Thursday, December 20, 2007

What to do on your first days on the job

So a recent post on the NexGenLib group asked about what to do when starting a new job. I made a list of the things I did recently to acclimate myself to the new library.

  • Familiarize yourself with the collection, shelf read if necissary
  • Read any manuals or procedure documents that you find on top of the desk. Be a little more cautious about going through drawers.
  • As a lot of questions to everyone, if they don't know the answer, make a note of who they say would know.
  • Introduce yourself to everyone as if they were as important as the Library Director
  • Figure out how to get your e-mail and computer accounts set up
  • Spend a lot of time on the phone with Human Resources and Computer Services getting your questions answered
  • Chat with the security guards or janitor or pages or other non-librarians to find out what their concerns are with the library. They might be more honest about what goes on in the building. Especially security and organizational concerns.
  • Start a list of your accomplishments (ie. shelf read a section, organized a drawer of office supplies.)
  • Start a list of projects/programs you might want to work on (ie display area, commitees etc.)
  • Catch up on reading your library related mailing lists, blogs, websites and wikis, be sure to bookmark them too. At least then when it's slow you can work on professional development.

And I'll add a few more

  • Don't talk too much about how the procedures and policies were at your old library
  • Don't assume the procedures, policies or responsibilities will be anything like what you've known before
  • Don't spend too much time hanging outside your department even if you're curious about the procedures or like the people there (I did this with circ a bit)
  • If you have a lot of library experience, don't be insulted if your coworkers train you from scratch.
  • Pay attention to what everyone is wearing. Overdress for the first few days but try to figure out what people actually wear to work.

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