Taking Stock - 2010

Today's my last day of work for 2010. After completing my major goal for this week, I'm rewarding myself by taking some time to reflect on this past year, and do a little goal-setting for 2011. I enjoyed this exercise last year, so let's try it again.

Looking back on 2010.

All things considered, 2010 was a good year. I've really settled into my position, and have a much more defined sense of what is expected of me, as well as which directions I'd like to push forward. Our university administration sent me to the Science Commons Symposium in February, which was a much-needed validation of my particular position. I applied for and was accepted to attend the Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute, which was simply amazing. It really revitalized me and helped me see ways I could improve my work, and be a leader even without any official leadership responsibilities. As the fall semester got underway, I administered a survey about the Library Minute and c0-presented a poster session at EDUCAUSE, got off some stagnant committees and got on some new, more exciting ones. I am now integrated into our digital repository management group, as well as co-chair of a new Open Access/Digital Repository policy committee - both of which are much more relevant to my position than most of the other committees I've been on. I successfully managed to co-chair the AzLA Conference Planning Committee for 2010, and will continue in that capacity for 2011. I just finished writing the first full draft of an article about the Library Minute I hope to submit to College & Research Libraries News in early January. So all in all, it's been a stimulating year.

That's not to say I didn't have some failures. I initiated a collaboration to write a paper, hit several roadblocks and speedbumps, got lost, wandered in circles, and now I think it'd be best to drop it and move in another direction. I pretty much wasted my summer on that. Our library is still in the midst of reorganization, which is infuriating, frustrating, perplexing, the cause of much anxiety, and I struggle to maintain my optimism and patience. I lost momentum on my monthly themes - I don't think I completed a single one. I didn't follow through on completing my personal vision and mission, or any of the other things I meant to take away from the Leadership Institute. In fact, I didn't complete any of my resolutions for 2010 - at least, not in the way I intended. The main goal was to find my passion:
"I want to identify what really gets me excited and then focus more of my energies on those things.  I feel that I've always just drifted along and, often, have taken the path of least resistance.  I think it's about time I made a bit of an effort to bring more focus and energy to my life."
And you know, I think I've done that, despite not doing my themes or getting up earlier, or whatever. I'm excited and happy about my job, and while I'm still transitioning from Chris' career change, I'm happy about that too. So even though I never learned to make really excellent eggs, I consider my year an overall success.

Looking forward to 2011.

I'm actually really looking forward to the next year. I have some projects that are sure to keep me busy:
  • Create a toolkit for subject librarians, providing them with information about open access, scholarly communications, and the digital repository that they can use when talking to faculty and students.
  • Write another paper on the Library Minute, using the survey data I collected last fall. Get it published before the end of the spring semester.
  • Create a guide about the NSF data management mandate.
  • Plan and teach some workshops about copyright and publishing, and author rights, geared towards grad students and faculty.
  • Prepare and submit my packet for promotion and continuing appointment in July!
And that's just the first half of the year. One serious goal is to set aside some time on a regular basis (each week? each month?) to work on my long list of reading material from the Leadership Institute and consider how I can continue to grow as a leader.

What I'd like to see, when writing this post next December, is that I've accomplished all of these things, had a successful AzLA Conference (the last one for which I'm co-chair), and am still happy and energized about my job. 

My first task when I return to work on January 3 is to write down the steps I need to take to make these projects happen, and set my plan for the Spring semester.

Of course, I still need to think of a fun resolution too - the pancake making was such a huge success that I'm still making pancakes! I enjoyed the Year in Pictures project as well...let's see what inspiration strikes me by New Year's Day.

Merry Christmas!