Setting Realistic Goals

When my new ALSC-sponsored mentor, Bonnie Roalsen of the Dover Town Library, asked me about my goals, it was everything I could do not to reply, “To get through the year without a nervous breakdown?” (Oops! Too Late.)

But, really. I had to go away and think about it for awhile. These first few months of being a librarian have been all about getting my sea legs in a position that I find very challenging for a beginner. (Gamer analogy: It’s like when you’re fighting in an area where the monsters are all too high level for you and you have to die about a dozen times before you wise up and find something easier. Well…maybe not that bad.) I’ve quickly found that I don’t often get to work on just one project until it’s completed. I usually see a little bit of progress over the course of weeks and months…and that’s a little bit hard for me. I worry all the time that I’m forgetting about something because there are so many projects that get put on the back burner and I’m also acquiring new projects and responsibilities weekly. Keeping track of everything makes me very anxious some days.

Having someone around to ask me to focus on the future was a real kick in the butt. I realized that I need to get my act together and find some way of keeping track of everything I’m working on. For now, I’ve answered that with a note in Evernote. It simply has a list of long-range plans and where I stand with each one. This is it:


Install StoryWalk

-Received idea and budget approval from director

-Met with planning dept. to figure out logisitics

-Working with planning dept. to write a proposal


Lead Team-Building Activities

-Came up with ideas

-Got the Go Ahead from director


Launch Grow Together Saturdays

-Contacted community college for guidance


Start Afterschool Program in Branch “B”

-Met with school librarian for ideas

-sent ideas out for refinement and approval


These are the things that I would feel good about accomplishing this year. I’ll talk about each one as I continue to make progress with each. It’s not a huge list, but they’re important projects for responding to the needs of the community and our internal work environment. In order to protect my goals, I’ve had to turn down requests to help my teammates with some of their projects and I’m mostly flying under the radar with most of these at the moment. I’ve really only shared my ideas with my director and two of my closest teammates because I fear that if I talk about my ideas too much and they flop, I’ll be judged a failure on some of these things.

And let me clear. I think trying something new and failing is just as amazing as trying something new and succeeding. I am not afraid to flop.

But I do hate the idea of flopping so soon. Because. Who doesn’t want to come in with guns smoking?

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