I was busy recruiting ACRL attendees for the Library Society of the World this past week, which involved several conversations about how it got started (a funny story that can be told with more or less snark depending on the situation… I love snark-flexible stories). My favorite part to tell, though, is the “you are here” part. If you decide to take up with this crew, you’ll find yourself surrounded by smart, thoughtful, innovative, energetic, inspiring, and just plain wonderful library people.
There have always been anecdotes of useful conversations and interesting ideas to share when trying to explain why I think the group does good work, but as the group and individuals within it continue to work hard to improve the profession, it’s getting easier and easier to point to things that non-LSW members will have heard of and say “Look at this, and this, and this. See? These people really are cool!” Take, for example, yesterday’s announcement of the Library Journal’s list of Movers and Shakers. That list includes so many people that I know from LSW: Dorothea Salo, Jenica Rogers-Urbanek, Jason Griffey, Karen Coombs, Michael Porter, Rachel Walden, Dave Pattern, Lauren Pressley. Then there are a few other people listed that I know but am not quite sure if they’ve declared themselves LSW members (one of the fun things about the LSW is that there is no comprehensive roster of members): Chad Boeninger, Melissa Rethlefsen, Sarah Houghton-Jan, and the “Dutch Boys” (Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap van de Geer, and Geert van den Boogaard). That’s a quarter of the LJ list, folks. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
On top of that, there are all the other cool things that LSW members play huge roles in, like LCOW, Library Camp Kansas, the ALA unconference, the Lib2.0 Unconference (in Australia, since this is “of the world,” remember), BIGWIG programming, setting up all kinds of conversation spaces online (the LSW Meebo room, the LSW forum, the LSW LinkedIn group, the LSW FriendFeed room)… the list goes on and on and on. And now, the LSW is coming up with a way to recognize all the amazing things that its members do day in and day out. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Shover & Maker award site which appears to be gearing up for something big.
What started as a joke has become an actual force in the library world, and I, for one, am honored to bask in the glow of these truly inspiring people