From Sixty to Zero(ish)

Like Merinda, I’m also on sabbatical (day 119). Even before beginning I knew that being on sabbatical would be very, very different from my job as director of the library at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), a large urban commuter college that’s part of the City University of New York.

I’ve been at City Tech for just over 9 years, 6 (and a bit) as Coordinator of IL/Instruction and (a bit less than) 3 as Chief Librarian. My university requires that faculty — including library faculty — are both tenured and have completed a minimum of six years of service before granting a sabbatical leave. My original plan for sabbatical was somewhat different than what’s ended up happening: I intended to apply for sabbatical for my 8th year at City Tech, which would be the first year of my tenure. But then the prior director of our library announced his retirement, and I applied for (and got!) the job.

Other retirements meant other personnel changes in the library, and settling into my new role took some time, too. So it wasn’t until my second year as director that I started thinking again about a sabbatical. While library faculty are eligible for a full year of sabbatical leave, as I thought on it more I realized that I’m not comfortable taking a full year at this point in my time as director. Which I think has turned out for the best (more on that in another post). The prep leading up to my leave was busy, though luckily it overlapped with the college’s intersession which is relatively quiet in the library and on the rest of campus. And I’m so grateful for the work of my colleague who’s serving as our interim director.

And now here I am, about two-thirds of the way through my 6 months, having settled, sort of, into the pace of things. My weekly schedule in the library during the semester tends to be very meeting-heavy, with the typical week clocking in at about 20 hours of meetings. While my sabbatical project has required meetings and traveling to different campuses in the city (more on that in another post, too!), I have far more control over my own time than I’ve had in a long time.

It’s been an interesting change — I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to take a sabbatical, and I’m really looking forward to reflecting on my experiences with Merinda here on the blog (and hearing about others’ experiences too).


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