John Berry on Having a Voice

Dominican GSLIS hosted a presentation a few weeks ago by Library Journal’s John Berry, as part of our Emerging Library Leaders series. John spoke about having a voice and participating in the profession. I thoroughly enjoyed his talk, even though it was one day after getting back from Australia. I captured a couple of his points through my jet lag:

On becoming a well-rounded practitioner: Your professional development time will be more important than the time spent on your job.

On writing/blogging: Don’t be afraid of controversy.

On Blogging and putting yourself out there: For every error you make, you get the gratification of hundreds or sometimes thousands correcting you.

Luckily, one of my students was a few rows in front of me, typing away on her Mac. I asked her if she might distill her notes into a paragraph for TTW. Sarah agreed:

While attending John Berry’s lecture was insightful on many levels, one thing he said rose like cream above the whole milk of his message, “Experience is possibly the most overrated asset that an individual possess.” As a proto-librarian on the cusp of a career culture clash, these words resonated, mostly because I do have limited experience in the field, and I also happen to have a glut of ideas, theories, and methodologies I’m anxious…yearning (zealous!) to put into practice. While experience is important, as Mr. Berry conceded shortly calling it overrated, is it something that is gained through observation, experimentation, growth, and the subsequent accumulation of wisdom. These elemental steps can only occur when we, as fledglings to the field, abandon our reverence for the way things have been done and blaze a new trail we are eager to see reinvented by those that come after us.

Thanks Sarah! And thanks to John Berry!