Library Day in the Life Round 4, January 2010

A lot of what I’m doing these days involves community and thinking outside the box.  I’m focusing a lot of my efforts on creating things that will build community.  Whether it be over at or in the planning of my teen events at the Cape May County Library, my goal is to get people together to learn, enjoy life, and share.

Recently, I’ve been working on expanding a project with teen author Keri Mikulski that we are calling Teen Tales. Basically, it’s an 8 week workshop that her and I run where we get a group of teens together and each teen creates a short story.  At the end of the program, we collect the stories and publish our own book called Teen Tales.  It gives the teens a glimpse into the world of creativity, publishing, and community.  They meet and join together with other local authors that are the same age as them and through that we’re hoping they’re inspired to create and recognize the value of having like minded individuals together.

Libraries, Misc.

Getting older=Not that bad

I’ll be turning 30 this June.  I’m starting to hear these tpes of comments a lot…

My, you’re getting old!  Doesn’t it stink?  Better start working out!  Get ready for old age!  I bet your whole body aches!  Get ready for dinner at 4pm and bed by 8pm!  Welcome to real life!

Honestly, I dig this getting older thing and I can’t wait for more of it.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned as I get older is that life has very little to do with just me.  It’s more about everything as a whole.  I am really starting to see how everything around me is connected.

I used to think life was like a video game.  You’re always leveling up, getting new ideas, getting to new stages, and all that good stuff.   It was very much this 1980’s IT’S ALL ABOUT ME attitude.  I have no idea why I adopted this.  But it seems like that was the general feeling around me.

Something changed recently.  I believe it was my trek to ALA Midwinter and the loads of discussions about librarianship I’ve been having with one person in particular.  Buffy Hamilton has been kicking my professional ass recently.  She’s a school librarian who really thinks outside the box.  Take that outside the box thinking, add in my general misunderstanding of just how important school librarians are to our profession (more on that to come later) and viola! You have Justin The Librarian realizing this:

Changing something for one person means everything. It all spreads.  It’s all connected.

Buffy’s quest to get the website Diigo unblocked at her school library put this thought into my head (you can read about that here! A How-To for Fighting Content Filters).  What seems like a small accomplishment for one school librarian and her students is really so much more than that.  Think about the possibilities Buffy has created for her students…the chance to learn, share, interact, connect.  They’ll take those possibilities, apply those to their own lives and BOOM!  CHAIN REACTION!

(Sorry, I just had to do that).

So yeah…getting older isn’t that bad.



What I learned at ALA Midwinter 2010

Even though I only attended one day of the ALA Midwinter 2010 meeting, I feel like my mind was blown.  On Friday, I took part in the Emerging Leaders 2010 program.  I am very excited to be part of the program and I cannot wait to get started on my group project (woo hoo Group J!)

This one line sums it up for me:

“Leaders do not provide energy, they release it from others”

I got this quote (not sure if it is a direct quote and I can’t remember who it exactly came from) from my Emerging Leaders session.  It kicked my ass.  To me, this line represents a whole shift in thinking for me.  I had always thought one way about leadership (it was YOUR vision and YOU provide it and OTHERS help you see that).  Boy was I wrong.  It’s never about YOU.  When you’re a leader, you inspire others.  You help them realize their full potential.  It has nothing to do with you.

I want to thank Connie Paul, Maureen Sullivan, and Peter Bromberg for running an excellent Emerging Leaders program.  I now feel confident to go about my task and be the best librarian I can be.