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Failure

The link to David Lankes lecture was posted in the Linkedin ALA group and many, including myself, found it extremely inspirational (as well as entertaining). My first thought to the video was “Wow”, that is what I want to do. I want my job, my personal mission and my professional mission to be part of something bigger then books and the stuff. I want librarianship to not feel like an outdated profession that has to simply adapt, but rather a profession which exists to create and promote innovation, to help members and society try big ideas and to make sense of information in a whirlwind of change. I do want to improve society and the world and make a difference even though it is hard and I’m not too sure what exactly the change is yet and how librarians are going to achieve it. Not only that, but I want to have a kick-ass time with my colleagues while doing it. I’m not too sure how the hell I’m going to do it, especially the specifics when it comes to real world implementation of these ideas. But at least I have a “big idea” and I am studying in a university with a fantastic library where I can play, learn, listen, ask questions and experiment. I am extremely fortunate to have such an opportunity.

I am not going to summarize the talk. That is why I have embedded it for your viewing pleasure. Instead, there are two concepts I wish Lankes had included or at least alluded to. The first concept is failure. A big part of innovation, experimentation and leadership is failure. As librarians we must not be afraid to fail. Part of learning and perfecting the real world application of an big idea is failure and it’s very easy to become discouraged. The second concept, which builds upon failure, is honesty. Failure will happen, but we cannot build upon it unless we as librarians recognize why something failed, when it is time to pull out, and what can we learn and use to modify our approach or edit the idea as a whole. Additionally, librarians must be honest about the obstacles faced both on the small scale and large scale when trying new things, so we do not become overwhelmed when we do fail.

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About Dorotea Szkolar

My name is Dorotea and I am in my last semester of earning my Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Syracuse University with a Certificate of Advance Study in Digital Libraries. I am an aspiring digital librarian and metadata expert, currently seeking full time opportunities. Because of my specialization in Digital Libraries, my coursework continues to cover a wide array of practices, issues and technologies specific to digital libraries including metadata, digitization, copyright, database management, internet services, institutional , open access, policy, and the preservation of digital assets. In addition to my studies, I completed an internship with the Mountain West Digital Library. The internship trained me in Dublin Core, metadata cross walking and harvesting, Open Archives Initiative and CONTENTdm, and I researched, analyzed and composed a report on spatial metadata interoperability issues within the MWDL. My strengths, in addition to my knowledge of digital and academic libraries, include exceptional communication, presentation, analytical and interpersonal skills; and expertise with current trends, technologies and software in metadata and digital librarianship. I am also an experienced professional researcher who has worked for numerous organizations. Before moving to Santa Barbara, I was also the Research Editor for Utah Business Magazine responsible for contacting, researching and authenticating data about businesses for special publications like Utah’s Major Employers Guide. Additionally, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History at SUNY Binghamton and worked extensively at several non-profits including the Bundy Museum of History & Art, White Plains Ecumenical Food Pantry and Community Options Inc.

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