For Emily Steele, the librarian at Beckfield College in Florence, Kentucky, teaching her students technology skills is one of the most important things she can do for them. Emily supports both young adults and the returning adult student, many of whom lack the technical skills they must have in the workplace today.
At our recent Innovation Cafe, one of the groups dealt with the questions, "What happens when something fails? How do you respond?" When it's not our failure, it's easy to see that when you're willing to take risks, you must be willing to deal with failure. We can not know with certainty what will occur despite our best efforts.
The group began with the usual suspects:
- Assign blame
- Get angry
- Take it personally
- Fix it
- Ask, "why"?
But pretty quickly (they had 15 minutes!) they came up with a much better approach based on a model of Learning.
As Cindy Foley, Director of Education at the Columbus Museum of Art and our facilitator, shared at our recent World Cafe Event: Innovation in Libraries, it may look like a comfortable chair with a back and arms in the middle of a gallery. Sounds simple, right? Only it's anything but, because the museum had to do some hard work, figuring out what they wanted to be and who they were there to serve. Libraries also have some hard work ahead, to question our assumptions, tackle barriers to innovation, and boldly go where it is we want to go.
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, one of only ten out of 140,000 libraries and museums. Congratulations to the library and all of the staff who make it happen every day.
For more of the story: http://www.cincinnatilibrary.org/pubs/elinks/IMLSNatlMedal/award.htm