When it comes to ego I find there are two types of people: a) Those who have no problems talking about themselves and b) those who find it really hard. I fall in with the group that finds it difficult. It’s not always easy for me to talk about myself, I feel like I stumble. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I’m still working on it. When I find myself with that challenge in front of me I reframe the discussion. I focus on the end result. I ask myself this question, “What action will benefit my library?”
Instead of worrying about whether or not you are talking about yourself too much, think about the people you serve. What do your patrons deserve? Do they deserve to have that ridiculous awesome service? What do they need? Is what you are trying to do amazing for your patrons?
Advocacy is not about you – get away from your ego. It’s not about that. It’s about the people we are serving and the services provided. When you go out in the world and talk about the library, or talk about it your services with your patrons, or talk about exciting programs with other library staff – make sure you know the end goal. Keep that big picture in mind.
To advocate for our patrons and libraries we need to be able to find a way to communicate our services in a way that emphasizes how we are helping and serving our library users. Don’t worry about coming across too confident or too “braggy.” Guess what, you are doing something that is worth bragging about! After all, awesome library services are put forth by awesome librarians and library workers – and that is definitely worth talking about.