I wake up many mornings and read through librarian blog posts. As I do so, I think-wow, how smart, I wish I had thought of that (most recently about the Best Free Web Stuff for Broke Librarians, so simple yet so clever)! I marvel at how these people manage to output so much, all of it thoughtful, insightful, interesting, and angled in clever ways. I also feel like I know a little bit about these people. Not in a voyeuristic sort of way, but in a “oh, I hope your eye is better Char Booth,” way, or “Oh, I wish I could be like you when I grow up,” kind of way.
But I am grown up. And my blog limps along, I write about things mostly to inform myself and it’s not always clever nor does it necessarily move the profession forward. Few read it, and in a way I savor that because if they did-perhaps they’d realize I’m not one of them. I’m not a clever Librarian with brilliant ideas and insights. I rarely sit on panels nor do I produce numerous articles and books. I don’t get up early to write books before I go to work. I get up early to drink coffee and do bike loops (mostly in the dark) around Central Park. I don’t give many talks and presentations, and when I do talk, the content is not always particularly insightful or brilliant. I do enjoy researching the topics, and the challenge of presenting well.
Why these admissions? Maybe it’s because last night I was watching this Ted talk which laid bare the simple fact the only way to lead a life where you can give and support and be kind, is if you first be kind and supportive to yourself. Those that have lived fulfilling lives had the similar trait of being genuine, and being vulnerable. And being vulnerable is letting your personality shine, both the shiny polished pretty parts and the raggedy threadbare edges.
So, dear reader, what does this have to do with this blog? With librarianship? With the movers and shakers? With emerging leaders?
Maybe just this. We all have something to offer. We all have unique angles. We can all listen, guide, and help in some way. And-most importantly-we have to keep trying. Which might be the hardest part.