First, a quick update on my anxiety inducer, the ALA Elections. I ran for – believe it or not – three offices:
- New Members Round Table: Yes! I’m your new Leadership Development Director!
- Reference and User Services Association: Yes! I’m Member at Large for one of the sections (CODES)
- ALA Council: Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Just missed the cut this time, lost by 0.5% of the vote, or 45 votes. Next year….
I was kind of hoping to have an ALA Triple Crown election season – it would have been the first Triple Crown of any kind since the year I was born (in horse racing, but still).
We had 64 people openly pledge via my Google Form to go 24 hours – one day – without complaining, whining or just being plain snarky about libraries – be it their library or the general state of the profession. Nearly everyone kept the pledge for all 24 hours! We also had folk who did not fill out the form for whatever reason (found out about it after I closed the form, wanted to do it on their own without incentive) also participate. So wonderful! People spread the love on Twitter with our two hashtags, #nolibrarywhining and #goodlibrarykarma. (The latter, and what we will use going forward, is courtesy of Andy Woodworth, Man Who is So Good With Hashtags He Will Have One For His Upcoming Wedding.*)
We’ll get to the reflections and Jerry Springer-esque final thoughts in a moment, but first the important stuff: PRIZES!
First, everyone who participated and was listed on the Google Form will receive a #goodlibrarykarma ribbon, to proudly wear at ALA Annual or your next conference and show that you support spreading the positive love about our profession, even when things don’t always look great. The ribbons will be blue with yellow text to promote the sunshine we should bring to our colleagues’ lives. If you took the pledge and are listed on this spreadsheet, you need to go to Column E (highlighted in yellow) and let me know if you are coming to ALA or not. If you are, you can come find me and I will give you your ribbon. If not, I will send it to your home or office. If you did this independent of filling out my form and want a ribbon, let me know! We’ll work something out.
Second, thanks to some generous donations, we have Fabulous! Prizes! I wish I could award all of you a Fabulous Prize but, um, I have rent and student loans to pay. 🙂
First, I want to award two first prizes to two folk who took the pledge, and then went above and beyond that pledge. They encouraged others on Twitter and spread word about it on their own blogs. For their efforts, I am awarding Matt Kirschner and J. Shore each a $15 gift certificate to a store of their choosing. Matt and J. Shore, get in touch with me via Facebook/Twitter DM/email (librariankate7578 at gmail dot com) for your addresses and where you would like some found money. Their posts on the subject are linked above, so go read them!
(Although she did not fill in the form, I did find another great post from Bonnie Powers on topic when my post got a pingback. You should go read her post as well!)
Second, I want to award 15 $5 Starbucks gift cards to 15 people that took and completed the pledge by Ye Olde Random Number Generator, using the row numbers from the original spreadsheet. Those 15 people are as follows:
- Margaret Driscoll
- Laura P.
- Tomissa Porath
- Michelle, aka @winelibrarian on Twitter
- Katherine Adelberg
- Claire Schmieder
- Holly Blosser
- Naomi Toftness
- Krista Nolan
- Carson Block
- Elizabeth Moreau
- Carrie Cleary
- Amelia, aka @litjrzygirl on Twitter
- Leigh Milligan
- Rosalyn Metz
These 15 folk, plus our two other winners, are highlighted in Orange on the list I linked above. Please get in touch with me via Facebook/Twitter DM/email (librariankate7578 at gmail dot com) for your preferred mailing address. (You’ll also get your ribbon in the mail with your gift card.)
Everything should be sent out by the end of May/beginning of June, once I get the ribbons ordered.
And now, some final thoughts….
Is this going to be an ongoing thing? Yes. J. Shore declares that we should make every Wednesday a “No Whine Wednesday” – and I am completely on board. Thus, if you would like, every Wednesday, take a pledge as best you can to refrain from being snarky, complaining, or being a Debbie Downer about our great profession in public social media spaces. If you want to take it further, great – some people were doing it in their offices, others had accountability buddies. I love so much that folk took this and made it their own – and also shared how their lives improved as a result!
I will have plenty of ribbons at ALA (along with what was my ALA election tagline, “ALA is IKEA Furniture”) at Annual Conference, so if you are there and want to either learn more about #goodlibrarykarma or pledge to participate, find me (I’m easy to find since I will be wearing a tiny top hat each day) and I will be more than happy to give you one and talk about ways we can improve library culture, online and offline. This discussion can, should, and will continue. Liz Burns (you may know her from her blog on School Library Journal) shared some thoughtful questions I want to use as a springboard for discussion on our workplace cultures that I leave you with as final thoughts:
- When does someone change from someone who has voiced a complaint to a complainer? How can one do one productively without becoming a chronic complainer who is no longer heard?
- How can one voice disagreement in a constructive way? Is it possible to do without being misinterpreted?
- Is it possible to have sarcasm or snark or a joke online, especially in a fluid, changing context such as twitter, where an individual tweet may be taken out of a bigger context?
- Is silence acceptance? When is it just a lost exercise to voice disagreement, and when does it matter?
- What is the best way to deal with the frustrations of getting one’s buttons pushed online, sometimes deliberately, other times not so?
My sincerest thanks to all who participated in any way. Blessings to all of you!
* I dare you, Woodworth. 😀