Steven Bell asked this question in a post to ACRLog on 4 May, What’s your signature statement ? Chefs have signature dishes that they prepare better than others. Many educators have a statement of teaching philosophy . Steven points out that he’s never heard of an academic librarian having a signature statement and making it public.
He’s challenging us to go public and tell people what makes us special, standout in our field of librarianship – and share our signature statements. What do you personally bring to libraries (or aim to bring to libraries) to flavour the service they offer? It’s a given that all librarians will want to offer excellent service that provides the best information possible – but what is your personal special blend and methodology to achieve this?
Steven offered this:
Ideas and innovation inspired by a desire to learn in the service of my community.
I’ve actually had a personal mission statement for a while, having created one as part of professional training last year. I find it a great guide to see whether I’m on the right track. It’s not something that I really thought about sharing.
It has also been a bit of a case of “be careful what you wish for”. As a result of sitting down and trying to articulate just what I was about, I realised that the client group I want to serve is actually other librarians – to help them learn what they need to know to serve our clients better. Coincidentally ( ??) once I articulated it to myself, I started getting invitations to speak and run workshops for librarians. Having the statement has been useful for me to work out whether to accept gigs outside of work – so far I’ve refused invitations to speak at events run by corporations whose main business is to make a profit from their events.
So, here’s my signature statement, which is a bit of shopping list with quite a bit crammed into it:
To identify, communicate, publicize and provide training in the ideas, skills and tools our libraries need to ethically and peacefully enrich their communities.
I’d love to hear yours.