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13 virtues for next-gen librarians


In the spirit of Benjamin Franklin. 13 virtues of the next-gen librarian, as presented at ACRL 2011 by Andy Burkhardt, Catherine R. Johnson, and Carissa Tomlinson.

Franklin used his virtues to grow as an individual. These virtues can be used as a tool to guide our self improvement as librarians in the 21st century, though they aren’t limited to that purpose.”

  1. Courage — Act not from fear, but in spite of it.
  2. Flexibility — change comes quickly and often; be prepared to adapt.
  3. Service oriented — give your attention and talents to others, not your email.
  4. Balance — budgets, time, user needs, and technology — find balance in all things.
  5. Collegiality — learn from and share with your colleagues.
  6. Curiousity — be comfortable not having the answers, but strongly desire to find them.
  7. Creativity — let not your mind be limited by what has come before.
  8. Thoughtful — ignore the bandwagon and engage attentively.
  9. Playful — ‘let my playing be my learning, and my learning be my playing.’
  10. Collaborative — look for opportunities to partner with others.
  11. Direction — set a goal and head toward it.
  12. Passionate — invest fully in your pursuits.
  13. Assertive — shed the passive librarian stereotype and advocate for your needs.

Read the essay for full details and discussion.

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