Unleash Your Superpower!

I am constantly amazed by the creativity of the people who work and volunteer in libraries. I love that libraries attract staff with diverse backgrounds and talents, and it is a pleasure to see those talents used to educate and inspire our patrons. I chose the theme “Unleash Your Superpower!” to highlight and celebrate the special talents that enhance library services, transform lives, and strengthen communities.

Libraries provide educational opportunities for the people we serve. We help people learn, create and explore.  In a world where people spend an increasing amount of time living in virtual communities, libraries provide in-person opportunities for discussion and discovery. We prepare children for school, encourage students to read and think and make their own informed decisions, and provide all citizens with access to information and opportunities for lifelong learning.  We use our special talents everyday to make our communities a better place to live.

Each of us, no matter what our role in the library, has the power to make positive change every day.  We have the research skills to identify and address community needs. We have the opportunity to make each interaction with the library memorable.  We have the creativity to design experiences that make visitors say “Wow!”  Through continual reinvention and reinvigoration of services, libraries are able to connect people with information, with each other, and with current technologies.  And when we are passionate about the subject we are teaching, our enthusiasm has a tendency to inspire others.

So what are you passionate about? Books, movies, sewing, art, music, gaming, gardening, videography, coding?  Teach a class or lead a group. Chances are if you love it, others will love it too.  Give people who don't use the library a reason to visit.  Consider the goals of your organization and devise a plan that uses your ideas and talents to address a need or give new life to an old, but important, service. 

Let this be the year when you propose a new class, club or teaching method using your superpower.  Let this be the year you identify groups that do not use the library and create a program that appeals to them.  Don't be content to do your work the same way it has been done in the past.  It does not matter who you are or what you do in the library, bring your idea forward.  Share your passion and use your superpower to enrich and improve the lives of the people in your community.  The time is now to Unleash Your Superpower!


Robin Shader
President, Florida Library Association
Director, Bay County Public Library & Northwest Regional Library System