Here we are a month after the OLA Super Conference and we might find ourselves reviewing cryptic notes we took, recalling thought provoking conversations, mulling over countless ideas and pursuing the better ones. A successful conference is more than an event – it is a catalyst for doing things differently. In keeping with this year’s conference theme, “Think it, do it” we need to do more than think about what we heard. At some point, we have to act on the best of the ideas if they are to make a difference in our work.
There were many sessions about change and innovation at this year’s conference. Speaker after speaker decried the need for libraries to be unconventional, agile, nimble, creative and experimental. And to do so, we were told – and rightly so – libraries need staff with new competencies. Our natural tendency as a profession is to play it safe, to only embark upon something new if we’re almost certain it will be successful. However, the 21st century library needs staff who are comfortable with change, ready to take calculated risks, equipped to develop prototypes, then test and tinker until we get it right. We need to cultivate in ourselves and each other a willingness to be experimental, to try things that may or may not be successful. This takes tremendous courage, support from one another and a commitment to learn new ways of doing things.
Within the SOLS Competencies Index, there are competencies related to developing a learning and growth mindset. Together they provide language and an approach to readying ourselves to be more adaptive, experimental and innovative. Check them out and then decide what actions you will take to develop these competencies: Learning & Growth Mindset.
If you’re already experimenting or testing out something new – we’d love to hear about it! Successes and failures both. Let us know if you’d like to share your experiences on the blog.