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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Innovate or Die (thoughts on librarianship)

So, a few of us were discussing via various forms of social media, IM'ing - the works - the state of librarianship (post migraine, my brain makes random connections and kind of scattered --  a poor time for coding but a great time for absorbing ideas):

  • Libraries are dreadfully underfunded and understaffed to the point where others are starting to try to do our work (FCC digital literacy corps, volunteers, etc.) 
  • Innovation is the exception, rather than the norm. In the tech world (see Silcone Valley), innovation, experimentation, and FAILURE (& occasionally EXTRAORDINARY technical innovation and success) are the norm. We need to find our way towards experimentation and innovation.
  • Traditionally, we have been the keepers and curators of knowledge. We shared information and resources on our terms. 
  • We don't do Alpha well, let alone Beta. (we seem to like finished, nearly perfect products, rather than publicly test things that are imperfect - I often wonder if this is because it could be inconvenient/confusing to our patrons or is it just intellectual arrogance?)
  • We need to understand our technologies. (that means training and continously training).
  • We need to understand others' technologies (because they may be using their technology to use our resources).
  • We need to get out of our boxes.

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