Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
Over the school holidays I took the time to watch a couple of TED talks. I highly recommend dipping into these talks every now and then. I find them totally inspirational. One in particular: The power of vulnerability by BrenéBrown set me thinking about the challenges confronting those who work in school libraries as so called “support” staff.
Brené purports that the basis of humanity is connection. That’s why we exist as human beings she says. To connect. Transposing this into the library environment, isn’t this why we exist in our professional lives also?
Making these connections sometimes necessitates leaving our comfort zone. We have to take our courage in our hand and get out there and “do it”. In doing so, we are often confronted by our own vulnerability… doing something with no guarantees. While this is not a comfortable space to be in, overcoming it is becoming more and more necessary, if we are to remain viable in a “socially connected” world.
Brené explores all the human behaviours we tend to develop to cover up our vulnerabilities. I must confess to recognising several of them. However, she does give some positive strategies for overcoming them. I will leave you to view and ponder these for yourself.
In the library and education environment, we are confronted by huge challenges. The most significant of these is that we have to be seen…seen as we really are, here and now, not as we may have been perceived in the distant past.
In our current environment we need to be seen:
Those whom we deal with may think they know what a librarian does. But do they really?
Who is going to inform them of all this, if not you? There is no choice but to dare to be seen. Confront your vulnerabilities and get out there and do it. All this takes courage, self compassion and a strong sense of self worthiness.
Do you have it?
cc image by rosswebsdale
Have you ever wondered why two people doing exactly the same internet search can get two very different sets of results?
What happens is that web companies tailor their services, including news and search results, to our personal tastes. This personalisation is achieved by monitoring our searching behaviour and up to 57 other factors, including the type of computer and browser being used and our geographic location; and then tailoring the search results to achieve a ‘best fit’ with our profile.
In a recent TED talk, Eli Pariser argues that this means that we get trapped in a “filter bubble” and are not exposed to information that could challenge us or broaden our thinking. A case of being shown information that our personal profile suggests we want, rather than what we need to see.
This is another reason to encourage students to use a variety of searches and resources to verify information that they find, before they form their own conclusions.
Then discuss with staff and students whether increasing personalisation and the existence of ‘filter bubbles’ should change their searching behaviour.
image by: zzub nik
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