Thanks Tennant: Open Letter

During the last two weeks my energy and enthusiasm concerning my future in the information/library profession has exploded. The ‘Big Tent Librarianship’ article by Andy Woodworth started a flow of conversations and future plans to get the ball rolling are already in the works. There are so many other wonderful contributors who have share their thoughts- I would like to publicly acknowledge their efforts and share with my readers….

Andy Woodworth’s Big Tent Librarianship, Roy Tennant’s Open Letter to New Librarians, ALA Think Tank Facebook Page, Will Unwound’s Library Generation and HackLibSchool.

I have been deeply moved by the ‘7 attributes/words of advice’ in Roy Tennant’s Open Letter. I respect Tennant’s honesty and no-nonsense approach in sharing his professional insights that have helped guide him on his current path. After reading Tennant’s Open Letter, I felt a sense of validation and satisfaction on my current path. With that being said, I would like to share how I am currently using 2 of the 7 attributes. (1) KNOW YOURSELF, (2) FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE- All of which I will share with you now.

KNOW YOURSELF- This is something that I feel is absolutely the most important thing to do. Both professionally and personally THIS IS A MUST! I believe that unhappy people don’t spend enough time getting to know themselves personally.  I believe it is important to figure it out because it makes your journey in life more enjoyable. I agree with Roy’s advice, “knowing what engages you, what bores you, and what frustrates you” are keys elements to a successful career. That is why I choose the technical services route- I am a systems-oriented person. I like processes and technology. I like challenging situations and thinking fast on my feet. TOOLS of ACTION: Try Taking Jung Typology Test- this test measures your temperament, strengths, and matches you with suitable careers.

FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE- Absolutely love this one. I completely echo Tennant’s suggestion to “identify some things you can do within your talents, that DEEPLY interest you, and you can ENVISION potential success.” I choose to develop a stronger competency skill in technology by first creating a blog, volunteering my time with ALCTS to learn about technical services related ideas, and following current trends through literature reviews. My strengths are in communication- connecting with people and finding resources through research. TOOLS of ACTION: Read StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath– this book is very instrumental in providing you with details on how to put ACTION behind your strengths, volunteer your time with a local/web-based initiative, seek additional training through ALA continued education courses.  

Additional Resources:

HumanMetrics (1998-2011). Retrieved from

Rath, T. (2007). StrengthsFinder 2.0. New York, NY: Gallop Press.