Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So this is the new year (and I don't feel any different)

I think it's easy to get swept up in the romantic notion of the New Year. I'm guilty of it--the first page of the new calendar holds so much promise. We have the opportunity to be better people in the new year: kinder and smarter and more well-read than we were last year. 

I haven't made any resolutions for the new year. Numbers-related goals poke at that part of me that gets caught up in perfection and down on myself when I fall short. But I did set an intention for the year. In 2015, I spent a lot of the year wishing things (both big and small) in my life were different and it kept me from really being present some of the times when I probably should have been present. So, in 2016 I am striving to stop wishing away my life. I decided that every time I wish a situation is different, I need to do something to change it. Or if I can't change it, I need to find a way to accept the situation just as it is. 

So far, it's lead to me turning off the TV and going to bed earlier so I can read and cleaning off the kitchen table so I don't eat all of my meals on the couch in front of the TV. I am enjoying the challenge of flipping the script on my life, but I'm only five days into the year. I'm hopeful that this intention carries me through the year, even as I acknowledge how hard I imagine it will be. 

While I wanted to talk to you about my intention for 2016, I didn't want this blog post to be a doozy of a navel gazer. So I started thinking about what I hope librarianship will aspire to be in 2016 and came up with three hopes for the coming year.

1. I hope that librarians will continue to use online spaces to build community. 
2015 saw the rise of #critlib, the return of #mashcat, and the beginnings of #libleadgender on Twitter. And these online spaces are beginning to take root in physical form--#critlib hosted two unconferences in 2015 and #mashcat is having an unconference right after ALA Midwinter 2016 in Boston. These online spaces are important for bringing people together from very different places and very different backgrounds to have the hard conversations that we need to have to move librarianship forward from what it is to what it could be. 

2. I hope that libraries will do a better job of recruiting and retaining the next generation of library leaders.
In 2015, I wrote a lot about how I felt like librarianship wasn't doing a great job of making new librarians feel welcome. This post was particularly resonant with people, if the number of pageviews it got is to be taken as an indicator. We need to do a better job of making newer librarians feel welcome and free to express themselves. We need to do a better job of making librarianship safer for margainalized people. We need to stop acting like our next generation of library leaders is a burden and start supporting them and helping them find their voice.

3. I hope that our blog will become a platform for people to tell their stories.
Rachel and I have worked hard to develop the Blog's voice over the past year and some change. And we're lucky that you (yes, you!) read what we write. But what would it be like if sometimes we gave the microphone to someone who has a great story to tell, but no platform to tell it? What would it be like if we invited you to share your stories, your worries, your complaints, and your dreams? Maybe we'll find out this year!

What is your intention for the year--either personally or professionally? Who do you want to be when December rolls around that you aren't right now? Drop me a line in the comments!

Stay positive,

1 comment:

Nutty said...

Your intentions rock (and are reasonable!), and you (two) do as well (and are also reasonable). I too struggle with feeling that the "New Year" ought to bring X Y Z, and setting oneself up for expectations that may not come.

By December 2016 I want to be better at hearing "I don't understand this" in my own head and not retreating from that.