Monday, June 13, 2005

The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Memorial Library

Yesterday I was reading a report on the slow acceptance of new technology in libraries and it suddenly occurred to me: some libraries face new technologies in exactly the way that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said we face death. In her most famous book, On Death and Dying, Dr. Kübler-Ross said there are five stages in the acceptance of death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. So let us consider one of these libraries as they ponder, say, RSS technology.

Denial: My users don't want this. It's just a fad, like the way people thought public TV and ultrafiche were going to supersede the need for a library. This will never be needed here.

Anger: Why on earth are you asking me for this? I don't have time for this nonsense. If you want to know what's happening at the library, just check the %+#^!* web site! (Or...just read the %!*$#@% newsletter!)

Bargaining: OK, we can do RSS if we don't have to offer the summer reading program or cancel this major public program.

Depression: Why are people treating me like this? Don't I have a master's degree in library science? This isn't why I went into library work. Where oh where will I ever find the money to do this? I should have listened to my mother and become a bank robber...

Acceptance: The Board President/Provost/major donor/CEO/City Council Chair wants to know when we're offering an RSS feed? Tell her it will be in place by next Wednesday.

My thanks to Alane, Alice, and The Shifted Librarian herself, Jenny Levine, who humored me as I spun this idea out over a couple of beers at Max & Erma's in Dublin this evening!

1 comment:

Mark Cooke said...

Great post! Thanks.

Mark Cooke