Becoming More Engaged

Around the beginning of each year, we start thinking about resolutions and create a to do list that we will hopefully complete within the next 300+ days.  A few years ago, before I was on the Technical Services Action Council, “Become more involved with the Ohio Library Council” made my list.  At that time I reached out to the names I could find associated with the Technical Services Division.  I did not immediately become a member on the Action Council, but I was provided recommendations of how I could increase my involvement.

With the recommendations provided, I have been able to find more ways to be involved which has included having the honor to serve on the actual Action Council.  And now, as a current Action Council member, I see that there are others reaching out in hopes to become more involved and to help the larger library community.  Instead of limiting our responses back to just the individuals that have contacted the Action Council directly, we have decided to extend a response out to everyone via our blog.  Hopefully this will help others with this yearning to find ways to become more engaged.

So… how can you become more involved with the Ohio Library Council, Technical Services Division?  How can you help other librarians?  Well, let me count the ways…

  1. Contribute to the Technical Services Blog (aka, this blog)!

You do not need to have been a journalism major or have groundbreaking ideas.  This blog is to foster communication and sharing of professional observations, lessons, and research.  It actually helps the Action Council better serve members by knowing what the members want to talk about.  Contributing to the blog is probably one of the easiest ways to be involved.  Share something your library is doing; a resource that you have found useful; or an article you read and what you think about it or why you think others might benefit from reading it.

If you are intimidated by writing a full post, you can still contribute by commenting or asking questions on posts made by others.  This can help engage others by breaking the ice.  Others may be waiting for someone else to begin the conversation.  Additionally, comments and questions are another way to spawn future posts because it helps to identify topics that are relevant and immediately impacting our membership.

  1. Attend an OLC conference/convention/retreat/training.

By attending conferences you get to meet other librarians and staff from all areas in library service.  You get to contribute with other OLC members and the larger professional community of librarians; engage in conversations; provide feedback in the surveys; and recharge your professional batteries.

  1. Present at an OLC conference/convention/retreat/training.

This might be a little out of your comfort zone, but do not think you are the first person that has questioned their ability to get up there or are unsure if their ideas are “good enough” to present.  There is a range of ways to present.  You do not have to do it alone nor do you have to be up in the front talking for 60 minutes about a single topic.  One of our upcoming blog posts will outline different types of presentations.

In contrast to those that are nervous to be in front of people, you may be a person that is willing to get up there, but you do not have a topic or know how to get started.  For starters, if you are reading this blog, then you are likely involved in TechServices one way or another.  We are a division organized to provide opportunities to help each other.  I am positive there is another individual within this division or another division that would be interested in pairing up to provide multiple perspectives on a topic.

  1. Run for a seat on the Action Council.

As an Action Council member you get to help develop programs and events, inform division members about trends in TechServices, and keep membership engaged.  If this is heightens your senses and what has been described is in line with your passions, just make your interest known!  You do not need to put out press statements or participate in debates to run for a seat on the Action Council.  To communicate your interest, you can fill out the Get Involved! Membership Participation form on the OLC Website, or you can contact one of the active Action Council members directly.  You can find the list of active Action Council members and their contact information on the Technical Services Division page.

I hope some of you feel inspired to make the next step towards fulfilling your goal.  If something listed sounds interesting to you or you have an idea for another way you can contribute, please contact one of us!  We are friendly and eager to help the library community.  That is one of the many reasons each of us have chosen to be a part of this Action Council.  You can find the list of current Action Council members by visiting the Technical Services Division page.  We hope to hear from you soon!

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