Put A Bookmark In It

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I was invited by a local library to visit their space yesterday to talk about all things related to teens. I warned the director in advance that I “had been out of that game” for 3.5 years now and that a lot of what I could share would be things that “worked well in the past” and were very “specific to those communities”. I said all of this because I did not want to let them down. I was their guest and they were taking a few hours out of their day to talk to me. All of us only have so much energy.

The TL;DR of it all was that it went well, we had a nice conversation, they have a great staff and lots of ideas, and I am sure they will get to where they need to be. Once an idea is born and you have people on board, I feel like there’s no stopping that idea. It’s going to happen and it’s going to have some impact on the world. All of the pieces are in place for this library to make some cool things happen for their community.

A lot of folks have told me that I should start up my own consulting business when it comes to libraries. I’ve had some great experiences in libraries and I am generally excited about the profession. But there’s always been a roadblock in my way: I am hesitant to talk about public library things with other libraries because so much of what we do is either time or community specific. I don’t feel like I have the time to fully invest in their communities and understand who they are and what they could want. I don’t have to time to get excited about every new technological breakthrough or service that’s out there. My roadblock is that I just don’t have the energy do give them all that I want to give them. I keep coming back to this energy thing in all of my recent writings. I keep writing it to remind myself that I only have a finite amount of energy and that I need to be aware of this at all times.

I’ve never wanted to be one of those people who rests on their laurels. Just because I did something in the past should not mean anything in the present. That was then and there and this is now. Portland, Chattanooga, and everything else in between were great but that’s all over now. At the library I visited yesterday I was asked to recap my past work and achievements for the staff and I mentioned that I was a Mover & Shaker back in 2013. I totally let myself down mentioning that to the staff like it meant something here in 2018. I felt gross in that moment and the stench continues to linger. I’ll get rid of it soon. Writing all of this down and sharing it with the world will help. Thanks for listening.

From all of this thinking and writing out loud I come away with this realization: my biggest problem and at the same time my superpower in this life seems to be that no matter what path I take I am never satisfied. I continue to seek something. I am a person who does not want to rest on their laurels. If I write and record an album, I immediately want to get it done, out to the world, and move onto the next thing. That’s the same when it comes to any library project. Envision, create, unleash, and continue growth. There is no looking back. Oddly enough I was never one of those kids that constantly rearranged their bedroom. I pretty much had the same setup until around age 16.

The title of this post and the image that goes with it is taken from a message between Haley and I. We chat about this stuff all the time. Through our chats we learn and grow. Constant introspection and discussion is a very healthy thing for human beings. When I get to this point, I usually want to burn everything down in order to move ahead. Perhaps burning everything down isn’t the thing to do. Maybe I should take a page (pun!) from my library work and instead of burning everything down to just put a bookmark in it for the time being. Set it aside. Don’t destroy it. Let it exist and then come back to it when the time feels right. 

Thank you for listening today. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

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