For this reflection, I thought I would share about a few podcasts that I stumbled across this week that matched up with some of the ideas we are learning and sharing about participatory service and libraries.
I really enjoyed a podcast that featured Erica Williams Simon, a young writer and social critic who recently published the book, You Deserve the Truth: Change the Stories That Shape Your World and Build A World-Changing Life. In the interview, she talked about the idea of “narrative intelligence” and encourages everyone to get “story smart” about their lives. Her interview reminded me of the slogan “Keep Stories. Share Stories. Make Stories. I love the concept of “narrative intelligence”. What stories are we communicating to patrons and the community about who we are? Are the stories we tell authentic? Do they inspire connectivity and creativity?
I really enjoy the Freakonomics podcast, so I listened to a new one about open offices (versus cubicles) entitled “Yes-the Open Office is Terrible But It Doesn’t Have to Be”. It felt relevant to our discussions about the Hyperlinked Library because many new libraries have a very “open” design (like Dok in the Netherlands), which is really different from the “stacks” where people could literally hide and not be found. It reminded me of a section in Christine’s context book review of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
While DOK sounds like such an amazing place, even to an introvert like me, I can’t help but wonder if I would hang out there. I think as we examine participation in libraries, we as librarians need to stay aware that participation may mean different things to different people. We must ask ourselves how we will meet those needs.https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/cbar/2019/09/16/quiet-an-introverts-tale/
The Freakonomics podcast also found that when things got “too” open people craved more privacy. So rather than stimulate more conversation, it actually caused many to turn more inward (and it goes into various reasons for this). It made me think that libraries may want to offer both open and enclosed spaces in new designs in order to achieve the types of conversations that Peter Block imagines are possible. So “participatory” doesn’t have to equal extroversion.
Another fun podcast was Radiolab’s episode “What’s Right When You’re Left”, which was an amazingly informative podcast about everything left-handed–especially why humans evolved to be left-handed (the Faurie-Raymond hypothesis). Later in the week, I was shutting down our AWE early literacy computer in the children’s area, and I noticed that the mouse was on the left side of the keyboard (a young leftie had moved it there!). I felt bad because it never occurred to me to put a mousepad on the left side! So when I get back on Monday, I am going to order a matching mousepad to put on the left. But if I hadn’t heard that podcast I might not have “got” it. Score one for inclusivity!
So those are some ways that I have participated in Hyperlinked communities this week…Enjoy!
- The “Messy” Librarian
- Reflection #3: In the Internet We Trust (Maybe Not)