28 February 2014

Guest blog post at "Letters to a Young Librarian"

Last fall I wrote a guest blog post for Jessica Olin's fantastic blog, "Letters to a Young Librarian."  That post was on Interlibrary Loan and somehow made AL Direct (which was a bit of a surprise to me!) But I enjoyed the experience so much, that I've written a second guest blog post for Jessica, this one on graphic novels, which is of course one of my passions.  So if you want to know more about graphic novels, how I got started collecting them, and how to build a collection for your library, go check out my post!  And while you're there, make sure that you check out the rest of Jessica's fantastic blog.

25 February 2014

Where to go from here?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
I've heard that quote so many times it seems like one day it's just going to appear as a tattoo on my body.  It's a great quote isn't it though?  You want things to change in the world? Go out and show them how.  And when I started thinking about this blog post, and how I wanted to provide an update to my last post about my diagnosis with Asperger's, that quote popped into my head.  I could even hear different friends, coworkers, random strangers say it to me.  And I realized something about the quote...it's a double edged sword in it's meaning.  It tells us to go out and change the world, by leading by example.  And that's both a good and a bad thing.  Because think about the people that you know and encounter, if you suddenly start living you life differently, exemplifying what you want them to see, to be accepting of you as you are...how are they to react?  Some of them will stand by you and hold you up; some will be there for you, but express worry about how others will view you; some will ignore you; and some will tear you to pieces for being different.

And so...I started thinking, what do I want the world to see about me.  How do I want them to perceive me?  And I Googled the quote, to make sure I had it right, and I discovered...I don't.  Gandhi didn't say those words, at least not like that.  What he said was:
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”  (via: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/falser-words-were-never-spoken.html)
So...that's a bit different isn't it?  At least how I read it.  It isn't that the world changes around what we do, it's that how we perceive the world changes towards us.  The world may still treat us the same way, but if we change ourselves, if we adjust how we approach the world, then our feelings towards it will change.  And that last little part..."We need not wait to see what others do."  That's what struck me the most.  Stop waiting for others to put themselves out there to guide us and tell us what to do, and instead take the first step.

So, in my last post, I took the first step to a new path in this journey and I laid out that I was diagnosed as being on the Asperger's spectrum last December and what it's like for me.  Since that post I've gotten advice from a lot of different people that was all across the board.  And most of the people were genuinely trying to help me out, that were worried about me and my future, and just about me in general.  All good things, but I struggled with aspects of what they were telling me, and that's why I started thinking about the quote.  Because some of them told me to be the change that I want to see.  And once I saw the original quote, everything in this post clicked.

I am changing how I see the world.  I am changing how I approach it.  They may be small changes.  They may be big changes.  But they are the changes that I choose.  And the first of those changes is.  I am me.   I am most comfortable, most happy, most at ease when I am not trying to fit into a traditional mold or follow the path that others have taken.  I hear the drummer and I march to my own beat, with all of my weird ticks, tendencies, and strange habits that I've developed over the years.  The biggest change to make, is that I am job hunting again.

Don't get me wrong, my library is great, but it is not where I fit and if I'm honest with myself, I've known that for a while.  I am looking for a library that wants a librarian that thinks outside the box, that is slightly eccentric, that is honest, and that can work outside the traditional mold.  I am that librarian, regardless of the position, I am creative, I am passionate, and I am innovative.  I play well with others, I work independently, and I forge new paths.  If you hire me, if you let me be me, then I promise to make that position awesome and to spread it to the rest of the library.  If you want a librarian like this, then drop me a line.

I am taking a stand.  I am forging a path that is mine and I am trusting my instincts.  Also, just because this is on my play list, I leave you with this video, Sara Bareilles--Brave: