Do you want to change the field of librarianship so it is more inclusive, equitable, and accessible for diverse library staff and patrons–especially teens?
But… you don’t feel like an expert now, don’t think you’ve had enough experience yet, or don’t know where to start.
At a recent Renée Watson author talk, she told her story about transitioning from writer to paid and published author. Her message to teens (and adults!) was you are doing the real work now, building your skills and experiences. If you work hard to improve and grow, then you will be ready when you get your dream opportunity. Getting involved in OYAN is a great place to get started!
Don’t feel like an expert? Share anyway. by Sara Wachter-Boettcher, is a great, quick read with practical advice and perspective. Here are a few highlights:
- “You don’t have to know everything about a topic to give a talk about it… Or to write an article. Or be on a panel. Or present at a meetup.”
- “It’s often harder to learn from people with tons of expertise… The longer someone’s been doing something, the less likely they are to remember what it was like to learn how to do it for the first time.”
- Don’t present to or write for the experts and leaders in the field.
- Present or write about what would have helped you 6 months or a year ago when you “didn’t know a damn thing about this topic.” Present or write for the people who are “staring at the problem for the first time” and could really benefit from your recent experience, perspective, and work addressing the same problem.
- “Different people come at a topic with a different experience and perspective to bring to the table…” Your experience, perspective, and style might be just what someone else needs to have their “ah-ha” learning moment.
- Your work may be obvious to you, but “To everyone else, it [may be] a revelation—a new way of looking at challenges.” What seems straightforward in your everyday work, may seem innovative to someone else and help them improve their Teen Advisory Board, teen summer reading, collection, or workload planning.
- “We desperately need more voices, and different voices, if we want this industry to change — and those ideas could absolutely be yours.”
To learn more about getting involved in OYAN and start building your skills and experiences, contact the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.