Lifehacker has a great quote today which librarians the world over will find inspiring. Or apocalyptic. Permit me to explain.
The idea from Francis Crick is simple: “The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it.” In other words, the world is an ambiguous place in a constant state of flux. If you choose to see things from only one angle, or to believe that things can only function one particular way, you will more than likely find that at some point reality does not conform to your wishes.
Fair enough, you say, but what does that have to do with libraries and the people who work in them? A few quotes may be illustrative:
- “Why are you giving that patron money? You’re making change for a patron?! But we don’t do that, we’re librarians!”
- “I’m sorry, Professor, but that is a reference book. We can’t let you take it out of the building to make copies in your office. Would you like to fill out this form so we can set up our copier to work with your departmental code? It only takes three business days to process and then you’ll be all set.”
- “Everyone has to fill out this form once a year otherwise they shouldn’t be able to check out books. Yes I know they have registered and paid for their classes, but this form isn’t going to fill itself out, you know.”
- “I don’t see what Dr. Smith is so upset about; I received her request for materials and I will deliver them to her the day before her class needs them. What? No, I didn’t inform her that they will be ready then, why would I need to do that?”