when i grow up i wanna be like…

amy posted this May 17th, 2011 | filed under: ilovemyjob, inspire me!, library skül, moi | 1 comment »

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by jambina

new grads frequently ask about my career path, about how i managed to move up the food chain quicker than most, and, in some awesomely awkward instances, they actually word it as “what is the secret to your success”.
this is the secret/my career path/how i macgyvered my way up in libraryland:
i reach out to others in libraryland and ask questions all the time.
that’s it.

this pic is of krista and i on our four year “anniversary” of rooming together at CiL conferences. how did it start? four years and a few months before CiL2008 i called her and said “hey, you are doing cool stuff. when i graduate from mcgill library school i want to do similar stuff to you. also, i want to go to CiL and i see you are speaking there, any chance we can split the cost of a room?” she said yes.
for the record:
1. i do not recommend asking to bunk with someone as your first foray into meeting other librarylanders.
2. #1 could work but is likely not something you can use in a “how did you guys meet” story.
3. sorry krista, for blogging about how we met!

but i did learn to always ask. if you want to go to a conference but can’t afford it, talk to the organizers and volunteer your time in return for free registration. even if it means only getting to see one session, the time spent networking with others at the conference is well worth it.
in the same vein, if you want to learn about a project/figure out how something works, just ask. you’d be surprise how nice librarians are… mostly. ; )

since then, i have found myself a group of mentors. some i work with, most i don’t. what’s most important is that i went out and built a network for myself – a network of people that i admire, and want to be like “when i grow up”. these are librarylanders with drive, ambition, perseverance, awesome ideas, and the guts to go for it when the haters are in full-on hate mode. these people? these are the ones i turn to for advice, comfort, comiseration, or a good kick in the ass. i also will eternally have their backs, as they have mine. some of them might not even realize they are mentors to me, but they are. (and for you mentors who don’t like it… sukkit. <3 jambina.) build yourself a network. it's not hard, but you have to be fully invested. if you do, i promise it is well worth it.

One Comment on “when i grow up i wanna be like…”

  1. 1 Natalie said at 8:18 am on May 17th, 2011:

    Still growing up and looking up to you for inspiration. Merci Amy!

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