Random Quotes from Four Desks

Cleaning out my desk today, I came across a small bundle of paper that I've been carrying around for four jobs now. It's time to recycle it, but I figured I could use this fancy new interwebs thing to record what the pieces of paper say. I've added notes as to when and why I kept these bits of paper as well as put them into chronological order.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Early professional lessons from my first librarian job at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. The latter refers to learning HTML enough to completely redo the HCC Library web site--don't look, anything I did is long gone--and implementing federated searching (for the first time). Heh. If I could see me now...

"Those things that hurt, instruct." -Ben Franklin

"Innovation can only be expressed in a primal scream." -Sandy Hussey, librarian at Georgetown University

"It's only a pretend alligator, Mommy." -Jack McHale, age 2

These are from the Georgetown/Lauinger Library period. More learning that did not kill me but made me stronger. The "primal scream" quote may not be Sandy's, but she was the source of it for me, and it always makes me smile and remember her and my other GU colleagues. The last quote was something that my very wise and then very young son said to me while I was muttering to myself angrily while driving him to daycare one day. The alligator to which he was referring was the animatronic alligator at the Rainforest Cafe at Tyson's Corner, which he'd seen over the previous weekend. He'd thought it was real and climbed up his father to escape. (Seriously, it was like watching a monkey, and he ended up with all four limbs curled around David's head.) We'd reassured him over and over that it was only a pretend alligator. And when he saw me upset, he made me realize that whatever I was angry about was a pretend alligator, too.

"Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong." -Eric Raymond

"Give yourself permission to suck." -Michael Sauers, librarian at Nebraska State Library

Awwww, here I was at Auraria Library at the University of Colorado Denver, taking the first sips of open source Kool Aid, reading Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar. And Michael Sauers, who informed us in a webinar that libraries suck at marketing, told us the first thing to do was embrace that and give ourselves permission to suck. And then move on.