Fight Imposter Syndrome with the Annual CLEL Awards!

Do you know how awesome you are? For many of us, the answer is no. It is easy for librarians to suffer from imposter syndrome; the belief that we are just faking it as an early literacy expert or children’s programming extraordinaire. The truth is we are accomplishing amazing things every day and making a difference in our community and children’s lives.

Here at CLEL we see your awesomeness and we want to recognize all of the fantastic early literacy work being done by librarians across the state. That is why we honor two Colorado librarians each year with the annual CLEL Awards. Nominations are now open for this year’s award if you know a Rising Star or Hero deserving recognition!

Do you know an early literacy rising star or hero? Nominate them for a CLEL Award! Nominations are due by August 30. Winners announced at CLELCON 21. Learn more at

It’s no surprise so many children’s librarians feel like imposters. When asked in our Member’s Survey, “How well do you feel your coursework prepared you for the early literacy responsibilities of your role?” Only 15% responded “Very Well” while 25% responded “Not at All” the rest falling somewhere in the middle. Yet Colorado librarians across the state are making huge strides in the field of early literacy librarianship. It’s easy to focus on all the things we’re not doing or don’t know and forget to recognize what we are accomplishing every day.

A few tips to combat imposter syndrome:

  • List your achievements and celebrate successes
  • Let go of perfection and focus on progress
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Talk about your feelings with co-workers and supervisors

The annual CLEL Awards is your chance to combat imposter syndrome by recognizing the achievements of your colleagues and showing them that you think they are amazing. You can also advocate for yourself. Talk about your feelings and your accomplishments with a co-worker or supervisor. Mention what a difference recognition can make and how it would feel to be nominated for an award.

Nominate an Early Literacy Rising Star, Hero, or Corporate Champion by completing this form. Nominations are due by August 30, 2021 and winners will be announced at the virtual CLEL Conference in October.