Building Advocacy as Habit

I have come to the realization that taking time for myself is hard work. 

For example, building meditation into my daily life has been a process. How much time will I spend meditating? What app/guidance, if any, will I use? What time of day will be most beneficial? How will I actually remember to meditate? Where is a good location for my practice? 

After much experimentation, I finally found my sweet spot. My meditation lasts 15 minutes around noon in a conference room on campus using the Ten Percent Happier app (loved their Ted Lasso challenge!). Oh, and it’s a must that I not only block out time but also reserve the room on google calendar. That makes it official. At this point, if I miss a day of meditation, I feel it. So I do the work to make it happen.

That same sense of imbalance happens for me when I don’t take time for the library profession. I’m not talking about my job. I’m talking about the profession as a whole. The profession that lights up imaginations, provides access to resources, and not only includes but amplifies voices. This work, because it is work, also requires me to ask a series of ongoing questions. What does advocacy mean? Is it a grand gesture or a small step? Will it require me to speak, to write, to listen, and/or to unite?

Some action steps that have helped me build my advocacy habit for the profession:

  • Connect: A monthly zoom meeting with a fellow solo librarian at another school library. This point of contact fuels both of us in profound ways.
  • Share: Rotate weekly features in our school’s daily announcements. This may be about a resource offered by our school or an event from a public library. Anything to get the word out about what libraries have to offer.
  • Intake: A book review, an article, a podcast, even an emotional vent on a social media post. Things that circle me back to both the realities and idealities of the profession.
  • Rise: Accepting the leadership position. Proposing the conference session. Writing the blog post.

What are some ways that you advocate, either for yourself and/or for the profession?

3 thoughts on “Building Advocacy as Habit

  1. Thank you for thinking about the profession as a whole in addition to your own needs as a professional. As a representative of the board of AISL, we are definitely all stronger when we stand together. There are so many paths towards advocacy.

  2. Thanks for taking the leap and writing! I’m impressed and amazed that you have that self-care time set aside at work!
    As for advocacy, specifically your last point, please remember that Cathy Leverkus heads up our Publications Committee that exists specifically to mentor members through conference and article work.

  3. I am also building a “meditate at mid-day with the Ten Percent Happier app” habit! It’s been a really helpful way to keep me grounded during busy (and sometimes frustrating…) days.

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