Due to a surprise snow storm, ECU was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday Jan. 20-21 which meant I got to stay home on Tuesday. This gave me the chance to watch the Presidental inauguration festivities. Wow, it was really amazing. I participated in the CNN/Facebook connection during the parade. I sat on the couch in my family room and had CNN/Facebook up on my laptop while watching it on the TV at the same time. I had never experienced anything like this!
While I, like many others, are full of hope about this new administration, I have no illusions about the severity of the economic situation we are currently experiencing. Having just returned from the ALA Midwinter conference in Denver, I talked to a number of people who have been recently laid off or will be soon. I also just read that Sarah Nelson, the Editor of Publlishers Weekly, is being laid off which really is shocking. Newspapers all over the country are downsizing. My state university system is preparing for significant budget cuts next fiscal year. We are likely not to have any travel funding next year and will have to cancel subscriptions and databases. When will it end? Who knows.
We are also not filling empty positions and are asking people to take on new responsibilities. I feel very fortunate to have a job and therefore want to make sure I am earning my keep. I can understand why corporations cut “middle management” when times get tough. Yet, I also am understanding better why leadership at the assistant director level is important in libraries. I am concerned about making sure I don’t lose touch with the issues on the front lines of technical services.
I hope we can weather this storm and come out of it with some improvements somehow.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.