Let’s Talk About Rejection

I’ve already obtained so much experience in the short time that I have been here. My first real project was to call home childcare centers and preschools which was a very ‘hold on slow down’ moment for me. I was extremely nervous because I do not like talking to people on the phone; especially strangers that had no idea that I was calling or why. Internally I know it is sense of not wanting to bother people and having them reject me in turn because they in fact did not want to be bothered.

During the calls I got a lot voicemails, I got some people who did not want to talk to me, but I also had some great conversations. After having a great conversation with someone who was happy to talk to me made it much easier for me to pick up the phone and make another phone call. However, ever time I got a voicemail or someone who wasn’t interested in what I had said, it took a lot of courage to pick up the phone again. Overall I gained a lot of information from the providers that did want to talk to me and it was exciting to hear people’s reactions to the sources the library offers them, or how most of them had forgotten what a valuable resource the library is.

Being able to work up the courage to call someone is something I know I will have to get used to in Community Engagement and really just anywhere in the world I plan on working. It’s a natural part of job or a personal environment. Maybe instead of taking it as rejection I need to mirror it into something else.  As much as I would much rather being hiding in the stacks doing theme bags or making my flannel boards for storytimes, I know that being thrown into a situation will tech more about myself. The experiences of the phone calls and being rejected were uprooting me from what I am use to. In the Community Engagement department I will obviously have work closer with the community and communicate with people who I don’t know, on subjects that I may not be so knowledgeable about. This just means I have to work on what makes me a better more rounded person, instead of hiding myself where I feel comfortable and stable. This has been a learning curve but I am finding comfort in my role and within the library. I’m excited to keep learning new skills and having new experiences to share.

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The Beginning of Community Engagement

So far during this internship I have learned a lot about the Skokie community and how passionate everyone in the library is about it, which is such a great thing. Skokie Library is a very diverse and welcoming part of the Skokie community, and seeing how much the library does to learn and grow to help the community is inspiring. As the Community Engagement Intern I am thrilled to be able to work closely with the Skokie community and see from the libraries standpoint what it takes to be a successful part of it. I am already amazed at all the work and time that goes into learning about the community and its changes. Through the community tour and a meeting that I went to last week it is clear Skokie Library does its research and works hard to improve things for their community. There isn’t an end in sight for them as they focus on the community that supports them and how they can do better to support them. They do this by traveling to local school, and there is a lot of them, to going to different neighborhoods and seeing how their services can be utilized/made more accessible to patrons.

I always knew how important libraries were to communities and vice versa but it is eye opening to see it for myself. I am excited to work in Community Engagement where I know wherever I end up in the library world that this information and experience will help me grow; and hopefully help me improve the community aspect of where ever I end up. Communities and libraries go hand in hand and it is never going to be something that changes. This experience will only help advance me and my career as I move forward and learn more about in the inner and outer workings of library and the inner and outer workings of a community.

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