This last week has been so busy that it almost felt like I was in university exam mode, cramming things into every spare minute I had, brain constantly engaged. It’s been like this ever since I attended the Library Camp last Friday. Before that I was in holiday mode, enjoying not having to study nearly every evening, allowing myself to just watch tv (even if it often left me with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction).
Before Library Camp I was wondering how librarians keep up with what’s going on. Before Library Camp I had no idea what a PLN was. Just before Library Camp I wondered if there was any use me actually going, wondering if I would have anything to contribute as a new graduate with very little experience. The whole idea of the Library Camp was that it was an ‘unconference’, where the topics to be discussed were decided by the participants on the day and where everyone is expected to participate. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to contribute, I didn’t know if I was going to know anyone at all there and I have to admit, I’m not the most outgoing person around. I can sometimes clam up, take the easy option and rely on other people to carry a conversation.
But ever since starting to study for my Grad Dip I have been trying to push myself a bit out of my comfort zone. Speaking up in class, putting myself forward, volunteering for things, going to the ALIA New Grads in the pub when I didn’t know anybody there. I’ve been trying to take the plunge and Library Camp was another example of how doing this has turned out so well.
I met so many friendly, supportive and encouraging people last Friday. Maybe it says something about the industry or maybe it says something about the kind of people who would attend an event like that. Either way, I now feel like I have a network of people from different types of libraries (or not even from libraries at all), at different stages of their careers but with such passion for what they do. And I have a medium to keep in touch with them (I never really understood the point of Twitter before…..).
And I’m proud of myself. I didn’t manage to do a lightning talk but I did put my hand up and speak in some of the sessions and I did put aside my shyness to introduce myself to some people I had never met before. I met a number of people who really inspired me and right now I just feel like things are brimming with possibilities. And that’s a really good feeling to have.