Seeking connections to people, organizations, communities, employers, resources, services, information, opportunities, potentials, and ideas? NYPL — the super-connector — is there for you.
Whew! My friend, the social protocol maven, assures me that you can extend New Year's greetings through the (blessedly vague) period of "mid January." By extension, then, perhaps it's not too late to share my New Year's resolution, inspired by a fellow NYPL blogger and two articles from a most unlikely source — the EHS Today newsletter for environment, health, and safety leaders.
The first article underscores the importance of keeping resolutions simple to increase the likelihood that they'll be kept. The second author's refreshing perspective is that a resolution is less about behavior modification and more about recognizing, gratefully, the abundance in our lives.
My (simple!) 2012 promise to myself is to post more regularly on variations of just ONE theme that makes me feel blessed and privileged — the myriad ways that libraries, and in particular NYPL, foster connections that link people to each other, to organizations, to communities, to resources and services, to information, to opportunities, to potentials, and to ideas.
In the tradition of looking back on the past year, here are a few of my favorite SIBL-enabled "moments of connection" from 2011:
- Carla Harris's dynamic keynote at the 2011 Women's Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW). I mentioned to a fellow attendee the technology training workshops SIBL had developed for the Financial Women's Association the year I was president. She turned out to be an APIW office staffer who asked SIBL to design a similar professional development opportunity for her members. A week later, when a SIBL patron wanted to learn more about the emerging focus on sponsorship as an approach to land more women C-suite and board positions, I offered, in addition to Carla Harris's book, the chance to meet and talk with her directly at another Harris appearance right up the street, this one hosted by the FWA.
- The 2011 Global Forum of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) and its World of Difference Awards Dinner. Honorees are usually women, so I was charmed to learn that my dinner companion was there to accept the Award for his boss, John Wood, whom Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff profiled a week later. I am mentoring a graduate student eyeing children's or international librarianship as specialties. To inform her decision, this mentee now has a contact at Room to Read and Wood's book about leaving Microsoft to set up 12,000 libraries for children in developing nations. (And on a personal note, I now know empirically that the TIAW lives up to its "Connecting to Make All the Difference in the World" tag line. My daughter, with her newly minted graduate library degree, networked at the TIAW Washington conference last year. The result? Her first professional job as an archivist for a congressional commission. This year she worked at Global Forum as official conference photographer. That's connecting!)
- The kick off of the newly established Social Enterprise Alliance of New York (SEA) in a SIBL conference room. We learned that the SEA was venue-hunting for a book talk by another corporate drop-out with a child-centered mission to spur children's creative play in cities across America. What resulted was a terrific SIBL moment where Darell Hammond, author of the best-seller Kaboom! and a sequel book on games, inspired a room full of New Yorkers with his formula for building innovative playgrounds with labor from civic and corporate volunteers in less than six hours. An instant bond with Hammond is that he built the playground at the Washington DC school where my son-in-law teaches.
- The 2011 StartUP! Business Plan Competition Awards Ceremony. Since I profiled Shagun Malhotra, a 2010 StartUP! winner, she's served on the 2011 competition as a judge and joined Start-Up Chile, a program that gives early-stage entrepreneurs the chance to get customers in Latin America in return for motivating Chilean businesses via talks and technical expertise. She and Amy Stevens, a 2010 StartUP! finalist, got connected during the competition, Shagun the judge invited her to the 2011 closing festivities. Amy told me she would like to take a crack at Start-UP Chile. Armed with a letter of recommendation from SIBL, the owner of Sprout secured a placement for later this spring. This is proof positive that SIBL connects entrepreneurs.