Saturday, 20 June 2015

Librarians and Imposter Syndrome

There have been quite a few #blogjune posts about Imposter Syndrome, which is something that I have a lot to say about, and will elaborate more on when I have more time, and not travellin. But for now, a few thoughts...

- There is an oft-emerging discourse on whether libraries - and librarians - are still relevant in society. Of course, we advocate for the value of our services, and the professional status of our calling, but at the same time, it's always possible that the naysayers might be right.

- As librarians, we spread ourselves quite broadly across a diverse range of specialied duties, and whilst there are often affirmations on how we are the experts in information particularly with skills in digital delivery of services, the reality is that we're often "jacks of all trades" but there are other professionals who might be better at things like, say, events / arts managers, or web developers, or social workers or teachers, or journalists, or social media experts and so the list goes on...

- As professionals, we feel entitled to a certain level of respect in the industries we work in, but we're not always very good at asserting ourselves as such.

- In fact, some libraries and librarians just suck. No offence, but it's true. And sometimes we worry that we might be one of them.

- But mostly, the world deserves better than what a lot of libraries currently offer. And if we're unable to deliver this, maybe somebody else should be doing our jobs.

So, how do we stop feeling like imposters? Lift our game, be proud of our achievements, and stop pretending that we are either better or worse than we actually are. Self-delusion achieves nothing.