What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

by Stacia Kuceyeski, Director, Outreach. Ohio History Connection, Columbus, OH on

January 1.  The start of a new year.  In my work life, most of my planning revolves around July 1 as the start of the fiscal year, or August as the start of the programmatic year for educational programming, but there’s still something special about January 1.  I’m not much of a resolution person.  I prefer “continuous improvement” as opposed to the idea of “being good” for as long as I can before I say “forget this” and go back to old habits, but in looking over the past year I’ve learned a few things about myself that I think would be important to incorporate regularly into my work life.  So I’m shouting it to the internet in hopes that 1) I’ll stay accountable, and 2) I challenge you to think of your own work resolutions.

This year my focus is professional reading.  That’s right; I have stacks of books I’ve bought at conferences when my energy, excitement, and motivation were high.  Fast forward a few months (and years…) and those books sit on my bookshelf just as pristine as the day I bought them.  And let’s not forget History News and Museum, amazing perks of membership to AASLH and AAM, but in between budgets, personnel issues, and meetings, I don’t make the time to sit down and catch up with the happenings in the field.  I KNOW that when I spend time reading History News, or a book about leadership, it reignites my energy for my work., and while budgets, personnel issues, and meetings are all important things I need to do, I’m not going to be at my best if I’m not in love with my work.  Reading about the groundbreaking work of my peers in the field inspires me to do my very best.

Anyone who has set goals knows that “I’m going to do more professional reading” isn’t a great goal.  So my goal for 2018 is to spend 75 minutes a week reading professionally.  And for added accountability I’ll check in on the Inkwell and share some of the things I read that got my museum-loving brain going.  Below is my starting list. These are books I’ve been meaning to read and just never got around to, or books I’ve seen recently in blog posts or articles that I thought sounded interesting.  And while I will still keep up on the normal blogs I follow, the purpose of this goal is to make the time to read longer-format works.

Cities, Museums and Soft Power by Gail Dexter Lord and Ngaire Blakenberg

Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement by Anne Bergeron and Beth Tuttle

Leading Museums Today: Theory and Practice by Martha Morris

Managing People and Projects in Museums by Martha Morris

Leadership Matters by Anne W. Ackerson and Joan H. Baldwin

Objective Lessons: Self-Care for Museum Workers by Seema Rao

Creativity in Museum Practice by Linda Norris and Rainey Tisdale

Eleven Museums, Eleven Directors: Conversations on Art & Leadership by Michael E. Shapiro

Museums, Immigrants, and Social Justice by Sophia Labadi

In addition to these books I’m also going to keep up with History News and Museum.  This means that I will read them within one month of receiving them.

What about you?  What are your resolutions for the new work year?

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