The Final Friday Follow-up: Libraries in the Arena

The Final Friday Follow-up:
a message from Brian M. Hildreth, STLS Executive Director

Libraries in the Arena

It has been three months since I sent a Friday Follow-up. Thank you to the several members who noticed and asked if they were removed from my emails.

I began my first Follow-up on Friday, September 20, 2013. For the last four years I have enjoyed writing nearly 150 installments. However, today is my very last. Please don’t confuse this with me leaving STLS. I love serving as our library system director and I am excited to carry out our strategic priorities.

Moving forward, I will continue to write to our membership. It is important work. I realize not everyone reads my messages, but I have learned over time many find value in hearing from me. I equally learn from your responses.

Soon you will receive a different version of the Friday Follow-up. I am hopeful it will have broader appeal and still carry the same message. The purpose is to shed light on our amazing membership, learn more about public libraries and impact our greater community.

In the meantime I leave you something to ponder…

 It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man  stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

 The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by  dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again  and again,

 Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually  strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who  spends himself in a worthy cause;

 who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the  worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…

This passage from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech is referenced often in literature. I came across it most recently in Dr. Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. It is a solid read about looking inward and being honest with ourselves in order to do great things. A member library trustee, who I highly respect, lent it to me.

I ask that all member library stakeholders think about this message in the coming year. We are all public servants with much work to do. Each one of us is as important as the other. We need to lean on each other to accomplish our objectives.

The vitality of public libraries is our goal. Because we are all so valuable and the work we do so important, it will require all of us to be in the arena at the same time. Like President Roosevelt and Dr. Brene Brown, I ask you to dare greatly for this amazing cause that is public librarianship!

Have a great weekend, STLS! Stay tuned for the next, but different installment.

Kindest Regards,

Brian Hildreth, Executive Director
Southern Tier Library System

Read past Friday Follow-ups: