Two years ago when I was asked to be on the Board for the local pre-school I almost laughed. I don't have kids yet, so what possible interest could I have in the school?
And then I started to think... a lot of the families who use the library have kids in the school. I care about those kids, right? And wouldn't this create a nice relationship between the library and the pre-school?
So I jumped in. I spent my first few months on the board just absorbing. I didn't really know the other board members and I had never had kids, so I felt a little like an intruder. But after a few months, I was fully invested. I became the secretary after my first year, my husband and I help at all the school fundraisers, and I've built a great relationship between the school and the library.
There is so much happening in your community, whether you live where you work or not. It's great to be a part of the community you live in, but as a library director, it's just as important to be involved in the community you work in, because that community is who you work for! There's no better way to gauge the needs and wants of the community than by meeting them where they already are.
We now have more families who come to story time and other children's programs. We have more families who recognize me both as a board member and as the library director. I have personally made some friends (which is nice since we also live in town). Plus working things like a Pancake Breakfast and Spooktacula (a kids Halloween event) are a lot of fun!
Going into my third year on the Board this summer, I'll be the president. It's going to be some serious work as the school is looking for a new location, but I know it will be worth it!
Oh and I'm building the school a new website. Ya know, in all my free time. Ha!
My advice: get out into your community in capacities other than just Librarian. It can still help the library, and it can help you personally too.