Janis wants you to try

nighthawk309 —  March 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

If your mom was anything like mine, you probably heard (more than once) that your room “wasn’t going to clean itself.”  Apparently, you need to take some action to make things happen and get it done.  The same holds true for shaking things up in library land and chasing new opportunities.  Janis Joplin tells me we need to try if we want things to happen.

Too often I can get caught up in trying to figure out if something is going to be successful.  Precious time can be spent pondering:  How many people will come to the program?  Will anyone want to use this service?  Is this going to go over well with the staff?

Instead of trying to predict things to the final result, step back and see if the new idea has merit.  What are the potential benefits?  What happens if it isn’t successful?  How much time, energy or money will be invested if it fails?  Chances are you might as well give it a try.  So long as you haven’t thrown lots of money after an idea, the worst that can happen won’t be too bad.  You may surprise yourself and have a home run on your hands!

Regardless of your position at a library, toss out new ideas but more importantly, run with them.  Sell people on the concept, pitch the benefits and keep talking it up until it happens.  A creative and risk-taking spirit can be contagious.  You’ve got to try it if you want your idea to see the light of day.

And do yourself and your colleagues a favor–put the energy into your new prospects that Janis puts into this song.



Matt Church is the library director at the Berkley Public Library (Berkley, MI). He was previously associate director at the Baldwin Public Library (Birmingham, MI). He's all about libraries, Tom Waits, coffee, trekking and family adventures.

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