Welcome to YS Manager's Corner

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This is the first in a series of posts about Youth Services management issues. We'll be looking at different aspects of working as a manager in YS including reflections, challenges and maybe a solution or two.

I've been doing quite a bit of thinking, learning and teaching on youth services management.

Like many of us, I entered management very early in my career (18 months) and, except for a four year stint as a staffer under a manager I previously managed (whoa, baby that was fun!), spent the rest of  my day-to-day library career as manager.

I learned a ton as a newbie from my first manager (and career-long mentor) and loved working with her.  She encouraged me to take on my first management gig - her position when she left a short 1.5 years after I arrived.

I really didn't want to. I felt there was so much children's-librarianing I wanted to do! My manager pointed out that if I didn't try and a new manager came on board with a different philosophy than mine, it would be an adjustment. And she told me that no one is born being a manager - we learn along the way.

I was forever grateful for that advice. I went to the school of hard-knocks and learned a ton. In fact, that learning has been an ongoing part of my work life - right up to and including retirement.

When I recently shared some of my top mistakes in a webinar, the reaction I got from people surprised me. Some found it comforting ("You make mistakes?!?! Thank gods, me too!), and others found it revelatory ("You make mistakes???? Then I can too!!!). I am sure many also thought "Dork!" The reactions also told me that we all need to hear that we make mistakes and have positive takeaways  - whether we are managers or not -  and this needs to be shared.

The true mistake we make in any work we do is when we assume anybody knows anything. I sometimes read posts where people feel badly or inauthentic or imposter-ish or unworthy because they've made a mistake or had a fail in some aspect of work. But really, how else do we learn? For me, a day without learning, even from mistakes, is pretty much a wasted day. It's how we grow and deepen and get wiser about stuff.

So in "YS Manager's Corner", we'll walk along the path of discovery, reflection, failures - and recovery - and issues we encounter in managing - and being managed.  I hope you join me on this journey on the hills and valleys.

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