The American Library Association recently tweeted an article about an outreach program the Chicago Public Library is doing.
“Literacy at the Laundromat” by Joseph P. Williams. Published by U.S. News & World Report, December 25, 2018.
CPL is offering story times in laundromats. I had two thoughts immediately upon reading this:
- What a wonderful idea!
- I would never come up with an idea like this.
I’m not a creative person. I love ideas but I’m not someone who dreams them up very well. I’m not much of a visionary in that sense.
This offered a moment of clarity for me. It helps me articulate what I really want to accomplish in my career.
I want to help make good ideas happen.
I want to be someone who can remove obstacles, rally support, gather resources, and create the freedom visionaries need to pursue their ideas.
I’m also very good at exploring ideas: delving into them, imagining what it would be like if an idea succeeds, anticipating how they might fail. I want to be in a position to help decide which ideas we should pursue.
Early on in my graduate studies, I knew librarianship was the right career for me because I could see myself as a director someday and the thought of it excited me. I can still see it and it still excites me. But I wonder sometimes—it seems to me the director of any organization needs to have a vision and I’m not much of a visionary.
My goal is to work up to a position where I can have an active role in recognizing the vision of others and the authority to make those visions happen on a system-wide level. Maybe that means a directorship, maybe some other kind of administrative role.
The thought of helping visionary librarians realize their ideas is what truly excites me. That will be a career well spent.