Last night, in my IST511 class (Introduction to the Library and Information Profession) we did an activity that I enjoyed far too much. Dividing up into pairs, we each spent two minutes talking to our partner about something we were passionate about. I devoted 120 delicious, uninterrupted seconds to geeking out over opera. In return, I was treated to an enthusiastic description of crochet and its increasing popularity.
The purpose of the exercise was to teach/remind us that community conversations are easier when you discover what excites people. A great way to learn what a library members want or need is to ask “What do you love? What can’t you get enough of?”
My desire to serve my community, to connect people with resources, is what drew me to librarianship. Blogging about my journey is a pleasure, but sometimes feels a bit narcissistic. So that’s why this post is now dedicated to YOU. Really!
Instead of writing anymore about myself today, let’s talk about you. Whoever you are, librarian or non-librarian, friend or stranger… what are you most passionate about?
What ideas could you spend two minutes, or two hours, discussing non-stop? Sea creatures? Gourmet cooking? Aboriginal art?
What are the really nerdy things that you wish other people were as giddy over? What topic makes you jump for joy when you hear or read about it in the media?
Please share your enthusiasm in the comments below, whether in just one word, or several paragraphs on your favorite hobby. I’m sincerely curious and I promise to read every word.
P.S. Want to see two good examples of public libraries asking these sorts of questions? The Fayetteville Free Library has a first-rate Community Engagement Survey. Simple but effective, the form allows them to gauge their members’ interests and contact those who might have skills and information to share. The Geek the Library campaign (in the village of Hamilton and many other participating libraries) achieves a similar goal, giving the public a chance to express what motivates and inspires them to learn. How are other libraries initiating these conversations?