Creativity for Library Career Advancement

Perspectives, Techniques and Eureka Moments


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About the Book

“Creativity is just connecting things,” observed Steve Jobs. In today’s diverse, ever-changing job market, creativity is more necessary than ever. In a profession offering a broad range of job opportunities, librarians are surrounded by myriad connections to be made. They are trained to recognize them.
This insightful collection of new essays covers a wide spectrum of methods for cultivating creativity as a skill for career fulfillment and success. Topics include learning through role-playing games, libraries as publishers, setting up and using makerspaces, developing in-house support for early-career staff, creating travelling exhibits, creative problem solving, and organizing no-cost conferences.

About the Author(s)

Vera Gubnitskaia has worked as a library manager, consultant, and reference librarian in public and academic libraries in Russia and the United States. During her career as a writer and editor, she contributed chapters to several professional publications, edited multiple anthologies, and published book reviews. She is currently an art fellow at Crealde School in Winter Park, Florida.
Carol Smallwood, a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and multiple Pushcart nominations, is the author of journal articles as well as editor of numerous books including one in Poets & Writers Magazine List of Best Books for Writers. A Michigan resident, her experience includes school, public and special libraries.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7401-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3636-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword (Deb Biggs Tenbusch) 1

Preface 3

Part I. Nurture Your Mind

The Power of Incubation: Slowing Down to Speed Up Creativity (Jim Jipson and Kellie Sparks) 6

Two Worlds, One Outlet: Zine Making and Critical Reflection for Professional and Personal Development (Silvia Vong) 13

It’s in the Cards: Using Tarot Reading to Access Professional Creativity (Laura Wimberley) 29

Part II. Out of Comfort Zone

What Is Your Quest? Learning Through ­Role-Playing Games (Michael P. Buono) 36

Growth Lessons Learned from a ­One-Year Fellowship in a Nontraditional Library Environment (Dana E. Thimons) 43

Applying Improvisation in Libraries and Librarianship (Anthony Stamatoplos) 50

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Libraries as Publishers (Kathleen Christy) 58

Part III. Exercising Imagination Muscles The Art of ­Pseudo-Archives and Its Role in Advocacy (Anastasia S. ­Varnalis-Weigle) 66

Reinvention Through Necessity: One Librarian’s Evolution from ­One-Shots to ­For-Credit Teaching (Mary Todd Chesnut) 73

The Library as Laboratory: Using Makerspaces to Cultivate Organizational and Personal Creativity (Courtney McAllister and Christine R. Elliott) 81

Firing Up Personal Growth with the Spark of Creativity: How to Start a Creativity Group for Library Staff (Leslie A. Wagner) 88

Part IV. Writing and Publishing

Following in the Footprints of the Master (Detective) (Robert Perret) 98

Poets and Scholars: Foregrounding Librarians’ Creative Writing In

and Out of the University Classroom (Rochelle Smith) 104

The ­Tenure-Track Librarian as a Scholarly Researcher (Rachel K. Fischer) 110

The Writerly Librarian: Creativity and Writing (Addison Lucchi) 118

The Process of Research and Publication as a Tool for Personal

and Professional Growth (Astrid Oliver) 126

Part V. Innovative Business Practices

Small Steps, Big Impact: Professional and Personal Growth

and Development (Robin R. Breault, Brooke McDonald Shelton and James Ritter) 134

Transparency and Subterfuge: Encouraging Creativity in Academic Libraries (Jack Maness, Erin Elzi and Shannon Tharp) 144

Creative Accommodations: Finding the Best Solution for Library Employees with Invisible Disabilities (Joy M. Perrin and Carrye Kay Syma) 152

Contagious Creativity: Leveraging Staff Talents and Interest

to Find Career Satisfaction (Shelia Gaines and Casey Parkman) 158

Developing ­In-House Support for Early Career Staff (Paula Archey, Maggie Nunley and Erin E. Pappas) 165

Part VI. Visual and Performing Arts Music to My Ears: Using Amateur ­Music-Making as a Means of Vocational Specialty (Bruce R. Schueneman )174

A Shutterbug in a World of Bookworms: Photography as a Creative Outlet in Academic Librarianship (Michelle P. McKinney) 181

Artful Information: Lessons for Librarians from Visual Artists (Tim Gorichanaz) 189

Arts Enrichment for a Working Artist Librarian (Yolanda Poston) 195

Part VII. Partnerships, Collaborations and Networking

Finding Your Librarian Voice: Creative Ways to Get Involved

and Share Ideas (Holly Mills and Sharon Holderman) 202

Collective Creativity (Amy Gay and Kelsey George) 211

Around the State in Postcards: Creating Traveling Exhibits (Ruth Elder and Jana Slay) 219

Part VIII. Budget Matters

Creative Problem Solving in Libraries: Budgets, Staff and the Lack Thereof (Nora Franco and Marla Lobley) 228

Beyond the Boot Camp: ­No-Cost Conferences (Heather C. Seminelli) 238

About the Contributors 247

Index 253

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A fun, engaging, and resourceful manual with innovative ideas to spark any librarian’s imagination.”—Andrew Hart, reference librarian, Ohio BWC Library, Columbus, Ohio
• “Want to know how to succeed in the library world, and enjoy it, read this anthology filled with ideas on incorporating creativity, with excellence in the profession.”—Nancy Richey, associate professor, Western Kentucky University
• “A guidebook for new and growing librarians towards a spectacular profession in a madly diversified world.”—Hong Cheng, librarian, UCLA, and president of the Society for Chinese Studies Librarians
• “Contains a great deal of advice for those who wish to step up and out in the profession, by utilizing their innate skills and interests!”—Larry Naukam, retired director of historical services, Rochester New York Public Library
• “Provides wonderful examples of how finding creative outlets and solutions not only make us interesting people, but also great librarians.”—Corey Seeman, director, Kresge Library Services, University of Michigan
• “Timely information for librarians during this era of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) and Makerspace movements.”—Linda Garrison, librarian, Canterbury School of Florida, Saint Petersburg, Florida
• “Both practical and inspiring, the collection so is wide-ranging that every librarian can find something to spark new approaches to work.”—Kathrine C. Aydelott, MLIS, PhD, head of Research & Learning Services, University of New Hampshire