Finding Inspiration

I was emailing with a friend today about how to keep the "zing" in our programming work with kids and teens. Sometimes we get so caught up in the programming planning that we don't give enough time for the program to just happen. It is exciting when we open ourselves up to those possibilities and sheer exhilaration when kids and teens take control to guide it to a new place.

But how do we get there? I sometimes feel that as I get older I have a tougher time finding my spark. I have to push further to find fresh inspiration. When I changed jobs last year, it was truly a shot in the arm - I was with new people, new ideas, new ways. But changing jobs isn't a realistic approach to finding a spark!

Better is networking with colleagues and talking over ideas - through in-person attendance at conferences, workshops and any place where youth library folks gather. Reading blogs and tweets; keeping up-to-date on listservs; keeping up with journals and reading widely is another way to stay fresh with ideas that you can tailor to your workplace.

If you are very very fortunate as I have been in my work places, you will have a co-worker (or two or three) who will talk kid and teen books with you; who will tell you about an exciting program they would like to try; who will inspire you with the way they approach programming or problem solving or working with the public; who will be a devil's advocate to push you to better the idea that you have.

In my experience, true inspiration is always a result of collaboration. Almost no one is brilliant or creative in a complete vacuum. We build upon the work and ideas of others or our perception of a need to create something more. The more you touch base with others, the better your ideas - and the more inspired you can become.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the terrific post. You are always an inspiration to me!