CPD23 Thing #16: Advocacy

DSC_0079.JPGThis one has really got me thinking but I’m not sure I have much to say. Basically it’s made me realize that when people have asked me recently “what do you do?” I’ve been responding “I teach computers” or “I work for the state”. Notice that those answers don’t include the word “librarian” anywhere. Maybe sometimes it’s because I don’t really want to have a conversation (I’d really prefer quiet when getting my hair cut; it’s not a social thing for me) or maybe it’s the situation (when talking to someone else about a computer problem, mentioning that I deal with computers is more relevant than being a librarian) but now I want/need to figure it out for myself.

So, simply put, I need to advocate more to people who aren’t librarians themselves. Granted talking amongst ourselves is important but considering the majority of us are employed based on taxes, we should all be doing more to let everyone know that librarians are lurking where others may least expect it.

One Reply to “CPD23 Thing #16: Advocacy”

  1. Yes please, more advocacy! If each person who worked in libraries made an extra effort, we could reach millions of people! You don’t even have to be brave or outgoing. You can help change someone’s perception in a few seconds. Here’s one example from my marketing blog: http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/oustanding-elevator-speech.html
    If you search “elevator speech” there, you’ll find more.

    I totally get that you don’t always feel like talking, and that sometimes computer-speak is more appropriate to a conversation. But you can answer “What do you do?” in quick, interesting ways that opens people’s eyes and make them want to know more. For example:

    * “I work with computers in one of the most fast-paced industries out there.”

    * “I help people better themselves & improve their lives.”

    * “I run the computers for one of the state’s most important information agencies.”

    * “I have a great job in technology innovation.”
    Etc., etc. It’s all in the spin, in making your job sound worthwhile / interesting / surprising to people outside our field. Why just say “I work in a library” when you can give a “WOW” answer?!? If it helps, don’t think of it as advocacy — think of it as surprising and impressing people. 🙂

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