Why I deserve my office space – a manifesto

My cubby hole is under siege! Or near siege. I have been told that another department is eyeing my office with ill intent. It seems they are seeking to promote one of their own to an office at the cost of someone who already has an office and does not belong to their department–namely, me. I refuse to give up without a fight! I am a vital part of my department and serve the university’s students well by providing all manner of support services – from telling them where to find help for all manner of financial or educational issues related to the university, to providing help with assignments (including but not limited to research, how to write/respond to their assignments, technology and computer help, emotional support and encouragement, and help with all manner of issues and questions that arise).

Here is why I deserve to have an office space of my own (with a door and four walls): 

  • I need a quiet spot to read student theses and dissertations. I provide editing and proofreading for the final stage in the publication process and students in graduate programs requiring these cannot graduate until one of the reference librarians approves the final copy.
  • I also edit articles for the university’s academic journal. This is a process that takes time and requires care in producing a clean copy. The journal is one of the ways the university puts itself in the public eye–I help make it presentable.
  • I need a space in which to write policies, tutorials, manuals, pathfinders, articles, reviews, blog and web content. This is not possible in the middle of the reference area.
  • I maintain and write content for the library’s new website. I need a space in which to focus.
  • I help clean up the library’s records. Any task that requires delving into a library’s main access point for content retrieval (ie – the catalog) necessitates a space where the worker can concentrate.
  • I plan library events, conduct research on trends and happenings that might interest our students and faculty, and identify ways to engage students through interactive programming while working in my office.
  • I conduct research on new materials and resources for the library’s physical and digital collections while in my office.
  • I need a space to meet with students and faculty to discuss their needs – whether this involves content editing for papers, questions of collection development, or just a meeting to talk about school/life/goals.
  • I need an enclosed area in which to attend online conferences and webinars for professional development. I definitely can’t do this in the reference area.
  • Everyone needs a place to unwind and let the creative juices flow. I love my office and produce some of my best ideas in there. Just because no one can hear me does not mean I am not in my office a lot of the time (except when I am working my hours at the Reference desk, meeting with a patron, or working on a project that takes me into the stacks), it just means that I realize I am in a quiet part of the library and comply with our patrons’ need for silence.
  • Sometimes, I even turn up on the weekends to finish working on projects that I could not complete during the week because of distractions. This is why I need a private spot.

I am going on vacation next week, I expect to have an office when I return or there will be a rucus.

This is my library happy place.

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Author: gricel d.

writer. librarian. cat lady.

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