Meme: Passion Quilt or What I Want for New Librarians*


I owe Kathryn Greenhill an apology. She tagged me in this meme while I was in Australia and I’ve been catching up ever since we got back.

The meme: Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.

If you’ve heard me speak in the last year or so, you know I always end with three of the statements in the picture. I usually say that “in a nutshell” what I want for my students at Dominican and for any of librarians I talk to is for them to realize what great opportunities there are for libraries and librarians in this ever-changing world:

If we learn to learn, it doesn’t matter that this week’s shiny new tool is Twitter and next week’s even shinier tool is something else. We can still figure it out, use our foundational knowledge to make sense of it and decide if it works in our situation. I teach blogging sure, but the real skill I want my students to get is that they can master any technology/system I put in front of them or their new employers may put in front of them and make it work. Blogging is just the vehicle, like using any of the tools we cover in LIS768.

If we adapt to change, we aren’t thrown every time the world shifts. There’s no knee-jerk  “I don’t need to know anything about that” or  “That doesn’t really have anything to do with me” response. Or some other excuse that essentially means “I can’t think about the future” so I’ll point out some more reasons it just won’t work.  We use point one and dive in and figure it out, and then get ready for the next change.

If we scan the horizon, we’re trendspotting for the future. Pondering, for example, what the popularity of a certain technology might do to library service. Or what bigger trends will mean to libraries in the next 10-20 years. 

If we make sure to be curious about the world, it makes all of the above super easy. My friend John Blyberg turned me on to this idea and I think it’s a perfect fit for my philosophy of teaching.

Finally, please remember to bring your heart with you. Yes, it’s touchy-feely but it’s pretty darn important as we move into a more emotion, experience focused world. Social networks even enable us to extend the heart across cyberspace. What happened to some of us in our careers in library land that we lost sight of the heart?  I think getting to bring your heart to work is one of the reasons many of us got into the profession in the first place, and it hurts my heart when I hear some of the stories I hear about the way we work with each other and with our users. . User-centered planning, engaging, exciting spaces and a chance to share, keep or make a story are all part of the heart of libraries – you know, the library should encourage the heart. David Warlick, who I’ve only met once and who made a big impact on me in that short time, turned me on to this idea. 

If my students leave my classes as curious librarians ready to figure out the next big thing and make it work in their libraries, then I am doing my job.

Kathryn, I hope it’s not too late to add to the meme and to pass it forward.

Please see:

I’ll tag:

*and everyone else in LIS too!