“We’re too timid, aren’t we?”

At a presentation back in June, a librarian came up to me at a break and said “We’re too timid as a profession, aren’t we?” That really got me thinking – which lead to a discussion with Michael Casey which lead to this edition of “The Transparent Library:”


In a seemingly unrelated problem, getting new initiatives off the ground sometimes seems to need an act of God, simply because new services mean change. For some librarians, change represents the potential to fail. For others, it’s a fear of success, that a new service might be too popular and draw too many people.

What underlying theme flows through these things? Timidity. Whether it’s the staff member who wants to remove the couch to spite the sleeping man or the librarian who wants to shut out the teens because they’re having too much fun at the computers, the librarians are often too timid for their own good.

Are we too timid sometimes?