New series: A year in the life of an Electronic Resources Librarian

It’s been a while since I posted, but there’s a reason for this!

I’ve been busy – finished up my web design summer school class, and have had two weeks of orientation for my new job.

That’s right folks, I’ve gotten a promotion – I went from being a Library Clerk to being an Electronic Resources Librarian. I think it could be fun to write about my experience as a first-time Electronic Resources Librarian (ERL) – first time in the sense that it’s my first professional job, first time in the sense that this is the first time my work has found they had a need for this and first time as the ERL at the school I work at. How many K-12 schools out there can say they have an ERL? I feel like I’m going down a path that few people have gone, so it feels necessary to blog about this, so that I may hopefully find a community out there.

There are going to be quite a few bumps along this road.

The first major issue is that this is something completely new for this school – they don’t quite know how to view this position, how to work with this position, what to exactly do. It’ll be a learning experience for work. As the clerk, I did a lot of the work of an ERL – managing our database subscriptions, troubleshooting outages, general technical issues, etc.

The second major issue is that this is something new to me – I don’t know exactly what is quite appropriate in terms of my responsibilities. As much as I know what to do in terms of the resources, what can/should I do? Is there a boundary that I need to respect? It’ll be a learning experience for me. As the incoming ERL, I want to do as much as I can to ensure that our resources are always available for the community. But I know I’ll probably also want to do so many other things. This will definitely test my time management skills, as well as my ability to make choices: I’ll have to learn to make hard choices about giving up on projects and knowing when to say “no”.

I’ll be blogging about this topic sporadically – only what can be shared and what is appropriate. I’m pretty jazzed, but I know I’ll be stressed out a lot. We will see how this goes. Wish me luck!

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