I want to start off with an apology. I am sorry that 95% of my cultural references are either from punk or soccer. It’s really all I got. Today it’s posi.
This post was inspired by this LSW FF discussion which was inspired by this Agnostic Maybe blog post. What started about “third-rails” of libraryland sort of veered into a discussion of the need for recognition and attitudes.
I used to joke that I felt like Rodney Dangerfield – I get no respect. It’s been like that for a lot of my life though. I am often one of the people who show up early, stay late, setting stuff up, making sure things work. I always volunteer for stuff. Recently I had to ask myself why I do this work what I hoped to get out of it. After some serious reflection, I recognized an attitude adjustment was in order and now I’m trying to carry it through.
See, I really wanted to be an SLA Rising Star. I don’t hide how much I respect SLA, and as such do spend a lot of time and energy for the association. I’m also relatively fresh on the scene, so I thought I would be a shoe-in for the Rising Star award. Hell, I felt entitled to it. And that’s where I was foolish and immature. I didn’t get the award in 2010 or 2011. What made my work more special than anybody else’s? Why was I entitled to anything? Truth of the matter is that I wasn’t, so it was arrogant of me to assume that they would just recognize how awesome and hard working I am for SLA.
Shortly after they announced this year’s winners, I was talking about my expectations and assumptions with an SLA veteran who reminded me that these awards aren’t why we do things. Yes, recognition is nice, it feels good, but that’s not why we’re in this game. I’m a librarian to help people access and use information. I’m involved in SLA to help the profession. I do these things because I think I should do them for the greater good and I enjoy that, and if I keep expecting adulation and lots of accolades, I’m going to be bitter, angry, and resentful.
So at that moment I made a promise to myself. I promised that I would not worry whether or not others recognize me as a great librarian or somebody who’s glamours and awesome. I would really say no to the sill rock star mentality. Instead I’m just going divert that nervous energy to being the transportation librarian I want to be, be the change I think we need, and embody my ideals to the fullest.
This is sort of in line with my new philosophy about collaboration as well, which I’ve also talked about. I will be a team player who compliments others, rather than the superstar who might try to overshadow or hog the limelight. I just want to do good work and help others do the same. If you feel like patting me on the back, I won’t say it’s not appreciated, but I’m not expecting it.
As I said in the LSW thread, “2011 is about execution and growth. That’s my mantra”