A Few Professional Considerations for Librarians

Computer on Library Table
What is professional?

Here are a few items to contemplate, with color commentary.? These posts examine: how we dress, leadership styles, how we promote ourselves, and professionalism.

Dress for Other Reasons by R. Lee Hadden

While I agree with the commenter who said that it depends on the office culture, I do think that how you present yourself changes how people view you professionally.? I?m highlighting this article not because I agree with all of the assumptions made about appropriate dress, but because it demonstrates how some people view what we wear professionally.? Take any advice on how to present yourself with a grain of salt, and remember that if you want to stand out and be viewed as professional, strive for a put-together look.? When in doubt dress up not down, it?s easy to take off a jacket and roll up your sleeves, but hard to change a t-shirt into a blouse or dress shirt.? Remember you can add a bit of personality to any style with a bit of embellishment, professional does not mean boring.

A Plague On Both Your Hepburns?: Leaders, Change Agents, and Library Archetypes by Leigh Anne Vrabel

Disclaimer: This post was written about the archetypes of Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, not the people, the archetypes, and is a ?philosophical ramble, and not a scholarly study?.

In the context of this post, I think many leaders are not pure Audrey or pure Katherine, but a blending of the styles presented in the article.? I myself have always admired both archetypes and strive to meld Audrey?s grace and compassion, with Katherine?s forthrightness (Like Katherine, I don?t like being pigeon holed).? I doubt many reading the above post will fit neatly into one category or the other, but I think it?s helpful to reflect on who we are so that we can determine what, if anything, we?d like to change about how we do act, both as individuals and as librarians.

Don?t let it go to your head by Laurel Tarulli

I have always enjoyed reading Laurel?s blog, she is level headed, interesting, and always worth reading.? This post generated quite a bit of debate in the comments section on the difference between confidence and arrogance. It is important to note that neither I, nor Laurel, disagrees with self-promotion, her post and the discussion it generated can be viewed as being a debate about how you promote yourself.?? One of my favorite quotes from Laurel in the comments is:

?At the end of the day, you need to deal with the consequences of your actions. What feels right to you? I am more inclined to gravitate toward strong-willed, confident individuals that still believe that integrity and a dose of humility are stronger characteristics of a professional and a leader than that of self-serving, calculating individuals.?

What is professionalism? by Laurel Tarulli

This is a follow-up to the previous post, Don?t let it go to your head.? This post presents a review of the Professionalism Initiative: The University of Kansas School of Medicine, and provides links to a few other readings on the subject of professionalism.? I encourage anyone interested in the professionalism to read this post.

In the end we all must make our own decisions as to what we consider to be professional, the people we choose to emulate, and how we treat others.? It is easy to feel superior when things have been going our way, to brush others aside, but it is a mistake to do so.? The best leaders I have seen lead by example, they care for the people whom they lead, the work that they do, and they ask about you instead of talking about themselves.? Next time someone asks about you consider giving a brief answer, and then asking about him or her.? It is harder to listen than to talk, but it is something that is worth practicing.