There's an exciting opportunity in Wisconsin for anyone who wants to work in a library with a demoralized staff and a director who likes to demote or drive off librarians.
Wouldn't you just love to apply to be the new Customer Services Lead Librarian at the Marathon County Public Library in lovely Wausau, Wisconsin? I knew you would. Doesn't this sound like a fantastic job:
"The Marathon County Public Library is seeking a highly qualified individual for the position of Customer Services Lead Librarian. This is a leadership position focusing on constantly improving the customer-library experience throughout the Library system. The ideal candidate advocates for [sic], researches, creates, develops, and executes innovative approaches, services, and products to meet diverse community and diverse customer needs using creativity and entrepreneurial leadership for the Library’s system. This position works directly with library staff to improve their customer service and responsiveness skills."
I only had to read through that advertisement once to say, "Wow! This job is HOT!" They're looking for highly qualified people. I'm highly qualified. They want people to service some customers. I'm great at servicing customers. That's how I paid my way through library school! And they have that great long sentence explaining everything the lucky candidate would get to do. The lucky candidate could advocate innovative approaches or execute innovative products, really just anything, as long as its "innovative." And all of us would probably like to work with that persnickety staff to improve their responsiveness skills. That staff must really suck if the library is advertising how unresponsive they are. Someone needs to go in and light a fire under their bottoms! Also, who wouldn't want to work for a library with a mission"to attract customers to discovery and fun through exploration and entertainment." Ooohh, ahhh, discovery and fun through exploration and entertainment! That sure beats this mission: "The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of order and liberty." Because it's fun! And entertaining! And about servicing customers! Yay!!!
And it would also be fun to work in such a well known library. Oh sure, I know plenty of you work in well known libraries such as the New York Public or Widener or something. But how often do you get to opportunity to work in an increasingly nationally recognized public library in a small place in Wisconsin? Not often. But this library is famous, or at least it should be among librarians. See the news stories here, here, and of course here. Perhaps not everyone reads the Wausau Daily Herald (and why would you?), but everyone reads the AL, at least everyone who's reading this right now.
So if you want to work in a "customer service"-oriented job (and from what I hear every librarian should want to do that because that's what we're all about!), then go ahead and apply to the Marathon County Public Library. There you can work in an "innovative" environment where the director demotes librarians and cuts their pay and where whatever formerly professional staff are left will resent you until they can find other jobs. And when the last of them go, you can hire some even lower-paid and less competent people to take their place. Yay! And you can improve their "responsiveness skills." Yay!
This is like a dream job, isn't it? The deadline is March 24, so hurry up with that application! Tell 'em the AL sent you and your application goes to the top of the pile.