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The planning wiki for Uncontrolled Vocabulary showed a piece from ACRLog impacting NexGens. As a twenty-something myself, I imagine I would have some reflections about the reluctance to go into administration. I should say that that does not extend to leadership across the board. Library administration just seems to be an odd task.
The post by "StevenB" was entitled: "Sorry But You Can’t Have It All". The post cites that NexGens want better work/life balance and look negatively upon the time required. My earnest attempt at summarizing a couple paragraphs is that NexGens apparently require that leaders have a sort of master-apprentice relationship with those under their care.
Have I served previously as a library administrator? Yes. If you can imagine a twenty-five year old academic library director then you can picture what October 2006 was like for me as an acting director. In that job I was the second in command anyhow when the library director was present which resulted in my having day to day responsibility for operations about three-quarters of the library's open hours. Oddly enough, this post from ACRLog is something I am qualified to speak on.
As an administrator, I had a closed off office. I had little to no patron interaction. I did great cataloging and read AUTOCAT messages to keep up but otherwise was very isolated. That was very rough at times. The job was most enjoyable when I relieved other staff for their lunch breaks and had to take up roles such as supervising special collections or the education collection.
Having said that, I will explain why I do not particularly covet any directorial posts right now. Frankly, I think I would get very bored in doing such. It is not that I mind strange hours and all. I have been a substitute teacher and still hold active licensure for such with the State of Nevada. I am used to getting phone calls and having fifteen minutes to somehow manage to eat breakfast, get a shower, get dressed, and get to the school I have to work at. For me, that is just normal. The biggest issue, though, is having enough joy in the work.
In many respects, modern librarianship is not about the books. Modern librarianship is about people. Modern librarianship is about helping people meet their needs. In any setting like that I want to be on the front end serving people. While serving those who serve people can also be noble I find joy in helping people. Job satisfaction happens when I see patrons/customers/users/clients/whatever have an "Aha!" moment where their need(s) are somewhat fulfilled and their adventures can continue.
I do not see the matter as being whether you can have it all or not. If anything this is a matter of cultural gaps. Rather than ask about having it all, would it not be better to ask what defines success? Finding why there are differences in the definition of success is probably far more important than trying to keep everyone conformed to one model of success. If there has been societal change, is the old norm for success necessarily still valid?