Monday, October 04, 2004

You don't have to love everything

Alane and I had an in-person chat today. Great things happen when I sit face to face with someone. Don't get me wrong--I love e-mail, chat, IM, phone calls--but they are no substitute for the real deal.

Which brings me to my post. As Alane was telling me about her University of Victoria adventures during her British Columbia visit--how the staff was wrestling with how to make changes in their library (she'll blog about the speed dating idea!) I started to realize that not everyone in your library has to love everything.

Now that sounds ridiculous on the face of it, but I personally have been in the "we love all things techno-hip" groove for so long, I had lost sight of the fact that we need all kinds of people in our libraries.

If we all jump to E-scan world where we're gaming with our users and doing micropayments for microcontent and thinking of the library as the 3rd place--then who does the preservation work, or children's storytime, or the myriad of additional activities that your library does and continues to do and will continue to do...?

In short, for the e-scan world to come about, you'll need some champions in your library. Change can be a looooong process. But you'll also need people who appreciate scan world and live fully in it, but prefer to support other activities.

That is to say, not everyone has to love everything. We need as much face-to-face time as we do digital.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

I agree very much with what you are writing. One of the things I love about the library is that it contains all ages at once. Most libraries pull in new things, practices, formats, technology and makes it fit the library. Libraries do change, but slowly, so mistakes are less likely to happen. Some of us will be in front, on the bleeding edge, and some will be way back, but all kinds are needed to make the library the memory- and experience machine it is to most people.