For those readers who are new to the blog or to Show Me The Awesome:
Show Me The Awesome: 30 Days of Self-Promotion is being co-hosted by Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen & myself for people in library land to share the things they’ve done. It can be about promoting something specific, or about how to promote, or why to promote.
The image for Show Me The Awesome is courtesy of John LeMasney via lemasney.com; and if you’re using the image with your post, please remember to give John credit.
We are using the hashtag #30awesome on Twitter and Tumblr.
Want a taste of what was said in Show Me The Awesome in prior weeks?
I’ll have a Show Me The Awesome post like this one up every Sunday for the month of May. Every night, I’ll be editing this post to add that week’s contributors, with name of post, blog/Tumblr, and a short excerpt of the Awesome.
Staying Awesome On Hiatus at Beth Reads (added 5/13): “My family recently relocated for my husband’s job and for a number of reasons it’s not practical for me to look for a job right away. We had a deal that when he was finally done with school I could take a little break. I love being a librarian, and will go back probably sooner rather than later so I want to stay on top of things during my break. Here is how I’m doing that: 1. Keeping up with my Professional Learning Network . . . 2. Blogging . . . 3. Webinars . . . 4. Chats and Conferences . . . 5. Reading.”
Show Me The Awesome You Schools at Tiny Tips for Library Fun (added 5/13): “One of the things I’m proudest of in my career is my success building partnerships and working with public schools in my communities. I didn’t think too much about it until I started to tune into the fact that colleagues seemed to have far fewer happy collaboration stories than I did. Not only far fewer happy stories but also far more horror stories. Did I just always luck out and get jobs in great communities with uber-responsive schools? Hmmm. I don’t think so. My secret has been confidence, dogged persistence and patience. Each time I move into a community, I make appointments to meet individually with all the principals for a chat. I also meet with school media colleagues. If I have a question about the reading curriculum, I meet with the reading teachers. If I am wondering about a policy or subject being taught with third graders I reach out to those teachers. I drive wherever in the school district I need to go to be there rather than asking the staff to come find me.”
And Other Duties as Assigned at Title and Statement of Responsibility (added 5/14): “Some days (or weeks, or months) it’s hard to feel like I’m accomplishing anything. There’s always so much to do, and it’s hard to feel that there’s progress when the tasks–even when they’re fun–are repetitive. As soon as I finish a book order, I start another book order. We are also doing some realignment at my library, which made me really think about what it is I actually do at work. So I’m taking a step back and listing my current job duties here–both because they may soon change, and because sometimes I need a reminder of how much I actually accomplish for my job. . . . I know they say libraries can’t be all things to all people, but when it comes down to ME, I want to do it all. And hey, that’s a lot of stuff that I juggle every day! I am proud of myself–and will bookmark this post for those days when it feels like nothing is getting done.”
5 Tips For Program Promotion at The Lupine Librarian (added 5/15): “Some of [your patrons'] ideas will be inspired and fantastic—ideas you never would have come up with on your own. Other ideas will be crazy (and, in most cases, not feasible for the library setting). If the ideas are doable, by all means, try to implement them! This will give your young patrons a greater sense of involvement and even a sense of ownership for the program. If the idea is way out there (reading on the roof of the library comes to mind), applaud the creativity of the idea and explain why it isn’t feasible at this time (or ever). Sometimes crazy ideas have a good idea at the center, so if you can remove the more outlandish aspects, there might be something great there. So, maybe reading on the roof is out, but reading on the front lawn might be an excellent plan.”
On the Radio Part 1 at Librarianship As A Subversive Activity (added 5/15): “All that playing around on the radio was fun but fun is all it was. Not until 2009 did I say to Ameet Doshi, the head of the User Experience Department at the Georgia Tech Library, “We should get on the radio somehow; the library should be on the radio.” I meant just that we should record some public service announcements about the library — starting small — but he said “We should totally do a radio show.” So we did. It took six months from conception to the first broadcast but we did it: on January 24th, 2010, the first episode of Lost in the Stacks, the world’s one-and-only research-library rock’n'roll radio show, went out on 91.1FM, WREK Atlanta.”
I Did a Research Project & It Was Good at Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils (added 5/15): “In July 2012 I spent two weeks in Cairo, Egypt interviewing young, Egyptian artists about their information needs. It was my first romp into the world of information science research. As a student, I thought I would do more academic library-related research (instruction, assessment) but my limited world travel just kept asking to be a part of my professional research. Thus, Egypt and guessing my way through the research and publication process as I go. Here’s an brief (and truncated) overview of my research. . . . One of the painters told me, “We as artists and students, we didn’t really get the chance to study or research the right way. Like when you go to the library and you read, read, read…but we don’t have this here in Egypt. Studying by going to the library, that doesn’t really exist. Which is really bad.” ”
Change Is Good: Keep It Fresh at Storytime Katie (added 5/16): “Take breaks. I run four storytime “sessions” a year. (September-October. November Off. December-January. February Off. March-April. May Off. June-July. August Off.) Those months off give me time to recharge, to develop new initiatives — like Growing Readers, to create new storytime props & flannelboards, to focus my attention on weeding or creating Picture Book City. And like I said in Part One, be honest and transparent towards families about why you need a break. If you can’t take time off, see if someone else can cover for you for just two weeks. I truly believe you’ll feel re-energized when you come back to storytime.”
Immersive Play In the 21st Century Library at Books and Adventures (added 5/16): “So, how do we bring those missions of creativity, play, independent learning, and performance to life while remaining true to libraries’ heritage of literacy and reading? Let’s see if we can do it in six bullet points…Steal an idea; Tell a story; Provide a hands on activity; Provide a rich language activity; Share participants’ work!; .Always make them join, always make them borrow. . . . The six steps above can generate activities for all ages and sectors of the community. They acknowledge the traditional association of libraries with literacy, but also take us into the 21st century – without necessarily spending lots of cash on digital technology. If you can run this kind of event in your library, and really press home the message that the basic parameters of what a library is don’t even mention the word ‘book’, we can begin to help the media and the wider populace to celebrate the awesomeness that is the public library – that generous, radical space which your community funds so that everyone, rich or poor, young or old, has free access to the world of human knowledge and culture.”
Get Your Awesome On at Brown Paper Books (added 5/18): “I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of self-promotion, and perhaps with good reason, because they don’t want to be seen as narcissists. But self-promotion doesn’t have to be about endless navel-gazing. For me, self-promotion is about acting on and talking about my passions rather than talking about myself. Recently, I’ve converted my passion for books by writers of African descent into my own awesome, Brown Paper Books, a blog for people to discover works by black writers and learn more about the tastes of black readers. I felt (and feel) that there isn’t enough publicity out there for black writers. The wonderfully inclusive magazine Black Issues Book Review is now out of print. Borders, with its controversial African American fiction section, is gone. A number of black owned and focused bookstores have closed. As a result of these and other trends, I found myself having to look harder for books by authors of African descent that appeal to me as a reader. I figured that I was not the only one, so I started this blog.”
Stop Calling It Self-Promotion at Fat Girl Reading (added 5/18): “Self-promotion is focused on self. It’s the first word, after all. Self-promotion sounds like someone who is focused on talking only about you, you, you. It’s even has connotations that, gosh, if that person were any good – if what they were doing was any good – someone else would surely notice and then talk about and promote it without their interference. So a self-promoter? That must be someone who just wants to talk about their mediocre work because no one else will. Think, instead, of having a conversation – of talking to someone about what you do and why you love it. Think about your part in this conversation: how you’ll talk about what you did, the work you put into the project, the results you had in mind. Think about this moment, this conversation, as one of sharing. That sounds much better, doesn’t it?”
Talented Table View Library at The Librarian Is In (added 5/18): “Conveniently located by the commuter bus stop, shopping center, police station and adjacent sports club, Table View Library (TVL) is a huge boon to this ocean side suburb 20 minutes north of Cape Town, South Africa. It’s in a lovely relaxed area, close to stunning white sand beaches with massive waves. The enormous Rietvlei Nature Reserve with its flamingo and pelican flecked lagoons is just a short walk away. . . . Weekly storytimes are held in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa and during school holidays there are additional events for students - the Facebook site has loads of photos of kids having a grand time making and flying kites, creating pinwheels, playing outdoor games and practicing their football (soccer) skills in the fields outside. Other pictures show the fun to be had at storytimes, craft events (many with a green theme – like making toys from plastic and cardboard, or presents for your folks from old shirts) and book club parties.”