Pushing Through the Doubt

I went to the LIBRIS conference last week and met with fellow members of the SCLA GLBT Round Table. It was the first time meeting them in person. Through virtual meetings I would type in the chat, listen to the conversation, and do due diligence to participate. However, it still felt like a stalling moment, where you want to gain ground and move forward, but you don’t.

And I was okay with that.

I’m someone prone to commit to everything and then doubt that I can come through, flake out, or get through with a destroyed inner confidence.

Going to the conference got me out of the comfortable, no-grow zone. It’s not that I’m not skilled at connecting, socializing, or talking. It’s just I tend to be very afraid of initiating the interaction. Thankfully my group members are accepting, patient, and inclusive. Everyone is focused on a central goal which drives us to be better people to our patrons, communities, and each other.

Before the conference, I didn’t know where I was going as a librarian. I knew that I wanted to increase the quality of services to LGBTQ library patrons, teach all staff best terminology and customer service practices, and evaluate existing policies and procedures in order to improve services from the root up. I knew this, but wasn’t sure how to start.

After the conference? I am partnering with fellow RT members to present at a state library diversity exchange. I will be a part of our SCLA conference presentation and panel discussion. I’ve had a conversation with employees about what I am doing, where I am going, and have received buy in from them. Our library is starting a Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee that I have asked to be a part of.

So what changed? It can be difficult to take on change alone. The common thread between blogs, articles, podcasts, books, and webinars about change is to find support. Find people who can help you, have common ideals, or can keep you accountable.

I grew up thinking that I had to get something perfect the first time for it to matter. This mentality kept me from trying new things and meeting new people. What I’ve learned is that you have to fail to learn. I guess you could reword that to say what I failed to learn is that you have to fail to learn. Are your eyes crossed yet?

Moving forward, I’m going to keep trying with at least one clear goal, intention, or direction in mind. I won’t aim for perfect. I’ll be more honest with people about my doubts, concerns, and hesitations. Together we can build ourselves up, protect the weak spots, and move, move, move forward.

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TBR: Sunday Coffee Table Pile- May 6, 2018

TBR pile- the “to be read” pile. Anyone else have this? I feel like a symptom of working at a library is a TBR piles of some height. I think it increases when you have limited book shelf space.

I glance over at the coffee table and notice the TBR monolith on the corner growing while the currently reading pile has stagnated.

I get on kicks of interests and those sometimes stay. More often they wane.

So here is my TBR list for today:

Fiction 

Adjustment Day – Chuck Palahniuk

Non-Fiction

Main Theme: Library Professional Development

The Dysfunctional Library : Challenges and Solutions to Workplace Relationships – Jo Henry, Joe Eshleman, & Richard Moniz

Cultivating Engaged Staff : Better Management for Better Libraries – Margaret Zelman Law

The New Librarianship Field Guild – R. David Lankes

The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness: an Empathy-driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict, and Serving Everyone – Ryan J. Dowd

True Crime Book Club Title

Ghettoside : A True Story of Murder in America – Jill Leovy

Miscellaneous

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics – Dan Harris

–Going to a meditation program series at the local library. Saw this and though why not.

Soulful Simplicity : How Living with Less can lead to so much more – Courtney Carver

–I’m one of those people who lost over 100 lbs of crap with KonMari method. ‘Nuff said.

The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice – Seth Allcorn & Howard F. Stein

–I read this one before but am pairing it with the dysfunctional library book to see the comparison.

Random DVD – Waxwork/Waxwork II

–One of our branches have taken excess DVD donations and made a browsing DVD collection of titles that could not be purchased with current collection development policies. Hence this lovely bad movie gem (the first one – the second is…ok).

-End List-

I understand the irony of mentioning KonMari and yet have a stack of books. I recognize it and accept it and relish in the fact I can shove them all in a book return and be done. They are all library books. I haven’t bought a new book I haven’t read in a long time. I did purchase a treasury of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series with the original illustrations, but I’ve read it over and over as a kid.

Do you have a TBR list? Longer or short than mine? Have themes within or are you more of a sporadic reader? With that, it’s on into the last of the weekend.

Now about that NetGalley list…

Super Quick Shot: Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint & why I should take notes

It’s been a long time since my last post, mostly due to life barreling forward and me spinning on the insides.

I started out a come back to the site by reading several professional library books. I didn’t have a focus on a particular subject, but generally focused on politics, reference services, and suggested professional competencies. Out of all that I read, there is one book that rose above the rest.

I have found that the library professional books I have come across become same-y sounding, follow similar formats, or, especially thin volumes, skim the surface of an issue/topic. Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint by Paul T Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, John Carlo Bertot , and Lindsay C. Sarin was able to take a balanced approach to the perception of public libraries in politics, mixing historical context and founded foresight. Especially in today political climate, it has an eerie feel of prophecy to it (like many dystopian novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Prophecy of the Sower).

What wonderful things do I remember from it?

*attempts to access long term, iron clad, photographic memory from late February*

[ERROR]

Well, that’s embarrassing. It’s also a lesson in what to do if you intend on providing a review or insight on something.

What do I remember? It wasn’t a brief description of things I’m learning in my reference graduate course. It isn’t a collection of case studies. It is a text that could be used in a graduate course about libraries within the political landscape. It is a book that places libraries in a realistic present political context.

There have been times during my online graduate courses where it seems people aren’t panicking as much as I am about the future. At times, I know it is easy to set the default to comfortable soap box for discussion posts, but it isn’t the time to be comfortable anymore.

It is definitely the time to remember what you read and be able to bring it up when needed….*cough, cough*

So Question: What do you do if you are preparing a review? Do you take notes?

Public Libraries, Public Policies, and Political Processes: Serving and Transforming Communities in Times of Economic and Political Constraint

written by Paul T Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, John Carlo Bertot , and Lindsay C. Sarin

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014

Publishers Page

Google Books copy