The Talented Ms. Ripley

Library Technology Conference Logo

Library Technology Conference 2014

Greetings and salutations! This is my first post for Field Notes and I would like to briefly introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Kom and I am the Digital Initiatives Librarian here. You might be asking yourself–What does a Digital Initiatives Librarian do? Well, that is a question I’m still figuring out (more details below) but currently I work with digitizing some our materials and providing digital preservation training.

I attended the Library Technology Conference last week in St. Paul and was overwhelmed, excited and made slightly dizzy by the amount of information I found in my sessions. The thing that struck me the most though didn’t come from the sessions directly. I was talking with a librarian from Michigan who is in charge of their website. She was very impressed with the website related sessions she attended and then whispered—“I feel like an imposter.” This struck me because I often feel the same way since deciding to take up the digitization program here at the library. I didn’t take any digital or technical courses in school and have never considered myself to be very “techy” but here I am. I did a little internet sleuthing and shouldn’t have been surprised to find that there is actual name for these feelings—Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is much more common than I expected and common to professions across the board, more so in women hence the title of this post. I think this is something that many librarians out there are encountering. There are so many aspects to a librarian’s job and naturally one person can’t be an expert on everything. Technology related job duties can be especially daunting when one hasn’t had any training. The first step for me in overcoming imposter syndrome is recognizing that I don’t know everything and embrace it—there are a lot of people out there in the same boat and we can learn from each other. There will always be someone out there that is more knowledgeable on certain subjects but there is no equal for enthusiasm and hard work.

For those things you don’t know, contact our Field Services staff and they can answer your question or hunt down the information that they may not know.

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