Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This is a call

The nomination period for Library Journal's Movers & Shakers award is currently open. Currently in its 14th year, the award coverage intends to "profile 50 up-and-coming individuals who are innovative, creative, and making a difference."

I really, really want you to consider nominating someone this year. I know that the nomination form requires you to put in the effort of identifying attributes your nominee possesses. I know that it requires that you find a second person who will co-sponsor the nomination. It seems like a lot of work and you're probably really busy.

Look, I know it's easy to dismiss the Movers & Shakers award as something that misses the mark. The awards are often criticized for ignoring certain parts of Libraryland. Depending on where you're situated in Libraryland, you can probably make compelling argument for why your particular area of librarianship is underrepresented. In the case of my peers, it often gets noted that many of the winners are people who have public-facing job duties. After all, it's difficult to see the impact of work which, when done well, doesn't get noticed.

The introduction to the 2012 awards describes the awards this way, "For 11 years now, LJ's Movers & Shakers has been spotlighting librarians and other in the library field who are doing extraordinary work to serve their users and to move libraries of all types and library services forward."

At their best, the Movers & Shakers award is a celebration of the people in libraries who are doing amazing work to serve their users. And I would argue that behind-the-scenes people do as much to move libraries forward as people with more front-and-center jobs. We each have a role to play in libraries and it's time to shine the spotlight on people who are doing amazing work outside of the public spotlight. Their contributions to librarianship matter. They move us forward and make us better.

So, let's do this.

Let's find the people who are doing innovative things to serve users, even if those people never see the users they serve. Let's find the people who are doing creative things to grow collections, describe collections, and preserve collections. Let's find the people who are using technology in new ways or whose work makes using library resources and services easier for end users. Let's take the time to write thoughtful nominations that connect the impact of behind-the-scenes work to the experiences of library users.

Let's do this.

Nominations are open until November 7, 2014.

Stay positive,

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