Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting there...

I've been a librarian for just over two years now.

All through school I heard how important it is to 'get yourself out there.'  Intern! Volunteer! Join ALA! Join a committee! Start a blog! Tweet!

"Ok, I thought, I hear you.  I can do this."

I heard it, but I was just so busy with work and school and just couldn't figure out what to volunteer for or what to tweet about.  I volunteered for the wrong things.  I started a twitter account that I never used.  I surfed other librarian's blogs and tried to figure out what the heck I had to say, but just ended up feeling overwhelmed. 

Then I got my library job.  And I got busier.  Every once in a while I'd come up for air and think about all those 'big picture' things outside of my job description that I wasn't doing.  And I'd panic. I was just barely treading water doing all the things that were my job, and had no idea how or what I could contribute to the larger world of librarianship.  I wanted to--very much wanted to, but just didn't know how.  I took every opportunity I encountered for workshops and conferences, but felt like I was faking it.

At conferences I started introducing myself and making connections.  It didn't feel like it made any difference, but taking a few minutes to talk to a speaker or introduce myself and thank a library director in person for a phone interview she gave me when I was hunting was a good step--even if I didn't have a lot to say yet.  I applied for the WLA Leadership program.  I was so in love with the idea of having a mentor. I wasn't chosen, but I tried.   

I'd start looking at library blogs and get frustrated at everything I was missing.  There seemed to be so much--I couldn't keep up.

I wondered what the point of another storytime blog was--there are already so many good ones, what do i have to add?

So, I set goals for myself.

I want to be a SLJ reviewer. I want to improve my Spanish and learn some simple songs to share in storytime.  I gave myself plenty of time to work towards them. Sometimes I had no idea when I'd work on them.  But I wrote them down--on paint chips, actually, so they'd be cheery to look at--and then I let them be. 

I set up a library-related RSS feed.  I saved the feed tab as one of my homepage tabs, and added all the library blogs that caught my interest.  I feel so much more connected, and it doesn't seem to take up any of my time--it's just part of my workday.

As librarians, we are curators of information.  Our duty isn't to create all the information, but to channel it and present it.  We are a collaborative profession, and blogs are perfect for that use.  So I started another storytime blog.

I said yes to opportunities.  I read.  I learned.  I worked on those goals.  I found my own mentor. 

Just last week I got my first books to review for SLJ.

I'm getting there.  I'm finding my voice.  I'm getting there.

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