Monday, July 3, 2017

I'm already just a skeleton

Yesterday this question came across my Twitter feed, asking what misconceptions one would share with newcomers to librarianship. Below you can see my answer:

Based on the handful of retweets and likes my answer got, I surmised that I resonated with people.

I was trying to force a blog post into existence, but sometimes the story that you want to tell just won't let itself be told. I wanted to write about these lies we tell early career librarians about how they have to follow X path or do Y thing in order to finally be taken seriously.

As I was trying to force this blog post into existence, I went back and looked at this blog's very first post. I was reminded of how when I started writing here in 2014, I was looking for a place to talk about how technical services and public services library workers could build meaningful relationships that lead to collaborations that bettered the experiences of user communities. There wasn't a space to have those kind of conversations, so Rachel and I made one.

Sometimes, though, the story that you end up telling is the story that needs to be told instead of the story you set out to tell. While Rachel and I started out telling a version of the future of libraries where technical services and public services worked colleagially for the good of the user, it turns out that the story that needed to be told is about how vital it is to the see the humanity in others--whether it's your user communities, your colleagues, those you're closest to, or the stranger. The story doesn't end with seeing the humanity in others, though. The other part of the story is choosing how to respond once you've seen it. How will you work to build a future that's better than the present in which you find yourself?

Of all of the posts on the blog, my favorite has always been one that Rachel wrote in April 2015 called There is no map. It is my favorite because it demands that I stop standing still, even as it tells me that there's no way to know if the way forward I choose is the right one. You can't stand still, this post reasons, because you're already late for whatever future lies beyond the edges of what you think you know.

Wherever you are in your career, your ideas matter. And there is no path for building the kind of career that you deserve. Start where you are, stop standing still, and be willing to deviate from the path when the story that wants to be told isn't the story that you set out to tell.

Stay positive,

No comments: