Category Archives: Just A thought

Are school librarians valued in India today?


While looking up on books for professional reading I came upon a wonderful resource-The Indispensable Librarian by Doug Johnson. It is immensely useful and beneficial for taking guidance for managing an effective school library program.

It is while going through the book and having visited the author’s blog that certain questions came to me while taking a regular library lesson. Doug has asked the questions in his blog and I too am just voicing my opinion about the same. In his blog ( he questions: “… it’s only fair to ask if libraries, library programs, and librarians will be around long enough to make such a reading worth your time.” And like him my answer is also a yes. But a weak yes. You may ask why?

I work as a librarian in an Indian school where the position of a school librarian is yet to develop from the status of a bookkeeper. And it’s not just the authority to blame. There are still librarians who are complacent in their place and do not desire a growth for themselves. Information explosion has not made them look up from their seats and the see the various roles that we can now play. The roles that not only enrich us professionally but also give a fulfilment within. Sadly, there aren’t many takers of this and so books that can help develop skills to make an efficient school library program are not treasured yet. Hence the weak yes.

Having worked with schools with different curricula like CBSE, IGCSE and IB, I saw a stark difference in the way the role of a librarian is perceived. Not all CBSE schools give their librarians the scope for development since they are overworked. Being a part of administrative staff, librarians perform duties other than the library profile which takes away time from their work. They are understaffed and thus he/she does not have time to develop a library program or even organise engaging activities. They are given board duties, invigilation work and other such works without a thought that the work of a librarian is specialised and that it cannot be performed by anyone else.  The very essence of a library period is lost when students are sent for substitution to library in the absence of a teacher. CBSE schools are yet to recognise the strengths of a librarian in curriculum and project designing. Ver few school engage a librarian in department meetings when syllabus is discussed. The use of library is restricted to reading and research. What they fail to see is that library can become the hub of the school if given a chance. But for that librarians should be allowed time to do so and not be scattered into different directions as need be.

And yet there are schools and librarian who show a way for the others like G D Goenka school library and Ms. Madhu Bhargava, the librarian who also happens to be the Director of IASL, which has a comprehensive school library program that not only engages the readers but also teaches students about information literacy, plagiarism, intellectual property rights, etc. She has developed lessons to integrate classroom teaching with the library lessons by way of Collaborative planning and teaching, develop curriculum contents by interacting with international communities and also train the teachers to use web tools and integrate in teaching. So, the students and teachers are Digital citizens as well. In the same lines, we have S. L Faisal from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, a beacon of how library can be developed into a hub. A visit to the blog gives you glimpse into what potential a library holds, if only right opportunity and support is provided.

I call myself a novice in technology integration as I have a long walk ahead. I have just tasted a drop in the ocean. Our names have now changed to Information specialist, Library media specialist, Information manage, etc. Thus, we all need to adapt to changes in technology to keep ourselves updated and well-informed. It is our responsibility to create and mentor effective library programs in our respective schools.

But the impact and influence of the program is our sole responsibility. There is need devote more time on effective promotion and evolving extensive ownership of the library program. We all know that our roles keep evolving just like the physical facilities, our areas of knowledge, our collections will become more heterogenous, and the services by the school library will also be different each year.

Here comes the second question Doug Johnson has asked in his blog: “So a second question then comes up: Will our libraries be so changed from what we now consider libraries will they still continue to be called libraries.”

And I echo the YES, he provided in his blog. It has become a motto for me to better my services as a librarian and yet not be limited in any means. The answer is:

“If, we maintain the core values that will transcend the specifics of library programming.”  In rather very simple words he has summarised the key to a successful library program.

I have often heard remarks that librarians would soon be redundant with the emerging technology. To these I answer, we have Google, but for a person to arrive at the information he/ she is looking they need a librarian to train them to be critical thinkers and search for relevant information. Otherwise there is every chance of drowning in the ocean of information. We are yet to receive the acceptance and recognition for all the behind the scene work.

In India, the position of a school librarian is very side-lined. It is very rarely looked upon with respect. The wealth hidden in the potential of a librarian is yet to be mined in the schools. Little is done besides the regular lending and borrowing. We are taught Ranganathan’s five laws of library science. But very little is taught on the application of the same in a school scenario.


There is no help or training provided as to how one is to apply the rules in a school set-up. So, I have been on the lookout for the basic core of librarianship and how it stands in a school environment. Doug in his blog has listed the enduring central or “core” values of librarianship as identified by long-time academic librarian and past ALA president Michael Gorman. (Gorman, 2000). These values stand the storm even though the impact of technology can be heavily felt:

  1. Stewardship
  2. Service
  3. Intellectual Freedom
  4. Rationalism
  5. Literacy and learning
  6. Equity of access to recorded knowledge and information
  7. Privacy
  8. Democracy

These core values may or may not summarise everything but they do provide me a starting point to analyse my own core values as a school librarian. Keeping in mind the Five laws of Library science I embrace:

  1. The primary objective of a school library is to help a child to become a thinker and develop his/ her own views about the world. They are not to be taught what to think, rather How to think. And this is achieved when they can have opinions and not be agreeable to all.
  2. Every child is unique and comes from varied cultural, social and economic background. Thus, their individuality is to respected to help them become better library users.
  3. It is of utmost priority to teach children to honour and respect their privacy and that of others as well.
  4. The ability to find, evaluate, organize, synthesize and communicate information is a basic skill for every child. (Doug Johnson)
  5. Reading skills are best developed when a child voluntary reads through personal interest and is not coaxed. Hence, the job of librarian to help a reader find his/ her book.
  6. Every child is must be taught the skills and sensibilities of digital citizenship. (Doug Johnson)
  7. The success of a library is determined by the services provided to the students and how much they benefit from it.
  8. The skills taught and resources provided by the library program are critical to a free society.
  9. Information in all formats should be treated equally and a child’s preference for the same is to be respected.

Striving to achieve this in the Indian schools is like climbing uphill. The lack of support and understanding makes it difficult to explain the roles a librarian can play in a school and enhance the learning and teaching process. Collaboration between teachers and librarians are unheard of. There is so much that we could bring to the classroom if only given a chance to step out of the island we are closed in. We have been branded Teacher- librarian, but how many of us have really given a lesson in a class. And nowadays without understanding the real value of a librarian there are institutions who are employing technology experts and not people with library background. But can these experts answer the questions Doug Johnson has put: Who will fight for information access for all students? Who will fight for intellectual freedom? Who will be concerned about the privacy rights of students and faculty? Who will insist that information literacy is right of every child?”  They may value these but unlike librarians will it be their principal task? A librarian is not just a bookkeeper, given the provision and occasion to display their knowledge and expertise and help make school libraries the heart of every organisation.


Gorman, Michael .Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century, Chicago: American Library Association, 2000. Gorman.

Johnson, Doug. The Indispensable Librarian, Linworth Publishing, Incorporated; 2nd Revised edition edition, 2013.




Beyond books and walls: What it takes to be a 21st century school librarian




From connecting with parents and students to keeping up with the latest technologies, there is a whole lot more to the job than stamping due dates and lending books.

A few days ago, while going back home in metro, a fellow female passenger and I got talking. And in between the talk we shared what we do for a living. The moment I said I worked as librarian in a school, she smiled blissfully and remarked that I was lucky to have such a relaxed and comfortable job. Upon hearing this I asked what she meant by her remark. Lo and behold! what I heard next was just the stereotype people possess of the nature of a librarian’s job. For her all I, did was lend books to students in school and shush them when they talk. And the most painful was that I get to sit all day in a comfortable chair with tea on the side. Really!!!!

Is that how I work? Well my friend the answer is no. I do not get to sit on a chair or sip tea all day. Leave alone rest. My day does not merely involve stamping books. I do much more and I am proud of it. I did not choose this job so that I would be having an easy work to do. And yet who am I to get upset because if I stopped the next person walking by on the street and asked them what our jobs as librarians involve, I’d be willing to bet that their first answer would be stamping books. This is because the experience you all had of librarians is of the frontline, the old lady with glasses who kept books locked in cupboards and looked down upon you if your shoes so much as even squeaked. But dear friends have you ever spared a thought how the books get on to the shelves and ready for you to borrow? There is no magic behind it, but behind the scenes there are teams of librarians working to make this happen in universities and colleges. But in schools the job is carried out single handily by the librarian, or if the school infrastructure supports he/ she might have an assistant. Other than that, we ourselves do all the behind the scene from selecting the books for purchase, to processing the orders and later create the bibliographic records that make it possible for you to find the book in the library catalogue and then on the shelves.

I am not here to glorify my job or to argue. I only want you all to see us in the true light. For years, we have plodded to receive the status we enjoy now. And a lot of hands have worked towards making this job reach a level where we are not lesser than our teaching counterparts. No, I have no issues against. I have been a teacher myself, but it is disheartening to see them remark about the librarians’ job as being a job that requires no specific qualification or specialisation and can be done anyone. I was horrified when they said that it’s a job anyone can do effortlessly as there is no level expertise needed.

And the expression was priceless when I informed that we do possess degrees to qualify as a librarian. Not many of my teacher friends were aware. And that’s the level of ignorance behind one of the oldest professions. The fault lies on our part as well because many librarian do not engage themselves beyond books and thus the stereotype continues.

But for me books are only one aspect of what libraries and librarians are about. Librarianship is a people profession. Our job is to connect people with the information they are seeking, whatever format that may take. At their heart, all library jobs have a central purpose: to help people access and use information, for education, for work, or for pleasure. In all library roles, irrespective of place and institution, customer service and communication skills are important. If anyone ever thought they’d become a librarian because they liked books or reading, they would be disillusioned if they did not also like people too. Libraries of all kinds are keen to demonstrate their value to as wide an audience as possible, and to open access to all significant resources that they hold.

In the digital age, with information explosion becoming a common term and every information becoming available online, there is a proclivity to say that libraries and librarians are redundant. But this is not the case. Information available online is often of dubious origin and there is still a wealth of information behind paywalls that can only be accessed by those who have paid. I have helped many students and teachers who have used search engines for their research and projects and come to the library perplexed because they cannot find the information they want or are rather baffled by the overflow of information pertaining to a topic. If anything, the internet has added to the range of services libraries provide and in turn this has also increased the variety of roles available to librarians.

As well as being good communicators with people and dynamic adopters and exploiters of technological developments, librarians need to have detailed specialist subject knowledge to pass on to library users. Our job now includes providing training to show people how to search for information and evaluate the same. These information skills sessions are now expanding to include digital literacies such as cyber safety, the use of social media sites and online collaboration tools.

There is no standard route into librarianship: librarians have first degrees across the whole spectrum of subjects. To become a professionally qualified librarian we also need a masters qualification in librarianship or information science. An introduction to librarianship can be gained through a graduate degree.  A year as a graduate trainee can be useful but it is not a requirement for a place on a postgraduate programme.

I have a job that goes beyond the school walls as I am in constant touch with teachers and students as and when they need any help. As a librarian, my job requires that I be available to them as much as possible. Last month I gave a workshop on Referencing and Citation. This required me to do a lot of reading and research so that the information I communicated was accurate and current. After the research, I was engaged in assembling the information and resources I gathered. Presentations and handouts were prepared keeping in mind the guidelines and student friendly. It took me weeks to prepare for it, as my mistake would cause the students lose marks in their research work. And people consider my job to be cakewalk.

My intention is not to belittle the teaching profession. But friends please be considerate when you happen to meet a librarian. We are not sitting idle all day. The 21st century librarian is more like an information officer who needs to updated and always abreast with the latest in information, books and technology. And this necessitates that we read and keep ourselves up on our surrounding. Nevertheless, we keep doing our work behind the curtains, but it does hurt when people deride our work. Every profession has its share of hardships and bounty, but it is not often that we give each their due.

Yes, teachers have lesson plans to prepare, report cards to write and much more. But we, the librarian work no less. We too have classes but our teaching is not limited to curriculum. We act as aide to your teaching and assist the students study and evaluate information, build up on knowledge and open the horizons for you. Just like your work, our work also requires hours of planning and hard work. Like preparing reading lists, deciding on age appropriate resources for their projects, guiding them in selection of collaboration tools and technology best suited for their need. And this is not easy for us. It involves lot of enquiry, research and assembling of information from the ocean to find that one drop that would quench the need of the user.

We have moved beyond books and walls, and moved ahead, just as information is not limited to books anymore. Our names have changed also, we are called information officer, information specialist, teacher librarian, information and media specialist, and many more. And with the change in the names our role and duty have also changed, become more extensive. We perform research, evaluation, investigation, exploration, curation, referencing, examination. I could go on and the list would only get longer. With the transformation in education system and advancements in technology, our jobs have evolved to extend beyond books. My job is not limited to stamping alone, I am an information officer trying my best to help students search information and evaluate its authenticity and suitability for their work.

So, friends I am not just a librarian, I am the librarian who works behind the scene to ensure you get what you come looking for. The next time you visit a library do pass a smile and give a second to appreciate our work.

Don’t overlook your school librarian, they’re the unsung heroes of literacy


School librarians are depressingly underused, argues Sally Dring. Many teachers would be amazed at how much support they can give them and their students

Library book checkout card
‘Many school librarians are seen purely as minders of a spare IT suite or as date label stampers.’ Photograph: Alamy

When talking about teaching and learning, most people don’t immediately think of librarians. But in a school where the librarian or learning resource centre manager is valued and properly made use of, we can teach important skills.

Librarians are in the privileged position of being able to work with teachers across all subjects and students of all ages, observing the inner workings of a school from a slight distance.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the belief that students are adept at using the latest technology to find the information they need is simply not true. Students turn up in the library with the ubiquitous task of researching a topic and they don’t know where to start. Usually they head to Google, which takes them straight to Wikipedia (it’s top of the list so it doesn’t take much effort). Wikipedia is handy if you know how to use it properly, but many students need this explaining to them. Should they choose to go to university, a Wikipedia footnote will not be acceptable.

A librarian’s area of expertise is in information management and we try to make the process of finding information easier for our students and staff by providing relevant, reliable resources to support the areas they are studying or teaching. We teach information literacy – finding, assessing, evaluating, using and referencing information. We can also share this knowledge with teachers if it’s needed, especially since some find learning how to use new technology, or keeping up with the latest programmes and websites, very difficult.

Teachers are busy enough as it is and often don’t have the time to critically assess all the sources of information out there. If you’re struglling with this – or need help with research – it’s a good opportunity to make use of your friendly school librarian, who is usually more than happy to help out. It’s part of our job.

Librarians can help students to formulate assess and evaluate what they’ve found and, importantly, use information in a way that hones their note-taking skills, avoiding plagiarism. Librarians can teach your students to be better, more independent researchers.

Most school libraries will have their own management system, including a catalogue that students and staff can access. This will probably include details of online databases, magazine articles and recommended websites, as well as books. What better place for students to start their research? If the teachers start using and valuing the librarian in their school, the students will do the same and view them as more than someone to help with the photocopying or chase them for an overdue book.

Encouraging literacy across the curriculum is something that comes naturally to the school librarian, whose job revolves around literacy of all kinds, a fact that can be overlooked. We spend our time finding the right book for the right child and each student is individual in their needs and taste. I have been lucky to obtain the role of literacy co-ordinator in my school. The role sits naturally alongside that of the school librarian, working with all the different subject departments with a unique overview of the school.

Librarians also share teachers’ frustration at each new change to the curriculum – we’ll have to get some new books and find some different databases. We’ll probably have subscribed to several databases with reliable, curriculum-based information that is perfect for students. It’s at times like this that it would be great if teachers work with us and share the burden of selecting and providing new resources. We could help you build up a list of websites that are suitable, and can guide students on the skills they need to find information independently.

As it is not a statutory requirement for a school to have a library (although, interestingly, it is for a prison) so there are no set models or pay scales for school libraries, librarians or the status they hold within a school. I am fortunate in having the support of senior management and holding an assistant subject leader position, which helps to give me more clout. But many school librarians are seen purely as minders of a spare IT suite or as date label stampers. They are enormously, depressingly, frustratingly underused.

So don’t forget to seek out your school librarian. You will be amazed at how much support they can give you and how much time they can save you. And they really do want to be taken notice of.

Sally Dring is learning resources manager, literacy and numeracy co-ordinator atRipon Grammar School. She is chair of the School Library Association, Yorkshire and Humberside branch, and School Library Association elected board member.


Recap St. Mary’s School…..



As I embark on yet another journey as a librarian I stop to remember the journey so far. And I go back to the time I first stepped inside St.Mary’s school as Librarian. My first job and I had butterflies flitting across my tummy. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I met Bhooma Ma’am who was then relocating to another city, and hence was resigning from the job. I was introduced to the job that required the patience of an ox and the hardwork of an ant. I learnt the nuances of being a librarian. And then slowly without my knowledge I had made friends that were too many to count and now share an ample space in my FB account. I was not just a Librarian, the children found me as a partner in crime. I was naughty with them but they knew well not to cross limits and I never faced disciplinary issue with them. They shared their heartbreaks, crushes, success, disappointments and even their darkest secrets, knowing only too well that it will be well guarded. An then I was made English teacher to substitute for a teacher on medical leave. And believe me I was jittery having to face you outside my comfort zone. You helped me grow and learn to be confident in every situation. I had a tough time getting you people to calm down and to contain your excitement. Had to take extreme steps as well, but I am blessed that it never came in the path of our friendship. Our bonds only deepened after my teaching stint. I realised that you were much more comfortable with me as you had seen me cry out of desperation. I still cherish the cards and bands you gifted for Teachers day and Friendships day. My job was thankful because I found you.

You increased my tank of knowledge and fun by including me in your repartee. Never for once did you flinch before me in sharing snippets that had me flipping with laughter and wonder with amusement. You guys are me lifeline. Whenever I feel down in my journey I need only to look back and rewind. I know you wrap me with your love and affection. I cannot take names as then this post will never finish. But yes there are some very special people who have left an impression in my heart that warms me in my coldest days.

I thank Annie Koshi Ma’am for giving me my first job and valuable lessons as well as opportunities for learning and growing. And then my special people: Kaul Ma’am, Joyshree, Lepakshi, Serene Ma’am, Annie Tharyan Ma’am, Mary Ma’am, Paromita Ma’am, Anu Thomas Sir, Pradeep S, Pallav, Ganeshan, Trisha, Gitanjali, Amarinder, Kriti, Lalit, Ishaan, Shrestha,Rowena, Mahima, Ashish P, Baneet, Siddhant, Shashank, Suhas, Arjun, Priya, Deepanshi… I hope I get to meet you all some day. You are all very special and each moment spent in SMS is etched in my heart forever. Love you all.


The Chronicles of Narnia: I am Lucy



I have both read the book and watched the movie “Chronicles of Narnia”, and it has set me thinking. This classic by C.S.Lewis has much more to it than just fantasy and magic. Anyone watching the movie would just take it as a part of the genre of children’s fiction or fantasy like the “Harry Potter series”. It has made me think that why is it that today there are few takers of fantasy and fairy tales. People find it rather silly and immature to see a grownup read or watch a fairy tale with child like delight. As an adult we are supposed to appreciate the work for its creativity,visualization and graphics,its storyline and well developed characters. Why is it that we fail to enjoy the work for what is really is-a fantasy? Why is it that we critically analyse the work rather than being excited or cheerful? How many of us have watched “Jungle Book” and then discussed its minute details, and not discuss the parts that excited or gave you the chills? When we grow up we forget what it meant to be captivated by the world of fantasy or to be in raptures. Adults discard fantasies as a thing of past time;to be seen, enjoyed and forgotten. We do not give a second thought to ponder over the story. We do not care to delve beneath the layers of fantasy to see if there is a more profound meaning hidden beneath the world of illusions. There is no time to indulge in reveries or day dreams and neither is there time to assess the work.

Hence the first time I saw the movie, I too was thinking its a children’s film with some striking graphics and technical work. Just like others, I too dismissed the movie as a one time watch, fit for children and fun for adults to pass time.

But when I happened to watch the movie second time, I found a new revelation. There were things which I had missed the first time. It proved right preconceptions and prejudgment are barriers to thinking and development of ideas. While watching the movie I was just flicking through it because I had already decided that it was meant for kids. Wrong, there are several thoughts which are presented in the movie. Those with keen eyes and an observant mind are sure to capture these flying pictures. And these pictures have really beautiful colours. The palette is full of vibrant colours that sparkle both the eyes and the mind. these pictures will actually force you to think further and open forth possibilities which would never have entered your mind, let alone even visited your mind. At first they seemed like they were knocking my brains out. Like how can a simple movie have so many underlying features or layers of thoughts? Did C.S. Lewis write the book with these thoughts in mind?

The movie is simple but when you give it a thought is does compel you to think over what you saw.

The youngest of the lot,Lucy,is the most adorable, friendly,warm and innocent child in the film and the book. She has a heart warming smile that makes you want o hug her and hold her close to yourself. She seems to have a magic in her which spills over the people she meets. She is brave though many would not admit that. She has the courage to speak what is in her heart and mind. She speaks directly from the heart and it makes her unique and quite unlike the other kids. Being grown up they have become what we say civilised and forgotten the value of innocence and its purity.

Lucy Pevensie has an ocean of love within her. Even when she is snubbed by her older siblings, she continues to be her sweet self. Like they say,‘ Write the hurts on sands and all grateful acts and joy on rock.’ She is the same, she forgets it all and loves them no matter what. Why is it that we adults carve every hurt and every wrong with permanent ink and just don’t know how to let it go? Why can’t we remember our childhood days when we forgot all pains soon and were smiling again?Lucy is the true epitome of innocence and childhood. She brings forth all the qualities that childhood contains-a loving heart, easy acceptance,vivid imagination,trust and the ability to laugh and not just laugh but to laugh whole heartedly.

As grown ups we feel we have all the intelligence and knowledge to understand life. We shrug or dismiss off the words of a child as silly or foolish. But sometimes it holds the profound truth of life which we miss to acknowledge in the humdrum of daily life.

The same is shown in the movie. When Lucy tells her older siblings that she visited a land inside a wardrobe, they scold her and mock her. They dismiss it a child’s foolish rantings, a day dream. Peter harshly remarks to stop playing games. They don’t trust her words just because it lacks logic and as grownups they find themselves to be knowledgeable and smart. They forget to trust their blood. And that is why they were ashamed when she brings them to the Land of the White Queen.

Lucy has fascinated my  mind, and made me introspect to see if I too have lost my innocence in the race to be mature and to fit in with others. Some find me odd and eccentric, while some comment that I have an innate charm. If this is so, then its because I try and see everything from two perspectives. One as a child and the other as an adult. As an adult I found that imagination was losing ground and creativity too was losing to logic, practicality and rational thinking. Since then when I don my thinking cap I don’t let logic overrule and kill the child inside me. What about you?

The Land Of Stories


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A regular day at the school library sees me starting the day with a prayer. And then begins the influx of students from grades III to XII. The senior classes are a little thorny bunch. For them to be engaged in reading is hard. Some students do find reading enjoyable and are quiet the moment library is in sight.


But the best time is with the primary section. For them library, reading and the whole process is absolutely new. Their excitement to come to the library is simply so high that they need a lot of time to settle.

As a librarian in the present school, I am facing problems with primary section because their level of reading and comprehending the meaning is rather weak. I have a tough time getting them to sit and read, simply because they are unable to read a sentence without asking word meaning. And by then, they have lost interest in the book.

At such times what comes to my rescue is the story telling session. And to my surprise I found the kids eagerly waiting for more. They are transported to the land of kings, queens, lions, and such. Their eyes sparkle with glee and amusement when the characters are upto their antics.

The most fun class was with grade IV when I narrated a Karadi Tale about the “BLUE JACKAL”. I had the kids make sounds of animals found in the forest. At the end of the story they all howled together to mark the end. It was not only fun but also endearing to see that the magic that stories weave is not dead. We all grew up listening to stories from our mothers and grandmothers. And we all dreamt of being the princess or the fairy.

Yes stories capture the child within us and helps us live the life of the character.  I narrated a few more stories to the kids. In the next class they came up with stories they had heard. They also told me that they had shared the stories I narrated with their parents at home. That’s where I feel I have succeeded. If the story touches their hearts and minds, and makes them retell the story, then I have achieved my purpose as the story reaches more audience.

It is taxing and exhausting, but when I see the smiles and enthusiasm for a new story I find myself gearing up for a new session of story time.


27 Amy Poehler Quotes That Prove She’s The Badass Grandmother Willow We All Need

27 Amy Poehler Quotes That Prove She’s The Badass Grandmother Willow We All Need

Strange we all know these things but unless someone says it again we don’t pay attention to these thoughts..

Thought Catalog

"Free Birds" Premiere // Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP “Free Birds” Premiere // Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

1. “Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don’t know about. Limit your ‘always’ and your ‘nevers.'”

2. “Ignore what other people think. Most people aren’t even paying attention to you.”
3. “The great thing about taking big chances when you’re younger is you have less to lose, and you don’t know as much. So you take big swings.”
4. “Girls, if a boy says something that isn’t funny, you don’t have to laugh.”
5. “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
6. “You become more attractive when you love yourself. You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.”
7. “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting…

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