05 May 2008

My Signature Statement

"What defines you as a librarian? What’s your signature statement?" asks Steve Bell over on the ACRLog. "What’s at the center of it all?"

It's a great question and a great challenge. Steve elaborates that the signature statement is in some way supposed to say "this is who I am." I imagine that this is particularly tough for librarians because we are so many things. We are innovators, technologists, ontologists, generalists, adapters, thinkers, qualifiers, extrapolators, learners, and educators. As a profession, we are constantly changing and growing. It is wonderful as well as challenging, difficult, and overwhelming. Personally, that's what draws me to it.

So what is my signature statement? "Learning More IS doing something."

Part of my statement is based on my core desire to be a part of change, to act. Many of my students feel powerless in the face of complex challenges, especially in today's world. My signature statement is my signature reply: if we don't learn more about the problem, the causes, the obstacles, or the attempts to rectify or solve those problems, then how can we determine how a difference can be made? Learning more IS doing something.

Libraries are at the very core of the educational process: we are houses of learning. And for us to progress, to change, and to improve, we need to learn where we've been and where we might go. Learning more is a must in any situation on the road of life (love that metaphor, VW) and libraries are our proverbial gas stations. We've got what you need.

1 comment:

MicaelaA said...

If a signature statement is supposed to inspire, well... you have created one that's inspiring me! Thanks for sharing.

Actually, I wonder if it's just addressing the guilt I feel when spending time reading blogs. Why, right now on my desk is the auditor's request for contract copies; the final fiscal year budget spending press, a request to do something fabulous for the freshmen during welcome week, a pile of 'to-do' items that have made it into folders, and yes, a stack for journals and books to read. Hmmm. Gotta get to it soon... right now I'm learning something.