First Day


You will slowly start to see changes in the look of the blog in coming weeks.  This is only natural.  Just as when someone moves into a new apartment or house they put their own stamp on the place to make it cozy and feel like home.

This is something we do with our organizations as well.  We show up on the scene and take a look around.   Remember that first day?  You looked at your new space, organization, processes, procedures, policies, teammates, etc with fresh eyes.  In that moment you have something you will never have again- a First Impression of your Library.  So grab a note pad and start writing.  Its only for you so don’t edit yourself.  If you don’t like the carpet or you love the weird blue painting at the circulation desk, write it all down.  Is it hard to find something or someone? Write it down! Do you hear a rule or policy and think “That’s great!” or “Are they serious?”?  Write it down!! Keep that pad secure and handy and keep writing for at least the first few weeks.

And then what you ask?  When that constant bombardment of “new” and first impressions has slowed to a point you haven’t written anything in a few days, Stow your little note pad in the top drawer of your desk and wait.

….and wait

….and wait

Do your job, make changes, be amazing! …..and wait….

Wait for that day maybe a year from now when you walk in and everything feels familiar and cozy.  On that day, pull out your list and read.  Read your first impressions of what has now become comfortable.

In all likelihood you will probably find that you have changed some of the things you didn’t like…and kept some of those you did.  But, as is the nature with any job, we get busy.  When we get busy some things become a lower priority.  New projects pop up and take center stage or the daily onslaught just pushes the “little things” off to tomorrow’s tomorrow.  Sometimes those lower priority items may even drift out of our consciousness completely.

Your little note pad has given you a great gift.  First Impression that can now be viewed through a lens of context and experience.

Now you can say “Oh I know why it is that way…” or “Wow, I can’t believe I got use to that! I need to make improving X a priority again!”

 

Now- if you are thinking- Kimberly! This sounds great.  Wish I had read this before I started but now what good does it do me?  Well, I’m sure you have new folks starting in your organization from time to time :). Pass this suggestion along as part of their welcome and orientation! Perhaps even start them off by giving them a notepad for their observations.  In addition to benefiting from their observations, you will be setting a tone from the first day by letting them know that the organization values them and their ideas!  That you are a open environment striving always to be better!

 

5 Comments

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5 responses to “First Day

  1. Absolutely fantastic suggestions. When I started my current position, I visited each of my libraries and wrote down every impression I had. I’m not yet to the point that everything feels cozy and I can fully reflect back on the list – but I look forward to getting there.

    • Kimberly Matthews

      librarianeats~

      That is great! I have a new Librarian starting at my library today and I did just this! I hope you both find the list useful later! You will have to check back and let us know when you do!
      I look forward to hearing!!

      • Will do! Admittedly, some of the items have come off the list as I’ve gotten to understand the organization better. Sometimes the things that make no sense just are lacking proper context. But I’ll keep you posted on the rest of this stuff!

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