Sunday, June 13, 2010

Welcoming a new director

When I was told that a reception and open house were in the works for my second week of work, I was relieved that I didn't have to be the lead program planner, but apprehensive about what was really going to occur. I'm a 'detail person.' I like knowing the names and titles of who is invited (show me the list) but I didn't want to overstep the planners' process and held my tongue. And I'm glad I did.

This was a delightful event. As a planner, I try to challenge myself to be more spontaneous. An old and dear friend of mine addressed this part of me two decades ago as I was getting the itinerary ready for a vacation at DisneyWorld. He was great at helping me move out of what could be rigid down-to-the-wire lists showing every hour's event to having blocks of loose time, play time, free time, down time - when anything could happen. Last minute changes are so much easier, of course, but what I really value is what I learn from others during these unplanned engages. The risks of saying too much or too little, of not forming the exact words in the moment, my body language, eye contact, what I am hoping will come out of a conversation or social meeting - these are like a Jackson Pollack painting. I've grown to like the messy colors and exciting exchanges. Even when I step on my words and stumble over a thought to try to truly listen, I can say that I now enjoy the ride of these types of social events.

I was honored to meet so many representatives from the community, civic and political leaders, the local schools' administrators and librarians. I was happy to have the physical presence and support from most of the library's board and the Friends and staff (those who could make it on a Saturday were there!). Local press and two local bloggers snapped pictures and took notes. For the Delmar Public Library, I truly believe this marks the stepping off point into a new era.

But for the rest of today, I think I'll just plan to have some down time!