Library bloggers and graduate students regularly ask “what’s the most important thing you learned in graduate school?” or “What do you wish you’d learned in graduate school?”, and I almost always talk about project management skills. But that’s not the thing I think is most important to success in our profession.
I came in to work this morning hoping to pull the first weeding truck of the semester (I even made a new mix on my iPod in anticipation!), write the SUNYLA Treasurer’s report for Friday’s meeting, and finish up on my two nearly-done LibGuides.
Instead, I’m in full-on triage mode. I’m going to put on my Faculty Senate Secretary robes and send a “change the date, folks!” email to the faculty and the campus facilities folks and the catering office. I’m going to assess the scope and implications of what might have been a very flawed budget projection, based on new information from a staff member. I’m going to track down the old and/or order a new power cable for one of our key technical services printers. And I’m going to make some tea.
Because what I think most librarians need more than anything is the ability to be flexible. To remain calm under pressure. To adapt to changes and to survive with grace under fire. To remember to make some tea and take a deep breath.
I’m not sure you can teach that skill, but if you can, LIS instructors… get on it. Your students will thank you later, when printers are blowing up and the budget’s wonky and they need to call campus catering, like, yesterday.