Monthly Archives: April 2011

The B(ig)TOP

This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago for the Colorado Public Computer Centers (BTOP) website. A few of the posts from over there I will also share here on occasion.

BTOP is a big project. There are a lot of components, a lot of things to be done. It can feel a little daunting when looking at it from the big picture.

This is part of what I was thinking about on Monday when I was trying to do some work from home while also taking care of my 3 year old stepson that was on spring break from his Montessori school. Let me tell you, this project seems even bigger with a loop track of the ABC’s being sung in the background.

I felt torn, overextended. I need to be working; no, I need to be spending time with my family and enjoying these years that I know will go so quickly. I am used to having a lot going on, but there are a lot of balls in the air with BTOP. And, in my usual, ill-advised, attempt to do it all without breaking a sweat, I also just moved, started taking classes, am trying to find time for family, etc… You know how it is. Most of us, it seems, are playing this crazy balancing act that is life/work.

And then something else hit me. This is what it feels like for so many of the libraries actually implementing this BTOP thing. Many of the libraries in the state are over capacity and under- funded. Use is up and resources are down.

Being a librarian today, especially in a small library, is a balancing act like no other. Librarians are already spending their days trying to balance storytimes, cataloging, helping people on the computers, meeting with the board, creating flyers, filing reports, ordering books, etc… The list goes on and on and often the list unfortunately includes things like plunging the toilet as well.

On top of it all, us BTOP people are throwing a few more things onto your to-do list. I know it feels like this card may bring the whole thing tumbling down. It was not too long ago that I was in your shoes, and I want you to know that I get it. I hear you are struggling.

I also want to tell you what I was telling myself on Monday. It may seem like there is just too much. That you can’t keep all of these balls in the air. But I have something to tell you: You can.

This may seem like just one more thing but what we are doing is important. I believe that the BTOP project will benefit the people of our state more than anything I have worked on before. This work will changes lives, improve our communities, and strengthen our state. When you spend your precious time, that you don’t really have, working on this project, this is not just another to-do. This is transformation.

When I look at the big picture of all the components of this project it sometimes seems daunting. But when I take a step further back still and look at what this project means, what we are creating, it seems a lot more awe-inspiring than daunting, after all.