#MakeItHappen But Don't Implode

Meredith Farkas in her most recent American Libraries column really encourages to people to #MakeItHappen. That Twitter hashtag, first invented by  librarian J. P. Porcaro, is, to quote Farkas, "a rallying cry for librarians new to the profession to let go of whatever is keeping them from taking professional risks and creating change".  It got me thinking - alot, because I will be part of a panel with two other librarians (well into our careers) who make it happen all the time. Our presentation focuses on achieving professional and personal balance despite unbelievable commitments.

Farkas discusses that old "pay your dues" and don't step on toes approach to library work giving way to a model that invites young librarians to push the envelope. I love it.  But librarians in all stages of their careers need to push that envelope. Lots of people have great ideas and passion and pour it on.

But in that passionate pursuit of awesome, how do we stay balanced?  When I was a fresh young thing I would have killed to be as over-committed as I am now - connected through professional associations, social media, email, blogs, the internet; spreading the good word through workshops, consulting and now as an online associate lecture at my alma mater...oh yeah and working 45-50 hour weeks.

Back in the day, when I was single, I was partying hard and that DID take up a bit of time. I was breaking into professional association work - running for office and losing often - but still serving on committees.  I had time and lots of it. I'm sure it's because it was a pre-internet time and the fact that I lived in a pretty isolated area (I'm back here again as an old guy and don't feel that isolation at all which speaks volumes about how the web and social media has lifted us from feeling disconnected) along with the fact that I felt 30 years ago I had to wait and "pay my dues" that I didn't grab that brass ring.

I stopped waiting about twenty years ago and have never looked back. It's been great fun to plunge in and make change happen in youth librarianship - in my own job; in our state and nationally.  By throwing my hat in unreservedly; paying my own association dues and networking with others to produce change &  persuading people about the importance of new ideas and initiatives, I, my community and my colleagues have all benefitted. The gestalt is so fun, I can barely say no to stuff so I need to keep it balanced as I #makeithappen.

I have lots of ideas for that panel on how that balance happens. I asked the ALA Think Tank on Facebook what ideas they wanted to share and after 40 comments, the suggestions keep rolling in: sleep, exercise; eat well; prioritize; drink adult beverages; focus; plan; delegate; carve out time for family; meditate; laugh; focus on the positive and more. I think that for me being passionate about my work life, my home life and my play life #makesithappen. Stay tuned for more after the program presentation!

Image: '. . . . .'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/52122658@N00/2375204702 Found on flickrcc.net


  1. Is this panel for WLA? Pleeeeease post some suggestions? We need balance at our library - everyone is feeling overwhelmed and exhausted!

  2. Thank you for all the great things you have done in libraryworld. Your contributions have made wonderful things happen. Looking forward to your pres.

  3. This post is very empowering Marge - thank you! :-)