When I first started here at the CDD, I was skeptical about what to expect. I was not sure what I would be doing in the beginning, but everything eventually fell into place. I started to do public outreach and I was a bit worried at first, but after going in I felt a bit less tense. Knowing public outreach is not really my strong suit, I felt really anxious as I didn’t know what to expect, it being my first time and all.
My first experience was at a local farmer’s market, and I was posted at a table to hand out Cambridge city maps and other CitySmart pamphlets. Since I was not the only one there who was handing things out, it made me feel more comfortable because I didn’t feel alone. Some people were handing out informational pamphlets and goodies regarding different things like food recipes, others aimed to raise awareness about the threat of cigarettes on a person’s health and personal oral hygiene. Once I started talking to others about what they were doing, I felt more comfortable with proceeding with what I had to do. I had people come over to my table and it turns out it wasn’t that scary! I’m glad I did it because it really helps improve your social skills and if you’re the timid type like me, it really helps you gain confidence in regards to social interaction.
Eventually I went on to do the same thing at the Cambridge Public Library next to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin school all on my lonesome. Since I had the same mindset from the first time I did this at the farmer’s market, I felt much more comfortable interacting with the people who were coming in and out of the library.
The Cambridge Public Library at 449 Broadway
Although some people get a little salty when it comes to offering helpful resources, the majority of people coming through the library are happy to stop by, chat, and take a few things. If you are going to do public outreach, don’t be afraid and I’d recommend going in with great confidence and stride!
- Mike McKenzie, Intern with the Environment and Transportation Division