HITTING ROCK BOTTOM CAN MAKE YOU STRONGER
I use MercuryApp.com to track my mood twice a day. I’ve focused a good part of this year on my thoughts and feelings as a public library. I use a scale of 1-5 (1=low 5=high) and my average for the last quarter of this year is a 4.03. Before using this site, I just kept a log in Google Docs. While I didn’t use a numbered scale, I can see that I hit rock bottom at the end of summer/start of fall. I was a wreck and I didn’t want to do this any longer. But I didn’t stop. I realized that I couldn’t get much worse and that things would start to look up if I just focused on them getting better. And they did. When you want things to be good, you can make them be good. When you want them to be bad, you can make them be bad. It’s your choice and from here on out, I chose happiness.
A CULTURE IN CONFUSION IS A CULTURE YOU CAN THRIVE IN
People start to freak out when they don’t have any clue what is going on. I found myself doing that earlier this year. I was lost and didn’t have a path. But when there’s nothing but confusion all around you the thing is this…there is no path. It’s up to you to pull out that machete and hack your way through the jungle and create your own path. Open your mind to your wildest library dreams and go for it. You can’t lose.
BUT MOM I’M A CHEERLEADER…THAT’S NOT A BAD THING
I’m never going to write some eloquent thesis on the state of libraries in the 21st century and implement a twelve step plan on how to save libraries. I will leave that stuff to smart people like Heather McCormack and Tim Spalding. What I can do is have dinner and a beer with you and talk about awesome stuff. I can tell you that you’re awesome (because you are, we all are) and hopefully give you some positive energy. You are great. Remember that. I don’t mind being a cheerleader.
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
Cliques, drama, gossip girls, etc. Everyone’s picking little fights and forming groups. I wrote about this idea here this year. I think it still applies. Sure, I may not 100% agree with you but who cares. None of this is about us. It’s about everyone else. Let’s make it happen together. (I point to David Lee King’s excellent Rock Star Librarian post and my response to it here)
WHOEVER CAME UP W/ THE PHRASE “KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE BUT YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER” IS FULL OF SHIT
First up, I’m not a big fan of having enemies. Like I said above, we’re all in this together. But there are always gonna be people that you can never seem to relate with. Keeping those “enemies” close is bullshit. This idea has been around for ages and it hasn’t worked and will never work. Keeping your “enemies” aka “negativity” in your mind and soul is just gonna create more bad stuff. We don’t want that. Instead, I recommend keeping those positive forces we all have in the front of our minds and souls. When we put out good things into the world, we get good things back. This is how we can change the world.
EMBRACE THE ICKY STUFF
That line was the first thing I wrote in my article “Have Degree, Will Travel” for the October issue of Library Journal this year. I stand by it 100%. Get messy and do stuff that might make you feel weird. In the end, everything works out and you come out as a stronger person. The other good thing? When you try something new and unique, the people you’re doing this stuff for appreciate what you’re doing. I think about Leah White over at Morton Grove Public Library. She’s sticking her neck out to win $10,000 for her library in Picture This! contest sponsored by Playaway by trying something new. Leah told me once about her going out into the community to raise support for the cause. That’s not something they teach you in library school. I dig that.
THE REVOLUTION HASN’T BEGUN. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN HAPPENING
Let’s forget about “this generation/that generation/our generation” because here’s the deal: Every generation had their revolution. Every generation succeeded on some parts and didn’t get as far as they’d like with others. There’s a damn good chance that our generation is going to have the same luck. We shouldn’t be dissing other generations of librarians for what they’ve done. We may not see it as carrying on other’s work but in a way it is. Like I said above, we’re all in this together. The revolution is ongoing and it will never end. We’re evolving, not failing.