding onto a few library duties in terms of database management and a sort of reference for the senior administration in terms of library needs.
But I’m interested in your thoughts. How do you think is the best way to keep a foot in the library world? What career plans do you have and how does your current employer help you get there? I can’t wait to hear from you all!