Show Me The Awesome

Like the logo?

Or, rather, LOVE the logo?

A big thanks to John LeMasney via for the terrific logo; and if you’re using the image with your 30 Days post, please remember to give John credit!

As you’ve figured out, it is May which means that it is the start of Show Me The Awesome: 30 Days of Self-Promotion.

Some quick reminders as the month starts:

My original post, explaining what Show Me The Awesome is all about. (And isn’t John’s logo so much better than mine? Shows you what real design is all about!)

Short version: Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen, and myself are asking people to show us their awesome! What great things are you doing?

30 Days of Self-Promotion is about sharing those great things with as many people as possible. It’s also about how we talk about what we do — self-promoting. So, Kelly and I will be sharing those links during the upcoming 30 Days. Participants will also be leaving links to their posts in the comments to this post.

Posts that are already up:

Exhibiting Awesome Outreach at Illustrated Librarian: “I have worked at several different types of libraries– public, a big 10 university, and now, a small liberal arts college for women. While the patrons are all slightly different at each institution, one thing remains consistent, the need for effective outreach. But not just any outreach but the kind that gets patrons excited and through the library’s doors. A good reason to give up some of their time and spend it with you. This is the challenging part because our patrons have lives and things are happening in those lives every single second. Competing with that noise is difficult but not impossible. One way I like to do outreach is through traveling exhibits. These are wicked fantastic.”

Reporting at Reading Rachel (added 5/1): “But the required report is a perfect opportunity to showcase yourself and your skills. It’s important to take full advantage of that opportunity, particularly if you work in a low-profile situation like mine. I work in a branch where I am the only staff person in the children’s room. Rarely do any of my supervisors enter my room or see me in action. If I don’t make them aware of all the awesome things I am doing, how else will they know? Reporting is one of the few chances I have had to interact directly with higher-ups beyond my direct supervisor–and it’s a great opportunity to help shape their impression of me and my work.”

Parents Are Busy at Storytime Katie (added 5/2): “This is Part One of a five part series about how I grew my storytime attendance. In the past three years since I took over storytime, I’ve increased our program attendance by 61% compared to the last successful season. (For the statistics nerds out there, I’m comparing Summer 2009 from before I took over to Winter 2012/2013.) And I promise that these are simple measures that almost every library can do, regardless of budget.”

New Kid on the Block by Marcus Ladd at Miami University Special Collections (blog and tumblr) (added 5/4): “I want to step away from our usual fare and talk instead about the challenges of establishing a voice for yourself and your library in new settings. Being the newest member of our library staff, self-promotion for me is as much showing my worth to my peers as to our patrons. My challenge is to promote myself in a way that convinces my new coworkers to make room for me and my work. In parallel to establishing my voice here, I am also working to find a voice for our library in online communities. Much like being a new hire to the department, joining a social media community requires a degree of self-promotion to show that you are able to contribute to the conversation. One of the key elements to a successful social media presence for an institution is a feeling of personability; social media should not be treated as a bullhorn for attention, but rather as an opportunity to build connections. Consequently, it is important for the library to feel like an individual when engaging other users, and I cannot help but see an association between finding my voice among my new peers and finding the library’s voice online.”

An Awesome First Year at Lee Library at Chatham Hall (added 5/4): “Listen- I sent out surveys, talked to students, put up a requests board and tried to stay in touch with what was new and popular.   I tried never to say no to a reasonable request.  I wasn’t afraid to change policies that students didn’t respond well to.  For instance, DVD’s were not easily accessible to students and weren’t generally interesting to them.  I’ve worked to increase that collection and brought it out onto the main floor.  We had basically no Young Adult literature in August, but since I’ve increased that collection and given it special shelving, its’ circulation has increased seven-fold.  The physical space is more fun, with more collaborative areas and hang-out space in response to student requests.  Our renovated library will have a coffee shop and more enclosed study rooms as well.  It’s critical to listen to what our students want because they are the primary users!

When we talk about it on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #30Awesome.

I’m looking forward to 30 Awesome Days of Awesomeness!



4 thoughts on “Show Me The Awesome

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