No progress to report

January has largely been absorbed by challenging weather and my annual review documentation. Despite having started on it during the fall semester, I find myself incredibly frustrated by the amount of time it takes to gather information for this report. Part of it is my own fault – the data that I’ve collected about the services I provide is not as well organized as I would like. However, the way that I would organize it for myself doesn’t conform to the questions asked by this report. And that brings me to my major frustration with this report and process – I truly don’t believe that it captures data about faculty activity in a meaningful way. This may be due to differences between teaching/research faculty and library faculty – no one tool serves us all. Or it could just be another poorly designed tool…

Perhaps it is just the pressure of justifying my existence, but each time I waste 15 minutes trying to determine how an activity “fits” into this report, I get more frustrated and resentful about the process.¬†Spending roughly 40 hours on gathering information for one report that is only somewhat useful strains my patience. I would rather be doing anything else in my position description. Even collection development, the stepchild of my responsibilities.

Thankfully, I really like my work. It is challenging, meaningful, and messy – all reasons that I stay interested.

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By Heather L. Coates

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