What to write for Show Me The Awesome? Especially after having read so many terrific posts this past month, from all types of librarians and library staff working at all types of libraries! About interesting projects and the wonderful things people do, every day, as part of the regular, everyday business of being awesome.
As I looked over these posts, or thought back to particular projects I’ve worked on, I saw how often these projects are about more than one person. It’s not about “me”; it’s about partnerships and collaborations, group activities, building on what others have done, being inspired by our colleagues.
Look at Show Me The Awesome: it’s me. And Kelly Jensen. And Sophie Brookover. Working on this together meant we could each play to our strengths (Sophie’s organization spreadsheets are a thing of beauty). It gave us an opportunity to brainstorm our ideas of what 30 Awesome could be. Even just as a practical matter, it gives back-up: I’ll be at BEA this coming week, with limited Internet access, but Sophie will be around for promoting 30 Awesome.
Partnerships can be practical: being able to do more because of the strengths of each party. It also allows people to get outside their own isolated workplace. School librarians may often be the sole librarian for their school, or even their entire school system. Teen or children’s librarians may be the sole one doing that type of service in their library. Yet, that’s not a barrier to working together and creating together.
The great thing about social media is that it allows us to make connections and create partnerships, like Show Me The Awesome, without having to work together or live near each other. Sophie, Kelly, and I did all the planning and organizing online. Thanks to places like Twitter and Facebook we can meet; we can talk in chat and text; and create in shared documents. It’s not necessary to be in one place.
Meeting in real life does have tremendous value. It can be easier to brainstorm and create; it can be quicker to accomplish tasks. And, when you’ve met someone in person, it can be easier to understand their tone. What’s a joke, what’s serious. Sophie and I are both in New Jersey, so can connect in real life; Kelly and I meet up at the same conferences.
In looking at all the 30 Awesome posts, I like how we are not alone. And together, we are inspiring each other, and being inspired. Yes, we are awesome; and we’re letting each other know we are awesome; and we’re letting others in the library world know.
The image for Show Me The Awesome is courtesy of John LeMasney via lemasney.com.