Letting Go of the Culture of Perfect


I’m home from ALA and trying to decompress. One thread of conversation at this conference was the notion that letting go of the “everything must be perfect” mindset might lead to more innovation and improvement in libraries. I think all the sessions I attended or presented included a mention of play and experience. Karen Coombs at our RUSA preconference said: “Question everything! And don’t worry about making mistakes..” in relation to planning, creating and implementing technology in libraries — and finding the time to do those things. Are we so caught up — like that unnamed librarian someone told me about who has to check the outsourced cataloging of materials before they can go to the shelf — that we miss chances to play, experiment and think differently?

Last week, I posted a Flickr picture from iblee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iblee/589862690/

There was an errant apostrophe in the poster, which was noted here as a comment on TTW: “This is wonderful, but, as a colleague pointed out, there is a completely unnecessary apostrophe in “It’s (sic) deadline can’t be stopped.” We’re astounded that such an error was made on a poster by a University library.”

Since then, Lee has done some thinking and posting about making mistakes:




I appreciate his thinking and the candor of his thought process. Follow the links in his posts. Ponder the “Culture of Perfect.” And, for sure, add Lee’s blog to your aggregator.