The Mere Act of Asking

New ways of thinking about work. New priorities. New additions to the family. How does your library’s adminstration repsond to NextGen employees? In Priorities & Professionalism in the new LJ, Sophie Brookover ponders how libraries might encourage and embrace the work-life balance of employees:

Ask your employees what they need. Work with them to make the changes that work best for the organization as a whole. You probably can’t give your employees everything they want, but the mere act of asking them what they need is important. A staff that is empowered to share its needs is a happy staff, one less likely to suffer from burnout and more likely to help the library thrive, even during tough times.

It’s time for members of my generation who don’t want to run in the rat race, whatever the reason, to become role models ourselves. It’s time for us to redefine what work-life balance means to us, to own and make our choices about work life and home life so that we can get and give our best efforts at both.

When I leave work, I love the freedom of knowing that I can leave it behind and fully enjoy my home life while I am there. I love coming into my library each day, ready to focus on the work at hand because I am secure in the knowledge that my child is safe and happy with her friends and teachers at daycare.

Balance between work and home inspires, fulfills, and rejuvenates me for time devoted to the other. The question is: Will my profession find its balance along with me?

Here’s to finding balance! To new models of work. To the new organizational chart. Folks, this isn’t your father’s library anymore.