Goodbye to the Bookmobile

It is with mixed feelings that I write this post. ReadersĀ  may remember my enthusiasm for this new venture. I was excited to be part of such a valuable service to the community in which I live and raised our family. Even the physical difficulties of working on the bookmobile did not lessen my determination to make this a success. The lack of order and consistence in the books’ arrangement (with many titles misclassified) and the resultant difficulty in quickly fulfilling requests, insufficient time to reshelve and perform other necessary tasks, the pressure to put new arrivals into the system at a rapid pace, and having to fly from office to bookmobile were challenges that I was ready and willing to face. And, even though exhaustion set in as the run ended, I was exhilarated by the experience.

However, there was not the opportunity to improve the accessibility of books, reclassify titles, and make other changes to improve the (mostly) young patrons’ experience on the “bus.” While the mobile library team was supportive of my ideas, the administration was less enthusiastic. After several weeks, I received a call from a supervisor. It wasn’t working out; I was not meeting expectations; too few books were being readied for circulation. Even though I defended my position, and the supervisor said they would reopen the discussion, I determined (with the help of my wonderful husband) that it was not meant to be. So, with a twinge of sadness, I informed the boss that my expectations as well were not met, and there was no reason to pursue the matter.

Since then, I have been hoping I would not see the bookmobile as it makes its rounds. In time, the negative feelings will surely fade. I harbor no ill will towards the entire project and wish it continued success. Now I must look to the future. A new door has been opened a crack. It may soon be time to see what’s on the other side.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Three Well Beings
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 00:30:55

    How disappointing! But I’m sure with your love of children’s books and your years of expertise, you are a great fit for another project. I don’t know if I’m speaking directly to a problem or just inserting some of my own experiences when I say that sometimes I’m convinced that some people in bureaucratic leadership aren’t really interested in improving outcomes. I don’t do well in those situations. I like systems to actually support improving the stated goals. Pointing out that sometimes this isn’t what I observe hasn’t always made me very popular. LOL! Good luck to you going forward!

    Reply

  2. booklovinggrandma
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 12:10:06

    Thank you for your insightful commentary. I sometimes think that school librarians have a monopoly on the type of reality you describe, as all too many administrations and boards do not share our vision for a really successful program. You’ve shown that such attitudes can occur among decision and policy makers in any profession.

    Reply

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