Assisting Entrepreneurs as a Librarian

In the beginning, I started taking one-on-one tech appointments with the mindset that these would be patrons who need to learn basic computer or Internet skills. Additionally, three to four times a year, I would meet with my colleague to plan our tech classes. These classes cover a variety of tech related topics for groups of 12-20. Registration is limited to town residents for the most part. Roughly half the classes are taught by my coworker and myself while the others are by hired teachers. In general, the teachers teach repetitive classes (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), while my colleague and I teach whatever hot topic we can think of (e.g. Personal Digital Archiving is a favorite class that I’ve taught).

However, things have changed. I’m not sure when, how, or what set people off, but suddenly small business owners started asking for me. The initial requests were usually something general like how to use social media. I’d direct them on how to create their profile, describe how the service works, etc. Then I’d want to check on a couple other things like their website, what is the email address — is it professional?, what is your marketing like? In writing this down, I realize that I may be my own cause of bringing in more complex projects to work on.

A list of some of the types of small business projects I’ve worked on/advised:

  • Social media and web critique for an import boutique
  • Social media, email, logo, and website help for a non-profit
  • Social media and website assistance for multiple people in the finance sector
  • Website point person for professional artists/craftsmen
  • Video for professional spokesperson
  • Email marketing for finance group
  • Photoshop techniques for a professional artist

Next month I will be attending a couple SCORE workshops for small business owners. My goal in attending is to learn of more resources/techniques for advising the patrons I see. This is all an unexpected development for me. I was prepared to do small things like how to use email (and believe me, I do teach a lot of people basic things!). Librarianship seems to not be such a straight path. It looks like I can change, turn, and continue to develop in not only who I am, but as well as how I can be of assistance to my community.

Liaison for Genealogy Society

Tonight I went to my first board meeting as a liaison member of the library for the local genealogy society. I was a bit nervous, so I sat down and tended to keep my eyes on the table. The nearest person in age probably had 20 years on me. However, the other board members made me feel welcome. Soon I was engaged in the conversation, offering up ideas, suggesting ways the library could be of service (cheaper printing through us!), etc. When the secretary said they did not have anyone on the publicity committee, I volunteered to do it on my personal time as a member of the group.

So! I am beginning to put down roots here in my new locale of Connecticut. My family moved to a new apartment last week — much nicer neighborhood — and I’m now a member of two writing groups and the genealogy society. It feels a bit strange to be getting involved with the local community.

Moving: More Exhausted Than I’ve Ever Been in My Life

Last week I spent each day at work from 9-5 then came home to pack for 2-3 hours. Then over the long weekend, my spouse and I attempted to move all our worldly goods to the new apartment. Things went a little rough as the previous tenant had left a sizable chunk of possessions behind. We then had to stuff our belongings into two bedrooms. Now with the junk gone, we’re slowly moving our stuff into the right places. Thus, we’ve effectively carried the weight of our belongings three times in the past week: carried it down the stairs of the old apartment, up the stairs here, and now room to room.

I’m so exhausted that I can barely see straight. I’m slowly dragging myself through my work days, lingering over projects which should have been done in a snappy fashion. Just so tired.

The good news is that my home desktop computer is now back up and running. So I can pick up the tabs on the online MOOVs I’m currently enrolled in. Starting tomorrow. Hopefully. Too tired to breathe now.