Thing 16 is all about Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published. Let’s start with “getting published”. Never Gonna Happen. NEXT!
This is where the title of the post comes in. I’ve been trying to write this blog post for ages. So long in fact that I’ve drifted off into the realms of fantasy where I was going to announce that I was a very good Library Avocado thanks. Then @ggnewed beat me to it in a tweet about Advocaat and then @lynncorrigan brought in Avocets courtesey of the RSPB.
I was still debating on what to write when I caught some of the advocacy “debate” on Twitter late this afternoon between some individuals. This saddened and infuriated me. How dare there be a suggestion that just because not all of us rush out and get into advocacy, that we are in the wrong job!! Saddened that so-called professionals feel the need to denigrate those that don’t take part. How on earth can we hope to speak up for the profession, as a profession, when half of us are bad-mouthing the other half!
I would say that most Librarians, qualified or not, professional or not, & assistants working in the world of library and information do some form of advocacy at some level. I do. But then it’s couched in veiled terms on my job description under Marketing. I promote, market, talk about our LRC every day. I hand out flyers, postcards, badges and bookmarks all with the message “we’re here, you need us, we can help” (or words to that effect). The LRC Manager also advocates but on a higher level than I. The assistants also carry out some form of advocacy. They may not realise it, but in effect they too are promoting the LRC and how important our service is to the students, staff and college community.
I would be very uncomfortable going down the “activist” route. I have no inclination to be a library activist but feel I do what I need to do for my place of work, I also take part in promoting other libraries when I feel it is right for ME to do so. This is my choice. I do not need other “professionals” telling me what I should be doing, and, that if I’m not doing it then I’m in the wrong job.
We should all be working together on this one, each individual doing what they can, when they can, without fear of ridicule or criticism. Because once that rears its ugly head you are heading for division. Each and everyone of us has a part to play, accept that.
Accept that what works for some does not necessarily sit comfortably with others.
Most importantly remember that “United we stand, divided we fall”.