Spring Break has come and gone and all the before-the-end-of-the-nine-weeks busyness delayed this post…but I’m so honored about being selected as a 2016 Library Journal Mover and Shaker!
Fellow winner Andy Plemmons has a great post about the process of being selected…and I agree that it was very hard to keep it a secret from practically everyone for so long! I won’t repeat what he says, but I will tell you that when I finally saw the list of the other winners I was in awe. The other school librarians who won are my idols and I’ve been reading about them in publications for years! Colleen, the makerspace guru, has a great post about all the school librarians who won so go on over and read it. It’s amazing, as is Colleen.
I’ll highlight something that Andy said – you actually have no idea what category you are going to be put in until right before publication. I was very excited to find out that I was put in the Advocates category, because I think it is an essential part of librarianship in today’s world, and I think it makes many librarians feel uncomfortable. It’s actually hard to brag on yourself – it can feel so self-aggrandizing, narcissistic even. But librarians have got to get over this, and get the word out on all that we do everyday. Because, y’all, we are changing lives. We improve instruction. We inspire readers. We teach kids to be critical evaluators of information. To go back to what my hero, David Lankes, says is the mission of every librarian, we “improve society through facilitating knowledge creation” in our communities. And guess what? Without us, some of that knowledge is NOT created in our communities. We make communities BETTER. So we have got to get over our discomfort and sing from the rooftops how we ARE making our communities better. And I am not ashamed to say that I do that. I tweet. I send weekly emails to parents and students about all that is going on in the library. I invite speakers into the library and I showcase what I do. I have students who are going before the board. I facilitate a twitter chat. I contact public officials. I enjoy public speaking, and I do it whenever I can, where I can talk about all the great things that librarians do. I do these things not just to highlight what goes on in MY library, but to show everyone what goes on in MOST libraries.
I’ve always advocated for librarians, but I’m thankful to work in an amazing district with the most incredible leader, Stephanie Ham (2014 Mover and Shaker). Stephanie has empowered me as a library coach for the district to take my advocacy to a new level. Metro Nashville Public School librarians are top-notch and so much of that is due to Stephanie and her incredible team in Library Services.
If you don’t already, go on twitter and follow the amazing school librarians who are my fellow Movers and Shakers this year – there’s Andy Plemmons, Sue Kowalski, Adam Marcus, Colleen Graves, and me, of course!