Passion and work

I haven’t blogged lately due to the preparations for my study tour, which I begin on Monday. Its going to be a full on trip away, but I leave behind my husband and two young children so there’s been a lot to organise here too.

I have wondered quite a bit about how I can separate myself from them for this length of time. Although I will be in regular contact with them through email, IM and mainly Skype (with a web cam of course), it is still not the same as being here. Its a great opportunity, I know, but there has to be something more there to make me choose this separation.

And there is. I am passionate about my work. I am passionate about my library’s website and making virtual services available to our patrons. I have been passionate about virtual services since I created our first library website in 1996 (which won an award from our State Library in that same year!). My passion has not changed, just been put on the back burner whilst I started my family and put my career on hold. Now that my children are a bit older and need me less demandingly, my passion is back with a passion!

I have always been passionate about being a librarian, but never put it into perspective much until I read a recent post on Creating Passionate Users, one of my new favourite non-library blogs. In “Don’t ask employees to be passionate about the company“, Kathy Siera points out that it is not the workplace that you should be passionate about, but the work.

And that’s what it is for me. Not that my library is a bad place to work – its not. They have given me the opportunity to do the sort of work I love doing, with the flexibility of part-time hours and being close to home. I’m a good, reliable employee, giving them dedication, good work and more – its a good business arrangement. And as Kathy points out and as my library is doing, its about tapping into that passion and supporting staff in it. The resulting outcomes will be great, for the individual, for the work and for the company/organisation.

I’m going on Monday, passionate about what I am going to do but also leaving behind another thing that I am passionate about – my family. Their support has been amazing though and so I am going. Expect to see a lot more posts over the next 4 weeks, as I blog about all the things I learn during the study tour and attendance at Computers in Libraries 2007. I’m sure it will be more than just about virtual services.


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    • Kathryn Greenhill on April 5, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Good luck with it all Michelle.

    You do know that your post could have been about me, don’t you? (Well..except for the winning the award and about to jet off to do wonderful things for a couple of weeks.) I was nodding all through it, saying aha, aha, aha..yep.

    • Helene on April 5, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Can’t wait to meet you in person. Passion about “work”, not the “workplace” – I couldn’t agree more. See you soon

    • Michelle McLean on April 5, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks Kathryn, it could be you too! Thanks Helene, I’m so looking forward to meeting you too! As for the passion, once I realised it was about the work, not the workplace, it make more sense when I heard a librarian I associated with a particular library, had changed libraries. I’m big on loyalty, but its passion for the work first, then loyalty.

    • Janie L. Hermann on April 10, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I will be seeing you tomorrow in Princeton and we are all looking forward to your visit. Hope we get a chance to hang out for a bit at CIL as well. I totally understand about having to choose between passion for your work and passion for your family. Take care and safe travels. Janie

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