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It seems that no one can wait 24 hours to hear the name of the book about bragging. 
 While I asked for examples of how you brag about yourself, I received only two 
responses explaining how the librarian bragged about their success by telling 
others---"this is what I (a librarian) can do for your program!"

So, it seems, we need some guidance in this area....the book is called "BRAG! The 
Art of Tooting Your Horn Without Blowing It" by Peggy Klaus.  The author is a 
Fortune 500 "communications coach" for business executives and others; however, the 
information that she shares can easily be applied to librarians (and educators are 
mentioned briefly in the book---at the university level).

The major premise of the book revolves around creating a "bragalogue" which 
contains snippets and bites of information about YOU that demonstrate your 
successes and can be share with individuals at a moment's notice---for example, 
those questions we often get that ask, "So...what do YOU do?"  Can you make your 
job sound SO important that people become excited about it?  Or are they 
automatically bored with the idea that you just sit behind a desk and check out 
books...and read in between the rush hours?

As librarians, we often find it hard to take credit for the work we do (often 
sharing it with or GIVING it to other educators and administrators), it is 
important that we begin to take credit for our accomplishments.  When we find our 
jobs being questioned and our work being analyzed by those who AREN'T library 
specialists, it becomes even more important to "brag" about how we are instrumental 
to the work of others.

We can collaborate with teachers all day long, but if we don't share in the success 
and brag about how WE contributed in making it a success, we won't be considered 
important.  (And it's okay to be a bit uneasy with the idea of bragging...that's 
addressed in the book also!)

I believe this book is only one in a long line of business-related leadership books 
that we, as librarians, need to begin to read in order to make our way into the 
educational (business) environment.  When more and more schools are being run as 
business ventures, (rather than schools of our parents' era), it's time for us to 
begin to think like business that being said, I'm not suggesting we 
forget how to BE educators.  I'm using this strategy to work within the environment 
that has already shown us that the bottom line IS the only important issue now 
within education. (How much am I getting for my tax dollars?  Will another test 
prove the worth of the teacher?  How can a librarian show her worth if her program 
isn't tested?) 

If we do not show our importance to the schools (to our business executives), then 
we will find "our departments" being reduced in staff and phased out of existence.  
If we continue to play this game like it was played 50 years ago, we will certainly 
lose ground (as many of us already know to be the case).  If we move forward to 
become business-minded (in terms of showcasing our success, our importance, and our 
abilities---and NOT just share the program's succes...... because the PROGRAM 
doesn't happen without the key figure....YOU.....) then perhaps we can change the 
minds of those who constantly question our value within the schools.

Here's a link to the website and the 12 key questions that you should ask yourself 
in order to create your bragalogue.  I suggest you read the book in order to get a 
better idea of what IS or ISN'T involved in bragging.

Let me know what you think.....

Remember, "it ain't braggin' if you can do it!"--- Dizzy Dean


Shonda Brisco, MLIS
US / Technology Librarian
4200 Country Day Lane
Fort Worth Country Day School
Fort Worth, TX
817.732.7718 ext. 339

"Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible and suddenly you are doing 
the impossible."
 ~St. Francis of Assisi

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