Let me start by saying that I really love my job. I mean, REALLY love my job. I get to talk books and stories and information literacy all day long--what could be better?
I also haven't had an experience (yet) in the library that has stressed me out to such levels that approximate my most anxious moments in the classroom (remember, I taught/ worked in special education settings before).
That being said, there is so much more to a library program than books, stories, and lessons. It's the stuff that I have to do at my messy work desk that tends to stress me out a bit.
Like navigating the online district financial program. Thank goodness we have fabulous librarians in our district who actually took their own valuable time to write a step-by-step handbook on the subject--and thanks to the computer design that allows me to have said handbook open in one window while I trudge through the financial trenches in another one.
The responsibility of a district purchasing card, and handling of money can stress me out a little. I have bookfairs to decorate, refreshments to purchase for events, a conference and author visits to pay for, books to buy. Those said bookfairs generate a lot of sales on my campus. We collect funds for lost ID badges, lost and damaged books, birthday book donations. Spending taxpayer's money wisely weighs heavily on my mind.
I am getting a bit less queasy each month that I submit my financial statement, and I'm good about keeping up with receipts and forms. I have to admit that even in my second year on the job, I get giddy when I place big orders for books on the district's dime. Even giddier when the boxes arrive and I get to share them with staff and students.
I once had a parent who asked what it took to be a librarian, and acted surprised when I told her that one has to have a master's degree. I went on to explain that the library is more than checking books in and out and buying the latest bestsellers--it's a classroom, meeting place, safe space, and program all rolled into one. I'm guessing that at the campus level, the library budget ranks in the top half amount-wise, when you add in the book funds, database subscriptions and revenue.
I know that as the years go by, I will become more confident in the program duties the job entails. It makes me ever so thankful that I have a wonderful assistant and volunteers who take care of some of the more mundane details like book maintenance, checking in books and shelving, so that I can disappear occasionally into my office and take care of the paperwork. I will still maintain, though, that my favorite part of being a librarian is out there with the students, among the stacks, in the Book Nook and learning areas, talking books and stories and growing as global and digital citizens.