Practice on the Pitch: Libraries=People

I am so grateful I got to attend Michael Casey’s meet up with our class. I found it very helpful to hear his advice to future applicants. Enthusiasm is a significant factor in doing well in interviews. In essence, I remember him saying that though experience is important, it can be superseded by an applicant’s energy to be visionary and advocate for change towards Library 2.0 services and strategies.

I am eager to keep learning about the 2.0 world and how I can be an advocate. As I plunge towards Casey’s advice in the MLIS program, I find it interesting to observe people in conversation with me when I tell them what I am studying. As so many articles note, most people I talk to believe libraries=books. Kennedy (2014) concurs: “According to a 2010 OCLC report, Perception of Libraries, 75% of Americans primarily associate libraries with books.” Subsequently, some people I talk to recognize that internet access is now why libraries are important. So, libraries=wifi? These conversations sometimes come to a dead end at this point because I can get tongue tied when I have so much that I want to say.

I struggle with the oversimplification of libraries while having these conversations. I am overwhelmed with where to start in response to invite the person to indulge in what libraries can and are doing. I usually tell stories about cool programming, like the one about the library that hosted a local butcher to butcher a pig in the library.  Suffice it to say, I need to practice my pitch. To do so, I created an artifact that offers illustrations that libraries=people, and I focused on our two modules Participatory Service and Hyperlinked Communities. I am hoping that collecting brief reviews like this slide show will help to keep me (and anyone interested) agile when we talk libraries with friends and strangers. Inspired by the storytelling avenue, I compiled concepts from our readings these last two weeks, and some of my own interests since I live in California.

Consider it a cheat sheet. Maybe someday it will be helpful to review before an interview to get fired up. I was inspired by Kennedy (2014) as he reflected on Schneider’s “The user is the Sun” mantra: “If libraries remain focused on channeling their resources toward helping people solve their problems and meet their needs, then we are providing a service so unique in this world that it will be hard to readily dismiss us.” Shine on.

1 Thought.

  1. Thinking about being enthusiastic at job interviews makes me feel faint, but as someone who will be entering the job market as a brand-new librarian not too long from now (knock on wood), I appreciate the point Michael Casey is making. There is a lot to be enthusiastic about. So many libraries are doing unexpected things, and it’s wonderful. The butcher and the pig is a great example. The fact that you made a video to fire us up is wonderful too. I really want to end this comment by saying, “shine on,” but I can’t do it. Okay, I kind of did it.

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