Always, always on the money, Meredith Farkas has a great post on the training-wheels culture that seems to pervade library-land. Check out the post and read the comments. This is good stuff. Meredith’s post was written in response to a couple of others, from Nicole Engard, Dorothea Salo and Emily Clasper – also great reading.
Culture is everything: it enables, and it inhibits. So much about the culture in libraries is awesome (like how willing everyone is to share information, expertise, time). But some aspects of the culture (like our fear of getting it wrong, or breaking stuff, or not knowing everything about something before we start talking about it) have the potential to be incredibly frustrating, especially when you’re a change-loving, technology-obsessed, give-it-me-now Gen Yer. Or a trainer. Or a project manager. Or any manager. Or an employee. Hey, it’s gotta be frustrating for a whole lot of people. (Not to mention our customers.)
The key message behind Meredith’s post, and the message we should get used to putting out there: try. Just push the button. Do a quick and dirty Google search. Learn by making mistakes. It might take some effort. It might be a little scary. But it is so satisfying to give it a go.
And maybe even more important is this second message: if you do try, and you still need (or want) to ask for help, you’re not admitting defeat. You’ll make someone very happy by showing you are interested enough to have given it a shot.
I think this ‘give it a burl‘ attitude is what makes the whole Learning 2.0 idea so fantastic: yeah, it might eat up a bit of your time; it mightn’t skill you up to be an emerging technology evangelist; it might make you realise that your library can get 2.0 without the need to pick up all these new fangled things. But it sure does encourage people to give new things a try. And that’s incredibly valuable.
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