Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Office Decorations of a Director

A while back, before I became a library director, I had a very particular way of decorating my office. It was nerd central, but also it was occasionally vulgar. In fact, I wrote about it back in the (almost) beginning of this blog. Almost six years later, I have definitely changed the way my work space is decorated.

The thing about decorating your office is that it really does send a certain message to the people who visit you. Yes, you want it to reflect your personality, but that's not the only consideration. You want to make sure you are sending the message with your decor that you actually want to send, instead of something you're sending by accident. When I was an instruction coordinator (which was my job at the time I wrote that first post, if not my title), I wanted to be seen as irreverent and yet intelligent. Hard working and yet able to have fun. The truth was, though, that my office was likely a bit off-putting. I'm 99% sure it was Jim DelRosso who told me his office decorations are consciously not as nerdy as he is because he wants to make sure people feel welcome in his office. That comment really stuck with me. I still stand by the prevalence of vulgarities in that office - the word "fuck" is really just a word and I wish people would see it as such - but I haven't used that decorating style again in my current circumstances. As a director, I'm supposed to be setting a tone not just for myself but also for the rest of the department. So now, I have just as much nerdy vibe as before, but it's subtler and, in a way, prettier.

As you can see from the pictures I have below, I am not hiding my nerd in any way. I am still Nerd Supreme - a fact that is evidenced by being the advisor for the nerdy student group on campus. I'm just not as vulgar and my displayed tastes are slightly more diverse.

The love rat is still there. As is Fake Roy. But there's also a Benjamin Franklin quote and my tail from my Halloween costume.

My boy, Usagi Yojimbo. It wouldn't really be my office without Usagi, and this is the signed poster that Ranti Junus got for me years ago.

Yes, that's a stuffy elephant. If you squeeze it, out comes the most obnoxious imitation of an elephant trumpeting. Also, the poster from ACRL 2013 - Henry Rollins is a beautiful man and he had us all eating out of the palm of his hands at that keynote.

Guster is my favorite band, so of course I have a poster of theirs up in my office. Having this up in my office helped me bond with my union president - Guster is his favorite band, too!

Yes, that's my "Detective Comics" #643. And a Chewbacca Pez dispenser. But also the library's mission, vision, and values statements; the 2017-2018 academic calendar; specifics of the standing pizza order I place occasionally for the club I advise; my mini Sarah Donner shrine; and so much more.

Is it obvious that it's the same person? Even if you couldn't see so many of the same items, I think it's obvious. Just a more welcoming version.

How about you? Do you have any rules for how you decorate your office? Please share in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I strongly agree with the "colleagues & visitors shall feel welcome in my office" strategy.
    and I also like nerdy stuff. :) some of it can be seen here: https://twitter.com/v_i_o_l_a/status/988764820777394176 :)