What have I decided, you may ask? Go ahead, ask. Fine, I’ll tell you since I can’t hear you. I’ve decided to talk on September 10 in front of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). This is one of two final meetings, which is open to the public, that will decide my fate with my library system. I have taken to the sidelines for the past couple of months. I have tried to keep myself happy and distracted with things outside work. Despite this, I have not been happy coming to work knowing that my future was at jeopardy… again. I’ve wrestled with angst about being involved. I wasn’t worried about getting in trouble for standing up and voicing my concern. In a past blog entry, I talked about where was the outcry from the public and even from staff about the library closures and reduction in staff several years ago. Over the past weeks, the rallies and great public awareness has reduced the 22 library closures to nil though service hours and staff are still on the chopping block. The fight is coming down to the wire.
One the camera videos that surfaced during the town hall budget meetings, the mayor made mention to those attending that he has seen the same faces before at several other public hearings ie library staff and various union reps. He concluded that those who did not attend the public hearings were ok with his decision to keep the millage flat; I do fault him on his logic. From that point on, I understood what he meant by that comment and for me to be there in attendance would not have made any difference. I had also felt no matter what was being said nothing will get done without all the commissioners being present. The upcoming BCC meeting is where I will be.
What has changed my decision? It was the little things that have occurred to me that drove me to the point where I am now.
Professionally, this has been one of the brightest years in my career as a librarian. I have done several presentations that has improved my self-confidence and self-worth. Speaking in front of the board just seems to be a natural progression in playing to a much wide audience. Next, a close colleague reminded me of the fact I deserved so much more than being saddled with what I do. Yes, I have a great deal of knowledge and experiences that sets me apart but that is not the issue. I love what I do because it taps into who I am as a person. Aside from a couple of place where I used to work, working at the library as brought me a sense of wholeness that despite the setbacks and with the day to day bullshit, I can’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life; if nothing else panned out. Lastly, I looked on the Facebook wall today and saw the picture of my kids. The pictures there were from our recent vacation where we had a great time but then, I started to well up with emotions. I felt at that moment, for the rest of my life, if I did not choose to speak at the BCC, I could not face my kids. How could I ever encourage my own children to do something that was beyond themselves if I have failed to act myself?
I will always have doubt in my abilities but I think this is how I stay humble. I will show off who I am at the right time and at the right place. I don’t believe that I am going to serve as a rallying cry for the library cause but at least I can feel I will be a part of it – win or lose. I will keep up with the blog postings as time gets closer. I already have the opening lines running through my head like an earworm. Which means, I will become so hyper focused to deliver the best two-minute presentation of my life.