We all lead busy & varied lives, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have the time to be on a committee, be a mentor, run a workshop, take part in a MOOC, or even just fill in an online membership feedback survey, because it all seems too big, too hard, too much.
What if … we flip that thinking?
Instead of thinking I can’t participate in [insert task that seems overwhelming] at the moment because I am too busy/tired/fed up [insert adjective of choice], what about contributing in other ways instead? Think small & achievable contributions rather than bigger-than-Texas.
We all bring different strengths to the table – look at your peers, can you see the writers, the organisers, the workhorses, the dreamers, the leaders, the artists? Every one of them has something to offer to the library industry. Instead of relying on a small group of committed individuals who regularly step up to industry committees/project groups/conference organisation, we could share the load if we broke it down into more manageable sized “tasks”, we could play to people’s strengths and achieve something truly awesome as a profession.
The collective is stronger than the individual.
We’ve all got something we can contribute to a shared outcome. If a stronger profession is what we want, then why don’t we all bring our strengths to the cause?
I often hear that we, as in the broad stereotypical generalisation of the collective of librarians, don’t contribute much to the professional, scholarly, research publishing field given the size of our industry. And yet there are multiple research projects completed each year by aspiring librarians as part of their educational endeavours.
What if … we implemented a network of people who could work alongside a new graduate to support them to get the results of their research published?
After a graduate has finished their research project, and after a very well-deserved break from that research project, they could partner with one or two librarians who are great editors/writers/publishers, and work together to re-work the research into a publishable format. Working collectively to contribute to the librarianship literature, and developing the network & skill base of the new graduate in their first professional steps into the library industry.
Imagine … a new graduate having a ready-made network of industry professionals, which includes work colleagues, fellow graduates, a mentor, and one or two research writing partners.
Imagine … a new graduate publishes a paper about their research project, which is then read by an overseas student who decides to build upon that research idea and publish their results in a new paper, which is then read by a recent graduate who asks them both to collaborate on a joint international research project.
Imagine … where we want the industry to be in five or ten or twenty years time, and let’s start to contribute small achievable shifts in our thinking and doing to move towards our strong, networked, professional collective. Small contributions made now will add up over time.
Imagine … the strength of the profession in ten years time when this networked & supportive model becomes the norm.