CARL 2012 Conference – Jenica Rogers’s Keynote

Jenica Rogers, Director of Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam and blogger at Attempting Elegance, spoke to a packed room about killing fear, being a leader, and getting things done. She stated that libraries have always been changing and that that shouldn’t let us stop trying to predict the future and plan for it.  Generally, librarians react … and react poorly. Rogers offered eight tactics for new leadership and action:

  1. Stop defaulting to no and start saying yes. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?”
  2. Be a leader and “be your own damn hero.” Stop waiting for someone to do it for you.
  3. Start paying attention. You no longer have an excuse not to know about Issue X in our field.
  4. Never forget that technology is just a tool. It’s only as good as its wielders. Also, to paraphrase Ani DiFranco, any tool can be a weapon if you hold it right.
  5. Rethink strategic planning. Our strategic planning is always tethered to the now, it should be tethered to our goals. Plan for it like you plan for an airplane flight (start in the future and work backwards).
  6. Examine your timidity. Rogers asked: “Why is telling the truth now a political act?” Also, know your tell! So you can react accordingly when it happens.
  7. Acknowledge your fears.
  8. Chase inspiration. What inspires you? Go there. Hangout.

I should also mention that there were multiple reference to geekdom, including Buffy, Dune, and Amanda Palmer. Be still my heart.