Feeling overwhelmed almost seems like a natural extension of our jobs as librarians because as much as we are providing services in the present, we must always be looking to the future to move with the changing tides and interests of the community. And that is a daunting task simply because there are so many directions to go and few that people en masse gravitate toward. What to invest in? What to ditch?
That’s why I was particularly interested in the infographic embedded on the Thing 15 page about 10 things to know about student’s digital learning and number 1 & 8 particularly resonated because of a recent visit by a Renaissance man/author/scholar who came to our school. He has encyclopedic knowledge on a variety of topics and seamlessly transitions between the information, but his theme in all his talks with students was to harness the power at their fingertips– the internet and in particular Youtube. He showed no less than five videos of cool things to incorporate into his talks but even in private conversation with him, he continued to marvel at videos as instructional tools. His theory is that there has never been a time where information can so succinctly be delivered via video to stuff our brains with knowledge. And clearly this infographic demonstrates that kids appreciate this kind of succinct learning as well. I always learned better by being shown what to do, not being told. If you pair that with the Future Ready article and you’ve got a recipe to begin re-thinking the library. I’m actually *shocking* printing out that two-page document to use to shape future initiatives.
I also emailed myself the 2015 and 2016 articles by Carolyn Foote that I found extremely useful and actually the 2015 article that discusses fusing and personalization (while seemingly dichotomous) are actually what our library is already doing and doing well. I have valued both of these as we have shaped the library over 10 years. For our school library every activity we plan is about cross-pollinating. How can we connect F to R when they don’t seem to have anything in common? And then personalization. Every four years we have a different feel in the library because the students change. Last year we couldn’t keep buying puzzles fast enough, this year, not one has been completed. What do your users need and want and listen to them (see exhibit 1 with the infographic– ask the kids!)
This “thing” has been eye-opening. I want to keep looking forward while honing skills from the past and present and knowing that there are people whose job it is to forecast new technologies and societal needs lets me focus on the present better.