Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gettin' Settled

I've finished my first month of work at Coker.

It's been pretty interesting, and it will get even more so once school reopens in a couple of weeks. I'm glad I had the opportunity to settle in while it was quiet on campus. I met another new professor lugging another load up to his third floor office this afternoon. He just moved into town, because teaching faculty are on a nine-month contract. I am a 12 month contract employee, meaning I work year round with vacation and sick days.

On my first day, I learned the director would be leaving after 13 months. About two hours later I learned another staff member was leaving to take another job closer to home. Finding competent staff is difficult here; job openings often only attract a handful of applicants. Losing two of eight staff members -- both full time, by the way -- is a difficult way to start a new job and career.

Fortunately, a new director has been hired and she will start Monday. She worked at the library before, so she is familiar with the culture here at the college. The other position will be filled with a part time staffer for now, with a full-time hire to come later. But with such a small labor pool, the job search will be interesting.

This week I've had the privilege of training all of the public services staff on the intricacies of using databases. It was a great experience for me for two reasons. First, it gave me an opportunity to learn the college's resources. Secondly, it gave me some much needed practice in bibliographic instruction. I will be doing a lot of BI here at Coker. Even if I did get the Electronic Resources librarian position, I will still be teaching quite frequently because there are so few librarians on the staff. I had a good time preparing for the week, but I'm not sure how my "class" enjoyed the sessions. A little boring at times, I could see a few of the staff members nodding off. Not much I could do about that. All of the feedback about the sessions was very positive. Nothing beats a confidence booster!