I know I’ve waited too long to write a blog post when all the tabs with sites I was saving to reference are closed. I took spring break this year, a chance to catch up on a few things as the season is suppose to be changing to the warmer, longer days of spring. The week began with much discussion about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In. I think women tried to find reason not to connect with Sandberg’s message. For me, it’s been the tiny amount of time I’ve spent in corporate America and the fact that I make every effort to remove myself from leadership and career advancement as possible. I’m an introvert and I prefer to fly off radar.

But, Sandberg’s message was persistent from news shows to talk shows and I kept listening: Lean in, be part of the conversation. I thought about my career as a librarian and the perception of librarians as quiet little women. I’ve worked as a Media Director/Head Librarian in an administrative position where I was not considered part of the administrative team. In academia librarians are sometimes tenured faculty, sometimes not. Even when employed as tenured faculty, there is a separate work calendar for librarians. We’re still marked the first Asian, first Native American… librarians in libraries across the country. That people of color are entering the profession is an important thing, but still counting firsts?

 People like Kirsten Weaver, Wei Cen

Jennifer Himmelreich
Jennifer Himmelreich

and Ana Elisa De Campos Salles (all 2013 ALA Emerging Leaders) are quiet beyond the image too many have of people who work in libraries. They definitely are people who are leaning into discussions about patron driven acquisition of books, open access of information, expanding digital content, freedom of information and what new platforms to incorporate into the library’s collection.  

Next Saturday, I’ll be in Lafayette, Indiana (home of Purdue University) for the Indiana Network of Black Librarian’s spring meeting. While there, we’ll hear from  Clyde Hughes, a freelance journalist with the Lafayette Journal & Courier who will share his insights regarding research, black history, and diversity.  Research remains core to what I do and it will be interesting to hear how other professions address this activity.

I’ve been watching people since Sandberg’s discussion began. It’s one thing to show up at the table, but yet another to lean into the conversation. Leaning in takes courage. I would love to say ‘I’m too old for this’ but aging gives one all the tools necessary to be courageous; not only to make a move, but to know when it is the right move to make. Women couldn’t always afford to consider such an option.

I’ve just noticed that Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo have resurrected the Diversity in YA blog, this time on Tumblr. I noted Tumblr because Google Reader is about to fade away and this means finding a new aggregator for my rss feads. I’m looking at Feedly, but also reframing (I like that word, ‘reframing’) the problem to consider how to follow blogs, if not whether it should even be about blogs. I’ve avoided Google+, but I’m going to explore both it and Tubmlr and decide what I want choices I’ll make.

I’m back to work tomorrow and I’ll jump right into the thick of things! I’m meeting to finalize plans for a program to present materials from the ALA/NEH Muslim Journey Bookshelf to the university community and then to take part in my library’s conversations as we re-invent ourselves. I suppose you could say we’re emerging; We’re reframing; We’re leaning in. I guess we all have to realize at some point that if we want to remain relevant, we can’t just go with the flow; we have to make the opportunity to lean in


“Live where you fear to live. Be notorious.”

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