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Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy 10th Blogaversary to Me and Good Timing on a Big Honor

So ten years ago yesterday I took a plunge and started a blog-- this blog. Here is the first post:

While this blog has evolved and matured in ten years, its core mission has stayed the same. I am here to showcase what RA is, why it is important, and how we can all do better. I am not the only one doing this work and many days I am not even the most interesting, but I am steady-- and loud.  Apparently that equals longevity. 

I am proud to still be doing this important and rewarding work over a decade later. I know I am making a difference because I can see it in how much better all of you are doing at helping leisure  reading patrons. That is by biggest reward.

But one of the nice side effects of helping so many people, is that I am starting to be recognized by others for the work I do, like late last week when the Illinois Library Association announced my being named as the latest Illinois Library Luminary.

Here is the link and below is the text from the ILA site:
This honor roll for Illinois libraries serves the dual purpose of recognizing outstanding voices in the library community, while creating a legacy through the ILA Endowment to continue their important work. 
Becky Siegel Spratford 
What began as a test—working in a Chicago law firm library just to make sure she didn’t want to be a lawyer—quickly became a calling, and today, Becky Siegel Spratford’s name is synonymous with Readers’ Advisory. Spratford co-created the Readers’ Advisory department at the Berwyn Public Library and worked there from 2000 to 2015. For eight of those years, she also taught the Readers’ Advisory course to hundreds of students at Dominican University in River Forest. She now brings training directly to libraries, influencing thousands of library workers through programs and her critically-acclaimed blog, RA for All. The author of the The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, she also writes for EBSCO's NoveList database, Booklist, and Library Journal. She is a member of the Illinois Adult Reading Roundtable (ARRT) Steering Committee and the Illinois Library Association (ILA), serving on the 2014 ILA Annual Conference Committee. Spratford was president of the La Grange Public Library Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011 and was recently elected to her fifth term. She holds a BA in American Studies from Amherst College and an MLIS from Dominican University. 
Inducted Thursday, 15 June 2017.
I normally dont brag about myself. Self promote, absolutely yes. Brag, no. My mission is to help as many people as possible because I want every library patron, in every town, everywhere to get the same level of excellent service, but I have found it interesting that after ten years of working very hard here on the blog, I am starting to make enough of an impact that people are recognizing me for it. I am sharing it here to inspire all of you to keep doing the work you are doing. 

We all make a difference. Every single one of us. It just takes compound interest-- many of us doing work over many years, building off of each other-- for the wider world to notice. As I said above, I have been loudly proclaiming the great work we all do for the last ten years and people are finally paying attention.

On a personal note, the Luminary recognition was especially rewarding because the three women who nominated me, and who worked so hard to get the finical support needed to get me this honor, are the three women I went to back in 2015 when I was contemplating leaving my regular library gig and doing RA for All full time. Jeannie Dilger, Karen Kleckner Keefe, and Rebecca Vnuk are the ones I look to when I need advice. They are amazing librarians who I turned to when my future was at stake, they were the ones I approached to see if they thought I could make a go of this, and they were the ones I talked through my plans, hopes, dreams and fears. To have them go out and actively campaign to give me this honor means just as much to me as the honor itself. They are my colleagues, my confidants, and my friends, and I am so lucky to have them in my life.

Ten years later the hard work is paying off for me, yes, but my work isn’t done. I care more about it paying off for all of you. I will continue to fight for the work all of us do with adult leisure readers. I will continue to share posts and create training programs that inspire and challenge you all to keep up the good work. I promise to be here for as long as I can, or at least as long as you keep wanting to read what I have to say.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, whether you have been here from day 1or just heard about RA for All yesterday. 


Alissa W said...

Big High Five and Round of Applause to you Becky! You absolutely deserve the Luminary honor and I've enjoyed learning from you and getting to know you through the years! This blog was an important resource when I was leading book discussions and I love your commitment to this profession!

Michelle said...

Congratulations, Becky, on reaching your 10th anniversary of blogging about Readers' Advisory service for all! Your blog has quickly become one of my favorite go-to resources for keeping up with RA skills. I especially appreciate your calls to action, and hope to follow up on some once I'm done with my current committee work.