It was with great expectations that I travelled down to Whangarei Tuesday afternoon to listen to American librarian Jenica Rogers. Jenica is to be a keynote speaker at the LIANZA Conference next week in Wellington, but she had been persuaded to “practice” her talk up North. This was a wonderful opportunity for us in the far North to to learn from such a motivated and indeed, passionate, librarian.
Jenica’s session, Reality-based Librarianship for Passionate Librarians was fabulous. Her focus was on how to implement a new project within your library, whether it is a new technique, technology, event, change or concept, the process is the same. Her projects she conceptualised as mountains or hills, and she discussed how we must be completely committed, passionate enough to climb those mountains and achieve our goals. Jenica talked about naming your passion, identifying your goals and professionally organising, planning and managing towards achieving them. Embrace the process she said, even if you have to compromise on the way, it is all about focusing and following your passions, achieving those goals, creating a better environment or service. But that you can’t do it alone, so build a support network, look for allies or flock mates, utilise the power of community.
Jenica also made us consider failure and how to deal with it, when to recognise that this project will not be achievable and climb back down the mountain. “Success requires some tolerance for failure” she stated, and challenged us to plan ahead about things that may go wrong and how we would handle it.
Jenica reminded me of one of our own passionate advocates for libraries, Donna Watt from Invercargill, (view Donna’s blog – Half Pint of Wisdom), they speak the same language with the same message – they really need to be flock-mates!
Thanks to Corin of LIANZA Hikuwai for organising this inspirational session for us. And thank you, Jenica Rogers, for exceeding my expectations and presenting an inspirational reality-based session.
To learn more about Jenica Rogers, start with her blog Attempting Elegance, and if you have the chance to hear her speak at the LIANZA conference, don’t miss it.