From Roy Tennant, via the Library Journal

An Open Letter to New Librarians « Tennant: Digital Libraries


  • Find fellow travelers. This can be a huge help. These are the people who will help you get through the down times. They will likely not be at your institution. They will be people you connect with online and at conferences who share your views on where we need to be going and they will serve as sounding board, support system, and inspiration.
  • Pick your battles. I learned early on that serving on ALA committees was simply not my style. Therefore, although I have been an ALA member since before my first professional job, I have mostly avoided anything that smacked of governance work. Call me a coward, but that’s pain I can do without.
  • Know yourself. Work at learning who you are professionally. Know what engages you (you will be good at these things), what bores you (you will suck at these), and what frustrates you (you will avoid these). Learn to navigate your way through the landmines to your professional nirvana.
  • Cut some things loose. There will be things that you cannot change. Learn to cut them loose so you can focus your energies on the things you can change.
  • Focus your efforts where you can make a difference. Identify some things that you can do that are within your talents, that deeply interest you, and for which you can envision potential success. This may mean starting small and working your way forward incrementally. Big things can be accomplished this way.
  • Savor success. The small ones as well as the big ones. Did you get that report finished? Good on you. Crack open the bubbly.
  • Savor the success of others. Praise a colleague who has accomplished something worthwhile. Take someone out for a drink who has reached a professional goal. Basking in their joy of accomplishment will warm your heart and encourage you.

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