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Let It Grow! Let It Grow!

By Deb Logan, OELMA President

You have a strategy that works. Maybe it is as simple as coming up with an engaging way to introduce a concept. Possibly you are having success with building collaborations. Perhaps you have faculty excited about using new technologies. Wonderful. Now, let it GROW! Send it out into the profession and be ready to celebrate when it grows into something new.

We need you! Your colleagues and peers need for you to share your ideas. Just like plants and gardens, good ideas come in various types and forms; there are also different options for sharing your ideas. Ideas can be shared at conferences. If you are not comfortable presenting alone, ask one of your collaborators or a colleague to present with you. If you don’t personally know someone who is interested in similar concepts, consider reaching out to someone in your online network. More than once, I have encountered another librarian online with a common interest. Some of these online encounters have been in other parts of Ohio or even other states. We have proposed, created and planned sessions without meeting in person until the day of the presentation. These have all been wonderful experiences. Panels are also great ways to present as part of a team. If presenting sounds a little intimidating, remind yourself that the attendees choose to be in your session because they are interested in the idea. The idea is center stage and is on display…not you. Your listeners will decide if they will plant your idea in their program. Just like no two daisies are alike, your idea will grow in new ways in another library.

Another way to share your good ideas is to write about them. Pick a place where you think your idea will fit and learn about the publication. If you are looking at a blog, read previous entries. If you want to “plant” your idea in a national publication, look for patterns in the articles and decide which publication is the best fit for what you want to share. What are the typical topics? Does the publication focus on “news you can use?” Is it a journal that features research-based articles? Is the tone conversational or formal? Dig into the publication’s website to see if the journal has a list of forthcoming themes. Does your idea match one of the planned themes? If not, submit it anyway. Typically, even if an issue has a theme, the issue will also include some “stray” articles that do not match the theme. Editors and blog managers are constantly looking for new articles and writers. They are looking for you. Want to start small? Share a practice in response to a request for help on a listserv. Maybe you have a whole “garden” of ideas. If that is the case, consider starting your own blog or writing a book.

Sharing a start from one of your plants with a friend is like sharing a great idea with colleagues. When the start is planted in their garden, it is still from your plant, but it takes on a whole new life in the new setting. Your great ideas can have new lives and can grow into incredible lessons, promotions, events, practices and more that are a joy and benefit to countless students and educators.

Still not sure where to start? Consider this an invitation to write a post on the OELMA blog. Contact Brandi Young at <b.nicole.young at gmail> to start posting and watch your ideas grow!