Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

This has been a fascinating discussion. Those who know me as a librarian
find this hard to believe but I used to be very afraid speak up in
public. Job interviews and getting up in front of people made me
physically ill.
Three experiences changed my life. Two were in library school and one
was ALA related.
The first was my Children's Literature class that was taught by Julie
Cummins, then Coordinator at NYPL. She insisted we get up in front of
the class every other week and give an oral presentation. The
presentation was timed and she insisted it be concise, to-the-point and
we communicate about our assignment with enthusiasm. She made the point
consistently that if we were planning to work with children we would be
doing class visits, programs and many other job related duties that will
require public speaking.  I learned to be prepared and practice,
practice, practice. My husband, my friends, my supervisor and the
clerical staff at my library heard and timed my oral presentations.

The second was a storytelling class taught by Amy Spaulding at the
Palmer School. Still physically shaking and nauseated at the thought of
speaking in front of people, she helped me find my voice. The more
practice I had, the more confident I became. Again practice, practice,
practice. I told stories to strangers and their children on the subway.
(Still do) Cab drivers have heard Kiss the Cow and Tasty Baby Belly
Buttons. I have spontaneously entertained a crowd of children waiting
more than an hour for the mayor to arrive at our library for a photo op.
He was late and I told the Elephants Wrestling Match, We’re going on a
Bear Hunt, A Very Noisy House, and acted out Goldilocks and the Three

Lastly I attended an advocacy seminar at ALA. It was called Library
Advocacy Now. Not only did the presenters speak about how important
advocacy was, this workshop taught me how to stay on message.
(Practice…now was that a surprise?) I really understood that my job
was to speak for librarians and my library. If not me…who? That public
relations was a part of my job. What that means for me is participating
in faculty orientations. This also mean volunteering to present at
parent meetings, faculty meetings, presenting at curriculum meetings,
having dinner with total strangers on accreditation committees to talk
about our program.  That it was up to me to speak up to anyone who would
listen of the importance of pay equity. Saying yes when asked and
worrying later.

My stomach still turns over at the thought of giving a speech or
standing up in front of a group but I do it anyway.

And yes, I believe that these experiences have made me more confident
and outgoing in other areas of my practice. I believe that those who
know me now would describe me as enthusiastic but I am pretty sure that
I am not now nor have I ever been bubbly or effervescent.

Lisa Von Drasek
Bank Street College of Education
Pre k-8th grade

Please note: All LM_NET postings are protected by copyright law.
  You can prevent most e-mail filters from deleting LM_NET postings
  by adding LM_NET@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU to your e-mail address book.
To change your LM_NET status, e-mail to:
In the message write EITHER: 1) SIGNOFF LM_NET  2) SET LM_NET NOMAIL
3) SET LM_NET MAIL  4) SET LM_NET DIGEST  * Allow for confirmation.
 * LM_NET Help & Information:
 * LM_NET Archive:
 * EL-Announce with LM_NET Select:
 * LM_NET Supporters:

LM_NET Mailing List Home