Overcoming Isolation as a Form of Leadership

  • Julie Gaida Pacific University
Keywords: Oregon, Oregon libraries, academic library, libraries, librarians, northwest, information science, information literacy, social media, writing, library trends, books, donors, library funding, Oregon library association, quarterly, Oregon library association quarterly, American library association, ala, ola, reading, library success, success, evolving roles, OSU, Oregon state, University, web services, public, new discipline, changes in libraries, career, careers, library careers, library career, professional journal, scholarly, academic, circulation, Portland, Multnomah County Library, innovative, inventive, solution, oregon librarians, librarian, political, politics, political action, association, civics, civic education, inspiring, engagement, role, participation, skills, create, creating, resources, develop, source, evaluate, evaluation, evaluating, University of Oregon, UO, learn, learned, program, job, for, a, an, the, leadership, institute, liola, leader, leaders, wil wheaton, jane scheppke, gallup, strengthsfinder, strength based leadership, LIOLA, leadership institute of the Oregon library association, pacific university, forest grove, julie gaida, acquisitions, orbis cascade alliance, consortial, Alliance Summer Meeting, ex libris, alma, primo, ils, clackamas, community college, tim and cathy tran, isolation, imposter


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.

Author Biography

Julie Gaida, Pacific University

Julie Gaida is the Acquisitions Specialist for the Pacific University Libraries. She earned her BA in Criminology from the University of Texas at Dallas and her MLIS from the University of Washington.

How to Cite
Gaida, J. (2018). Overcoming Isolation as a Form of Leadership. Oregon Library Association Quarterly, 24(2), 19-21. https://doi.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1942