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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Achieving Balance: two blog posts

balancing,hikers,hiking,men,persons,Photographs,sports,womenToday, in just one day, I read two thoughtful, worthwhile and entertaining blog posts with advice for new librarians.  Interestingly, they have almost opposite messages, but both have value, and are worth reading and fitting into your worldview.  These pieces are directed toward new librarians, but actually their message is useful to all practicing librarians.  Both refer to recent MLIS graduates, but I think their advice is not exclusive to people with a Masters Degree, either, but to all of us who care about our library jobs.

Marge, our indefatigable, wise, and thoughtful colleague from LaCrosse greets new MLIS graduates in her Tiny Tips for Library Fun blog, encourages recent graduates to leap in, don't feel like you have to wait to be invited to participate in the dialogue of librarianship--put your ideas out there in social media, staff meetings, conferences.  Sometimes a fresh perspective is exactly what is needed in the world, so don't hang back!  Great advice for all of us, including some folks who have been around a while, quietly doing amazing things.

For something completely different, in Letters to a Young Librarian, Ginger Williams reassures new librarians that you "Don't Have to Do All the Things" to be an awesome librarian.  Sometimes this is a great reminder, too.  It is important to remember that you don't have to do EVERYTHING, you don't have to be a "rockstar" librarian who is featured on blogs and heavily involved in professional associations, known all over the state or country (in library circles, anyway), in order to be crucial, important and awesome to your own library and community.  You don't have to tackle everything at once.  You have permission to set a more cautious or realistic pace. 

I think both of these messages are important:  you are awesome for just serving your own community well, learning your job well, working as a team with your co-workers; and your ideas and innovations are worth sharing, too, no matter how new you are or how small-seeming your project might be.  I like the idea of us acting as a community for each other, supporting each other as our creativity, energy, passion, and ability to get things done ebbs and flows.

What do you think?? 


  1. I loved Ginger's post too! Knowing your limits and taking your time to do what's right for you is vital. As a long-time librarian I also support the fact that you don't have to do all the things at once. Use your time wisely and well and grow into the librarian you want to be!

  2. I agree! It has taken me several years to learn how to pace myself, and I still don't quite have the hang of it. But getting involved--sometimes over my head--has also given me energy, ideas, and deeply valued colleagues and connections.