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Enchantment: The art of changing hearts, minds, and actions… and what librarians can learn from it

Or why this librarian traveled to Disneyland and found it

The Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland, California.

Do you ever read those books that seem to stumble into your life at precisely the right moment that you’re not only reflective, but, more so, enchanted?

As guy Guy Kawasaki, the former “chief evangelist of Apple”, puts it in his eponymous book on how to change the hearts, minds, and actions of those we seek, Enchantment is about bringing a “voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people” in our professional, or personal, lives. The book is for readers “who see life for what it can be” as opposed to what it can’t. (Kawasaki, 2011)

The first step in accomplishing this: Kawasaki details that we must achieve likability and trustworthiness from others. In other words, be a mensch – a yiddish word for good person, “no matter whom you’re dealing with and who will ever know what you did.” (Kawasaki, 2011) While at first this advice may sound idealistic or propose perfectionism, Kawasaki’s steps to achieve likability seem grounded in attainable reality. My favorites include accepting others, finding something you like in others in order to spark discussion, swearing infrequently, and defaulting to yes when asked for a favor. This last recommendation reminds me of Michael Stephen’s wisdom presented in his Hyperlinked Library week one lecture, in summary, that leaders of libraries are looking for librarians who are willing and eager to learn. According to Kawasaki, saying yes, to our bosses, to our patrons, to our significant others, helps us buy time, which allows us to survey available options, and, most importantly, “builds rapport”.

In the library world it may be more than that. I can’t help but think how saying yes was instrumental in the achievements I’ve made, or seen anyone make, in the library field. Casey and Savastinuk allude to this idea in their Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service. “Empowering the user”, “user-centered planning”, “constant evaluation”, (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007) these necessities in achieving participatory library service all demand that we say yes to our patrons, not just our bosses.

I re-read Kawasaki’s “say yes” passage a few times, hung up on the last relationship Kawasaki highlighted, your “significant other”. This made my head tilt at the coincidence. My wife had just proposed a trip to Disneyland for our first anniversary. I was hesitant to listen to Kawasaki and say yes (I didn’t want to be around crowds and the expense alone, yeesh). But I also wanted to get away. To escape reality. The enchantment of Disneyland was both. Finally, my wife persuaded me with, “Come one, Star Wars Land just opened.”

She had me at Star Wars Land: My wife, Bob Ross, and I in front of the dejarik board inside the Millennium Falcon at Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland, California.

Kawasaki’s next steps after achieving likability and trustworthiness? Preparing for launch. Of utmost importance to launch: capturing people’s interest and imagination by telling a story. Lucky for me, I was able to concurrently compare Kawasaki’s proposals to what I interpret as the beta version of Disneyland’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

There were many successes, architecture and construction most notable among them — I never imagined my footsteps would make the same sound Han Solo’s made above the Millennium Falcon’s smuggling compartments! But after two explorations on back-to-back days, my wife eloquently explained the new land’s biggest flaw: “There’s no music. All of the other lands have music.” She’s right. Amid all of the engineering expertise that went in to Galaxy’s Edge, there was still a glaring absence, more obvious because it’s what made the movies so exceptional: John Williams’ score. Coincidentally once again, Kawasaki backs up my wife’s observation in Enchantment, citing the studied power of music to enchant and influence others in the choices they make while immersed in a launch.

Don’t think that libraries can’t capitalize on the power of music, too! If I’ve seen a LEGO building program put to Vivaldi spark the creations of pre-teens then you can’t tell me soothing nature sounds in the toddler area won’t keep tantrums at bay. I started doing this before the storytimes I host, after observing a mother playing these for her child on her cell phone after they’d gotten comfortable in their seats. I’ve gotten compliments from parents on how it helps their children engage ever since.

In addition to music, Kawasaki’s Enchantment stresses the power of immersing others in order to win them over. Despite it’s flaws in scope, here’s where Galaxy’s Edge won me over. My favorite experience was meeting a pair of stormtroopers patrolling the land, decked out in full costume. I was able to mumble Princess Leia’s famous “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper” loud enough to quickly regret it, as you can tell from the picture below.

Overcoming resistance is the final portion of Kawasaki’s Enchantment I will discuss here, and one that stuck with me the most, maybe because of its brutal honesty, “resistance to change is the norm.” (Kawasaki, 2011) It’s something we all face in libraries from all sides. Kawasaki doesn’t get bogged down in this reality though. Instead he pushes forward and offers countermeasures, like providing social proof that others, especially influential others, are getting value from your new and participatory services.

My fellow classmate James L., in his context book report, discussed the hope that librarians capitalize on the maker movement, to develop the tools for independent learners to become successful, if not solely to use as a successful, librarian-thankful CEO marketing campaign — something I believe we should have exploited with Ray Bradbury’s library-thankful background than we ever did.

To me, Kawasaki’s social proof of value is the most ubiquitous challenge currently facing public libraries (if not all libraries). I believe Kawasaki’s proposals, strategies, and evidence provided make Enchantment a must-read material for all librarians.


Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J.: Information Today.

Kawasaki, G. (2011). Enchanted: The art of changing hearts, minds, and actions. New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin.


  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out!

    I loved your ability to tie in Kawasaki’s work with your own trip to Disneyland, and how you really highlighted how being ready and willing to learn are crucial to building trust and likability.

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Kawasaki already sounds so positive and inspiring just from those few lines alone that you had about defining enchantment. I can admire that because it seems like he really looks towards endless possibilities.

    “My favorites include accepting others, finding something you like in others in order to spark discussion, swearing infrequently, and defaulting to yes when asked for a favor. ” I couldn’t agree more with these examples you shared! I also think that achieving likability is possible, more than we think it is. I think taking those small steps to get to know others, gain their trust and foster a positive relationship can help achieve that likability. I really felt I learned these from both your post and Dr. Stephen’s Hyperlinked Library lecture. As someone who is often shy and not a people person, I’ve found that learning these small things about people we meet helps endear us to them because it shows we care about things that they hold dear and that interest them.

    I also believe that if we are working on making a more user-centered library then it makes more sense to say yes to their requests and listen to their concerns.

    Also how interesting that Kawasaki mentioned ‘your significant other.’ I also loved learning about your adventures in Disneyland as it looks like you both had so much fun there!

    I loved learning about how you related your experience with the Star Wars attractions to the reading. I felt the same apprehension going to Orlando Universal Studios with my mom but she had me at Marvel and Harry Potter and it’s mostly because I’m utterly a chicken with rides and the cost alone. My wallet wept a bit but ultimately the experience was worth it.

    It’s a shame that they did not include music as there are so many iconic pieces of music from the Star Wars movie series. I do wonder why they decided not to do so when we know that our memories instantly bring up the music as we remember the movies fondly. This is something that can happen with alot of movies like Titanic and Celine Dion’s My Heart Will go on for example.

    Also, wow that sounds like a wonderful program to me! Music is so much fun and lots of our storytimes incorporate storytime with music and singalongs or even a live band at times. I’m a sucker for legos and things like hot wheels so it’s nice to know that you incorporated engaging yet soothing classic music to the program.

    Oh my! I love how in character the storm trooper actors were because they immediately seemed to hone in on your version of the iconic yet sassy line by Princess Leia. I almost wish I had thought to do that with the interactive Megatron that I got a photo with.

    “resistance to change is the norm.” (Kawasaki, 2011) – now with this line, it is indeed a shame but it’s something that happens. Change can be hard to accept but there are ways in which we can immerse our community in new things. I think we can implement his idea of social proofs to the marketing strategies libraries can create.

    • Jeff Gibson

      September 23, 2019 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Tiffany, thanks so much for commenting on my post! Kawasaki’s Enchantment was a fun and educational read. I’m amazed how many different styles were able to work and thrive together at Apple all at once. Yes, likability definitely requires face-to-face interaction, something I find easier with more and more practice (I don’t consider myself an extrovert either, but maybe someone who ambles in from being an introvert when its required). Saying yes is a great first start.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    First I love the name Shushbusters, maybe I missed that before, but it’s a great name for a library blog.

    I enjoyed how you wove your own experience at Disneyland into the book’s overall thesis. Not sure I would have said Yes! but seeing the Star Wars attraction would nudge me in that direction.

    The section on music was right now, and I agree that libraries should take more advantage of sound. We recently bought a wireless Bluetooth speaker for our branch so we could more easily play music at certain programs (like a collage class) or sometimes staff uses it to get more enchantment from a rather mundane task (cleaning 100 chair seats).

    Recently, I have been using the Headspace app. One feature is they have a TON of Sleep soundtracks. The one that “worked” for me was Hubbub and Piano, this odd assortment of sound that combines cocktail chatter and piano music, sort of like of you were upstairs in your hotel bedroom and a fancy party was happening below…not sure why but it gives me this happy feeling and I am out in two minutes. I was a little hesitant to try the app, but like you said, sometimes you just need to change it up.

    • Jeff Gibson

      September 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      Cristin, thank you so much for the Headspace app recommendation. My downstairs neighbors are shrieking toddlers and I can’t tell you how much it has come in handy this past weekend. Combine it with my noise-cancelling headphones and my sanity has returned! This makes me curious about how to help patrons who want a quiet space to study, but can’t listen to music. I’m glad I’m able to study with most music playing, but I do know people that claim they cannot. It would be interesting if libraries without available quiet spaces could have headphones and devices loaded with the Headspace app for using in the library.

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