Sometimes I feel like librarianship is one of the weirder professions. Not for all the reasons that you’re probably thinking of, but because of the part of our professional culture that has a kind of disdain for success. Its not hard to point instances of this out. If you look (and you don’t have to look too far) there are a bunch of blog posts that basically just hate on how successful other people are. There are a bunch of people in ALATT who hate on people’s project’s when they get too successful (“OMG, if I have too see this video of ___ library one more time,” etc…). Or, you can just look at people’s reaction to Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers award, or the way people comment when you promote your awesome stuff. My big fear is that this is causing professionals to keep from promoting their awesome stuff for fear of appearing too successful and getting that hater backlash.
This is why I love this #30awesome project. You all are doing rad things and you need to talk about them… Shamelessly. This is the best fucking profession in the world, tell people about it.
Let me just mention my experiences real quick… I ran a contest called the Great Librarian Write-Out where the winner would get $800 for writing about libraries and librarianship in a non-library and in-print forum. I only had 4 legitimate entries after a year. I’ve only had 6 in total after two years. Also, Librarians have a direct line to one of the world’s largest online blogs (boingboing.net) where we can write articles about the amazing stuff that libraries and librarians are doing. The great stuff that you are doing!! We’ve had 23 articles when we should have had a hundred. What is up with this? Am I wrong? Do we not fear shamelessly promoting ourselves and I’m totally mistaken?
Even if I’m completely wrong about the culture of our profession, you are all doing awesome things and you need to promote it far more than you do already. Because the deal is, that by promoting yourselves and your work as a librarian to the world (and to the profession) you are actually helping librarianship as a whole. This is largely due to the fact that according the PEW Internet Research Center and OCLC the number one most effective technique for building library support is creating a relationship with your community as a librarian. Even if you disagree with that, you still help the profession with you self-promotion because we will all learn about the awesome things you’re doing and get better at our jobs.
So, while I completely support this #30awesome project, I really hope that it is the the spark of a fire of the shameless promotion of librarians, libraries, and everything that we do. Now, go out and tell people that you’re awesome and why.