As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the mentor program at work to help me figure out if management is the right path for me.  I am reserving my opinion on that for the moment.  At the same time, I am pursuing other professional opportunities outside, or somewhat outside of my workplace.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a PhC student at the University of Washington asking if I would be interested in taking part in an educational project at a local high school.  A peer from my cohort recommended me; she is someone I see in my work neighborhood and knows a bit about my work with teens.  The volunteer experience entails giving instruction in database use and being a professional contact for students after they have chosen a research topic.

I also helped the PhC student get in contact with librarians at the county library system when I found out that the school would be in their area.  I was able to do this easily because I know their cluster manager. I gave her the information on the program and let her decide if it was something that was supported by the library system’s goals.  She conferred with the librarians and they decided to support it.

I met with the teachers and other librarians last week, then today I taught my two database classes.  The other two librarians are teaching tomorrow.  The biggest challenges teaching these classes had little to do with navigating the website.  One was to NOT show how much better my system’s website is than the county’s.  That wouldn’t help.  The second was to keep the workshop within a half hour.  The first one went over and the second one I left out authority.  I was sad when I realized that.

The good news is that I wasn’t nervous.  What I learned is that I want to get better at my delivery, so that is what I’ll be working on the next few months.  My poor adult computer learners will be my guinea pigs.  I’m sure they’ll love it.

Other things I do in my own time to supplement my resume?  Mentoring a teen in the juvenile rehabilitation system, taking part in my P-Patch government, being a board member for my union and participating in conferences–although that last one is partially on work time.  I say only partially because there’s a lot of effort that goes into getting myself to a conference.  Some of the cost is covered and some of my time is paid, but not all, and if I didn’t have a will, I wouldn’t find a way.  Over the next couple of years I plan to focus more on local conferences, as it will minimize the time I’m spending away from home and be a bit easier on the pocket book.  I’m looking forward to participating in the Washington Library Association conference this year, where I will probably be facilitating a round table discussion.

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