Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Show Me The Awesome Week 2

Quick recap:

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; 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 last week? Here is my post with snippets from last week’s contributors.

Going forward, 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.

Trying to Find the Awesome In Me at Amy’s Library of Rock (added 5/6): “But maybe that’s why I NEED to find the Awesome in myself today, to make an effort to self-promote, whether as a librarian or as a person. It’s actually in my role as a librarian that I feel MOST confident. Even in the worst of my depression, someone would come to me with a reference or readers’ advisory question and I’d find them even more than they thought they were looking for, and I’d, for a moment, FEEL AWESOME. I KNOW I’m good at that! I’m good at asking the questions to find out what someone is TRYING to say that they want. I’m good at thinking up many possible ways to find the answers, and many possible answers, too. It’s not particularly fancy. It doesn’t get attention. A lot of people don’t even realize it’s a skill, and think anyone off the street can work a library desk. But, one person at a time, I build the patrons’ trust and satisfaction.”

Serving Teen Parents at Wendy on the Web (added 5/6): “At a school, the likelihood of getting all the mothers and babies into one room is slim, but I think there are lots of ways you can connect them to quality resources. You can find used copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting in any thrift or secondhand store. I always pick up dollar copies to give to girls who kept out copy out. “You know this book costs $20,” said one student when I gave her one. I worried about all the other expenses she was about to encounter. And even at $20, it seems a good investment. . . . .Be happy for them.

Sunny Days at Circulating Ideas (added 5/7): “As a child,] I didn’t have the life experience to understand that one bad experience should not spoil countless good ones. The thing about being an adult is that now I do understand and in a professional sense, that is what I try to do with the podcast I created, Circulating Ideas: show off the good experiences we create in libraries, which far outnumber the things not going our way. The profession is filled with innovative people, and I want the show to be a platform for them to show off how awesome they are. When I promote the show, I’m also promoting those guests who have been on and will be on, paying it forward.”

My Gap Year(s) at Home Librarian (added 5/8): “If you’ve read my About Me page (or keep reading this sentence) you’ll know, among other things, that about two years ago I had a baby and quit my job. What you won’t know is how terrifying that prospect was and how difficult the decision was to make. I worried that no one would ever look past that gap in my work history or worse yet, would write off motherhood as a busy, but ultimately easy, job requiring no skill. Even in a profession dominated by women it can be hard for mothers to justify putting their family first. But what I wish I had known then, is how much better a librarian I am for having made that choice and actually staying home.”

Show Me The Awesome: on Oi! You! at Telegrams From Narnia (added 5/9): “I was part time at first, but managed to impress enough and wrangled myself a full-time position fairly quickly. How do I impress? A colleague once told me that I was getting a reputation for “throwing myself at the deep end”. And the thing is – I’m a really good swimmer. I volunteered for everything I could – stock work, story and rhymetimes, anything else that was on offer. My thirst for experience within the system was verging on limitless. Enthusiasm has always been a strong suit of mine. And I think it helps that I still have a very romanticized view of libraries. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing in the long run. It certainly gets me into some arguments!

Preschoolers Are Creatures of Habit at Storytime Katie (added 5/9): “I touched upon my library’s revolving door of staff members in this ALSC post, but I’ll recap here. Essentially, my library is super close to a library school. We’d hire a library student as an assistant, they would get their degree and then a full-time job, and then we’d hire another assistant. From when I started at my library in Fall of 2006 to when I took over storytime in Fall of 2009, six different librarians/library assistants had been in charge of storytime. My patrons needed some stability. And here’s how I fixed it.”

Show Me The Awesome at Telegrams From Narnia Part II (added 5/11): “When setting up these things, you run at the very high risk of having your own strong ideas of how things are going to run and therefore creating something which doesn’t allow for the wants and needs of those attending. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a control freak, so I ran at an even higher risk than anyone else. I had to make a big point of telling myself (and everyone else) “this is about the teenagers. It’s what they want.””


About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is


  1. […] participating in the amazing series, “Show Me the Awesome!” that was started by Kelly, Liz, & Sophie. For more AWESOME, please check over at their sites for the official link-up. Also, […]