True Confession: Advocacy is hard

Advocacy is hard, at least it sometimes feels like it. I am very much inspired by my fellow librarians who are able to tell their stories eloquently. I believe in that ethos. (Check out Heather’s post on telling your library story). I want to shout about successes from the rooftop. And sometimes I’m able to do it, other times it isn’t as easy. Advocacy is a skill I’ve had to develop over the years – it doesn’t always come naturally to me.

I do know I can advocate well with patrons. It feels good to talk about library services, tell library users what is new and talk about where the library is going. I’m enthusiastic about library services, so I love to share what we provide. I can speak confidently about the library in a non library settings, too. The profession is in the middle of a transformation and I like to share that with others. My job is a unique one, and as a youth librarian focusing on technology I have learned the importance of advocating outside the library building about the different programs and offerings at libraries.

However, when it comes to one area of advocacy where I am still learning. I often find myself struggling when it comes to advocating internally. I’d like to think that I’m failing forward, but sometimes it just feels like a fail. Advocating in-house is a challenge, and I’ve had to figure out how to communicate effectively. I tend to get excited about things quickly and am naturally very optimistic (I relate to Leslie Knope), but I’ve discovered this can sometimes backfire. I try not to let it bring me down instead I take a bit to regroup then figure out a way to keep moving forward.

In March, Robot Test Kitchen will spend some time talking about advocacy. We will discuss strategies and small changes that can help make advocacy more approachable. We are going to be open and honest. We hope you join in the conversation. Stay tuned.

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