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Nominating myself for the F A Sharr Award: A personal reflection

It can be tough nominating yourself for an award at the beginning of your career. At least, that’s the way I felt when I was writing my application for the F A Sharr Award last year. I wasn’t sure that I had done enough, that I could say enough, that I could articulate what librarianship means to me. I wasn’t sure who I would put as references and felt embarrassed at the thought of reaching out to people. And I was a little intimidated by the thought of a 10-minute presentation in the interview! I sat on the fence for weeks, but when I saw the deadline for nominations had been extended I thought to myself, what do I have to lose? 

In our professional careers, we’ll have to do things that we’re not comfortable with. But, the more times you leave your comfort zone, the easier it gets. When I finally put pen to paper (or, you know, fingers to keys!) I found that the ideas flooded out of me. Articulating them for the application made it clearer to me what I wanted to get out of my career and what I would need to focus on to ensure I was working towards my goals. The hardest part was trying to keep my thoughts within the word limit! My references were only too happy to support me.

The interview process was great. I met some amazing, like-minded people who were incredibly supportive. I enjoyed our conversation and even my presentation because the issues mattered to me – as yours will to you. My experience of being awarded the F A Sharr Award is one of the highlights of my career thus far. It’s given me the confidence to speak up, to use my voice, and advocate for different ways of working now. 

So, if you’re on the fence about nominating, I’d say do it! Really, what do you have to lose? Find all the information on ALIA's F A Sharr Award page.
Awards night with past winners (from left) Chloe Czerwiec (2015), Sophie Farrar (2016), Peter Green (1993), and me (2017).

About Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy
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