Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thing #31: An attitude adjustment!

It's quiet in the library this morning as I write this blog unlike when I watched the video by David Lankes on this month's lesson.

My desk at the library is essentially a public service desk where I continue to master multi-tasking as I work on projects as well as assist public computer users, answer the telephone, take money for prints, all surrounded by the hubbub of people moving in and out of the tech center. It took me around 3 hours and two sittings to watch the 53 minute video but it was well worth it. This was one of those attitude-adjustment moments or "AHA!" times. Those of us at libraries are not just here to point out where you find requested information but to also lead others or sometimes follow others into new knowledge. I really the presentation's thought that "Knowledge is not a thing-it is dynamic!" Not an exact thought-I grabbed at short tidbits as I took notes. I will watch this again but I guarantee it isn't going to happen before the end of this busy month. My mind is currently on the weather and what it will be like when I drive home.

Back to "attitude adjustment." In a birthday card note, a friend shared the fact that she hates her job so only enjoys 2 days every week and not always that because she has to clean the house on her days off. I hope I never reach that point-I like my library job because each day is different. I get incredible satisfaction from helping someone find the info they need or helping them learn a new computer skill, or just finding an author they might enjoy. It is definitely a two-way street. I have patrons share web sites,"how-to-do" stuff, and authors with me too. They might take the knowledge I shared and expand on it further and then share back with me. I've told several people about Skype after I was introduced to it and found it an awesome tool for international communication. One friend was heading to South Africa on a safari and needed to check up on things at home while she was gone. She took her laptop with Skype installed and with Skype minutes she could easily contact to family on their home telephones and computer very cheaply. She in turn helped others on the trip do the same. Another friend was paying for an international calling plan. I told her about Skype and then she told me that she had figured out how to share her computer screen via Skype and was sharing pictures in her folders with her sister while on Skype-something I hadn't done yet.

It may seem like I've veered off topic but to me it all relates to keeping the innovation mind set that the presenter talked about. I liked the fact that we aren't stuck to heading for a "predicted future" but instead we need to focus on an "ideal future" and how we can get there. I liked the focus on the future of librarians not libraries-we are a people driven institution. Yes, we have people that want it to be the same as it always has been, but we don't have to follow along like sheep. We can be the shepherds leading the flock. (Yes, Christmas images are in my head..)

I really enjoyed this lesson. "Now is a good day to be a librarian!"

1 comment:

Anj said...

I really like your "two-way street" examples of learning from patrons as you teach them. I also appreciate your description of the path knowledge took with Skype--someone taught you, you taught someone else, they taught someone else, and so on. It shows how knowledge spreads through a community, how it travels and grows like a living thing.