Current information landscapes aren’t just fascinating; it’s critical that MLIS students keep abreast on current information technology, or ancillary technologies: things people use that aren’t directly linked to computers and books but support those technologies. One great example that was brought up in our lecture was a meditation kit. Approaching data and information requires some fundamental cognition conditions. Mood changes how permeable our brains are and how well we can learn. Mood and emotion disorders are particularly rough on the learning process. I suffer from mood, attention, and concentration challenges that are hard-wired into my brain. Many, many people have, do, and will experience these cognitive hurdles. This makes thinking out of the box as an information professional crucial to our mission of facilitating learning through reading of all kinds. Supporting reading and readers must include supporting good mood hygiene.
My she-row and favorite author of all time(s), Jeanette Winterson, always says that reading is a private activity (and that everything we do is political.) Meditation is conceptually and by design, a public activity. In the library, for example, mindfulness practices are facilitated in groups in the same room and often organized in tight real estate. A large part of meditation is connecting with oneself to relax and ground one’s mind and emotions (I won’t go into detail on meditation in this blog). A calm state of mind and good mood hygiene is ideal for reading and learning. If you’ve ever tried to teach someone who is anxious, angry, or upset and distracted, you know how important, and sometimes necessary, a clear mind and emotional state is. I love that the lecture brought up meditation because these classes and kits are the lowest of low-tech and yet in an environment that’s increasingly high-tech, it may make the difference between student and member learning success and failure. It’s not always about the “new thing” to satisfy our technolust. Sometimes we need to get old school about how we help others learn.