Collection Development, Conferences, School Libraries


“An answer is not a perfect solution… it’s a workable solution”
(overheard on the shuttle back to the hotel).

How true. I attended the ISS session on Advocacy begins with Strategic Planning and took back a number of “thinking points”. One of these was the Myth of Perfection: the MLS-school induced feeling that we (school librarians) have to be perfect:

  • Our catalog (and MARC records) have to be perfect, with valuable tracings and added content
  • We have to Keep Up with the latest trends, lest we become outdated and unneeded
  • We have to live up to the Information Power standards for our roles in the schools
  • Our program should embody IP2

I could go on, but you all know what I’m talking about. One friend confessed that she never got into blogging (writing or reading) because she didn’t have time and didn’t get it and wasn’t that criminal?

The reality is no. She’s not a horrible or bad person. She’s made choices. Sometimes you have to know which is the hill not to die on, and that hill may be a fixed schedule. It may be covering for teacher prep. It may be Accelerated Reader. It may be not doing inventory every year. It may be outsourcing your MARC records.

Being perfect means taking on more and more, while often making do with less and less. We can complain about it amongst ourselves, but that’s as far as it goes (if it even goes that far – many keep up the brave front because they need to appear perfect).

Let’s resolve not to be perfect. To choose working solutions while accepting that it may never be the perfect solution. There may be a Santa Claus. There isn’t a perfect school librarian.

1 thought on “Myth-perfection”

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