Write Every Day?

Seth Godin says something I probably need to hear every day. Write every day, in public. This is very hard for me because I worry about the repercussions that follow speaking one’s mind. It’s not that I worry about my writing not being good enough– I wrote professionally for years and I know my writing is at least adequate. It’s that I worry that if I express the wrong opinions, I could put my career in jeopardy. Pretty ironic when my career is studying and teaching librarianship. I also pay attention to discourse and how policies are shaped and how they then shape the people who have to enforce them. In other words, I think too much.

I do agree with Seth Godin and I am going to try to write more, publicly, every day. I think it will help my writing for publication as well. I’m working on several articles and a couple of research projects. One article is on culture shock in school libraries and the other is a narrative of my experiences doing institutional ethnography in a school. I want to write it in a way that would be useful to a librarian who wants to examine work processes and discover how to change them for the better.

How am I Doing?

Here is what I hope will become a monthly update on the librarian goals I set for this year.

1. Work on programming. I start my practicum today. I will be spending all day Monday at various schools in the district I live in. My first goal, as of right now, is to set up a reading program for advanced second graders. I want to get to know the librarian and the school before I launch into programming. I also need to do some research and post links and/or citations here.

2. Improve my websites. I have not had a lot of success here. The software I had intended to upgrade to has made some changes and I’m waiting for them to smooth out the problems. Once they do, I’ll switch. This software gives me no way of knowing when someone has posted a comment, yet is extremely vulnerable to comment spam, so I can’t leave comments unmoderated.

3. Start answering typical library-related questions found on job applications. I have a start on this in an essay I wrote for a scholarship application.

4. Get more involved in the library “blogosphere” and stay involved. If I have to, I will schedule time to check bloglines every day. I have not done this yet, but I will take Kris’s advice and set my bloglines as my homepage.

5. Work my weblog study into a publishable article.

6. Identify book review or award committee opportunities. When I signed up for the Missouri Association of School Librarians recently, I indicated that I am willing to read for several of their awards.

So far, not bad, not great. So much of library school is simply hanging in there day by day. I’m taking some very exciting classes that take a lot of mental energy. I’m also involved in a cool project involving webcasting. It keeps me very busy.

Goals for 2006

Now that the new semester has started, I’m getting serious about my goals for this year. They’re focused on improving my skills so I can be ready for work as a full-time youth services librarian next year.

1. Work on programming. This is my weakest area as a future librarian. As part of my project-based practicum, I will have to plan and implement one program, so that’s a start. I’m also taking a seminar this summer on programming, focusing on the props and nuts and bolts. There might also be an opportunity for me to present a storytime to some campus daycare kids this spring.

2. Improve my websites. I need to manage my time better so I can keep up with the reviews on my Teen & Tween Reads site, as well as recruit up to five teens and tweens to participate. One new element will be a booktalk podcast, but I haven’t decided yet how to implement it. I’m also going to switch to a more flexible software for managing the websites.

3. Start answering typical library-related questions found on job applications. This way, I don’t leave out valuable experience like my volunteer work with kids. I can also make sure I address any deficiencies before I graduate.

4. Get more involved in the library “blogosphere” and stay involved. If I have to, I will schedule time to check bloglines every day.

5. Work my weblog study into a publishable article.

6. Identify book review or award committee opportunities.