Habits

I’m back in the library at night, which means it’s time to blog. I’m a big fan of blogging in general. I use Google Reader to keep track of my RSS feeds, and the Feeedler app on my iPad for when I’m not attached to computer. I’ve been an inconsistent journaler for my entire life, although there was a period of about 2 years in my early teens where I wrote a journal entry every day. I used Livejournal extensively in high school and then stopped blogging/journaling in college.

I started this blog when I was finishing grad school and I made an attempt at a personal blog earlier this year. I like writing and I am typically better at holding myself accountable for things. I stopped my personal blog because I felt like it was becoming a chore, and because it didn’t feel safe to write honestly when I knew my close friends and family would be reading. I would very much like to stick to my habit of writing in this blog. As I mentioned last week, I know that reflection is the key to growth and I’d like to keep growing as a librarian. I read a good blog post recently from another interest area of mine (plant based eating and fitness) that discussed how we form habits. The author of the blog actually took part in an online program on how to create habits, and he shares some of the things he learned. The one that resonated the most was to pick one habit at a time to focus on, and to only move on from that once you’ve become consistent.

This seems simple but is often hard to do. Making positive change is addictive and it’s tempting to make large scale changes when you get the initial motivation. I’ve decided to try to do this myself, and to pick one personal habit and one work habit to work on each month. This month my work habit is blogging. For those interested, my personal habit is flossing daily, and it’s going well too! Next month I am going to focus on the habit of staying on top of the good library articles/websites/materials I find. I currently have folders in my Bookmarks labeled “Websites to Explore”, “Articles to Read”, and “Webinars/Videos to Watch”. They tend to get out of control, and December should be a good month to work on this habit since our instructional load is small and I have almost a week with no students.

Usually when I start writing these entries I don’t have anything in mind and the words just flow. For this entry I wanted to make sure to share some links that I’ve found as I started digging through my Bookmarks. The first is an article titled “Curb Your Librarian Frustration in 8 Steps” by Stephen Abram. The title makes the subject evident, and it’s short enough that I think it’s worth it for you to read it if it piques your interest. Although there is a library theme, I think it’s useful reading for anyone who is in a profession that they’ve been in for more than a year or so. I wouldn’t say that I’m frustrated, but this article helped me put things in perspective and pay attention to how I perceive things.

The other link I wanted to share was this list of “10 Great Library Presentations from Internet Librarian 2012” put together by Ellyssa Kroski. Internet Librarian is a conference that’s definitely on my wish list, and this article links to the slides for 10 presentations from this year’s conference. I especially enjoyed the “Library as Content Creator” presentation. I love seeing the innovative things other libraries are doing and hope to apply some of that here. Another article about innovation in libraries that I read recently was from this month’s American Libraries called “Barbecue? Flamenco Dancing? Learning Gets Interactive in Louisville” about a day of information sessions called the How-To Festival at the Louisville Free Public Library. Libraries connecting local businesses/talent with patrons is an important and often overlooked aspect of what we do. I think public libraries are more likely to engage in these types of activities, but I’d like to do something similar in an educational setting.

On our campus we have college fairs and career fairs and I’d love to have something like the How-To Festival here. We have a very interesting and unique community with a lot of small businesses and I think it would be cool to get them involved with the campus and our students. I’ve been ruminating on this idea for a few weeks and I’m still not sure who the best person on campus would be to work on this. I’ve also been waiting until the semester came to an end, I think people are more receptive to new ideas when they’re not feeling overwhelmed by other work.

I just had to take a pause from writing this entry to help a student find books for a paper on personality and I got to visit my favorite section – BF! One thing that helps me stay motivated is helping students. I genuinely love teaching classes and answering reference questions. Embracing these moments is certainly a good way to curb any frustration I’ve been building!

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