When I read the first assignment in the syllabus for one of my current classes (ILS565 – Library Management), I groaned in abject horror. For the assignment, we are required to interview a librarian with managerial responsibility – who wasn’t our boss, a relative or close friend. First of all, I’m not good at asking people for help. Second of all, I couldn’t ask any of the people with whom I work. The assignment specifically said not to ask your boss. The professor did not say that other managers in your library were off limits, but I figured that wasn’t the best way to learn something. Third of all, I didn’t want to ask any of my colleagues at area colleges. This may not make much sense, but they are my colleagues. Asking for an interview as a student puts one in a decidedly subordinate position. I don’t mind this, but don’t feel comfortable putting myself in that position with people with whom I need to have a commensurate standing. Yes, I’m probably making too much out of it, but I’m like that. Being an MLS student and a person with a professional librarian position can be a tricky position in which to be at times – and I am probably incredibly hypersensitive to this fact.
Fortunately, Michael Golrick, who does indeed hold a library management position and whose blog Thoughts from a Library Administrator is one that I read regularly, recently commented on one of my blog posts and extended an offer of help. This, to me, was the perfect solution to my dilemma. On Monday, I sent him an email asking if he would be willing to be interviewed – and he ever so graciously agreed. He answered my questions within a couple of hours – and quite honestly made my week. I have to say a big, big thank you to Michael Golrick for his willingness to help with my academic endeavors. The fact that he so speedily answered my questions takes a great deal of pressure off, since I should be able to complete my summary by tomorrow evening. You can bet that more will follow on this assignment.
An interesting and thoroughly ironic side note: After spending a great deal of time working up the courage to send Michael Golrick an email asking for his help, I received a similar email request from an MLIS student at Simmons who needs to interview a systems librarian/systems department head. I, of course, said yes – and will be meeting with this student on Monday morning. If the student agrees, I will write about the interview. What comes around goes around – usually just not that quickly.