The high point of my library advocacy has been attending Reference Renaissance 2010 this past August. The conference attracted progressive, dedicated professionals and it was such a learning experience for me to be there while they sharpened their saws. This week, Library Journal published articles from the plenary panelists and it brought the excitement and privilege I felt sitting alongside them right back to me.
In Fish Market 101: Why Not a Reference User Experience?, Steven Bell speaks to the need to “transform a mundane transaction into a different, memorable, personalized interaction that creates loyal community members.”
Wayne Bivens-Tatum follows with Imagination, Sympathy, and the User Experience and encouragement for library staff to look at their organization – not as users who have learned how to master its resources and effectively tap their value – but as average users who want “simplicity, ease of use, and quality resources“.
And in an essay that warms my radical heart, The Visibility and Invisibility of Librarians, Jamie LaRue lists a few features of a library user interface I envision being delivered by the NPL. He also describes the professional pitfalls of being an invisible librarian and offers a different conception:
The visible librarian has a prominent seat at the community decision-making table, actively clarifies choices, provides reputable and relevant information, and through every action trumpets the unique contribution of the professional.
Need a little inspiration today? Take 15 minutes to read through these short essays. You’ll be glad you did.