Have you ever had one of those days where you turn to your partner, your pet, your ficus, or the wall (whoever’s listening, really), and throw your hands in the air and say “How is it possible that a room full of adults acted like that?!” You don’t have to admit it, but I’ll bet you this month’s payroll of cashy money that you’ve felt that way. If you have (and if you’re me, you’ve added on “Kindergarteners have better control over group dynamics than that!”), this will likely resonate for you:
At first I wondered if the complaining librarians were just really concerned about the patrons not finding the necessary resources, but as the meeting progressed it seemed to me that this was a battle of a different sort. It was a pissing contest waged over pixels. It was blind rejection of something new. It was petulant complaining instead of creative, constructive criticism. It was a lack of proposed solutions or suggestions for improvement. In a room full of adults, an ugly tension developed. I suddenly felt surrounded by grown-ups on the verge of temper tantrums, which is much, much worse than when children reach a similar brink.
From Brave New Librarian, in a post titled You’re Wearing Off My Glow. Worth reading, and considering, and taking as a reminder to be better than that. We can all be better than that, if we try. And we, as the professionals, the senior members of our staffs, as the leaders and managers and colleagues, should not need to be reminded by a graduate student. We should know, and know better, and be better.
Optimism is a revolutionary act.