Or why this librarian traveled to Disneyland and found it
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.”
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.