Sep 11th, 2008
Today over on friendfeed, Greg Schwartz (of Uncontrolled Vocabulary fame), posted this:
“Oh boy, it’s LJ Movers and Shakers nomination season again. Where does the time go?”
And within seven hours there were almost 50 comments. Some are typically irreverent and fun, but others are more pointed. So what is this award really about?
Well, the Library Journal Mover & Shaker Award recognizes “emerging leaders in the library world.” This is the eighth year for the award (and special print supplement to the regular magazine). Each year LJ “profile(s) 50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field”.
In my conversations and observations, the general consensus out there in Libraryland is that this is a very good thing to have happen each year and that it is a valuable “thing” to receive. There are some exceptions to this more general opinion though which are interesting to note.
In Greg’s friendfeed discussion thread on the subject some folks put forth the idea that this whole “Mover & Shaker” business is mostly just a marketing tool. I wouldn’t disagree, but it isn’t just a marketing for LJ in my opinion. I think Libraryland should honor their own more than they do. This recognition tool is for a specific segment of our profession. And I think it is important. I would also say that I think we need a couple other awards of this size that embrace the folks that don’t fit into the category of this award. Wouldn’t be a total blast to work on coming up with those award criteria?
But *this* is the award that the largest number of my closest Libraryland colleagues are involved with. And I have personally seen the positive impact receiving it has had on several careers. So the award get my vote of support. And I don’t say this lightly either. I have had lengthy conversations with more than one very high profile winner of this award that really thought it was mostly bunk. I respect their opinion on this, but also know that they have the luxury of not really caring about this. Besides, I believe that even if they didn’t care about getting it, that the award provided more attention to their work. And their work is just magnificent in my opinion. So, I still say this is a valuable event/award/honor to hold.
A couple folks observed that there have been cases where people became more isolated in their library after receiving this award. I’ve heard that too, and know it a real concern for some. From my observations this is a more rare exception. An exception that is amazingly frustrating and intolerable, but an important thing to note.
So I’m here to encourage you to vote for the next round of LJ Movers & Shakers.
I can think of several folks just right off the top of my head that would be fine Libraryland reps for this award. I know there really are hundreds of others. In fact, I’d LOVE for you to list other names in the comments! Here are a few I wold love to see get this award:
And, I have to confess that I posted this to the discussion we had today about the award:
“So is there a way to try to get nominated without coming across like an egocentric jerk? *ahem*” So, no, I haven’t ever been selected as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker award winner.
So who do you think should be on the list this year??