This topic is going to be a challenge to explore cohesively. I have had so many disparate ideas jumbled in my head for a while now, fizzing away & bubbling over. I am going to attempt to put some comprehension around them. Over the past week I have had several conversations that have inspired me to try and make sense of these slightly out-of-reach ideas that haven’t quite fully connected, yet.
For the remainder of this month, I am going to put on my future-looking glasses and switch on the dreaming lens. I am going to explore what I want the future to be, and what I am actively doing to influence & shape the future of libraryland.
I’ve been participating in the #hyperlibMOOC and the following clip is a guest lecture given by Monica Harris, from Oak Park Public Library.
I was so inspired by Idea Box, hearing about the engagement & participation from the community was fantastic. I am especially taken by the monthly switch-around of the space, ensuring that it doesn’t grow stale, & also giving people a sense of “must go check it out” each month.
What if … we re-purposed an empty shop space to create something our own version of Idea Box?
What if … we supported 12 groups to take ownership for creating each monthly idea Box-like space?
What if … we had a map in the library foyer over Student Orientation week?
What if … we created a digital “walk-through” version of Idea Box for our online communities?
Whereas #makerspaces may have been more prevalent in previous generations, with folks making the time to tinker in backyard sheds & garages across New Zealand, with the change in modern living arrangements & geographically dispersed family units, there’s often a lack of opportunity & ready access to space, tools, knowledge. Tinkering about with computers & technology may also have possibly replaced some of the backyard tinkering to make “things”, again this might be a reflection also of shrinking modern living spaces.
The growth in communal #makerspaces interests me, the mantra of working smarter, not harder. Sharing tools, sharing space, sharing knowledge, sharing ideas. Instead of relying on neighbours, friends or family members to have specific knowledge to pass on, we’re opening up to the concept of creating shared spaces, where anyone (strangers as well as friends) can contribute to the group experience & knowledge, and where we all take collective responsibility to contribute to the learning & teaching experiences of the group.
It’s the end of Week Two of the New Librarianship Master Class, with all sorts of things being discussed, including a strong focus on Community.
I’ve been challenged this week to think about:
- the pressure from communities to change/improve/invent a raft of new/different/other services,
- the pressure to interact with learners within their chosen environment,
- the pressure to participate in ways that don’t match the “rules & regulations” of the organisation.
This concept of community pressure is also related to scarcity/abundance. If options in a community are limited, then there may be increased pressure to be everything to everyone, and the community may demand a wider range of services than if there is a choice to access information & services in other ways.
We all face pressure from our communities. How we choose to engage with our communities, how we respond to that pressure, how we ignore that pressure, how we react to that pressure – these are the challenges we need to address.
I made it all the way through to the end!
It’s been challenging & rewarding to have a focus to explore collections & customers, and it’s broadened my vocabulary as well. It has also opened up new conversations with people about their collections, their communities & their ideas. I’ve now got plenty of other tangents that I want to explore.
A few readers have asked me if I would publish this #alphabet series as an ebook or as a podcast, so I am going to investigate the logistics to make it happen, and I will keep you posted on developments. If anyone has any experience or advice to offer, then please do get in touch.
At the end of this series, I remain convinced by the need to continually engage with our communities to create customer focused collections. I am also adamant that we need to regularly review & question our professional practices, to ensure that we connect the dots in meaningful & imaginative ways for our communities.
For the remainder of July, I will be stepping back from an #alphabet post every two days to a weekly post, reflecting on my participation in the New Librarianship Master Class MOOC.