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?