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Ted Chaffin

childhood ambition: SuperHero, or at least to wear a cape regularly.

first job: At 15 I was working a summer job in the Accounting Division of the Clerk of Courts building in Baton Rouge. Imagine a fifteen year old handling up to $100,000 dollars a day and entering that data…. My first full time librarian position was as a Reference librarian at Southern University in Baton Rouge. Southern is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) with a long and interesting history in Louisiana.

proudest moment: Getting out of food service! I’m only kind of kidding. Actually, it was when I realized why I was a librarian and how simple I could boil down the realities and definition of my choice to be a librarian by simply remembering “I just want to help people”.

biggest challenge: Learning that everything regarding management and leadership was completely foreign to me, and that patience is not what I used to think it to be.

inspiration: My inspiration is currently my mentors. They have shown me great examples of how to live a very full life, and to have a life of accomplishment.

currently reading: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Deep Change by Quinn, and everything under the sun about strategic planning.

most surprising thing about being a library leader: the influence that I can have when I’m not trying, and the impact of that influence. Everyone always talks about how 94% of our communication as human beings is non-verbal, and that is doubly true for leaders. Everything we do leaves clues and pieces to the puzzle of the current situation in our jobs and the future to come. The phrase ‘be congruent’ should be part of every leader’s personal maxim.

I love being a librarian because: Gainful employment is a wonderful thing! Also because I find that there are large and small positive changes that I can help bring about because of who I am, and what I believe.