This weekend I had the honor of being they keynote speaker at the Alabama School Library Association Summer Conference in Birmingham, (not Mobile, but that's another story) Alabama. From start to finish, I was so impressed by the core group of librarians who run this state association and who put on a small, but impactful, conference that focuses on supporting new librarians while also challenging all of us grizzled veterans. This is truly a great group of folks and I am super grateful for having had the chance to walk among them for a few days.
Anyway, as part of my trip to Alabama, I was given the task of talking to a group of new librarians (those with 0-3 years experience in the library) from around the state about how they should approach their new adventure. As it happened, this request came right around the time I was doing a series of workshops in my own state about expectations and being the best librarian you can be - during which I had the opportunity to ask librarians around the state if they preferred Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead. A silly question, but as I told those being polled, I like to know who I need to stand next to if the Zombie Apocalypse takes place during our workshop. Anyway, it was during one of those sessions that someone came up to me and said, "well you know, Jennifer, librarians really only fall into 2 categories anyway - zombies and zombie fighters."
I'm not sure if others in the room noticed it at the time, but at that moment a giant, blinking lightbulb went on over my head. Librarians are either zombies or zombie fighters. I kept thinking about and repeating the idea. I, literally, could not stop thinking about it. THEN I wondered, what a full blown Zombie Librarian Apocalypse would look like? AND how in the world do those of us who still walk among the living survive????
And thus, my keynote for the Alabama School Library Association was born.
Honestly, I feel like I've just started to scratch the surface of this idea and I have no idea where it will continue to take me, but for now, I'm sharing my two presentations from ASLA - including my general session keynote about leading from the library. (An idea that was born out of people constantly asking me, when they meet me in person, where my cape is!)
Again, thank so, so much to all the wonderful Alabama librarians who invited me to be a part of their journey. I am truly grateful for the experience and am so happy to be able to call you my colleagues, friends and fellow Zombie Fighters!