Friday, December 5, 2008

Thinking about topics

Recently I had a short IM with David Lankes, after I had read a recent posting of his where he said:
Why can’t we replace the “Read” posters that portray libraries as places of things with “Ask” posters that show them as places of curiosity? Why do library gaming programs have to be some sort of lost leader to reading when gaming is a literacy unto itself? Who said the catalog has to be the public face of the library on the web? WHY CAN”T LIBRARIES REINVENT SEARCH?
The conversation quickly turned to David's program at the 2008 LITA Forum and we were using phrases such as "if it's not fun, why do it" and "aren't we doing what we do because we enjoy it, and hopefully our patrons enjoy it too?" I don't yet have a good name for this topic, but I think it actually goes quite deep into why we're library folk and why we knock ourselves out to provide all manner of information and services to our patrons. Maybe:

We're just here for the fun


R. David Lankes said...

For me librarianship is a vocation, not just a job. I know that is not true for everyone, but the more we can make it true - create environments that foster passion and innovation, curiosity and discovery; that discourage routine, process over mission, and policies over real action - the better our libraries can be. The phrase I use to describe the school I work in I think should ring true for libraries of all types: We're are inventing the future here and we invite you to join us.

Maurice said...

David, I think your school's motto contains, if you will, a heart of wisdom about the future of libraries---it is being constructed here and now, all around us, everywhere that someone raises the daily routine into a meaningful step forward, where someone wonders why one outcome happened and not another, where a group of people gather around a table to discuss how there must be a better way. The present is the laboratory of the future, guided by vision, achieved by the cumulative force of a thousand thousand actions, small and large. The future will not be wondered, fretted, or opined into existence, nor will it be foisted on us. It will be made.