Leading From Where You Are: CLELCON21 Reflections

by Laura Buck / Douglas County Libraries

What an inspiring speech we heard from our keynote speaker Lucia Gonzalez! In this time of uncertainty because of the pandemic, Lucia talked about how we are all on a personal journey. She graciously shared her story with us about coming to this country and finding solace in a library. She shared about a time she tried to be like the storytellers she worked with and was not affirmed in her path. She told us how she learned to find and use her own voice when telling her own stories. When she spoke of leading others, she told us to not be afraid to use our voice. When she spoke about the journey, she reminded us that we must pack appropriately for the journey we are on. She urged us to bring with us a humble spirit, a sense of humor, flexibility, our listening ears, and resourcefulness. These are all excellent tools for a Children’s librarian to have handy on the journey of working with children (and their caretakers)! She had to learn to make her way as an immigrant in a strange land. Lots of times in life we may feel like we don’t belong and how we need to find our way, like when we are new to a job or a new role. She talked about leading from where you are at in your journey and reminded us all to think about what we want to do next. She encouraged us to keep learning from each other and said that we must strive to remain innovative. She spoke of how we have been forced to make changes because of the pandemic – but inspired us to take advantage of this time and to open ourselves to move to our next step – no matter what that may look like for each of us. Don’t forget, as she said, to “always be ready to seize an opportunity!” Thanks for the sensible and moving words Lucia. I, for one, am very grateful I heard you speak!

Laura Buck has been working in the Youth Department for Douglas County Libraries for over 6 years. She loves providing Storytimes for children and serving the public and still wants to have a “Picture Books for Grownups” Display. We can still learn valuable lessons from children’s books!!

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position or opinion of the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy organization or the individual committee members.