Overcoming Isolation as a Form of Leadership
Working in the technical services department of a small academic library is a bit of an isolation double-whammy: not only are you more removed from the patrons you serve than are your public-facing counterparts, you may also be a department of one and solely responsible for discharging a highly specialized set of duties. This has been the case for me since 2015 when I moved to Oregon after accepting the position of Acquisitions Specialist at Pacific University, a small, private, liberal arts college in Forest Grove. I am primarily responsible for tracking the library’s resource funds; overseeing the ordering, receiving, and invoicing process for all newly acquired materials; and aiming for the ever-moving target that is continuations budgeting.
Prior to this position, I had mainly worked for larger institutions with more staff members who had the same or overlapping responsibilities. Over the past few years at Pacific, I have had to train myself in conquering the inherent isolation associated with my work. I’ve found that this has brought out leadership qualities I did not know I possessed, and I have identified a few ways in which I have been able to harness and hone these newfound skills.